Visiting USA, high health care costs and need for visitor health insurance

Answer these questions to find the best insurance plan for your needs (International travelers, students, all US visa’s and Schengen visa).
travel

What is the traveler's destination?

passport

What is the nationality of the traveler?

calendar

Is the traveler looking for?

schengen

Does the traveler need Schengen Visa Insurance or Long term Europe Visa insurance?

visa

What is the Visa of the traveler?

cardiogram

Does the traveler have any pre-existing medical conditions?

travel

Type of Insurance?

cardiogram

Are you a resident of Latin America or the Caribbean?

Enter age
Spouse's age (if traveling)
Dependents
 
 
 

Here is a short article by Dr Chandra Reddy, an orthopedic surgeon based in Philadelphia.

The number of visitors to the USA has been increasing every year. Unfortunately, while traveling, one can fall sick anywhere and at any time. Perhaps one is more vulnerable while traveling due to a new climate and food, not to mention new strains of cold and flu viruses. Medical insurance costs are quite high in the United States and Canada and is rising in other countries as well (Japan and Singapore for example). Wouldn't it be best to travel with the peace of mind that should any emergency arise, your costs will be covered so you can expect the highest quality care without worry?

From my perspective as both physician and sponsoring family member, I would rate getting travel insurance as high in importance as getting your airline tickets. When we plan to travel, most of us are healthy and assume that we will not fall ill during our travel. However sickness and accidents cannot be prevented and health care in the USA is prohibitively expensive. Always look at insurance as a precautionary measure, a measure that can save your family a lot of money should ill health befall you.

Physician perspective on how the travel insurance plan works?

Recently a patient of mine injured her ankle. It was a simple slip at home, but she sustained a fracture and dislocation of her ankle. My patient was an American and had health insurance. I operated on her ankle and fixed it with plates and screws, the patient did well and was discharged after 3 days. When the patient came to see me in the office she still had to pay the hospital $1000 in arrears. The insurance company was billed $48000 of which they paid $47000 and my patient was billed for the remainder.

Visiting USA and visitors insurance

The previous example was for an American citizen with Insurance. Imagine what a huge bill you would get as a foreigner without insurance; remember that the person who sponsors you from the USA will be legally liable for this bill. For most emergency procedures, I would imagine it could run into $100,000 easily, especially if it involves a stay in the ICU. Many of the visitors from India are elderly parents and relatives with pre-existing conditions (not covered), if you have a heart attack, stroke or fall and break a hip you will need emergency treatment in the US and even before you realize it you will be in some Emergency Room or Trauma center. It is extremely important for all of us to be aware and try to take some preventive insurance against these unfortunate accidents. If I were in charge of visas I would mandate travel insurance just like my state here mandates that I obtain malpractice insurance before I practice medicine. The most common ailments travelers may suffer from are Heart attack (MI), Stroke, Fractured limbs or Hip, and chest pain.

You can come prepared to a certain extent. Bring enough medications for your pre-existing diabetes and blood pressure, etc.

Ex-A plavix pill costs $ 5 per pill here compared to Rs 40 in India. You can also pack a kit for coughs, cold, and headaches, and include basic antibiotics. However, if you have the misfortune of landing in an Emergency Room you best bet by far is to have adequate travel insurance. A rule of thumb is to buy the maximum coverage you can afford.

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