Many people that have moved to the U.S. have family living in another country and the only way they can see each other in person is when someone travels the distance to visit another country; it’s often easier and preferable for the parents to visit their child. There are several important things to keep in mind when making travel arrangements. While making travel preparations, they begin to consider how U.S. healthcare will work for their family while they visit, what the best travel insurance plans for them are, the coverage included in the travel insurance and where to buy the coverage. Some may even wonder if it’s worth the effort to learn about the options and purchase a plan; however, the matter of purchasing the best travel insurance plan for your family should not be overlooked.
Inviting Parents to Visit
A strong family bond starts in childhood and continues into adulthood. Many parents raised their children while experiencing difficulties with limited resources and money. When their children have grown and completed their education, they may soon find a good job in the U.S. Once the adult child has settled into their new home, they would like to reward their parents efforts by inviting them to visit their growing family in the U.S. so they can spend time with their family. Even though they moved thousands of miles from where they grew up, they still want their parents to attend many important events such as a house warming, baby shower(s), and graduations, as well as take them on tours throughout the many tourist sites in the United States.
When the child that relocated to the U.S. invites their parents or siblings to visit them in the USA, they begin to make arrangements for their travels. Before flights can be booked, it is necessary to first obtain a U.S. visitors visa; this process is lengthy and cumbersome. It requires visiting the U.S. consulate or their authorized centers multiple times, with a lot of forms to fill out, which takes weeks or months. After completing this process and receiving approval, they quickly become busy making travel arrangements including air tickets, tour packages and debating on whether it’s necessary to purchase a travel insurance plan.
Healthcare in the U.S.
While the United States provides some of the best healthcare in the world, it is also among the most expensive in the world. A simple visit to an emergency room may cost several thousand dollars. Any serious illness or accident may end with hospital bills going into tens of thousands, sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without proper travel insurance, it is simply not possible for the most people to pay the high medical expenses out of their pockets.
Therefore, while not mandatory, it is highly advisable to purchase travel insurance while visiting the USA. Purchasing travel insurance can help with the unexpected medical emergencies and helps ease financial burden – providing you and your family with peace of mind, thereby allowing you and your visiting relatives to enjoy their trip relatively worry-free to make the best of every moment.
Where to Purchase Travel Insurance?
While making travel arrangements, too many travel agents in the home country insist that the travelers should purchase travel insurance through them. However, it is not advisable to purchase from your home country or from travel agents in foreign countries, as the travel agents in foreign countries have no knowledge or expertise of the complexities of healthcare in the U.S. Just like you don’t buy car insurance from a car dealership, or home insurance from a home builder, you should not buy travel insurance from a travel agent.
Instead, you should purchase travel insurance from a neutral broker that offers many U.S. based travel insurance products, that is properly licensed, has been in the business for quite some time and offers multiple travel insurance products.
Established in 2000, Insubuy is located in the Dallas area of Texas, USA. Since their inception, Insubuy has been highly focused on providing travel insurance for visitors to USA. On insubuy.com, you can get instant quotes from multiple companies, compare them side by side and make an instant purchase online. As many travel insurance products are available, it can be difficult to figure out which one is the most suitable for your needs and that is where their expertise comes in handy. For any assistance, you can call them at the toll-free (866) INSUBUY or +1 (972) 985-4400 and their U.S. based licensed insurance representatives would be glad to help you seven days a week. You can also reach them through WhatsApp at +1 (972) 795-1123.
What Does Travel Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance typically covers new medical conditions, such as injuries due to accidents and illnesses that may occur after the effective date of the policy. While some travel insurance plans provide the coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions, up to a certain amount, for travelers up to a certain age, routine or expected maintenance related to pre-existing conditions is excluded. Therefore, please don’t assume that everything you need or want would be covered.
In addition to medical benefits, travel insurance plans typically provide coverage for emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, trip interruption, loss of checked luggage, loss of passport, Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D), trip delay and more. The exact coverages vary by the specific travel insurance plan you purchase.
What do some of the terms mentioned above mean:
- Trip Interruption: While visiting the USA, if you are required to return home for a covered reason, such as death in immediate family or your house caught fire, the insurance company can pay to make arrangements to change your airline tickets.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation: While on a trip to the U.S., if you became gravely sick or were seriously injured and adequate healthcare is not available locally (it can happen in some parts of the regions), the insurance company will make arrangements to transport you to the nearest facility where adequate care can be given.
