Compare visitor health insurance plans that are ideal for persons that are not going to be residing in their current location for an extended period of time. If an individual visits the US from another country, and only plans to stay for 3-6 months, a special medical coverage may be the best option. International travelers and relatives can also find low-cost quality coverage and quickly enroll and get approved. We provide free reviews and comparisons of the most affordable travel and visitor policies, including locations where public healthcare is not available.
Generally, these policies are not expensive and provide a wide range of features. Their benefits, however, greatly differ than most other contracts. Also, the ratings and financial backing may not be the same as the big US companies. And since you may not have the same rights and protection of a domestic carrier, it is important to strongly consider the safety of the company. NOTE: A citizen from a foreign nation that desires to enter the US, must secure a non-immigrant or permanent visa. A DS-160 application may be required.
The DS-160 is an online nonimmigrant visa application for temporary travelling in the United States. The Department of State processes the application and consular officers determine eligibility. A personal interview may be required. When completing the DS-160, needed documents include curriculum vitae or resume, passport, a SEVIS ID, travel itinerary, and dates of the last five visits to the US.
Also, visitor policies are not considered compliant Marketplace plans, so a federal subsidy does not apply, pre-existing conditions may not be included, and essential benefits, such as maternity and mental illness may also not be included. However, assuming you meet citizenship requirements, if you move to a new area, you have approximately 60 days to purchase a qualified Marketplace policy under the “Special Enrollment Period” exemption. Also, with most foreign policies, you can keep existing coverage in-force while you travel to and from a foreign country, even if the stay is lengthy.
This type of policy can also be used for US citizens that are traveling to foreign countries and need temporary medical coverage. Whether the trip is for a few days or is an extended visit of a few months or more, there are affordable options offered from highly-rated insurers. Although it’s possible the providing carrier will not be a “name” company, as long as they are highly-rated, they should be safe to use. There are many reputable rating agencies that we will be happy to provide, including A.M. Best Company, and Standard & Poors.
What Do International Plans Cover?
A standard healthcare plan covers the most common emergency room and hospital expenses such as room charges, surgery, inpatient diagnostic testing, many outpatient expenses, intensive care, anesthesia and various facility charges. Private duty nurses, office visits and prescriptions may be covered, although subject to policy restrictions. Long-term treatment is usually listed in policy benefits, subject to some restrictions.
However, often there are limitations on the covered amounts per event or the total benefit for the life of the plan. Typically, the maximum lifetime benefit is between $25,000 and $100,000. Also, often there are scheduled maximum benefits for many items including surgeries and daily room charges.
This could be a concern if you have a serious surgery and there are complications. If there is a rider that will enhance surgery coverage, it should be purchased. Also, both “limited” and “comprehensive’ options are offered, and there are major differences between each plan.
Although a “limited” plan will cost about 20%-40% less, if you incur medical expenses, your out-of-pocket expenses will be more than the premium dollars you saved that particular year. Lengthy in-hospital stays may only be partially-covered, and many procedures will not be eligible for 100% reimbursement. Preventative expenses, although fully-covered on Exchange plans, are generally not covered on non-compliant plans.
What Are Some Of The Best Visitors Insurance Plans?
Visitors Care from Sirius International. Three available plans covering $25,000, $50,000, or $100,000 of expenses. Physician visits, surgery, drugs, therapy, inpatient hospital, and intensive care benefits are provided. $5,500 is the maximum surgery benefit. $550 of accidental emergency costs are provided, along with an option to cover heart attacks and strokes as a pre-existing condition.
International Major Medical from Peterson International Underwriters. Ideal if you have a green card and need temporary benefits. Good option for Foreign Nationals moving to or visiting the United States. Also popular if you work for a US company and live inside or outside your own country.
Safe Travels USA from Trawick International. A good affordable choice for persons visiting countries (except the United States). The “Cost-Saver” plan is their most popular option, although it is not one of the least expensive available plans. Once the deductible is met, 80% of the first $5,000 of approved medical expenses are covered. Thereafter, it becomes 100%. $250 of dental benefits are included and a $25,000 accidental death rider is offered.
