Since 1980, the number of Chinese immigrants living in the United States has grown nearly sevenfold. As of 2018, almost 2.5 million Chinese immigrants lived in the U.S., making up over five percent of the foreign-born population.
The reasons for coming to the U.S. are numerous. Some get F-1 or J-1 visas and come to the U.S. to study. Those with an H-1B visa or L-1 visa may travel to the U.S. for a job. Some eventually get Green Cards or become U.S. citizens through naturalization.
Whatever the reason, it can be difficult being separated from family. It’s only natural for parents and in-laws to want to visit their children in the U.S. to spend time with them, perhaps help out with grandchildren, and see all the sights and attractions that make the USA so special.
Inviting your parents or in-laws to visit you from China requires several steps. They must first apply for a USA tourist visa, also known as a B-2 visa. After approved, they will need to make travel preparations for the length of their stay, and purchase airline tickets and the best visitors insurance for parents visiting the USA.
Why is Visitors Insurance Important?
Healthcare in the United States is extremely expensive. If your parents are not familiar with the price of medical treatment in the U.S., they could be in for a rude shock. For instance, if your father were to get the flu and have to spend a night in the hospital, the bill could exceed $10,000 without insurance. If a trip to the emergency room is involved, a bill of more than $50,000 is not unheard of.
Simply put, healthcare is unaffordable for most people in the U.S. without insurance. Visitor insurance for parents provides essential, short-term medical coverage for visitors just like your parents or in-laws.
Is Visitors Insurance Mandatory for My Parents or In-Laws?
Legally, visitors insurance is not required for visitors to the USA on a B-2 tourist visa. However, from a practical perspective, it is absolutely essential. Your parents’ domestic health insurance will not be accepted or provide sufficient coverage in the U.S., and they cannot be covered by your health insurance. Visitors insurance is the only option for them to receive necessary medical treatment in the U.S. without an unaffordable bill.
What if My Parents are Only Visiting for a Short Time?
Medical issues are just as likely to strike two days into a visit as they are two months into a visit. Therefore, regardless of how long your parents are visiting you from China, it is highly recommended to get visitors insurance coverage for the duration of their trip.
What is the Best Way for Chinese Parents to Purchase Visitors Insurance from the US?
The best way to purchase visitors insurance is from an online marketplace right on this website. Here, you can get quotes and compare plans from numerous U.S.-based companies side-by-side, allowing you to make an informed, instant purchase online.
Once you have decided on an insurance plan and made your purchase, it’s easy to manage your insurance online through MyAccount. Here, you can make allowed changes to the policy, cancel your coverage, or extend it. MyAccount makes it simple to manage the visitors insurance policy from the comfort of your laptop or phone.
What Should I Consider When Purchasing Visitors Insurance for my Parents from China?
First off, we would recommend reading the Guide section. It contains a wealth of information that can help you make an informed decision about what policy to purchase.
Next, you should consider the policy maximums that are available based on the age of your parents or in-laws, such as if you are looking for visitors insurance for parents over 70. It is recommended to select the highest policy maximum available. Remember, U.S. healthcare is extremely expensive, and a low policy maximum can get used up quite quickly.
Also, consider the deductible. What is a deductible? It is the amount of money you must pay before the insurance company will begin paying for covered benefits. A higher deductible may be cheaper initially, but you will have to pay more if you need to use the insurance.
With elderly travelers especially, pre-existing conditions must be accounted for. While visitors insurance cannot provide coverage for the routine maintenance of pre-existing conditions, some plans can cover the acute onset of pre-existing conditions. The amount that may be able to be covered will depend on the visitor’s age, and can vary by policy.
How Long Should the Visitors Insurance be Valid?
It is highly recommended that you purchase visitors insurance for your parents or in-laws for the full trip duration upfront. This will prevent any accidental lapses in coverage that could leave you open to unexpected medical bills.
However, travel plans can change. Your parents may initially only plan on staying in the U.S. for three months, but then decide to extend their stay to six months. If this is a possibility, be sure to get a visitors insurance plan that can be extended.
Should I Get a Fixed or Comprehensive Coverage Plan?
While fixed coverage visitors insurance plans are undoubtedly less expensive, there is a reason for that. They only pay a fixed amount for eligible expenses, which is usually lower than the actual charges, and leave you responsible for paying the rest. They also do not have an out-of-pocket maximum, which could result in you paying a lot of money for charges beyond the fixed coverage amount.
Therefore, it is highly suggested that you purchase a comprehensive coverage visitors insurance plan. Comprehensive coverage plans usually participate in PPO networks. This means the healthcare provider can bill the insurance company directly, and charge network-negotiated rates. Furthermore, comprehensive plans have deductibles that only have to be met once per policy period or year, and out-of-pocket maximums that protect you from having to pay more than you expected.
Will the Visitors Insurance Cover COVID-19?
COVID-19 is understandably a concern for any international visitor. Luckily, there are numerous visitors insurance plans that can cover COVID-19 just as they would cover any other new sickness or injury that occurs after the effective date of the policy.
However, keep in mind that the U.S. has certain travel requirements related to COVID-19 for foreign visitors. Testing and/or vaccines related to these requirements are not covered by visitors insurance.