Visitor medical insurance shields you from the financial burden when you or a visiting family member is hospitalized while visiting USA, or traveling to any other nation. Your domestic or home country health insurance policy will not cover outside the national borders of your home country. Parents who are visiting their close ones in USA or planning to stay for even a short-term in a foreign country can stay covered with an visitors health insurance. The period of visitors insurance coverage varies form five days to nearly a year. Tourists visiting the United States of America such as relatives or parents visiting USA, business persons coming to America, or anyone planning to visit outside home country needs to review the points below before purchasing visitors insurance.
When purchasing visitors insurance coverage, you should always consider many of the factors listed below:
- The reliability of the insurance provider company. This is one of the foremost answers to seek for questions such as – Does it treat people fairly? Does it pay claims promptly? Does it have staff to answer your questions and resolve problems?
- Deductible amounts. Most insurance policies require you to cover part of your health expenses yourself (your part is called the “deductible”), before the company pays anything. Under some policies the deductible is annual, and you pay only once each year if you use the insurance. Under others, you pay the deductible each time you have an illness or injury. In choosing insurance, you should think carefully about how much you could afford to pay out of your own pocket each time you are sick or injured and weight the deductible against the premium before you decide.
- Co-insurance or copayment. Usually, even after you have paid the deductible, an insurance policy pays only a percentage of your medical expenses. The policy might pay 80 percent of all eligible medical expenses out-of PPO network. For example, the remaining 20 percent, for which you are responsible, is called the coinsurance or copayment. Thus, if you were injured and incurred $3,000 in medical expenses, a policy with a $0 deductible and 20 percent co-insurance would cover $2,080 (80 percent of $2,600).
- Maximum coverage benefit. Most travel health insurance plans offer a choice of maximum coverage amount, but it is also limited by the age of the to-be insured traveler or visitor. It is always prudent to buy adequate coverage if one can afford the plan premium payment as having the required coverage helps to protect for the high hospitalization costs abroad. Also be aware that age groups over 80 years are usually offered a limited maximum insurance limit as noted in the plan brochure.
- Fixed benefit vs. comprehensive coverage plans. Fixed benefit or scheduled benefit plans are a cheap and low-cost visitor insurance plan option, but offers limited coverage as specified in the plan brochure under the Schedule of Coverage section. The comprehensive benefit plans look expensive when just comparing costs, but also offer better coverage and cover all medical conditions that are not excluded up to the chosen maximum benefit amount.
- Specific limits. Some policies state specific dollar limits on what they will pay for particular services. Other policies pay “usual” or “reasonable and customary” charges, which means they pay what is usually charged in the local area. Be very careful in evaluating policies with specific dollar limits; for serious illnesses, the limit might be far too low and you might have large medical bills not covered by your insurance.
- Lifetime/per-occurrence coverage maximums. Many insurance policies limit the amount they will pay for any single individual’s medical bills or for any specific illness or injury. Exchange visitors must have insurance with a set maximum for each specific illness or injury, which may be enough for most conditions. Major illnesses, however, can cost several times that amount.
- Coverage Benefit period. Some insurance policies limit the amount of time they will go on paying for each illness or injury. In that case, after the benefit period for a condition has expired, you must pay the full cost of continuing treatment of the illness, even if you are still insured by the company. A policy with a long benefit period provides the best coverage, this needs to be determined before purchasing visitors insurance.
- Policy Exclusions. Most insurance policies exclude coverage for certain conditions. The J regulations require that if a particular activity is a part of your exchange visitor program, your insurance must cover injuries resulting from your participation in that activity. Read the list of exclusions carefully so that you understand exactly what is not covered by the policy before purchasing visitors insurance.
- Pre-existing Conditions. Many insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. If you arrive with a condition that will need medical attention, verify the pre-existing aspect of the policy that you are reviewing. Ensure clearly what is excluded before purchasing visitors insurance.
Visitor insurance factors for comparison of policies are easy to decide between by keeping these factors in mind. Be sure to consider the importance of buying a visitors health insurance plan for you and your family when preparing to travel to another country. No matter where you travel takes you, protect yourself and stay healthy with affordable visitor health insurance that allows you to feel confident that your health will be covered in a medical emergency in the US or any nation abroad.