The Hidden Cost of Buying the Cheapest US Travel Health Insurance From India

The Hidden Cost of Buying the Cheapest US Travel Health Insurance From India

Since the covid-19 pandemic engulfed the world, millions of people had to put a damper on their travel plans. With restrictions alleviated across major countries, travel enthusiasts are taking off – hitting the skies, attempting to break the monotony of prolonged indoor life, parents planning to travel to meet their children in the USA.

The need and significance of travel insurance has only increased post-pandemic.

Travel insurance is a smart way to plan for the unexpected, especially when you’ve invested so much in travelling from India to the USA. More importantly, you want to travel worry-free and not be under the constant stress of what happens if there is a medical urgency.

What is International Travel Medical Insurance? Is it worth it?

It is imperative to prepare for any unforeseen circumstances like loss of luggage, flight cancellation, loss of passport etc – the material aspect of travel. At the same time be prepared for any medical emergencies, while travelling abroad. 

This is especially useful in countries like the USA since Healthcare in the US is infamously a very exorbitantly expensive affair. This is where International Travel Medical Insurance, also known as Travel Health Insurance comes into play.

The coverage you get depends on the policy you buy, getting travel health insurance while visiting the USA, will cover the cost of your medical treatment without having to bear any significant out-of-pocket expenses. 

Health checkups are usually not required for such short term insurance policies, making them extensively accessible to everyone. 

You need travel medical insurance coverage if you are:

✓  An international vacationer

✓  A relative visiting from overseas

✓  Going on a cruise, safari, or a guided tour

✓  An international business traveller

✓  An international student studying abroad

US Travel Medical Insurance or Visitors Insurance – Coverage

Several travel insurance providers offer multiple policies with unique and different types of coverage plans. However, most health insurance plans for visitors to the US cover costs related to the following:

  • Doctor consultations
  • Hospitalization 
  • Prescribed medication 
  • Surgical procedures
  • Emergency services (ambulance and ER)
  • Pathology and imaging
  • Physical therapy

Some forms of medical treatment are usually not included in all plans these include:

  • Dental treatment
  • Maternity-specific treatment
  • AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment)
  • Treatment of any pre-existing condition

* This is not a comprehensive list of inclusions or exclusions in travel insurance plans

Medical insurance for visitors

Does Travel Medical Insurance cover COVID-19 treatment?

Through the persistent perils brought on by the pandemic, most insurance companies now provide travel medical coverage that accounts for COVID-19 contingencies. The most important question is – ‘Does visitors’ insurance cover COVID-related treatment?’ Insurance companies have an extensive global network of hospitals where their plans are accepted. Rest assured, your medical and financial health is taken good care of.

Hidden Costs of Cheap Travel Medical Insurance in India

While it may seem like a good cost-saving hack to purchase the most basic travel medical insurance, it is far from the truth. Cheaper plans would offer much less coverage considering a myriad of possible health risks. You may end up spending a lot more out-of-pocket when you travel abroad. 

It is advisable not to jump at the cheapest plan available but evaluate and consider the features of each travel medical plan as required for your trip abroad.

What determines Travel Medical Insurance cost? 

Travel medical insurance price plans vary depending on three main factors:

  • The type and extent of your coverage: Comprehensive coverage plans are costlier than fixed or limited coverage plans. Additionally, some plans may start from the day you land in the US, while others may also cover the journey from the time you board the flight in your home country.
  • The duration: Travel medical insurance costs may vary as per the duration of the required cover. 
  • Your age: Travel health insurance prices increase along with your age. Simply put, seniors may have to spend more, compared to younger people. Some plans offer coverage for visitors over the age of 69. However, it’s important to note that not all health insurance companies offer coverage plans for visitors over a certain age. ​​So, if your parents or relatives are visiting you in the US, you must find the right health insurance plan for them.

Always read the plan document carefully to ensure you have coverage for all aspects that you need and meet all the criteria listed in the plan to be eligible for coverage. Do not take anything for granted as it may become a reason for not getting your insurance claims approved.

Best Health Insurance Plans Available for Visitors to the USA

In this section, we compare some of the best medical travel insurance plans that are available out there. Have a look!

1. Patriot America Plus

Patriot America Plus by the International Medical Group (IMG) is a popular plan amongst Indians travelling to the USA. It’s a comprehensive plan that offers exhaustive coverage up to a maximum of $1,000,000.

Highlights:

  • Covid-19 coverage for travellers to the U.S.
  • Coverage for time spent in the U.S.
  • Short-term travel medical coverage is available
  • Made for individuals, groups, and their dependents
  • Coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to a chosen outer limit for people aged less than 70 years
  • Freedom to seek treatment with chosen hospital or doctor

2. Atlas America Insurance

WorldTrips Insurance offers the Atlas America insurance plan for visitors to the USA. It has a sweeping provider network of doctors and hospitals. It is one of the few visitor’s insurance plans offering coverage of up to $2,000,000 for emergencies.

Highlights:

  • COVID-19 coverage for travellers to the U.S.
  • Coinsurance of 100% within the provider network
  • Renewable for up to 364 days

3. Safe Travels for Visitors to the USA

Trawick International’s Safe travels Visitors to the USA makes for an affordable, fixed benefit accident and sickness plan. It offers up to $175,000 coverage.

Highlights:

  • Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to 89 years
  • Renewable for up to 2 years

4. Safe Travels Comprehensive

Safe travels USA comprehensive visitor insurance offered by Trawick International covers accidental injury and sickness treatment costs while in the USA. Additionally, it covers emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, and security evacuation benefits. It offers maximum coverage of up to $1 million and is available for the elderly aged up to 89 years.

Highlights:

  • COVID-19 coverage for travellers to the U.S.
  • Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to policy maximum
  • Coinsurance 100% within the provider network.
  • Renewable for up to 2 years.

5. VisitorSecure

WorldTrips VisitorSecure is a fairly reasonable medical insurance plan for USA visitors. It offers different coverage of medical expenses which come with specific benefit limits. However, it has no coinsurance. Popular for its extensive provider network, the policy covers a maximum of up to $130,000.

Highlights:

  • Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to 70 years
  • Renewable for up to 364 days

6. Liaison Travel Plus Insurance

Seven Corners offers visitor insurance with maximum medical coverage of up to $5 million for emergency illnesses or sickness.

Highlights:

  • COVID-19 coverage for travellers to the U.S.
  • Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to 75 years
  • Renewable online for up to 364 days

Best Travel Medical Insurance Company Reviews And Ratings

AM Best is a credit rating agency focused on the worldwide insurance industry. It assigns credit ratings that assess an insurance company’s creditworthiness. These credit ratings are used by all – consumers, professionals, and investors, to make prudent decisions. Their rating system consists of six secure ratings, ranging from the highest A++ to B+, and 10 vulnerable ratings, ranging from B to S.

Here’s a brief list of the top travel medical insurance providers available for visitors to the US.

✓ WorldTrips

    WorldTrips is a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. 

    Rated: A++ (Superior)

✓ IMG Global

    Rated: A-

✓ Seven Corners

    Rated: A

✓ Trawick International

    Rated: A+

✓ Allianz

    Rated: A+

Final Words

Irrespective of your current health condition or the duration of the trip, you cannot predict any accidents or emergencies. 

Therefore, if you are travelling to the USA, a Travel Health Insurance plan is an absolute necessity. Buy a comprehensive plan as far as possible and travel worry-free.

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