Visitor medical insurance is short-term health insurance that provides medical coverage for illness and injury during travel or stay abroad. Lack of coverage in a foreign land would leave a traveler in a vulnerable position in the event of a medical emergency. The results of such could be physically, financially, and emotionally agonizing.
Traveling with travel medical insurance is a smart thing to do, especially if you are visiting the USA. The health care system in the US, and anywhere outside of your home country, will work drastically different than what you are used to. Additionally, healthcare in the US is very costly, and the bill for any procedure, no matter how small or large, would add up very quickly.
Visitors and parents visiting the USA from India or any other country must consider buying a suitable visitor medical insurance policy to protect against extremely high medical expenses in America due to any medical emergencies.
Be a well-informed traveler and protect yourself and your family with insurance. It may surprise you how fast, easy, and affordable travel medical insurance can be. Below is some basic information about visitors' insurance to help you become more knowledgeable before you make a purchasing decision.
How does visitors medical insurance help?Visitors insurance will come to the rescue should any unexpected accident or injury happen. This includes coverage for doctors' fees, hospital charges, any prescriptions prescribed after your plan is in effect, lab tests, surgery, and other medical-related expenses depending on the plan you purchase. Visitors' insurance also provides some coverage for emergency evacuation, return of mortal remains, lost baggage, and trip interruption.
How to obtain a policy?You can buy medical insurance either in your home country or in the US, from an agent or online.
According to experiences of several people who traveled abroad, a policy bought from an US-based Insurance Company works more efficiently when compared to the ones bought from your home country based insurance companies.
Insurance from USA:
Medical insurance from a US based agency might be more expensive, but being recognized by a larger number of hospitals and doctors is definitely an advantage. One can receive instant coverage and instant attention during a medical emergency. There are several companies in the USA that provide medical insurance for international visitors.
Below an online source to compare and select insurance policies for buying visitors medical insurance: Online resource for Visitor Medical Insurance for USA.
Facts about various Visitor Insurance providers:
As a matter of fact, there are very few Companies that are the actual providers and the rest are their agents with different names.
Insurance from your home country:
There are several insurance companies that provide medical insurance for international travelers. These are mostly offered through the local travel agencies. For instance, the following are some of the Indian companies which provide visitor insurance for international travelers:
- New India insurance visitor insurance.
- The oriental insurance company.
- United India insurance.
- Tata AIG insurance
- Bajaj travel insurance.
- Reliance travel insurance.
- ICICI Lombard insurance for visitors.
Though these organizations maintain web sites, the information provided is not updated as required. It is always best to call their local office and find out exact information. Plans and rates vary from company to company. A major disadvantage with these policies is that they are not accepted by many of the hospitals and doctors in the USA. Hence when you need to claim your expenses later on, you may have to deal with a lot of paper work, correspondence, and frustrating follow ups.Read more: Visitor Insurance from India vs. USA
Cost and Coverage?Medical insurance policies are not custom made to fit individual profiles, thus rates depend on various factors like: age, duration of stay, kind of plan, coverage needed, deductible, and premium. Apart from this, the rates also depend from which country/company one has purchased the insurance.
How does visitor insurance for usa works?
The insurance company provides you with an ID card, or a document stating your policy number and related details like your name/birth date. If, while you are on your trip, you have to visit a doctor, they will verify the acceptance of your insurance policy. If your policy is accepted, you are instantly attended. You may be asked to pay the minimum fee known as "deductible" before the insurance begins to pay for covered benefits. The amount/percentage depends on your policy agreement and terms.
On the other hand, if they don't accept the policy, you might have to pay for the entire cost of the medical expenses at the time of visit before seeing the doctor. In this case, you would later have to file claims to get paid for the covered benefits from insurance.
Period of coverage? Start date/end date?Coverage can be purchased in days or monthly increment. You can combine these increments to suit your travel needs. For e.g. if your trip is for 2 and a half months, then you will have to opt for two month and one 15-day increment.