- Repatriation of Remains: If a visitor dies on their trip, the insurance company can make arrangements for repatriation of their remains to the home country, a local burial or cremation in some of the plans.
Travel Insurance Types
While shopping for travel insurance for visitors to USA, it is important to keep in mind that there are essentially two types of travel insurance plans:
- Fixed coverage plans: Limited coverage, low cost
- Comprehensive coverage plans: Better coverage, higher cost
Fixed coverage plans cover fixed amounts for each and every procedure and you would be responsible for the rest of expenses out of your pocket. This is one reason why fixed coverage plans are also called “Limited Coverage plans” because you will end up paying for more of your billed medical expenses than you might think.
In comprehensive coverage plans, typically you will pay your chosen deductible first, if co-insurance applies (not applicable for all plans) you will work with the insurance company until the co-insurance maximum is reached and then the insurance company pays the remaining costs until the policy maximum is reached. If something happens, a comprehensive coverage plan can save you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, even though it costs more to purchase a comprehensive coverage plan, we recommend that everyone purchase comprehensive coverage plans only.
While comparing travel medical insurance plans from the U.S. vs from the home country, it is very important to keep in mind that many foreign insurance companies provide only fixed coverage plans for travelers above the age of 55 years (or as young as 50 years). As the parents of most people are certainly beyond that age, you should be very careful in choosing the best travel insurance plan for them. Please don’t make your decision based on the cost, but also consider the limited coverage you are getting for the price.
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Best Travel Insurance Plans for Visitors to USA
As there are many travel insurance plans available from many different companies, it can be frustrating to figure out which one is the best for your relatives visiting USA. To help guide you, we have listed some of the best and most well-known travel insurance plans below.
Comprehensive Coverage Plans:
- Atlas America
After you pay the deductible, Atlas America pays 100% to up to the selected policy maximum. For urgent care and walk-in clinic, the copay is $15 and the deductible is waived. It participates in the First Health PPO network which is a very large network of medical providers and facilities all across the U.S. and gives you the convenience of direct billing.
Atlas America covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to the selected policy maximum for persons under the age of 70 years, and it can be as high as $2,000,000 ($2 million). For the travelers in the age group of 70-79 years, it can cover new medical conditions up to the policy maximum (up to $250,000) and acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to the policy maximum or $100,000 (whichever is lower), making it the most popular plan for visitors in their 70s.
- Patriot America Plus
After you pay the deductible, Patriot America Plus pays 100% up to the selected policy maximum. For urgent care, the copay is $25 and for walk-in clinic, the copay is $15 – the deductible is waived for both urgent care and a walk-in clinic. It participates in the First Health PPO network, which provides the cashless billing.
It covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to the policy maximum (maximum of $500,000) for persons under the age 70 years.
As there is no coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions for 70+ age group, you should consider purchasing the less expensive alternative plan called Patriot America insurance.
- Safe Travels USA Comprehensive
Safe Travels USA Comprehensive covers 100% to the policy maximum within the PPO network. When you visit the providers in the First Health PPO network, the deductible is waived, no matter which deductible you choose. For this reason, many people choose high deductibles such as $1,000, $2,500 or even $5,000 to save significantly on the premium they pay when compared to other plans.
When you visit an urgent care, you pay a $30 copay. Additionally, Safe Travels USA Comprehensive covers one wellness visit, which is an exclusive feature in travel medical insurance plans.
Safe Travels USA Comprehensive is the only comprehensive coverage plan that provides coverage for $50,000 in new medical conditions, including $35,000 ($15,000 for cardiac) in acute onset of pre-existing conditions for the 80-89 age group, as a result, it is a very popular travel insurance for elderly visitors.
Fixed Coverage Plans:
- Safe Travels for Visitors to USA
Safe Travels for Visitors to USA pays the fixed amounts as per the schedule of benefits, the benefit amount varies based on the policy maximum chosen.
As it is the only fixed coverage plan that participates in the First Health PPO network, it is quite popular among visitors that would like to have direct billing and avoid the hassles of reimbursement later.
