If there is one thing every experienced traveler knows, it is to expect the unexpected. If the unexpected occurs while visiting the US, travel insurance can help to lessen the blow.

Though the US has some of the best, most advanced medical technology and healthcare in the world, it also tends to be much more expensive than medical care in other countries. Whether a traveler faces a sudden illness, injury or unfortunate accident, the medical costs associated with doctor and hospital visits can be astronomical without travel insurance.

The need for travel insurance varies depending on each traveler’s specific needs and trip plans, though having some form of travel insurance is recommended for all travelers. Most travel insurance can cover visitors from 5 days to six months or longer.

For example, travelers 55 and over may need more extensive travel medical insurance to prepare for any unexpected health complications. Thrill-seeking travelers should have hazardous sports coverage if participating in snow sports, water sports, rock climbing or other adventurous activities.

In addition, there are different types of plans available: comprehensive coverage plans and limited coverage plans. Limited coverage plans provide basic travel medical protection while comprehensive coverage plans offer better visitors insurance benefits and more flexible coverage at a slightly higher cost.

Some of the best visitors insurance options for travelers to the US on a B1 or B2 visa are listed below (For detailed information, check out the side-by-side comparison of these plans and their plan highlights):

Patriot America Plus

One of the most popular and versatile plans, the Patriot America Plus plan from International Medical Group is a comprehensive plan that includes a PPO network. The plan is renewable, cancelable and provides coverage from 5 to 365 days. It can also provide up to $500,000 of acute onset of pre-existing conditions coverage.

CoverAmerica - Gold

This comprehensive coverage plan has an extensive PPO network and provides 100% coverage in network after the deductible is satisfied. Same is true for out-of-network plans where plan will pay 100% of URC unto the medical maximum, once the deductible is met. Ideal for visitors to the USA, this plan includes emergency dental treatment, eye exams, $20-$25 urgent care visits, offers up to $125,000 in coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions for travelers under 70 and up to $30,000 for travelers age 70-79. Lastly, it offers the option of a return flight to home country if the trip is cut short for a medical reason.

Liaison Travel Choice

For visitors to the USA age 69 and below, Liaison Travel Choice is a good option as it is a comprehensive plan and can provide up to $30,000 of acute onset of pre-existing conditions coverage. The plan offers coverage from 5 to 364 days and is renewable and cancelable.

It is important to note that there is no one “best” plan for all travelers. For parents visiting the US, business travelers and vacationers, it is important to assess your specific needs and find a plan that has the coverage you want. Certain travelers with specific needs may need more coverage, while others may only want basic coverage. Regardless of the plan you choose, it is imperative to read your policy details carefully and take note of what is and is not covered.

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Disclaimer: The information represented on this page is provided by VisitorsCoverage Inc., a US-based licensed insurance service provider.