With inward tourism to the US on an upward trend in the last couple of years, there has been an influx of foreign visitors here. While traveling to the US is always a wonderful experience, foreign visitors should protect themselves from unexpected injuries or illnesses with the right kind of health insurance.
When exploring different kinds of health insurance for foreign visitors, you may have to go through a maze of options and small print. To help you make the right choice, we have identified the following key features that you should look for while shopping for health insurance as foreign visitors when visiting the US:
Coverage and Type of Plan
As a foreign visitor to the US, it is important that you are covered by the right kind of health insurance. Understanding the type of plan and its coverage will help you determine if you need a fixed coverage plan or a comprehensive health insurance coverage plan that which will serve your needs better. A comprehensive plan provides better coverage and flexible options. It is important to know the differences between comprehensive and limited coverage plans before making your decision.
Most U.S. travel insurance plans have a list of medical service providers online. Provider Networks (PPO networks) provide a list of doctors, hospitals and healthcare providers associated with your US travel insurance company. Identify the hospital/services listed close to your destination in the US and buy your health insurance accordingly. More popular plans will often have a better coverage network of providers.
As a foreign visitor to the US, it is important to give yourself the flexibility of overstaying or extending your visit. In such a scenario, be sure you can extend your particular plan/policy before it expires. Also, important to know if the coverage would continue if you renew your plan. It should not be treated as a new policy. If you have purchased a renewable plan, the medical condition that occurred during your initial policy period will not be considered a pre-existing condition whereas, if you purchase a new policy at that time, it will be considered a pre-existing condition. There is no extra cost for the ‘renewability’ feature, so it's a good idea to purchase a policy that can be renewed.
Cost is an important factor when purchasing health insurance for foreign visitors. It usually depends on the traveler's age, coverage amount limit and type of plan. Make sure you have coverage against all kinds of uncertain health risks. Though some people prefer to take the risk of buying a low-cost plan, they often have to pay more later.
Besides, health insurance, foreign visitors ought to be careful about the journey they are about to undertake to the US. Unforeseen risks are always prevalent there as well. Some travel insurance for the U.S., particularly comprehensive travel insurance plans, also cover certain type of travel-related issues, such as baggage loss and travel-related emergencies. This is worth looking into.
When choosing a health plan for foreign visitors, be sure to look for the features listed above as well as its popularity, the online reviews for the insurance provider and the credibility of the source from which you are buying your coverage.
What are the Best Health Insurance Plans for Foreign Visitors To the US?
With so many options out there, it is important that you pick a plan that suits your needs, your trip and your specific health conditions. Be it one that covers pre-existing conditions, or one that is limited in nature, we have identified the best health insurance plans for foreign visitors in the US that can be tailored for individual needs.
Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans
As a foreign visitor to the US, the price of Limited plans tends to be very appealing as they are much lower than that of comprehensive plans. However, the downside of a cheaper plan is that they don’t provide nearly as much coverage in situations in which medical attention is needed and the foreign visitor often ends up paying the majority of the bills out of his own pocket. The following health insurance plans are the best options when it comes to Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans –
CoverAmerica Gold is a visitor health insurance plan that provides medical insurance coverage and emergency services for foreign visitors traveling to the USA. It also covers incidental trips to Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Latin America and South America, while visiting the USA. After the deductible is satisfied, within the PPO network, the plan will pay 100% of eligible medical expenses up to the policy maximum. Outside the PPO network, the plan will pay 100% of URC up to the policy maximum of eligible medical expenses.Highlights:
- Cover America Gold has the added bonus of being covered with a return flight to the home country if the trip is cut short due to medical reasons
- It has the up to $125,000 available should there be an acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
- This also has the advantage of urgent care consultation copay of just $20-$25.
- Lastly, if the insured person buys a policy for at least 30 days, he is eligible for a free Public Health Emergency Screening even when a travel warning is in place for the country of destination.
This plan has a 100% coverage upto the policy maximum for covered services within the US for all foreign visitors. This covers anywhere between five days to 365 days of your travel and lets you enjoy a whole year of worry-free trips within the US.Highlights:
- Covers upto $500,000 of acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
- Renewable and Cancellable
Limited Health Insurance Plans
These are always less expensive than others and a foreign visitor to the US can purchase these if he is looking for a basic coverage and looking for a fixed limited dollar amount for every service and treatment.
ChoiceAmerica is a travel medical insurance for foreign visitors to the United States. It is a basic travel medical insurance plan that has fixed pre-defined limit for each medical service. You visit any doctor or hospital of your choice.Highlights:
- The foreign visitor may purchase a rider at an additional cost to cover pre-existing conditions.
- The fixed limited dollar amount for each unexpected treatment allows the visitor to plan expenses accordingly and takes the guess work out of the equation.
Tailored for foreign visitors coming to the US, VisitorSecure insurance is a basic, cost-effective travelers’ health insurance that provides fixed pre-defined coverage benefits for each medical service. You may visit any doctor or hospital of your choice.Highlights:
- Will cover the foreign visitor during the travels.
- Will provide coverage for acute onset on pre-existing conditions
If you traveling to the US and are looking for health insurance, here’s where you can compare the many health insurance plans to best suit your specific needs