American health care costs and need for visitors insurance

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American health care

American healthcare costs and need for visitor insurance

The US health care system is one of the most sophisticated but also unaffordable (for an uninsured) systems in the world. The US spends more on health care than any other country from the share of the economy, and the Covid19 pandemic has only increased this figure The expensive health care system in America has made insurance coverage a necessity for one and all.

This is particularly true for those who are visiting America who simply cannot afford to neglect the need for insurance in case of hospitalization. The cost of routine physician visit is very expensive in the US. Some common ailments like Diabetes Mellitus with Hyperglycemia admitted to an emergency room would cost around $25,000.

Stroke resulting in ICU for about 10 days would cost $120,000, Heart attack treatment with medical bills for ambulance, hospital emergency room, ICU, EKG and MRI heart scans and continuing care from cardiologists would cost about $20,000, The average treatment cost of acute kidney failure in the USA was over $22,000 in 2018.

Hospitals in the USA will ask for insurance document while admitting a patient. Visitors are not eligible for domestic health insurance but they can buy visitors medical insurance coverage. There are also some visitor insurance plans from INF that offer coverage for pre-existing medical ailments. Always carry your visitor health insurance card and photo id (identity proof) because you will need it if you are hospitalized or meeting a doctor in the USA.

Doctors in the USA

In America doctors are also called as physicians. There can be primary care physician who could be a family doctor and a specialist who are doctors for specific problem. If you have a PPO network under your insurance coverage then you can go to the physician or specialist in the network directly. There may be situations where you have to pay the co-insurance when you are visiting a doctor. Most visitor insurance plans will cover doctors visit and the doctor will bill the insurance company directly.

Important tips:
  • If you are supposed to make a claim for reimbursement from the insurer then you should get an itemized bill from your doctor.

US Hospitals

There are several big hospitals which are owned privately and there are only a few government operated hospitals in the country. When you are using your visitor medical insurance at American hospitals there is most likely that you have to pay deductible which can be between $100 to $5000 depending on the plan chosen by you. Added to this there could be also co-insurance or per day co pay which can be 10-20% in you insurance coverage.

Important tips:
  • In case of hospitalization you should keep track of the treatments received and details of the charges. Just because you are treated in the USA, does not mean everything will be perfect.
  • The hospitals might overcharge or bill for service you never taken.
  • Though the insurer is paying for your you should not take it for granted since the money will paid from the premium paid by other people like you.

US visa medical insurance from US companies

The domestic health insurance coverage in the USA is not applicable for international travelers or visitors in America staying for a short period. There are special insurance plans called as visitors medical insurance which helps international traveler in paying medical bills during unexpected medical emergencies. Some of the common visitor insurance benefits offered for visitors by US insurance companies are hospitalization, emergency medical evacuation, repatriation, accidental death and dismemberment.

Important tips:
  • There are several insurance companies who offer a wide range of insurance coverage for visitors.
  • International travelers can get free quotes at American Visitor Insurance and complete the online purchase using easy steps.
  • Visitors insurance can be bought before leaving your home country or even after the arrival in the USA.
  • There could be a time limit by some insurers before which visitors have to buy the plan after arrival in the USA. Read the plan brochures to know more about visitor insurance terms and conditions.

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General - FAQ's

01. Do I need medical insurance to travel to the US?

No, the US authorities do not mandate travel insurance for visiting on the tourist visa. However insurance is mandatory on certain visa’s like the J Visa. Irrespective of whether travel insurance is made compulsory, it is essential to have medical insurance when traveling to the US.

Health Care in the US is very expensive and is available only for US citizens and residents living in the US. People going to the US must purchase travel medical insurance as it can be financially catastrophic if you visit and US hospital without any insurance.

02. Does travel insurance work in the US?

Yes. These travel insurance plans are from the reputed and popular private insurance companies in the US. These companies have been used for international travel for a long time now and has served many travelers over the years and have excellent rating and popularity.

They are associated with the provider networks in the US which are popularly known as PPO networks such as First Health network, United Healthcare, Coventry name a few.

03. What is the Purpose of Travel Insurance?

It is always recommended to purchase travel insurance before you depart your home country and start the travel. This is to make full and genuine use of the insurance so that you are covered from day One when you are in a foreign country.

However, you can also purchase the insurance after arriving at your destination country. Some insurance plans might have arrival time restriction where the insurance must be purchased within 30 days after arriving in the destination. This time could be 6 months as well depending on the age of the person.

04. Is travel insurance worth getting?

Insurance is always purchased keeping in mind the unexpected sudden incidents in mind. Travel insurance especially is something that is exclusively meant for unexpected accidents or sickness. These are not for preventive care, planned health check-ups or appointments.

Having said that, it is definitely worth buying insurance paying a few hundred dollars and enjoy the travel peacefully instead of taking the risk of no insurance and end up paying a huge amount for unexpected accidents and sickness treatments at the hospitals.

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US visitors insurance providers

You can find reliable US insurance providers like International Medical Group(IMG), Seven Corners, WorldTrips, Global Underwriters, Travel Insure, GeoBlue, HTH Worldwide and INF insurance.

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