This visitor medical insurance overview provides a high-level look at how visitors insurance works. If you are seeking the best visitors insurance in the USA for parents, or health insurance for foreign visitors, it may be of value to you.
While the USA offers some of the best medical care in the world, it is very expensive. It is of the utmost importance to purchase a visitors medical insurance policy if you are planning to visit the USA. It is equally important to select the right visitors insurance for parents if they are visiting you in the USA.
Visitors medical insurance is short-term travel medical insurance that can generally cover the illnesses/injuries that occur after purchasing the policy and while outside your home country. It will generally cover all eligible medical expenses such as doctor's office visits, hospital charges, surgery, lab work, x-rays, prescription drugs and other related medical expenses. Most visitors insurance USA plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, and the eligible medical expenses are for new illness/injuries.
To purchase the best visitors insurance in the USA, you can get instant quotes and make an instant purchase for most U.S.-based companies. It is important to buy from a reliable and reputed broker that has many insurance plans, and can advise you on the most suitable plan. It is better to purchase from a broker that has a wide variety of plans and one that does not prefer one company over another, but instead works in your best interest. Please note that no matter where you buy visitor medical insurance from in the USA, there are only a handful of actual companies in the U.S. that issue such insurance. We offer international medical insurance from the most prominent U.S. companies.
USA visitors insurance can be purchased for the duration you need; as little as 5 days, or up to a year at a time. Some plans can be purchased in multiples of days, while others must be purchased in monthly increments. Regardless of using a daily or monthly rate, many plans are extendable beyond the original duration the policy was purchased for; there is sometimes a small fee for this.
The effective date of the insurance plan can be the date you leave your home country, or any other future date that you specify. It is advisable to have the effective date that is the same as the day you leave from your home country, and the end date that is the same as the date you arrive back to your home country. That way, you can be covered for eligible medical expenses during your journey. Please keep in mind the time zone differences, as insurance starts at midnight either at USA Eastern, Central, Mountain, or Pacific Time depending upon the insurance company. Keeping the time zones in mind, you may need to start your insurance coverage one day in advance if you would like to cover your journey.
As there are many insurance plans available, it would be wise to study and compare several plans so that you can choose the one that best meets your needs.
Please note that visitors medical insurance plans generally do not provide coverage for travel (trip delay, cancellation, etc.), dental, or vision. There are other plans that are available on this website that may offer those features. Also, the insurance company will not pay for over-the-counter medicines, or the prescriptions that you are regularly taking for pre-existing conditions. Please bring a supply of those medicines from your home country before traveling to the USA. Also, if you wear glasses bring a couple of extra pairs as they are quite expensive in the USA and not covered by visitors medical insurance.
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Essentially, there are two major types of insurance plans: scheduled benefit (fixed coverage) plans, and comprehensive plans.
- Scheduled benefit (fixed coverage) plan: Provides limited coverage and pays a set amount of money for every procedure (such as $55 for doctors visit, $330 for emergency room visit, $3,300 for surgery, etc.); you have to pay any difference beyond that.
- Comprehensive plan: Generally, you pay the deductible, after that it pays 80% for the first $5,000 of expenses (you pay 20%), and after $5,000, it pays 100% up to policy maximum.
This is a very high-level generic description, and you should look at the specific details of the policy to find out all of the benefits of the plan.
It is advisable to purchase a comprehensive plan, as it provides much better coverage compared to a scheduled benefit (fixed coverage) plan.
The premium rate of the policy depends upon several factors such as age, deductible, policy maximum, the kind of policy you choose, and the insurance company. For the same age, deductible, policy maximum and very similar features, premiums may vary from one insurance company to another. But it will only have a few dollars difference; not very significant. But for the same plan with the same features from the same company, insurance will always cost you the same amount no matter where you buy it from, whether it be a website, over the phone, directly from the insurance company, or through any other means. No one is allowed to sell the same policy at a different price, as it is strictly against the law.
Visitors medical insurance works entirely differently from domestic health insurance that you usually get through your employer. In such a group plan, you usually pay a $10 or $20 copay for a doctor's visit, hospitalization is usually paid at 100%, etc., but it does not work that way for visitors medical insurance. As most professionals have group insurance through their employer, they never have to deal with purchasing insurance on their own. Therefore, many are looking for similar terms in visitors medical insurance. It is advisable to find out the details about what is different in visitors medical insurance by reading the brochures on this website, looking at different plan comparisons, and calling us if you have further questions. There is not typically a concept of copay in short-term insurance plans.
Different plans may have positive or negative features. You can never predict what is going to happen to your health in the future, and therefore it is impossible to find out in advance which plan will provide you the most coverage you may need at the lowest cost. Insurance plans are generally designed in such a way that you get what you pay for: In general, cheaper plans provide less coverage, and more expensive plans provide more comprehensive coverage. For a given plan, the higher the deductible you choose means the less the premium you have to pay up front. But if you choose a higher deductible and get sick or injured, you will have to pay that much money first before the insurance company starts paying anything for eligible expenses.