Last Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), many people traveling abroad, including visitors to the U.S.A. and their families, are concerned about whether medical treatment would be covered if they were to fall sick from coronavirus. As the disease continues to spread globally, they have many questions.
These FAQs aim to clarify some of the questions specific to travel medical insurance. As the situation is evolving rapidly every day, it is best to check with us for the latest information.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued Level 3 global travel warning on March 27, 2020. Prior to that, the CDC had issued warnings about several destination countries.
Q: Will I be covered if I get infected with coronavirus?
A: Exclusion varies based on the insurance plan:
Charges resulting from a disease outbreak in a country or location for which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Warning if a) the warning has been effect within the 6 months immediately prior to your date of arrival, or b) within 10 days following the date the warning is issued you have failed to depart the country or location.
As of Friday, May 15, 2020, coronavirus coverage will be available to customers who purchase the ExchangeGuard and StudentSecure plans on May 15 and afterwards.
As of Wednesday, July 15, 2020, coronavirus coverage will be available to customers who purchase the Atlas plans and VisitorSecure plans on July 15 and afterwards.
Anyone that has purchased the insurance up to 3/27/2020 can have the coronavirus coverage for a maximum of 10 days from 3/27/2020. If the CDC had already issued a travel warning for a given destination country prior to 3/27/2020, the coronavirus coverage would end within 10 days from the travel warning for a given country.
No specific exclusion about the epidemics, pandemics or CDC, WHO or other travel warning. It would be treated just like any other illness and subject to the general terms and conditions of the policy.
Q: I don’t have any symptoms, but I want to get tested to confirm that I don’t have coronavirus. Will visitors insurance cover that?
A: It is not covered.
Q: Some insurance plans (such as the “Safe Travels” series) include a “Wellness Visit” benefit. Can it be used for Coronavirus testing?
A: Wellness visits are governed by ICD code, which does not include specific testing. Therefore, it will not cover the coronavirus test, even if the doctor advises that you should get tested within the course of the wellness exam. In any case, as $75 is the total payout, the benefit usually doesn’t cover 100% of the wellness exam, anyway.
Q: I noticed that the prices of toilet paper and hand sanitizer have gone up significantly. Have the visitors insurance companies similarly raised the prices due to high demand?
A: No. Fortunately, insurance prices are regulated by law, and no visitors insurance company has raised prices due to coronavirus.
Q: If I have the symptoms of coronavirus, go to the lab for tests, and the results are negative, would I be covered for that test?
A: Test expenses are not excluded simply because the results are negative.
Please note that the exclusion related to CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notices, where applicable, still applies.
If you have symptoms of a sickness, the insurance company would cover whatever is medically necessary, as long as it is not excluded due to other restrictions such as travel warnings, pre-existing conditions, etc. Medically necessary procedures are not considered preventive checkups.
Q: How does insurance decide if the medical condition I contracted is a new medical condition or coronavirus?
A: Only a medical professional can diagnose when a person acquired COVID-19. The insurance company would rely upon the professional opinion of the treating physician. Only a medical professional can diagnose when a person acquired COVID-19.
Q: I have read that coronavirus can cause pre-existing conditions, such as high blood pressure, to flare up again. Will insurance cover this? How should the claim be declared?
A: Different companies have provided different answers:
Tokio Marine HCCMIS:
The complications would be covered if the cause of the issues was a covered condition, i.e., coronavirus.
The virus is treated the same as any other illness, including how pre-existing conditions are applied to chronic conditions.
If you have a question that this FAQ doesn’t include, please contact our office at ofni or +1 (972) 985-4400 for help.