Visitors Insurance Types


Visitors insurance plans fall into essentially two major categories: fixed coverage plans and comprehensive coverage plans. What is covered in fixed vs. comprehensive is essentially the same for most parts. However, how much is covered is what is different in these different types of plans.


Fixed coverage plan:

This type of visitors insurance is much cheaper than comprehensive coverage plans. It is also called a scheduled benefit plan. In such type of insurance plans, you have to first pay the deductible (which can be either once per every sickness/accident or once per policy period), then the insurance company pays a set maximum amount for every procedure such as $55 for doctor's office visit, $450 for ambulance service, $330 for emergency room visit, so on and so forth. You have to pay any difference beyond that yourself. There is no way to figure out how many percent of actual expenses would be covered in such insurance.


The $50,000 or $100,000 policy maximum you see is the overall limit for the total of all the scheduled benefits, and it does not mean that all your medical expenses will be completely paid up to $50,000 or $100,000.


Even though prices for such visitors insurance plans are attractive, you should really understand what you are purchasing so that it will meet your expectations in case you need to use it.


If there is no PPO network in a particular fixed coverage plan, you can visit any doctor or hospital you like. You get a health insurance card that has all the information that the provider may need to bill the insurance company directly. Therefore, most providers would do so. However, in case a particular provider declines to do so, you would first need to pay up front and file for reimbursement.


Fixed coverage visitors insurance plans are basic medical insurance plans and don't provide many travel related benefits such as loss of checked luggage.


Please look at the brochure of each plan for more details.



Comprehensive coverage plan:

This type of visitors insurance provides much better coverage compared to the fixed coverage plan. In such visitors insurance plans, you have to first pay the deductible (which can be either per year, or once per policy period), after that insurance company pays 80% for first the $5,000 for eligible medical expenses, you pay the remaining 20%. After $5,000, the insurance will pay 100% up to policy maximum for eligible medical expenses.


In most such visitors insurance plans, you have to pay a 20% co-insurance for the first $5,000 of expenses once per policy period. (Patriot America from IMG has a 90/10 coinsurance for the first $5,000. Atlas America and Visit USA-Healthcare covers 100% right away when using the providers in the PPO network who bill directly). After the co-insurance, you get 100% coverage up to the policy maximum after the first $5,000 of expenses, once per policy period.


Some plans have a 20% co-insurance for the first $5,000 of expenses for every sickness/incident, and you get 100% coverage up to policy maximum after the first $5,000 also per every sickness/incident.


Notable Exception: Liaison Majestic plan has very limited coverage for several illnesses such as heart attack, stroke, cancer etc. Atlas plans have no coverage for cancer or skin disease.


Most comprehensive coverage visitors insurance plans are PPO plans. That means that the insurance company has contracted many providers all across the United States who participate in the PPO network, accept the insurance card, bill the insurance company directly and charge you the network negotiated fees which are typically lower than their regular fees.


Comprehensive coverage visitors insurance plans also provide travel related benefits such as loss of checked luggage, terrorism (optional or standard), hazardous sports coverage (optional), trip cancellation coverage (optional in some plans).


Please look at the brochure of each plan for more details.