Visitor insurance types - Comprehensive vs Fixed benefit coverage

Visitor medical insurance plans can be classified as either fixed (limited) benefits or comprehensive plans. There are significant differences in the coverage, price, benefit limits... between the two types of Visitor Insurance. Listed here are details to highlight the differences between Fixed benefit and Comprehensive visitor medical insurance.

Types of visitor insurance, Difference between US travel health insurance

Fixed benefit insurance

Affordable but limited coverage
  • Definition
    Fixed benefits plans have specific benefit limits for different covered medical expenses.
    These benefit limits are not the same as the plan medical maximum.
  • Covid19 Coverage
    Covered as any other illness
  • Coverage details
    Clearly defined coverage limits. More affordable when compared to comprehensive plans, but with correspondingly less coverage. This works for small ailments, but can be inadequate for major expenses.
  • Cost of fixed benefit US travel insurance
    Cheapest options in the market definitely more affordable.
  • How do fixed benefits plans work?
    The customer is required to pay an initial deductible for each injury or sickness and the plan pays for the rest of the covered expenses.
  • Preferred provider organization (PPO) network:
    You can visit any hospital or doctor, since there will be no discounted rates, the plan will only pay up to the clearly defined limits for different expenses.
  • Trip expenses
    Usually not covered
  • Any limitation on hospitals and doctors?
    No limitation, you can go to any doctor or hospital, however the plan will have clearly defined payments for different treatments.
  • Popular fixed benefit visitor insurance plans
    Visitors Care | Inbound USA Choice | Inbound USA Basic | Visitors Secure | Safe Travels visitors to USA | INF Premier Plan Insurance | INF Standard Plan Insurance | INF Choice Plan Insurance
  • Popular fixed benefit global insurance plans
    Global Medical Silver

Comprehensive insurance

Expensive but exhaustive coverage
  • Definition
    These plans do not have benefit limits based on the type of medical expense. Benefits for covered medical expenses go all the way up to the plan maximum (less deductible and co-insurance)
  • Covid19 Coverage
    Covered as any other illness
  • Coverage details
    The plan pays for all expenses after the deductible and co-insurance component. These plans are recommended given the high costs of health care in the US. These plans are worth every penny of premium paid in the event of catastrophic medical emergencies.
  • Cost of comprehensive US travel insurance
    More expensive.
  • How do comprehensive plans work?
    The insured has to pay the deductible and an additional 20% co insurance for the first $5000 of the medical expense incurred. After $5000, the plan pays 100% of the eligible medical expenses up to the plan maximum. There are other variances of the co-insurance, some where the plan pays 90% up to first $5,000 and 100% after that.
  • Preferred provider organization (PPO) network:
    Most comprehensive plans have PPO networks, which means cashless service (direct billing as opposed to reimbursement basis), more discounted rates, as well as easier acceptance within the PPO network.
  • Trip expenses
    Covers trip cancellation, baggage loss, baggage delay...
  • Any limitation on hospitals and doctors?
    It is recommended that you visit Doctors/Hospitals within the PPO network, even though you can go outside the network also. Within PPO network entitles you to discounted rates and direct billing.
  • Popular Comprehensive visitor insurance plans
    Atlas America | Patriot America | Patriot America Plus | Patriot Platinum | Liaison Travel Basic | WorldMed | Diplomat America | Safe Travels USA | Safe Travels USA Comprehensive | INF Elite Network Insurance | INF traveler USA Insurance |
  • Popular Comprehensive global insurance plans
    Global Medical Bronze | Global Medical Gold Plus| Global Medical Gold | Global Medical Platinum|

What is the difference between comprehensive and limited benefit visitor medical insurance?

There are significant differences between comprehensive and limited benefit visitors insurance. The limited coverage or fixed coverage visitors insurance have a specific fixed coverage amount for each medical situation as indicated in the policy brochure. Even though the overall maximum medical coverage might be a higher limit, it is a specific fixed limited for each situation which is the capping for that situation.
As opposed to this the comprehensive visitor insurance plans do not have any ‘sub-limits’ within the medical maximum coverage. Given this flexibility and comprehensive nature of the coverage, the comprehensive coverage visitor insurance plans are more expensive when compared to fixed coverage visitor insurance.
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What are the cheapest types of visitor insurance?

