What are the types of visitor insurance?
Are you planning to come to the US? Are you thinking of a short trip to the US? Are you planning to spend a few months with your family in the US? If yes, it is time for you to purchase a visitor insurance policy.
Visitor insurance is a short-term health insurance policy meant for visitors, travelers, tourists, students, businesspeople, etc., looking forward to enjoying a brief stay in America. As your standard health insurance plans will not support you once you leave your home country, you need a robust visitor medical insurance policy to keep you financially safe and secure in a foreign land.
While shopping for visitor insurance plans, you will see two types- fixed benefit plans and comprehensive plans. To understand the difference between the two, read on.
Fixed visitor insurance plan
Fixed benefit plans, also known as limited coverage plans, offer lesser protection and have low premiums. Though not recommended, they provide basic coverage and can be suitable for travelers with low health risks. Typically, the plans come with some pre-defined sub-limits that can eventually increase your out-of-pocket medical expenses. How?
Suppose you choose a plan with $1400 hospital expenses per day. Unfortunately, you get hospitalized with a broken leg, requiring several x-rays, diagnostics, surgeries, and more. The hospital charges $2,000 per day, but your plan will pay only $1400 per day for hospitalization for the eligible medical expenses, and the rest of the amount needs to be paid by you. This applies to doctor visits, prescription drugs, emergency room visits, surgery, and other benefits as well.
The plus points of purchasing a fixed benefit plan are that you will be paying a low premium, which works well for minor injuries and ailments. However, whether you need to visit a physician or go to a hospital for any possible medical reason, the policy will pay only a pre-defined limit. The plans may or may not include a PPO network, meaning you can visit any doctor of your choice. Again, the expenses will be paid as per the pre-determined rates mentioned in the policy.
Though fixed benefits plans are the cheapest insurance solutions in the market, your out of pocket is known only after getting the bills. So, you really do not know how much it will cost you in the event you really have to use the insurance. Therefore, choosing a limited benefit plan is your choice, but one must be mentally prepared and carry enough cash to get treated for something severe. Apart from this, travel-related benefits like trip cancellation, trip delay and interruption, baggage delay and loss, emergency reunion, return of a minor, and more are not included.
Comprehensive visitor insurance plans
Comprehensive plans are more expensive as compared to the Fixed benefitplans but cover eligible medical expenses with no pre-defined limits and offer better protection. These plans are ideal for visitors who are planning to stay in the US for a few weeks to months and are best suited for higher medical risks and substantial medical expenditure.
The benefit of choosing comprehensive coverage is that you know your out-of-pocket medical expenses because your purchased plan can cover you for the medical costs up to the plan maximum without any sub limits. So, for example, if your purchased plan has a $50,000 limit then it can support hospital expenses up to $50,000.Depending on your plan, you need to pay deductible and coinsurance as mentioned in the policy. Once you meet your mentioned deductible and coinsurance, the plan pays 100% of the eligible medical expenses up to the policy maximum. There can be different variances for different plans. Thus, going through the brochure is suggested.
Most plans have PPO networks, meaning cashless medical treatment and direct billing to the insurance company if you choose a clinic or hospital within the network. You can visit any doctor as per your choice but selecting a facility within the PPO network is recommended to enjoy services at a higher discounted rate. In addition, some plans can offer you travel-related benefits like trip cancellation, trip benefits, baggage loss and delay, war, terrorism, etc.
Which type of visitor insurance should you choose?
Choosing a type of visitor insurance policy is based on personal choice. If you are willing to take health risks during travel or are not worried about your out of pocket costs, you can opt for a fixed benefit plan. The premium will be low but the out-of-pocket cost can be high in the event you have to use the policy. However, choosing comprehensive visitor insurance means you do not have to worry about out-of-pocket medical expenditure because your plan can cover you up till the policy maximum without sub-limits.
Are you confused about choosing between the two? Then, do not hesitate to call us because we will help you pick up the right plan as per your travel and health requirements.