The Fine Art of Reading the Fine Print I: Policy Duration

Before deciding to purchase any visitors health insurance, you must read the fine print thoroughly rather than having a cursory glance at the policy. Let us take the example of Visitors Care insurance provided by International Medical Group (IMG) for an analysis of the Policy Duration clause.

The minimum duration of this policy is 5 days. The individual should either be traveling or temporarily residing outside his home country for at least 5 days to be eligible for this policy. Any one policy may not exceed 12 months, but can be renewed for a period of up to 24 months with a renewal fee of $5 and applicable premium costs.

The point to note here is this that very short trips (for a day or two) cannot be covered under this policy; you must purchase a policy for the minimum period. Also, if your trip is expected to be longer than 12 months, you should compare renewal costs of this plan with the costs of other short-term plans.

After 24 months of continuous coverage, the policy must be rewritten and a new application completed. This means that new deductibles, eligibility, conditions of coverage and pre-existing conditions exclusions will apply. If you plan to stay in the U.S. for more than 24 months, then you should consider taking a longer term policy.