The cheapest visitor travel insurance is with fixed benefits or limited coverage visitor insurance. However, the cheapest visitor insurance has significant limitation in the coverage and travelers can find this too constraining for serious medical ailments involving hospitalization. Given that travelers are buying visitor insurance not for small ailments but rather for more serious situations involving hospitalization, comprehensive visitors insurance is recommended especially while traveling to the US.

Explain the difference between Fixed benefit (Scheduled benefit) and Comprehensive insurance coverage

Let us take an example: The medical bill is $24,000; Deductible is $100 and choosen Policy Maximum is $50,000

Fixed benefit policy

After deductible, the plan covers set amount up to a maximum of $50,000. You must pay the first $100 (deductible). After that, the insurance company only pays the fixed amount for the policy, In this hypothetical case mentioned below in the table, the insured has to pay $15,900 because of the difference between the fixed amount the insurance pays and the actual billed amounts. Note that if you purchase a policy with a higher maximum, all the fixed amounts go up, so you can get better coverage of a medical bill. However, you may not get 100% coverage of ANY medical bill with a fixed plan.

Comprehensive plan

Deductible is $100 with maximum coverage of $50,000. Policy covers 80% of first $5000 then 100% to the policy limit. In this case your expense is the first $100 deductible followed by 20% of first $5000, which is $1000. Thus your final expense is $1100 while the insurance company will cover the remaining $22,900.
The above scenario is explained in this table:
Benefit Expense Fixed plan pays Customer owes Comprehensive plan pays Customer owes
Room rent $6,000 for 3 days $4,200 for 3 days $1,800 $5,000 $1,000 (20% of first $5000)
Surgery $16,000 $3,300 $12,700 $16,000 $0
Prescription drugs $600 $150 $450 $600 $0
X Ray $1,400 $450 $950 $1,400 $0
Total: $24,000 $8,100 $15,900 $23,000 $1,000
Our Compare visitor medical insurance tool allows you to evaluate differences between Limited benefit and Comprehensive travel insurance plans based on deductible cost.

During 2021 summer, many countries started opening their borders again for international tourism. Unfortunately at this time the Delta Plus and AY.4.2 variant has become the dominant variant Covid19 across several countries. The CDC in fact believe the Delta Plus variant to be the most contagious variant and may even partially evade the antibodies made by the immune system after a Covid19 infection or vaccination. Early studies indicate that the Delta variant infects younger people in large numbers and even vaccinated people. After a steady decline in the number of cases, the Delta variant has resulted in an increase in cases in the US especially in areas where the vaccination rates are low.

The Delta variant has swept across the globe impacting USA. The Biden administration has announced that starting November 2021 international travelers will be allowed by air to the US however they will have to be fully vaccinated for Covid19 as well as show proof of a negative for Covid19 test taken 72 hours prior to boarding the US flight. According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), the US will accept vaccines that are approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation.

Travel Insurance with covid coverage for visiting USA

However all international travelers flying in to the United States, including US citizens and permanent residents are also required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days before travel. Alternatively they should have documentation of recovery from COVID19 within the past 3 months before boarding an US flight.

Travel Insurance with covid19 coverage for visiting USA

Trawick International travel insurance

Trawick International offers visitor medical insurance for coronavirus with their Safe Travels USA Insurance. The Safe Travels USA Comprehensive plan is ideal for travelers with pre-existing medical conditions even for travelers older than 70 years. You can compare Safe Travels USA Covid19 travel insurance plans and buy it online to get coverage as early as the following day. After buying the Trawick travel insurance, travelers can download a visa letter which indicates that Safe travels USA visitors insurance covers covid19 illness.

