3 Tips for Buying the Best Visitor Health Insurance Policy

Are you planning a trip or vacation to the US? If so, you might need to buy a visitor health policy.
A health insurance policy is among the things you pay for and hope never to use. But since you’re here, consider these tips when buying a travel insurance policy.

Remember, purchasing an insurance policy is an important part of your travel. If you cannot afford the payments, then you cannot afford the travel. It’s that simple.

Honestly, paying for health insurance is a great idea. It gives you peace of mind during your trip, which is priceless.

Here are some important tips to help you purchase the best insurance policy. Have a look!

1) Start by Understanding the US Healthcare Terms 

Do you want to buy a visitor health insurance? Then you need to understand the benefits accruing from the policy. For instance, it’ll save you a lot of time and money to have insurance when a medical emergency presents itself.

Insurance terms and policies differ between countries. Make sure you know what US insurance terms mean. This helps you compare policies from different providers, allowing you to select the best for your case.

These are the basic insurance terms that you’ll encounter when shopping for this policy.

a) Copayment or Copay

It’s the amount of money you pay at the counter after receiving treatment. For example, if the copay amount for in-network doctors is $50, that’s the amount you’ll pay during your visit. With this payment, it doesn’t matter what the doctor charges for the treatment.
The amount will vary depending on your insurer and the services you want. For example, the copay amount when visiting a primary care doctor might be $50, but filling a prescription might be $30.

b) The Deductible 

Deductible refers to the amount you need to pay before the insurance starts to meet your healthcare costs. For example, if your deductible is $500, you’ll have to meet the costs up to this figure. From here, you’ll only be responsible for your copay amount. Remember, not all insurance policies have this deductible.

c) In-Network or Out of Network

Before purchasing an insurance policy, consider this factor. Does the insurance policy cover healthcare services by any doctor in the country? Some policies will only cover treatment by select doctors in a program known as the PPO network.

If you buy a PPO insurance policy, opt for an in-network medical provider. Here, the doctor will bill the amount directly to the insurer, thus saving you time and money. For an out-of-network policy, you’ll experience challenges filing your claim. In most cases, you’ll meet the costs and later request for reimbursements from your provider.

When dealing with a PPO, ask the provider to provide a list of in-house hospitals and clinics. Alternatively, you can get the list from their website.

2) Fixed or Comprehensive Coverage Plans 

Deciding between fixed or comprehensive coverage plans can be challenging for most people. So, which is the best alternative?

A fixed coverage policy is cheaper and specifies the amount to cover for every medical procedure. The policy works best for minor illnesses. However, you’ll incur higher costs for major medical conditions.

The costs of a comprehensive policy are higher than a fixed policy. However, a comprehensive policy caters for all costs excluding the deductibles and co-payments.

3) Does the Insurance Policy Cover any Pre-existing Medical Conditions? 

What is a pre-existing condition? It is a medical condition that precedes the insurance policy. These include heart ailments, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, among others.

Before purchasing this policy, you should assess and determine whether you have any of these conditions or not. Otherwise, you’ll purchase a policy that doesn’t cover these conditions leading to huge costs.

Typically, your provider outlines the terms and conditions relating to these conditions. Check through these terms to see the lists of diseases considered as pre-existing medical conditions. When applying for a visitor's insurance, there is no need for a medical examination. The insurance provider relies on the information you provide and your medical history. In most cases, the insurer considers a ‘look back’ period of 1 to 6 months as relevant to your health.

Most insurance plans will not cover any pre-existing medical conditions, with the exception of acute onset of the condition. Such may be through an outbreak of the same disease requiring medical attention within 24 hours. 

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