The following set of FAQ are applicable to Maryland, New York and Washington. The State of New York is used just as an example to avoid unnecessary repetition for each state as this information applies to all the above mentioned states.
While applying for Atlas America Insurance, if you enter a New York address, you will see the following notice:
Notice to Individuals Physically Located in the State of New York:
If the proposed insured is physically located in the State of New York during this quoting session, then the purchase of this policy is prohibited and must be cancelled by clicking the cancel button. Otherwise, please click next.
My parents are Indian citizens and they are visiting the U.S. They will be staying with me at my New York address. Can I still buy Atlas America insurance for my parents? Could you please explain the meaning of this notice? Why am I getting this notice?
You are receiving the message because you are putting your NY address there.
If the persons for whom you are buying the insurance are physically located in the state of New York while applying for the insurance, they can not buy Atlas America.
In the sentence "If the proposed insured...", "proposed insured" means your parents in this case, not you.
Can I buy Atlas America for them before they arrive in NY?
The insured person can not be in NY at the time of purchase; if the son or daughter is purchasing on behalf of their parents who are not in NY at time of application then yes, they can go ahead and apply online and click "Continue" when the NY notice pops up.
When I visited various web sites of your competitors, either they don't mention anything about such restrictions or mention something like "Not available to the residents of Maryland, New York and Washington", but this web site mentions something totally different and I find that confusing and contradictory. Which is correct?
Of course, what we have described on our web site is accurate.
The web sites that mention nothing about the restriction/eligibility may not be aware of the restriction/eligibility themselves, or they may choose not to provide such detailed information.
Some of the text written by some of our competitors is inaccurate and/or misleading. Products such as Atlas America are NOT available to U.S. residents for use in the U.S. no matter which state they reside in, whether it is California, Texas, Florida or any other state. In that case, mentioning that it is not available to just the residents of Maryland, New York, and Washington is meaningless.
Some competitors have even written different versions of the restriction in various places of their web site which contradicts itself. (That is, mentioning something on one web page and something totally different on another web page, but all on the same web site.) One of the version matches with what we are saying while the other does not. Obviously, that is not accurate.
To confirm what we are saying is accurate, go through a few pages of the application on various web sites (even if you have no intention to buy it yet) and you will see that the eligibility question is being asked exactly as we have mentioned and the restriction or eligibility is exactly what we have written.
Of course, we can't really contact all of our competitors and make sure that they keep their web site up to date and provide accurate information.
My parents are in NY with me where I live and work. Can I call my brother in Boston to buy this insurance on their behalf? Can I call you (Insubuy) in Texas to buy this insurance on their behalf? Neither my brother nor you are in NY while viewing this web site (or rather while purchasing Atlas America).
The restriction is about the insureds, your parents in this case, not about your location. whether you (located in NY) buy the insurance for your parents, you ask your brother in Boston to buy it on their behalf, or you call us to buy on their behalf, it still does not change the fact that your parents are physically located in the state of NY while submitting the application. As long as they are physically in New York they are not eligible to purchase Atlas America.
I work in NY but live in NJ. My parents are visiting me in NJ. Can I apply for Atlas America insurance during the day time from my NY office?
Yes. The only restriction is that your parents cannot physically be in the state of NY while applying for Atlas America. In fact, when you put the NJ address, the notice about NY will not show up and the application will be accepted without requiring any other information.
My parents will be visiting me in NY for 3 months and my brother in Philadelphia for 3 months. Are my parents eligible to purchase Atlas America?
As long as your parents are not physically located in the State of NY at the time of application, they can have Atlas America for the entire duration. In other words, if they are visiting you in NY first, you must buy it before they arrive in NY. If they are visiting your brother in Philadelphia first, you or he can buy the insurance before or after they arrive in Philadelphia and when they come to visit you in NY, the insurance is still valid. When a Pennsylvania address is entered, the notice about NY will not even show up.
I purchased the insurance for my parents a total of three months. They will visit with me in Texas for the first two months of their trip and my sister in NY the last month of their trip. Is their coverage valid for that one month they spend in NY? What if my sister wants to renew their insurance for another two months after that one month is over?
Yes, it is valid for that one month they spend in NY. Your sister can renew their insurance for another two months while your parents are in NY. All that is possible because the only restriction is that your parents can not be physically in the state of NY at the time of submitting an initial application.
My parents are visiting me in NY for four months and they are already with me in NY. What if I take them across the bridge into NJ, go to Starbucks or start my wireless connection in NJ and use that internet connection to buy Atlas? Is that valid? Will my coverage be valid that way?
Yes, you can do that. Again, the only restriction is that your parents must not be physically located in the state of NY at the time of application. As they are physically in the state of NJ at the time of application, you can buy the insurance for them.
If the person is able to buy the insurance as per the previous FAQ by crossing the bridge into NJ, how would you check whether the person viewed the web site from NY or NJ at the time of claim? Do you record the IP address? How do you know that your IP address checking is accurate? What other checking will you do to assure the eligibility? What kind of proof would you need so that the customer can prove they did everything according to your guidelines? For example, how would I prove to you that I crossed the bridge into NJ to buy the insurance?
All this sounds too doubtful to me and I don't have enough confidence in this matter. How can I do such things? How can I be assured that they will be covered?
The member has to attest that he / she (your parent) was not in NY at the time of application. If they lie, it's possible that it could come up during a claim. However, it's very case specific.
There is no proof that they (your parents) crossed the bridge to NJ. They have to attest in the application that they are not physically located in the state of NY at the time of application. As per HCCMIS, they have never asked for proof that the member was outside of NY during a claim. HCCMIS must ask the question during the application in order to comply with the NY Department of Insurance and the question is only asked at the time of purchase.
My parents will be staying with me in Texas for 2 months and in Boston with my brother for 3 months. They are planning to visit Niagara Falls, NY during their visit. Will they be covered if they get sick/injured while in NY?
As long as they are not in NY at the time of purchase, it is not a problem to just visit NY state for a few days for sightseeing, such as to visit the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls or any other attraction.
My parents will be staying with me in NY, they are not planning to visit anyone in another state. Can they still buy the insurance? How long can they be covered?
As long as they are not in NY at the time of purchase, they are eligible to buy the insurance. They can be covered for the entire duration that Atlas America insurance is available, that is one year. They don't necessarily have to stay with someone else in another state. Of course, they are free to visit anywhere they like for any duration they like.
Why is this restriction only for New York state?
The United States is not united for insurance purposes, and every state has their own rules.
Why can't I find this same information on HCCMIS web site? How do I know all this is true?
That is because the exact rule as it exists has been mentioned in the online application, no matter where you buy from. As far as HCCMIS is concerned, they have stated the exact rule as required.
Based on our specific market and the questions that various customers asked us for various scenarios, we have over time discussed these matters with HCCMIS, sought clarifications and we have prepared this FAQ based on those responses. This exact FAQ as it is presented here is our copyrighted information and anyone is NOT free to copy it and paste on their web site.
Please note that various scenarios mentioned here are the clarifications of the rule, and not illegal workarounds to circumvent the rule. When you could possibly buy the same insurance from anywhere for the same price, that is one of the many additional services we provide to our customers and shows ours commitment to our customers as it took us a lot of effort to come up with this FAQ.
Moreover, please note that we offer most major plans from most major companies, and not only the Atlas America insurance. We would not want to offer something to someone who is not eligible.
I am still not convinced.
In that case, please do not buy this insurance. Please look at other visitors insurance plans that we offer or call us for assistance. We understand that you may be looking for some of the unique features that Atlas America offers, but options may be limited if there is no other plan offering those features.