When shopping for travel medical insurance, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is whether to purchase a limited coverage plan, or a comprehensive coverage plan. These are the two main types of visitor medical insurance policies available in the market. These categories are distinguished mostly by the amount of coverage they provide and the amount that you are liable for as the insured.
- Limited Coverage Visitor insurance policy (Benefits are fixed, limited to per incident)
- Comprehensive Visitors insurance polices (Benefits are percentage based)
Comprehensive coverage plans are the most popular choice among visitors to the US, as well as the most recommended by VisitorsCoverage. This is because comprehensive coverage plans provide a greater amount of coverage and leave the insured with less liability. These plans are generally more expensive because of the high potential benefit payout. A limited coverage plan on the other hand, provides a fixed amount per category. Though limited coverage plans may cost less, they certainly would not provide adequate coverage if anything serious occurred during your stay in the US.
A comprehensive coverage plan is highly recommended for parents visiting the USA or Canada since the cost for healthcare can be quite high. A comprehensive coverage plan can provide peace of mind should the insured face any serious medical illnesses or accidents during their stay abroad.
Below is a table demonstrating the major differences between comprehensive coverage plans and limited coverage plans.
A) Comprehensive Visitors Insurance Plan
B) Schedule benefits plan (Limited coverage plans/ Fixed Coverage Plan)
|A. Comprehensive Coverage||B. Scheduled Benefit / Limited Coverage Plan|
- Enhanced and better benefits when compared with limited coverage plans.
|- Provide Basic Coverage. |
- Good for general or basic service and to cover lower risks.
|Benefit and Liability|| |
- Most comprehensive coverage plans work like PPO plans where insured liability is deductible and co-insurance.
- Basic coverage, where insurance pays only a pre-defined, fixed dollar amount for each medical service
|PPO Network||- Most of them are PPO type plans and has PPO network. This means greater acceptance rate inside the network. |
- Discounted rates may be offered
|- No PPO network.|
|Can you visit any Doctor or Hospital?||- Yes, you may visit any doctor, but it is advisable that you visit a facility within the Provider Network if PPO network is available.||- You may visit any doctor/facility that you want, but the insurance will pay the pre-defined amount no matter what the physician charges|
|Travel Related coverage||- Yes. Most of them have travel related coverage bundled, and provide you with coverage for trip cancellations, baggage loss, terrorism etc.||- No travel-related coverage|
|Rates/Cost||Higher premium||Low premium (low cost)|
Source : VisitorsCoverage.com
While making your decision on which plan is best suitable for your traveler, it is important that you review the policy documents in detail to ensure that you have a strong understanding of the covered benefits and policy exclusions before making a purchase.
The following are popular travel medical insurance plans for visitors to the U.S in each category:
|Comprehensive Coverage Plans||Limited / Fixed Coverage Plans|
For more information, refer to our article on choosing the right visitors insurance for the USA visitor insurance for USA