One wellness visit is included in the benefits. It also covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to the policy maximum (cardiac conditions up to $25,000) for travelers under 70 years of age, up to $35,000 (cardiac conditions up to $15,000) for 70-79 age group and up to $15,000 for age group 80-89. It is the most popular fixed coverage plan for visitors in the 70-89 age group.
After you pay the deductible, VisitorSecure pays the fixed amounts as per its’ schedule of benefits for the selected policy maximum.
VisitorSecure covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to the policy maximum for visitors under the age of 70 years.
As it does not participate in any PPO network, you can visit providers of your choice and it is up to them whether to bill directly. While most hospitals tend to bill the insurance companies directly, you may have to pay out of your pocket for a Dr. visit or other small expenses and file a claim for reimbursement.
- Visitors Care
After you pay the deductible, Visitors Care pays the fixed amounts, as described in the schedule of benefits.
Unlike many other fixed coverage plans, Visitors Care does not cover acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Instead, it provides a Heart Care Plus rider at an extra premium, this rider would provide coverage up to $5,000 ($2,500 for 70+ years) in case you were to be hospitalized due to a heart attack or stroke that was deemed to occur due to a pre-existing condition.
As Visitors Care does not participate in any PPO network, you can visit any healthcare provider of your choice.
Full Service and Support
As you can see, you can purchase all of the products easily and instantly online. There is no medical exam or paperwork required for review to obtain coverage. As all prices are regulated by law, no one can offer you a different price for the same coverage with the same parameters such as product, policy maximum, deductible, age, and the coverage duration.
However, if you purchase from a neutral broker such as Insubuy they work for you; they will not only help you select the most suitable travel insurance plan for your needs, but also will help if you were to run into any legitimate claim problems. Their claims resolution specialists would work with you and the insurance company to see that your legitimate claim is paid promptly.
While you can buy the same travel insurance from any website or directly from the insurance company at the same price, you will not get the useful services of Insubuy. So far, Insubuy has helped many customers collectively save millions of dollars in claims and have a track record of 100% of the legitimate claims getting paid. Such additional assurance is of immense value, many potential customers don’t realize this and think that all websites are the same and it does not matter.
Insubuy is at your service seven days a week, feel free to contact them with any questions.
Medical Tips for Visit to USA
Apart from purchasing travel medical insurance for your visitors to the USA, it is very important to follow these medical tips before any visit to the USA:
- If the visitors to the U.S. are taking prescription medications, make sure that they carry a sufficient supply that would last them for their entire expected stay in the U.S. and maybe an extra supply just in case they extend their stay. Be sure that they carry proof of the prescription along with the medications.
Prescription drugs are very expensive in the U.S. and they would not be available without a doctor’s prescription. More importantly, if they are routinely taking any medications, it would not be covered by travel insurance.
- The USA is a very large country with quite diverse geography and weather. Therefore, depending upon the part of the U.S. they will be visiting and the time of the year, it is very important to have proper clothing. If they need winter clothes and are coming from a hot climate, you may need to pick some warm clothing up for them and meet them at the airport with it for them to wear out.
- If they need prescription glasses, make sure that they carry a couple of extra pairs. Again, such expected expenses are not covered by travel insurance.
- It is best to visit a doctor or the hospital to have a comprehensive checkup done before visiting the USA. Such a checkup is not required to obtain travel insurance, but it would help uncover any major issues so that you can plan their visit better.
- When taking elderly parents on tours of tourist attractions, keep their overall health and mobility in mind. You don’t want to take them to places like Six Flags with a lot walking and roller coaster rides if they have a tough time walking.
- Don’t make hectic plans and visit too many places back to back. There is a difference in the energy and tolerance levels at different ages. Your parents are obviously not as spry as you are or as quick as they used to be, make sure they are comfortable and not pushing themselves too hard.
- Keep some leisure time between visits to various parts of the country, allowing them to relax would help rejuvenate them from the exhaustion of prior trips.
- While it is always a fun idea to try local foods when visiting a foreign country, keep in mind their dietary restrictions and preferences. It is highly advisable to avoid any chances of food poisoning or food-based illnesses from trying different foods than what they have been accustomed to their entire life.