Seven Corners visitors medical insurance

Liaison Travel Plus Insurance offers best Seven Corners health insurance for visitors to USA. The Sevencorners visitor health insurance treatment benefit is available for COVID-19 (the disease); SARS-Cov-2 (the virus); and any mutation or variation of SARS-CoV-2.

International Medical Group (IMG) Coronavirus insurance

International Medical Group (IMG) travel insurance offers coronavirus insurance for USA. IMG's Patriot America Plus and Patriot Platinum insurance plans cover COVID-19 like any other illness. The Patriot America Plus Insurance and Patriot America Platinum insurance include COVID coverage up to the policy maximum.

INF travel insurance

INF travel insurance offers coverage for coronavirus as any other new sickness. It is available for Non-US citizens or residents travelling to the US. INF Premier and INF Elite plans covers pre-existing complications from COVID-19.

Global Underwriters US visitor insurance

Diplomat America visitors insurance by Global Underwriters offers coverage for covid-19 as a new sickness. It is available for Non-US citizens or residents travelling to the US. Diplomat Long term Covid19 medical insurance must be bought for a minimum of 3 months and has a plan maximum options of $500,000 and $1,000,000 for medical expenses. You can compare Diplomat insurance for visitors to USA.
Please know we are here to help you make the best, informed decision to get coverage even for COVID-19! Let us know how we can assist you. Feel free to contact us by email or phone at any time.

Travel insurance for Coronavirus Covid
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Select the visitor insurance plans that you want to compare

F Fixed Benefits Plans      C Comprehensive Plans

Visitors Insurance USA - FAQ

How to buy visitors insurance ?How to find the best visitor health insurance ?

There are many visitor health insurance plans for coverage in the USA offered by US insurance providers. Given the several US visitor insurance options, it can be confusing to find the best health insurance for travel to USA for your needs. What is very useful in making this decision is to compare travel insurance USA of different companies. The US travel insurance comparison allows travelers compare prices as well as coverage benefits in an objective manner. The traveler can change relevant factors like the medical maximum coverage required, the US traveler insurance deductible, any US travel health insurance plans with coverage for pre-existing ailments, travel insurance USA coverage for Covid19 ... The global travel insurance comparison also allows travelers to buy the best travel insurance based on ones needs by completing an online application and paying using a credt card. One completing the purchase the travel insurance plan is emailed to the customer.

Popular traveler’s queries about fixed benefit vs comprehensive visitors insurance

Factors that determine the insurance cost

I’m visiting the US for 6 months, I want to buy visitor medical insurance, please can you help me in getting quotes for insurance plans and how much it would cost?

questionDear Kim
Before you get quotes for the insurance plans, there are some important aspects of insurance that determine the coverage and cost of an insurance plan which are as follows:
USA Travel Insurance
  • Visitor insurance is broadly classified as Fixed and Comprehensive plans. Fixed benefit or Scheduled benefits offer limited coverage and have specific benefit limits on medical expenses. These plans are cheaper when compared to comprehensive plans which do not have limits and cover expenses up to the plan maximum. Review the differences between fixed and comprehensive plans to know more.
  • The next factor is the plan maximum, this is medical maximum coverage that a plan will offer to pay your medical expenses. The higher the plan maximum, the higher will be the premium.
  • A Deductible is the amount that the insured needs to pay before the plan starts paying. The higher the deductible, the lower will be the premium.
  • Coinsurance is the percentage of amount the plan will pay after the deductible and the remaining you will have to pay. Only a few plans give you the option of choosing the coinsurance.
  • Travelers age and the travel dates will also affect the premium of the plan. Older travellers have to pay more and the coverage available may be limited.
  • Some other important factors like special coverage for pre-existing ailments, maternity, adventure sports… also impact the price of the insurance.
  • If you need extra coverage you may have to pay more. For some plans these extra benefits are optional and may be expensive than the ones that do not offer these benefits.
You can review more factors that determine the cost of an insurance plan here:
Factors to consider

To find the best insurance plans please use our quick “find the best coverage” tool:
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