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what is visitor insurance and how does visitor insurance work

A trip outside your home country involves a lot of planning, preparation, and paperwork, especially if your destination is the US. There can be several reasons for an individual to come to the US- whether to spend time with their family, work, participate in an academic program, or enjoy a leisure vacation! Nevertheless, purchasing a visitor insurance plan becomes crucial because it does a lot of help than you can imagine. 

So, what is Visitor Insurance? 

Visitor insurance is a short-term insurance plan that financially protects individuals outside their home countries. If you wish to take a vacation in the US or meet your extended family in America, you need comprehensive visitor insurance coverage during your stay. Unfortunately, your standard health insurance coverage will not cover you abroad. Hence, visitors to the US need specialized health insurance to meet their medical needs. 

The plans can be used for different purposes, such as short trips, business work, vacations, and more. In addition, these can be used by people on tourist, visitor, business, and other temporary visas. 

What does it cover? 

Visitor insurance plans cover any new illness or injuries of a policyholder during the trip. For example, if they run into an accident , have a broken leg, go through severe pain, fall sick, get an injury, or need to be transferred to the nearest qualified hospital, the plan can cover them all. Obviously, the type and level of coverage one opts for, plays a pivotal role in determining what is included and what is not. 

The plans can cover new illnesses, sicknesses, injuries, wounds, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, accidental death & dismemberment, doctor visits, hospitalization, surgery, prescriptions & drugs, and more. Though each plan varies, reviewing the brochure is recommended. 

The plans typically do not cover birth control, cosmetic surgery, dental, elective surgery, immunizations, maintenance medication, maternity care, preventive check-ups,  vision, and treatment for previous medical ailments. 

Which factors affect Visitor Insurance premiums?  

  • Age – Age is one of the most significant factors deciding the cost of health insurance for foreign visitors. The older the traveler is, the higher premium they need to pay. Younger people tend to not fall sick or are less prone to injuries and accidents than senior adults. With age, many risks get involved, resulting in higher premiums. 
  • Policy maximum-  The policy maximum is the highest amount an insurance company pays for your eligible medical expenditure. It comes in various ranges from $50,000 to $8 million. If you choose a higher policy maximum, you must pay a higher premium. 
  • Coverage duration-  Most visitor insurance plans in the US charge daily premiums, which means you pay for the number of days you need coverage.  Of course, traveling for six months will cost you more premiums than a trip for 21 days. Therefore, the longer your trip duration is, the higher the cost you are charged. 
  • Deductible-  Deductible is the amount you pay after you receive a medical service and before the insurance company starts paying for the eligible medical costs. Again, you get different choices from $0 to $5,000 – the higher the deductible you choose, the lesser the premium you need to pay, and vice-versa. 

Other factors that may influence the premium are: 

  • Plan type – You can get a fixed benefit plan or a comprehensive plan for your coverage. Comprehensive plans are expensive as they offer better protection, while Fixed benefit plans are cheaper insurance in the market with some basic protection. The Comprehensive plans have higher premiums. 
  • Coverage area-  The coverage area will directly affect the premium. If your trip includes the US, you will pay a higher premium than if you choose coverage excluding the US. 
  • Optional coverage-  Some plans offer hazardous sports coverage as an add-on. If you choose optional coverage, you need to pay an additional premium. 

What are the types of Visitor Insurance? 

Limited benefit plan 

The limited or fixed benefit plans are the cheapest insurance solutions because of the sub-limits on all the benefits that the plan has.  Highly affordable, these plans offer basic coverage to an individual and have pre-defined limits, meaning that they will cover you up to a certain amount depending on your chosen plan. 

For example, if you select a plan of a $50,000 policy maximum with a $100 deductible. This plan covers $60 for an Urgent Care/Doctor’s Office Visit. If you get a bill from an Urgent Care visit of  $300, you will have to meet your $100 deductible first then the plan will pay $60 for the Urgent Care visit, and you will pay the remainder of $140  Limited plans have no PPO network, allowing people to visit any doctor they want but at the same time do not avail of the PPO network discounts. Also, you do not receive travel-related benefits, such as trip interruption, trip delay, baggage & document loss, and more. 

Comprehensive plan 

Comprehensive plans cost more than a Fixed Benefit plan but offer better coverage and protection to buyers. Depending on your plan, you can be covered for 5 days to 1 year or more. These plans are ideal for visitors and travelers coming to the US for a brief stay or for a couple of months. The benefit of buying a comprehensive policy is that it will cover you till your policy maximum after you have met your deductible and co-insurance. 

Suppose your purchased policy has a policy maximum of $1 million. Once you have met your deductible and co-insurance, the insurance company will cover you 100% till the policy maximum for the eligible expenses. There are rarely any pre-defined limits. The good news is the plans have a PPO network, offering discounted rates to individuals visiting doctors, clinics,  and other facilities within the network. In addition, some plans offer travel-related benefits like a trip interruption, baggage delay, and more. 

When do you need a Visitor Medical Insurance plan? 

  • Hospital visits  

Accidents, illnesses, or injuries happen unannounced. The first thing that comes to your mind is going to a hospital. How does your health insurance plan work? First, you can show your insurance ID to the receptionist, who will verify the benefits. After you pay your deductible amount, the hospital will directly bill the insurance provider for the eligible medical expenses. If you choose a fixed benefit plan, the company will pay till the pre-defined limit. And, if you select comprehensive coverage, the company will cover you up to your purchased plan’s policy maximum. 

  • Doctor visits and Urgent Care Visits  

You can visit a doctor/ Urgent Care within the network and show your insurance card. Then, the clinic can either bill the insurance company or ask you to pay for the medical services. If you spend money from your pocket, you can ask for an itemized invoice that you can use later while filing your claim. 

  • Prescriptions  

If you need medicines for a new illness, you can make an upfront payment at the pharmacy and submit the receipt to file a claim later. Your insurance provider will review all the bills and receipts and reimburse you for the eligible amount spent.  

  • Emergency evacuation  

When you are choosing a medical insurance plan, make sure to choose a plan that covers emergency medical evacuation and repatriation. The plan can help you get transferred to the nearest equipped hospital for your treatment in the event of an emergency.  

How much does Visitor Insurance for foreigners in the US cost? 

The premium of your health insurance plan depends on several factors  Age, policy maximum, deductible amount, and the number of days considered when calculating the premium. Also, if you opt for a fixed benefit plan, you will pay less premium than a comprehensive policy. To know the exact quotes, you can ask an insurance executive. 

How does the Health Insurance plan work in the US? 

Medical fees in the US have been one of the world’s most expensive countries,   However,  people undoubtedly , get the highest standard of care and treatment in clinics or hospitals. 

So, what is the solution? Visitor insurance for foreigners can save you from spending excessive money on medical treatment in the US. Of course, any mishap can happen during your travel. But with visitor insurance, you can tackle the problem quickly. All you need to do is show your insurance ID to a hospital or clinic so that they can bill the insurance company directly. If you make any out-of-pocket payments, you can claim those later by showing significant proof of medical receipts and bills. 

Get ready to travel!  

When you purchase a policy, reviewing the coverage is essential to know what is included and what is not. Buying a plan that suits your travel and medical needs are recommended. For example, get a policy with emergency medical evacuation coverage if you are into solo hiking and trekking to remote locations. Or, if you are getting a policy for your elderly parents visiting the US, you can opt for a plan that covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions. 

Now when you have all the required information about a visitor health insurance plan, you are an inch close to buying the right one from NRIOL.net. Call us and get quotes. 

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