If you’re visiting the US, or bringing parents and family members to the country, a comprehensive travel insurance plan with PPO Network is recommended
By Chiranth Natraj
When you’re looking for visitor insurance, you often come across plans that have PPO Network, which is also known as the Preferred Provider Organization network. Visitor insurance policies with PPO Network allow an insured individual to visit any hospital or clinic within their network. These hospitals provide a much lower rate than the hospitals located outside the network.
While purchasing visitor insurance plans, you will be given a choice to choose between limited plans and comprehensive plans. But one should know that the former doesn’t participate in PPO Network, while the latter have PPO Network. Travelers that take an international trip have to opt for comprehensive coverage plans so that they can get access to physicians who are within the network.
Read: What does Visitor insurance cover? (November 8, 2021)
What are the benefits?
Lower rate: The travel insurance provider and the healthcare provider can have a negotiated rate between them, and that will be always lower than the clinics/hospitals outside the network. Some plans also offer in-network discounts, where a higher rate of medical expenses is paid if the insured individual chooses a physician within the network.
Direct billing: Sometimes, hospitals and clinics within the PPO Network have direct billing, which means they will send the bill directly to the insurance company instead of asking you to pay upfront and getting the refund later.
Freedom of choice: In PPO plans, you get the opportunity to access a wide network of doctors and medical facilities. You get a lot to say from where you wish to get the care and treatment. Any medical unit you choose within the network will give you the same price and facilities. What’s more? You don’t have to stick to one physician every time, especially if you’re a frequent traveler.
No referrals: This is yet another benefit of not committing to one physician because you need a referral to meet a specialist. In health maintenance organizations (HMO) plans, you need to get an appointment with your physician so that he/she can refer you to a specialist. But, purchasing a policy with PPO Network allows you to skip this step, saving you time and money. You can get access to the specialized care faster.
Out-of-network coverage: Though it’s recommended to choose a doctor/clinic within the network, you can seek care and treatment outside the network. You can still be partially covered if you choose a doctor outside the network. The only thing is that you need to pay some expenses from your pocket that would have otherwise been waived off on choosing in-network healthcare providers.
Read: Why is visitor health insurance recommended for travel to USA? (October 7, 2021)
A visitor insurance plan with PPO Network comes with a lot of flexibility. Hence, it’s essential to compare the plans to make the right decision for you and your family. In case you’re in an area where you can’t access your in-network provider, you can visit a doctor of your choice, pay upfront and get reimbursed later.
If you’re visiting the United States, or bringing parents and family members to the country, a comprehensive travel insurance plan with PPO Network may be a good option. As the healthcare is expensive, you should take the benefit of lower rates, choosing a doctor anywhere you like, and getting a specialist’s suggestions whenever you need it.
Travel insurance is necessary when you are traveling internationally, away from your home country. It secures you financially while you can be busy vacationing with your family and friends. As the coverage varies, compare the plans and get the best deal that suits your travel needs. Or, get in touch with a insurance company’s executive to know the details about the plan and the PPO Network.
(Chiranth Nataraj is the founder of Visitor Guard. He has more than two decades worth of experience in developing insurance and technology solutions.)