Fixed or Scheduled benefits versus Comprehensive Plans: Which is best for me?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 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 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, 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 visitor insurance plans.
Fixed plans 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 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 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 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 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 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.