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Visitors Medical Insurance FAQ

Fixed Benefits Plan (Scheduled Benefits Plan)

These policies are characterized by various benefit limits for each type of covered medical expense. These benefit limits typically are not the same as the policy maximum. For example, a policy with a $50,000 maximum limit may feature upto a maximum of $2000 for surgery, upto a maximum of $500 for diagnostic services (X-rays, scans) etc. The maximum amounts for different situations are detailed in the policy brochure. Typically you are required to pay an initial deductible for each injury or sickness and then the plan pays for the rest of the covered expenses. Scheduled Benefits Plans have the lowest premiums, but the consumer must be aware that the benefits offered are relatively limited as compared to the Comprehensive Coverage Plans. Examples of Scheduled Coverage Plans include ‘Inbound USA’ underwritten by Lloyds and ‘Visitors Care’ underwritten by Sirius International.

Comprehensive Coverage Plan

These policies typically do not have benefit limits based on the type of medical expense. Usually benefits for covered medical expenses go all the way upto the policy maximum (less deductible and co-insurance).Typically for all covered medical expenses during the policy period the insured pays the deductible plus 20% of the first $5,000; and then the plan pays 100% of the eligible medical expenses upto the policy maximum. The details for each policy such as the policy maximum, medical expense eligibility etc. are listed in the policy brochure. Comprehensive Coverage Plans have relatively higher premiums, but in turn offer better benefits than the Scheduled Benefits Plans. Examples of Comprehensive coverage plans include ‘Diplomat America’, ‘Atlas America’, ‘Liaison International’ and ‘Patriot America’.

It is advisable to have insurance from an American company while in the United States, even if the premium for these plans are more expensive. The reason is that while almost all Doctors/hospitals in the United States accept American insurance company cards, they will be reluctant to acknowledge overseas insurance coverage. The medical office can easily contact an American insurance company for clarification, while the same will not be true for an overseas insurance company.

Typically medical offices in the US will bill directly to known American insurance companies. For overseas insurance companies you most probably will have to pay the bill, and then try to get the claim reimbursed from the insurance company.

It is precisely to help you make this decision that we built our insurance comparison facility. Using ivisitorinsurance’s comparison engine you can evaluate different plans based on their cost, the deductible and their rating. This will help you identify the plan that best suits for your needs.

You should purchase the insurance only after being certain of your travel plans (having the passport/visa papers and the airline tickets in order). It is safest to start the insurance coverage from the date of departure from your native country.

Travel insurance from credit cards is usually limited to coverage for car rental damage, flight accidents or for accidental death while you are traveling. Also, this protection is in effect only when you pay for travel with that particular credit card.
Most credit cards do not offer any coverage for travel medical expenses, evacuation costs, or trip cancellation expenses.

International Travel Medical Insurance provides health insurance coverage for travelers outside their home country. This coverage includes emergency medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, return of dependent children, bedside lodging, accidental death, cost of return flight, and more.

While the regular domestic private insurance or government sponsored health insurance programs may offer comprehensive coverage in your home country, few are designed for international travelers or expatriates. Even programs that cover international travel often provide limited benefits that do not normally cover medically supervised emergency evacuation, emergency reunion, or repatriation.

Yes most of our policies include Baggage loss, Trip Cancellation , and Emergency Repatriation.

The insurance companies are rated by an independent rating company A.M. Best rating. For all the plans, each insurance company’s A.M. Best rating is displayed.

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Exchange Visitor Medical Insurance FAQ

A J-1 Visa is issued for an Exchange Visitor who is participating in an established J Exchange program pre-approved by the State Department (formerly pre-approved by USIA). Exchange Visitors under J-1 visas include secondary school and college students, business trainees, trainees in flight aviation programs, primary and secondary school teachers, college professors, research scholars, medical residents or interns receiving medical training in the U.S., certain specialists, international visitors, and Government visitors.

  1. The Department of State has established the following requirements for the type and amounts of coverage required to maintain J-1 or J-2 status:
  2. J1 Scholar (Exchange Visitor Visa) Health Insurance policy must provide “medical benefits of at least $50,000 for Each accident or illness.”
  3. If a J visa holder dies in the U.S. the policy must provide at least $7,500 in repatriation benefits to send the remains to the home country.
  4. The deductible should not exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  5. The co-payment of medical expenses (the portion not covered by insurance that the insured pays him or herself) should be of no more than 25%.
  6. If, because of a serious illness or injury, you must be evacuated on the advice of a doctor, the policy must pay up to $10,000 for the expenses of your travel.
  7. J1 Scholar (Exchange Visitor Visa) Health Insurance policy may establish a waiting period before it covers pre-existing conditions (that is, health problems you had before you bought the insurance), as long as the waiting period is reasonable by current standards in the insurance business.
  8. If you elect to satisfy the insurance requirement through a policy issued in your home country, the policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of your government. Otherwise, the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements established by Department of State (an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or better, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-1” or better, a Standard & Poor’s Claims-Paying Ability rating of “A-” or better, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of “B+” or better).
  9. These requirements apply to both J-1 students and scholars and to their J-2 dependent spouses and children.

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