There are several policies that are renewable, and hence provide you with the flexibility to renew should your travel plans change.
It is advisable to request the effective date starting from the day of departure from your home country and ending, the date you land in your home country as visitors insurance also covers you on your journey to your destination.
How to claim?Contact your insurance company. You will have to fill out claim forms, along with the proof of expenditure, which includes a copy of the hospital and doctor's reports, plus all original bills.
For a more in-depth description, see: How to File a Claim
Factors determining your total insurance coverage:
- Age: One of the major factors determining your premium.
- Maximum Coverage: There are different plans depending on the maximum coverage you want. For e.g. $50,000, $ 100,000 etc.
- Deductible: The minimum amount one has to pay in case of any medical expenses.
- Rider Factor: Your insurance will increase if you plan to indulge in hazardous activities such as rock climbing, skiing etc.
Visitor Insurance Terminology:Pre-existing conditions?
Pre-existing conditions are defined as medical conditions, medication, consultation, or treatment which existed or which was performed prior to the effective date of coverage.
This is the amount that must be paid by the insured before the insurance company begins to reimburse the expenses. This works like your Auto insurance deductible where certain amount is paid by the insured before the insurance covers for any damage to your car.
For instance, if you purchase a plan with a $500 deductible and incur expenses of $1500, the insurance company will begin to reimburse for expenses after you have paid the initial (deductible) of $500.
Exclusions: These can be defined as the expense that the insurance company/plan is not liable to pay. Example: expenses resulting from illegal drug use, conditions which existed prior to the purchase of the insurance (pre-existing conditions), participation in various dangerous activities. Read coverage carefully for exclusions in your plan.
Co-Insurance: The percentage or amount of eligible expenses that the insured pays after the deductible.
Example: "Co-Insurance = 20% or co-pay is 80/20" means that the insurance company pays 80% of the charges, the insured pays 20%. Often in many plans there is a maximum co-pay amount, i.e., a limit which the insurance provider pays 100%. Example: "Deductible = $250 and 80/20 co-pay up to $5000, then 100% up to policy maximum." This means the insured is required to pay the deductible of $250 plus 20% of expenses up to $5,000, and the insurance provider pays 100% of covered expenses that exceed $5000 up to the maximum policy coverage limit
Premium: The amount you pay to purchase medical insurance policy. Premiums may be paid full in advance or monthly or depending on the policy.
Beneficiary: The person or persons designated by the insured to receive the proceeds of an insurance policy upon the death of the insured.
Policy Maximum: The maximum amount of money that the insurance provider will pay for covered expenses. This may be an overall maximum or an amount for each illness/accident.
Renewable or non Renewable: This feature (Renewable) tells the consumer whether the particular plan can be renewed before expiration to continue coverage after originally planned end coverage date with the same terms and limitations
Whether a policy is renewable or not can be of great significance because if an accident/illness occurred before policies expiration, it will not be considered a pre-existing condition, whereas a new policy would consider it as a pre-existing condition. So, if you extend your stay and the policy is renewable, you can simply renew your current policy instead of purchasing a new one
- Never travel without an insurance policy.
- Keep all your receipts and reports safely.
- Try your best to convince the hospital/doctors to accept your insurance policy. Remember, your way of tackling the situation might help you.
- If you extend your stay in USA, don't forget to extend your medical insurance policy.
Does it really matter to buy insurance from an US based insurance company?
Yes, convenience, instant reachable customer support, insurance acceptance, the peace of mind and hassle free claim is certainly present when you buy policies from US based insurance companies.
Why Buy visitor insurance online?
- Easy and quick.
- Hassle free.
- No paper work, no fax, no membership.
- No physical/medical exam required.
- Get instant ID cards and coverage starts instantly or whenever you request.
- Renewal is easy.
- Only the top, most reliable Insurance companies provide online purchase options.