Consider purchasing insurance for parents visiting the USA from India or any other country for the entire duration of their stay in the U.S.
When parents, in-laws or other relatives are visiting the U.S. from India or any other country, it is often their son, daughter or other host that are more worried about the high healthcare costs in the U.S. When looking for visitors insurance for parents from India or any other country (including visitors insurance for parents over 70), this article will help you keep certain things in mind to make the best decisions.
While you can buy the visitors insurance either from India (or any home country) or from the U.S., it is definitely advantageous to buy the insurance from the U.S. based companies.
My travel agent in India told me that I must buy the visitors insurance from them in order to get the air tickets. Is it true?
That is absolutely false and totally baseless. There is no requirement that in order to buy the air tickets, you first need to buy the visitors insurance. The unfortunate fact is that many travel agents work with insurance companies and insurance agents who try to scare people with such false information. The truth is that most of such travel agents in India would have no idea about the healthcare system in the U.S., and are not even licensed to sell any insurance, even in India, let alone in the U.S. Just like you don't buy car insurance from the car dealer, there is no reason to buy the travel insurance or visitors insurance from the travel agent.
My father inquired in India and he said that the insurance would cost only Rs. 8,000 for their entire stay. However, the U.S. based insurance company is asking $600 for the same coverage. Why should I buy from the U.S. based company?
You should not simply compare the price but also the benefits and the level of customer service. The U.S. based insurance company is not charging you 3 times more money for no reason. Finally, even the foreign insurance companies also need to pay for the healthcare expenses in the U.S. which are very high whether you buy the U.S. insurance, foreign insurance or no insurance. Please note that U.S. based insurance companies are not making an unreasonable profit, and the foreign based companies are not doing any charity. Both are in the same business and the principles of economics are the same everywhere.
My parents are saying that they are healthy and are visiting only for 3 months and therefore they do not need the visitors insurance. What should I do?
Visitors insurance (or any health insurance) is meant to cover any unexpected, unforeseen and new medical conditions, injuries or accidents that may occur after the effective date of the policy. They are not meant to cover the existing or ongoing problems. If the person is healthy now, it does not mean that he/she will remain healthy forever and accidents or injuries can happen at any time.
Most people in India would not realize the high healthcare costs in the U.S. and most of the elderly parents do not understand the concept of the health insurance. You who live in the U.S. would finally have to bear the burden if something were to happen. Therefore, you are the one who should try to convince them to buy visitors health insurance. Even if they are not convinced, at least for your safety and to protect the future of your own children, you should buy visitors insurance for your visiting parents.
My in-laws are visiting the U.S. and our traditionial culture discourages that daughters (or her husband or in-laws) spend money on their parents after marriage. Therefore, they don't want us to spend money on their visitors insurance. Any recommendations?
While we respect different cultures, it is finally the possibility of getting any medical conditions, injuries or accidents that may occur while visiting the U.S. and either their or your liability to pay for those expenses is what matters the most.
Even if they are opposed to the idea of their daughter spending money on her parents, most likely the same daughter is spending money on the air tickets, for lodging and boarding while they stay at her house and most likely for all the tourism expenses. In that case, why discriminate against paying for the visitors insurance? The fact is that many such people consider buying visitors insurance an unnecessary expense (primarily because they don't realize the healthcare expenses in the U.S.) and therefore, they want to avoid it.
The best explanation would be to ask how they would feel if they were sick or injured and their daughter and/or son-in-law ended up paying the medical expenses for the rest of their lives or ended up having a lien on their house? Wouldn't that situation be far worse? While all medical expenses that they may incur can not be covered by purchasing visitors health insurance, many of them can be avoided or reduced if you buy the visitors insurance for them.