Fixed benefit vs Comprehensive Visitors insurance

Fixed or Scheduled benefits versus Comprehensive benefits insurance Plans: Which is best for me?

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Fixed benefit vs Comprehensive visitor benefit travel insurance

Fixed vs Comprehensive benefit

Visitor health insurance plans for international travelers are available online and are offered by many US based short term travel health insurance providers. These visitor health insurance plans are broadly classified into two groups namely Fixed benefits and Comprehensive visitor insurance plans.

Fixed benefits visitor insurance plans:
Fixed benefits visitor insurance plans are also known as Scheduled Benefit health insurance plans and are cheaper and affordable travel health insurance plans. They are economically priced which makes them attractive to some travelers. But, before deciding to buy a fixed benefit plan or scheduled benefits plans, it is advisable to know the risks involved in purchasing Fixed benefit visitor insurance.

People usually think of buying health insurance as just a that assures them medical insurance cover. Individuals buying health insurance for travel often forget the expensive health care costs in the US. This eventually can become a nightmare in case there is an incident that incurs hospitalisation. If people keep this in mind while purchasing insurance then they would have a second thought before buying fixed benefit travel insurance plans.

Fixed plans or scheduled benefit health insurance provide limited coverage as their benefits are capped. There is a fixed amount specified for every benefit and the plan pays exactly that amount. If the expense goes beyond that specified amount, then that expense has to be paid by the insured. Fixed benefit plans do not extend their benefits flexibly to cover the cost incurred by an individual and it is therefore always advisable to buy a comprehensive plan.

Fixed Fixed benefit travel plans make very bad choice for people who need coverage for acute onset of pre-existing condition. As mentioned earlier, the fixed plan provides very limited coverage for acute onset of pre–existing conditions. Another difference between a Fixed/scheduled insurance and Comprehensive plan is that there is no co-insurance factor in a fixed plan.

They might work well for a minor medical expense, but insurance should always be bought keeping the worst case scenario in mind, where it is nearly impossible for an individual to handle the medical expense out of their own pocket. Given the limited nature of coverage, the fixed benefit travel plans however do provide higher policy maximum for people above the age of 80 years when compared to comprehensive plans.

Comprehensive visitor insurance plans: On the other hand comprehensive benefits insurance plans are the more preferred travel health insurance plans. They can be safely recommended to visitors traveling outside their home country especially to the United States, the country known for its expensive health care cost.

Comprehensive plans are comparatively expensive than Fixed/scheduled insurance plans. But is definitely worth the price, as they cover all the benefits flexibly up to policy maximum without capping to a specific amount. They have a co-insurance factor that is applicable for the first $5,000 of the expense incurred. This is usually 10% or 20%. Once the expense goes beyond the $5,000, the insurance company pays 100% for all the rest of the upcoming expenses.

These plans provide a good policy maximum coverage for people below 80 years of age. Above 80, the plans provide policy maximum ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Most of these plans are one time deductible plans and per policy period plans. These are the most suitable and recommended travel medical insurance plans for any major medical expense.

What does visitor travel insurance cover?

Health care expenses

Covers hospital expenses for sickness or accidents.

Doctor visit

Insures Doctor visits for sudden injury or sickness.

Pharmacy drugs

Doctor prescribed eligible pharmacy drugs expenses.

Pre-existing conditions

Some plans insure acute onset of pre-existing conditions coverage.

Medical evacuation

Medical evacuation expenses to nearest facility included.

Repat of remains

Repatriation of remains to home country included.

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Guide to buying the best international travel health insurance
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Travel insurance glossary

Commonly used international travel medical insurance terms
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Travel Insurance versus Travel medical Insurance

Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance plans also called as trip cancellation or trip interruption insurance insures pre-paid non-refundable trip investment expenses incase the trip or vacation gets cancelled or interrupted.
  • Trip cancellation insurance provides coverage for air tickets, cruise and hotel rooms bookings. It will also cover unforeseen expenses from baggage delay and loss.
  • Some travel insurance plans have an add on benefit as ‘cancel for any reason travel insurance coverage’. These travel insurance with cancel for any reason benefit refunds only 75% of the non-refundable trip investment expenses
  • Travel cancellation and interruption insurance plans are popular among US citizens traveling within US or traveling outside the United States.
Travel medical Insurance
  • Travel medical insurance or travel health insurance plans offer medical coverage for unexpected sickness or accident while traveling outside one's home country.
  • Travel insurance covers the hospital room and board, ambulance services, any emergency services, inpatient and outpatient care, evacuation and repatriation. They might also cover political evacuation, terrorism, accidental death and dismemberment and natural disaster.
  • Optional AD & D benefit, adventure sports benefits, acute onset of pre-existing conditions travel insurance are the options available
  • Travel medical insurance is popular among international travelers visiting countries with high costs of healthcare like the United States or Europe.
  • Immigrant communities in the USA who have family visiting them buy best travel medical insurance to ensure that parents or other family members do not have to worry about medical expenses while in the US.
Travel tips for international travelers – safety, comfort and wellness

General - FAQ's

01. 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.

02.Can I travel to the USA without travel insurance?

Definitely, one can travel to the US on a tourist visa without travel insurance, however it is very important to have travel medical insurance as it can be financially suicidal being admitted to an US hospital without any insurance. The healthcare costs in the US are extremely high and good travel insurance will put your mind at ease during your international travel.

03.Is insurance mandatory for US travel?

No, the US authorities do not mandate travel insurance for visiting the United States on a tourist visa. However considering the expensive healthcare costs in the US international travelers will invariably not be able to pay out of pocket for unexpected medical incidents.

Most US residents depend on health insurance for their healthcare expenses, and international tourist should similarly ensure that they have proper travel insurance to cover the unexpected incidents.

04.What travel insurance covers the USA?

There are many travel insurance plans offered by reputed US insurance providers with several medical maximum coverage and deductibles options as well as differing coverage for acute-onset of pre-existing conditions.

Resourceful travel medical insurance information

Visitor insurance resources

Travel medical insurance resources

Choose international travel insurance resources for travel outside your home country.

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Factors for travel insurance

Compare travel insurance factors

Important factors to consider while deciding on the best travel medical insurance.

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Types of visitor insurance

Types of travel insurance online

Understanding different US travel insurance options, fixed benefits vs comprehensive coverage.

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Claims Procedure

Travel insurance Claims Procedure

Travel medical insurance online claims process for getting medical care in a hospital.

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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.

US visitors insurance providers

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