Visitors Travel Medical Insurance Guide

Visitor medical insurance - Free Quotes
1. Traveler's age
2. Spouse age  (if reqd)
 years
3. Maximum coverage
4. Coverage Period
months   days
5. Country to Visit
USA Non US

How visitor travel medical insurance works ?

When you buy health insurance be it for visitors or domestic health care, the money you pay (the "premium") is combined with the premiums of others to form a pool of money. That money is then used to pay the medical bills of participants who need health care. Your insurance cover remains valid only as long as you pay your premiums. Once you purchase insurance, the insurance company will give you an insurance identification card to use when you seek care from a hospital or doctor. The insurance company will also provide written instructions for reporting and documenting medical expenses ("filing a claim"). The insurance company will evaluate any claim you file and make the appropriate payment under your plan. In some cases the insurance company pays the hospital or doctor directly; in others the company will reimburse you after you have paid the bills.

Factors to consider while purchasing insurance


When purchasing your own insurance coverage, you should consider many factors.
  • The reliability of the insurance company. Does it treat people fairly? Does it pay claims promptly? Does it have staff to answer your questions and resolve problems?
  • Deductible amount. 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 plans the deductible is annual, and you pay only once each year if you use the insurance. Under other plans, you pay the deductible every 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 plan pays only a percentage of your medical expenses. The plan might pay 80 percent, for example; the remaining 20 percent, for which you are responsible, is called the coinsurance or copayment. For example, if you are injured and incurred $3,000 in medical expenses, a plan with a $500 deductible and 20 percent copayment would cover $2,000 (80 percent of $2,500).
  • Fixed benefits or 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 the insurer pays 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 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 maximum of no lower than $50,000 for each specific illness or injury, which may be enough for most conditions. Major illnesses, however, can cost several times that amount.
  • 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 plan with a long benefit period provides the best coverage.
  • Plan 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 plan.
  • 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 plan that you are reviewing.

Choosing the correct visitor insurance plan

Understanding Insurance and choosing an appropriate plan for your specific needs can be complicated. There are many plans, various coverages, options and restrictions. Deciding on a plan that best suits your needs is not always easy.

Relevant questions to ask before purchasing a particular visitor insurance product


Fixed Benefits plan:

These policies are characterized by various benefit limits for each type of covered medical expense. These benefit limits typically are not the same as the plan maximum. For example, a plan with a $50,000 maximum limit may feature upto a maximum of $3300 for surgery, upto a maximum of $500 for diagnostic services (X-rays, scans) etc. The maximum amounts for different situations are detailed in the plan brochure. Typically you are required to pay an initial deductible for each injury or sickness and then the plan pays for the rest of the covered expenses.

Scheduled Benefits Plans have the lowest premiums, but the consumer must be aware that the benefits offered are relatively limited as compared to the Comprehensive Coverage Plans.
Examples of Scheduled Coverage Plans include Inbound USA offered by Specialty Risk International and Visitors Care administered by International Medical Group.

Comprehensive Coverage Plan:

These policies typically do not have benefit limits based on the type of medical expense. Usually benefits for covered medical expenses go all the way upto the plan maximum (less deductible and co-insurance). Typically for all covered medical expenses during the plan period the insured pays the deductible plus 20% of the first $5,000; and then the plan pays 100% of the eligible medical expenses upto the plan maximum.

The details for each plan such as the plan maximum, medical expense eligibility etc. are listed in the plan brochure.
Comprehensive Coverage Plans have relatively higher premiums, but in turn offer better benefits than the Scheduled Benefits Plans. Examples of Comprehensive coverage plans include Diplomat America, Atlas America, Liaison International and Patriot America.


Not all insurance policies are renewable. This factor can be relevant if there is a chance that the visitor can extend his travel period. The renewability factor is important in the following manner. If a product is renewable, any ailment that occurs during the initial coverage period will be covered even when the plan is renewed. However if the plan is not renewable, while you can still purchase the same plan a second time, any ailments that occured during the first coverage period will be interpreted as a 'pre existing ailment' and will not be covered in the second coverage period.

This information will be available in the plan brochure as well as in our visitor insurance compare engine.

The insurance companies are rated by an independent rating company A.M.Best rating. For all the plans, each insurance company's A.M. Best rating is displayed in our visitor insurance compare engine.

Some companies do not give any refunds while other refund on a pro-rated basis. This can be important is the visitor cuts short this travel period.

Visitor Travel Medical Insurance (for family members visiting USA)
Visitor Travel Insurance plans provide coverage for medical expenses resulting from sudden illness or injuries incurred during the stay in USA. Visitor Travel Insurance plans can be purchased anytime even during the trip and offer many levels of medical coverage ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000.

USA Medical Insurance Plans (health insurance for US residents, blue cross, anthem, unicare, assurant...)
If one is planning on living in the US for more than a year and would like to have the same level of health protection that many Americans procure then this class of plans offer the desired benefits.

Short Term Medical Insurance Plans(for new graduates and those in-between jobs)
Short Term Health Insurance plans are ideal for those currently living in the US and in-between jobs or waiting on another plan. It is also applicable for students who have recently graduated from college or anybody else without health insurance.

International Medical Insurance Plans (for H1b visa holder, H4 visa and Green Card holders)
International Medical Insurance plans offer comprehensive major medical coverage in all countries including USA and are designed to the special needs of H1, H4 and Green Card holders (new immigrants).

International Student Health Insurance Plans (for studying in a foreign country)
International Students (F1 visa), their spouses and children (F2 dependents) are required by US Universities to have good medical insurance coverage.

US Student Health Insurance Plans (for American students studying in the USA)
US Student Health Insurance plans are ideal for American students who find a traditional individual medical or other current coverage to be too expensive. They are also ideal for US citizens who are attending school outside an HMO or PPO region, are required to have coverage but choose not to participate in a college-sponsored plan and are no longer covered as a dependent under their parent's plan.

US Immigrant Health Insurance Plans (for H4, F2 Visa holders and new immigrants)
US Immigrant Health Insurance plans are long term plans designed to the special health needs of new immigrants (Green Card holders sponsored by family members) to the US and potential immigrants (H4 & F2 visa holders).

J1, J2 Visa Health Insurance (for exchange program visitors and scholars)
J-1 exchange visitors in the US and J-2 dependents must carry health insurance. Government regulations stipulate that if one willfully fails to carry health insurance, then the J-1 sponsor must terminate the exchange visitor program and inform the termination to US Department of State.

Package Trip Insurance Plans (for vacationers and cruise travel)
Package Trip Insurance plans are a simple packaged solution designed for short term travel, vacations and tours. These plans offer good coverage (no deductible) at affordable prices.

Europe Travel Insurance (for business travel, vacation and Scehengen visa)
Traveling to Europe has been made convenient with the Schengen Visa. This common visa allows you to travel to 24 schengen countries. However Schengen visa countries require visitors to have health insurance coverage.

Au Pair Medical Health Insurance (for overseas babysitters and nannies)
Most au pairs in the United States have the J-1 visa. J-1 visa exchange visitors in the US and J-2 dependents must carry health insurance. Government regulations stipulate that if one willfully fails to carry health insurance, then the J-1 sponsor must terminate the exchange visitor program and inform the termination to US Department of State.

Au Pair Medical Health Insurance benefits include coverage for medical expenses (pre-existing conditions may be covered), prescription drugs expenses, emergency medical evacuation and accidental death & dismemberment.


Group Medical Insurance (for employees, missionaries, vacation travellers)
Group health insurance provides medical expense coverage for many people in a single plan. All the eligible participants are covered, regardless of age or physical condition.

 
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