VisitorSecure from Lloyds – Low-cost plan that provides basic benefits. However, coverage is not offered in Washington, New York, and Maryland. Up to $130,000 of benefits are offered with a maximum of 10 physician office visits. $2,585 is the maximum in-hospital per-day benefit (for 10 days). A separate policy is offered to applicants between the ages of 70 and 79.
Atlas America from HCC Travel. Can be used outside of your home country. Can get 100% coverage after the deductible. Acute onset of pre-existing conditions is covered. Attractive Urgent-Care coverage with just a $50 copay and deductible waived. When utilizing in-network PPO providers, out-of-pocket costs are much less. $250 of basic dental benefits are also included.
Inbound USA from Lloyds. Four different options (A,B,C, and D) are offered. Pays a per-determined amount “per incident.” A basic policy with limited benefits but a lower price. Surgeries can be covered up to $7,150 with a maximum policy benefit of $130,000. Policies can be purchased from 5 days to 364 days. Dental and trip-interruption benefits are not available. This plans is not offered in Washington and Maryland.
Patriot America Plus from Sirius International. Very suitable for scholars and exchange students. Takes care of J1 and J2 qualification needs. PPO Network available and both renewable and cancelable. 90% of the first $5,000 of covered expenses are paid, and then 100% of remaining expenses. Benefits also provided for trip interruption, return of minor children, loss of checked baggage, emergency medical evacuation, and return of remains. $50,000 of terrorism coverage also included.
After requesting a quote, you can review many more options.
What If I Live Here In The US And I’m Traveling Overseas And Coming Back?
Actually, that’s what many of these types of contracts are designed for. The vast majority of persons who travel to Europe, Asia, South America or other destinations, do indeed return! Depending on the type of current policy you have, some benefits should provide coverage, especially for major catastrophic expenses, although a visitor’s visa may be required. However, often, unexpected physician calls (or to a specialist ) may not be covered under your personal or group plan. And overseas prescriptions may not be covered. The type of treatment you receive may be unusual as well, especially in Third-World countries.
Many of these types of health insurance policies can provide some of this missing coverage. Although you won’t have the same comprehensive benefits that you are accustomed to, a portion of these physician expenses or prescriptions will be paid for. There will be limitations, depending on the plan you select, and many times it will NOT be cost effective to add limited physician and/or RX coverage.
Your main concern should be large hospital and ER expenses. It may not make sense to try and cover inexpensive doctor expenses. And of course, maintaining the proper visa and citizenship documentation is critical. Your preparation for these items should be done months in advance. Immigration laws and regulation should be clearly understood well in advance of your departure date.
We Just Hired A Nanny From Overseas. Can She Get Medical Coverage?
Usually, she can, although some companies may want her to be a “legal resident” of the state for a period of time. Typically, that time frame is about 6 months. However, there are many companies that would be able to offer her a policy very soon after she arrives. And once she becomes eligible, if she is eligible for Marketplace coverage, many policies will be available. You should check in advance with one of our brokers before you apply. There is no reason to be denied for coverage if it can be easily avoided.
Initially, she may only qualify for a basic short-term catastrophic plan with very little office visit or prescription coverage. If she qualifies for a SEP (Special Enrollment Period), preventive benefits would be included with no out-of-pocket cost and a federal subsidy may be available, depending on her residency status and income. Each company has different guidelines so it’s always important to research more than one carrier.
And premiums will be different, depending if she receives a preferred or standard classification from the underwriter. It’s possible that she may have to provide some documentation of her last checkup. If there were prior surgeries, she may (not always) need to show additional details. NOTE: If an Exchange plan is offered, no medical questions are required to answer.
Blue Cross, Aetna, UnitedHealthOne and any regional insurers in your area are good choices to check. When you request a quote at the top of the page, you’ll be able to view and compare options from most of those companies. Each company will clearly provide their policy on foreign travel and how it affects policy benefits. Not all carriers will offer the specific benefits you need. But we will help you find the best solution.