What does Visitor insurance cover?

An insured traveler receives cashless treatment within all states and regions in the US

By Chiranth Natraj

A trip outside your home country requires a lot of planning. If you’re visiting the US, you need to add visitor insurance to your list. Health insurance that covers you at home will not be enough for international travel, which is why you need a specialized travel insurance plan so that your healthcare needs are met in a foreign country for the short term.

Visitor insurance cover tends to protect visitors from costly medical expenses in the US and other foreign countries. An insured traveler receives cashless treatment within all states and regions in the US. If you aren’t sure what this is, you’re at the right place. Here, you will learn about visitor insurance, its type and what is covered. Let’s dive in!

What is visitor insurance?

Visitor insurance is designed for people who wish to take trips outside their home countries or for visitors coming to the US to meet their family. While standard health insurance policies focus only on health coverage in the policy holders home countries, visitor insurance provides you with complete coverage during an international trip.

The latter has different types of plans based on vacations, business trips, and short-term visits. There are plans available for tourist visas, visitor visas, business visas, and temporary visas.

What does it cover?

Visitor insurance plans are specifically designed to bestow coverage to an insured individual in a foreign land in the event of falling sick or getting injured. By purchasing the policy, the visitors get medical care and other related assistance that they need.

Read: Why is visitor health insurance recommended for travel to USA? (October 7, 2021)

The plans provide coverage for:

  1. New sickness or injuries that can happen during the trip
  2. Accidents or mishaps occurred during the stay
  3. Medical emergencies and evacuation
  4. Dental emergencies
  5. Hospital and doctor expenses and prescription drugs
  6. Acute onset of pre-existing conditions

However, things that don’t cover are:

  1. Preventive care services like, physical examination and routine check-ups
  2. Maternity and childbirth
  3. Pre-existing conditions

What are the types of visitor insurance coverage?

You can choose a plan based on your travel and medical needs. Visitor insurance coverage can be categorized as: limited and comprehensive.

  • Limited coverage

These plans offer basic coverage with less expensive premiums and lower benefits. Typically, these plans cover basic medical coverage during the trip and subsequent stay. Some plans can cover acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to a certain limit. You are free to go to any provider in the area as these policies typically don’t follow a PPO network and hence don’t have negotiated rates.

  • Comprehensive coverage

These plans are more expensive than the limited plans but come with better coverage and benefits. Most comprehensive policies offer coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Policy holders are encouraged to visit doctors within their PPO network for cashless services and negotiated rates. There are many options available, including Safe Travel USA Comprehensive, Atlas Travel, Liaison Travel, Patriot Travel, and more.

Where can you use visitor insurance?

  • Urgent Care and Hospitals– Insured individuals can show their visitor insurance card at the Urgent Care if they become sick or injured while visiting the US. Once you meet the deductible and coinsurance you can be covered to the policy maximum per the policy limits defined. If you need immediate medical assistance, you can rush to the hospital.
  • Doctors’ appointments– Policyholders can get appointments from local doctors and show their visitor insurance cards to them. The in-network doctors can submit claims to the insurance provider.
  • Prescriptions– Visitor insurance cards can be used to get prescribed medicines. The insured individuals can make the upfront payment and later file a claim for reimbursement showing the receipt.

This guide may not be enough to get a clear picture of the visitor insurance plans. If you’re planning to come to the US or take a trip outside the home country, make sure you buy a visitor insurance policy. Get in touch with a reputable insurer and keep your journey safe and protected.

(Chiranth Nataraj is the founder of Visitor Guard. He has more than two decades worth of experience in developing insurance and technology solutions.)

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