How does visitors insurance work? Millions of tourists visit the United States every year; some come to visit iconic sites the U.S. is known for and many others are invited by their relatives to come and visit them. As healthcare costs are extremely high in the U.S., it is highly recommended and necessary to purchase visitors insurance for the entire duration of the trip. Many people have questions about how visitors insurance works because they have not purchased visitors insurance or any short term health insurance before.
On our web site insubuy.com, you enter your search criteria, such as: age, coverage dates, etc., then you will see all the eligible products, including the details for each plan and their prices. You may also compare plans side by side.
You can also call our office and any of our licensed agents will be glad to assist you.
- You can make an instant purchase online or over the phone by contacting our office. You will need the following to complete your purchase: your visitors name, date of birth, passport number (some products) and travel dates. No other documents (like medical records) are required.
- Insurance can start as early as the next day, or any future date you specify.
- You will receive an email confirmation, including their insurance ID card, immediately. Many products also mail a physical ID card.
Visitors insurance will generally pay for any new medical conditions, injuries or accidents that may occur after the effective date of the policy.
Visitors insurance plans don't cover preventive checkups, immunizations or pre-existing conditions but some plans provide coverage for the acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to some amount and up to some specified age.
Visitors Insurance Types:
There are primarily two types of visitors insurance plans:
- Fixed Coverage: Low cost, but they only pay a fixed amount for each procedure and you pay the difference.
- Comprehensive Coverage: Higher cost, but they pay in terms of a percentage (such as 75%, 80%, 90% or 100%).
We always recommend comprehensive coverage plans.
There is no concept of copay, except for US urgent care visits in some plans. You will have to pay the deductible before the insurance company pays anything, even for a doctor visit.
You can visit any provider (doctor, urgent care, lab, hospital, emergency room) of your choice. However, most comprehensive coverage plans participate in a PPO network, while fixed coverage plans do not. There are contract negotiated rates when seeing a provider in the PPO network for covered conditions.
When you visit providers in the PPO network, they will generally bill the insurance company directly and also charge you the network negotiated fees for eligible expenses. Please make sure to mention the PPO network to them and show your insurance ID card.
When you visit a provider outside the PPO network, it is up to them whether to bill directly or not. If they demand payment upfront, you will have to file a claim for reimbursement.
Doctor Office Visit:
If you have purchased a visitor insurance plan that participates in a PPO network, be sure to mention the PPO network name when scheduling an appointment. Try to give the insurance details ahead of the time. In any case, make sure to present your insurance ID card at the time of the visit.
If the doctor does not want to bill directly, pay upfront and file a claim for reimbursement.
Urgent care centers are like walk in doctor offices and they may be able to do several tests as well. They are generally open for longer hours, such as evenings and weekends. Please present your insurance ID card at the time of the visit.
Hospital or Emergency Room:
Most hospitals tend to bill the insurance company directly. If your plan participates in a PPO network, it is preferable to visit the hospital or emergency room that participates in the PPO network.
You should visit an emergency room only for true emergencies as most plans have restrictions or penalties for improperly using an emergency room.
Some visitors insurance plans have pre-certification requirements. That means, before getting any major treatment or procedure done, you will have to call the insurance company (phone number listed on the back of your ID card) and let them know about it.
There is no PPO network in any visitors insurance plan for pharmacies. Therefore, you will have to first pay out of pocket, and file a claim for reimbursement.
Some plans include a Rx discount card that you can use for discounts on prescription medications; the card can also be used to receive a discount for prescription medicines that treat pre-existing conditions.
At any point of time if you have any questions or need help, (before, during or after purchase) please feel free to contact us, as we work for you, our customer.