Guide for short term travel insurance in USA

How does medical insurance work?

When you purchase visitor or travel health insurance, the premium that you pay is collected along with the premiums of other customers to form a pool of money. This collected premium money is used to pay the medical bills of individual customers who need health care. Your insurance coverage remains valid only as long as you continue to pay your premiums. Premiums are based on the age of the insured and so are not going to be the same for every applicant.

You should know that purchasing insurance through a broker service like ours does NOT increase the price. Rather, you get a greater selection of products (some companies will not allow you to buy them directly from them) AND you get additional customer service from us as well as the company. When you purchase insurance, the insurance provider will give you an unique insurance plan number and an identification card which you refer to when you visit a hospital or medical practitioner.

The insurance plan will also have details about filing claims. This involves filing a claims form along with providing all relevant documents about the medical expenses. The insurance provider will evaluate all claims that are filed and make the appropriate payment under your plan. Usually for hospitalization (In patient services), there will be direct billing to the insurance provider, while for outpatient services, the company will reimburse you after you have paid the bills.

When should I buy visitors insurance?
It is advisable for international travelers to be insured under travel medical insurance before leaving their home country. Visitors can buy travel insurance after confirming travel plans and buying the air tickets. It is safe to be insured from the day you leave your home country. However, do note that insurance plans offered on our site can be purchased even after the journey has started.

How do I buy visitors insurance plan?
Buying visitors travel insurance is very simple which involves getting quote and comparing plans using our user friendly quote/compare facility and then buying the plan by filling out the online application. Our compare visitors insurance tool is easy to use and helps customers compare costs and coverage details.

Can I go to any hospital covered with this insurance?
The hospital you visit depends on the insurer and the plan purchased. Under some insurance plans, there will be PPO (Preferred Provider Network) or a network of hospital where a customer can expect cashless hospitalization. However, if the insurer is hospitalized outside of the PPO network then instead of direct billing to the insurer, there will be a reimbursement for the bills paid. Insurance customers can understand more about travel insurance PPO network using our insurance compare facility.

How are the visitors insurance providers rated?
Insurance companies who offer travel insurance are rated by A.M. Best rating an independent rating company. Using our compare tool customers can access the details of A.M. Best ratings of respective insurance companies. Insurance customers can find the A.M. Best Ratings under the plan details column in the results of our insurance tool.

There are many insurance plan options, how do I know which plan suits me best?
To help you answer that question we offer 24/7 customer support. Choosing a plan depends on factors such as your age, the length of your stay, destination .... Please do not hesitate to call us at 877-340-7910 or email American Visitor Insurance and a licensed agent can help you choose the right plan for your needs.

What is the difference between the fixed policies and comprehensive policies?
To understand the difference between Fixed and Comprehensive plans, please visit fixed vs comprehensive page on our website for detailed explanation with example.

How much insurance should I buy?
The answer, of course, depends on the individual traveling and the risk involved. If you are travelling to the US as a visitor, then we recommend coverage anywhere in the range of $50,000 to $300,000, this given the high cost of healthcare in the United States. As a student, this is also the coverage that most colleges and universities require of their international students. However, if you are travelling to Europe, the Schengen visa requires a minimum of $50,000 ($30,000 Euros).

Can I get a discount if I buy from your company?
The insurance industry is highly regulated. It is illegal for us as an agency to offer rebates or valuable incentives to purchase through us. However, given that we offer a wide range of options, you can find the best priced policy and you do not pay any extra when you buy through us or any other agency. In fact, some policies that we offer may not even be available directly from the insurer.

What advantage is there to buying insurance from American Visitor Insurance?
While you pay nothing extra for going through an agency like American Visitor Insurance, you do get an additional support help for free. We have customer service hours after the insurance company has closed and we also have contacts with all the companies which we can use to expedite your issues or requests with the companies. We work hard to be sure our customers are treated appropriately and get responses in a timely manner. Also, at American Visitor Insurance a user friendly visitors insurance compare tool is available for the convenience of the insurance customers.

Is it safe to purchase insurance through your website? Why should I buy insurance online?
Yes, absolutely. We make sure that all our sites are secure when you choose to buy the insurance. After your purchase, you will immediately get a receive a confirmation email from the insurance company with a Certificate ID number. Please note down this number or keep this number safe. This will allow you and us to communicate with the insurance company. Buying the insurance online keeps the cost down for the insurance company and they pass this savings on to you. If you were to purchase the same insurance via fax or mail, some companies use higher rates than those offered for on-line purchases.

Do you sell insurance for international students and their dependents?
Yes, we do sell insurance for F1 and F2 visa holders. International students can use our student medical insurance compare tool and get quotes and benefit details of eligible student insurance plans. Note that if the student already has insurance and the dependents do not, the dependents themselves are NOT eligible for student insurance. In that case, they can purchase insurance in our "visitor insurance" category.

Do you offer insurance for F1 and F2 visa holders?
Yes, we do have insurance for F1 and F2 visa holders. International students can use our student medical insurance compare tool and get of insurance according to your needs.

Do you sell insurance for J1 and J2 visa holders?
Yes, we do provide insurance for J1 and J2 visa holders at our J visa insurance section. Customers can compare J visa insurance plans and then make an online purchase at American Visitor Insurance.

Do you have insurance for immigrants and Green card holders in the US?
Yes, we do offer insurance for Green card holders and new immigrants to the USA. We have an user friendly immigrant insurance compare tool is available where immigrants can compare several quotes and then make a purchase.

Short term insurance categories

Visitor Medical Insurance (Tourists and family members visiting USA)
Visitor Insurance plans provide cover for medical expenses as a result of illness or injuries that happen while traveling outside your home country. Visitor Medical Insurance plans can be purchased anytime even during the trip and offer many levels of medical coverage ranging from $25,000 to $1,000,000.

Visitor Insurance plans cover medical costs (limited cover for pre-existing conditions), prescription drugs, emergency medical evacuation and accidental death & dismemberment. Other benefits include, trip interruption, baggage loss, baggage delay etc.

Global Health Insurance (Expatriates and regular international travelers)
Global Health Insurance plans offer comprehensive major medical coverage in all countries including USA and are designed to the special needs of Expatriates and regular overseas travelers. Global Health Insurance plans offer comprehensive medical benefits including maternity, mental health, wellness (preventive check ups) and medical evacuation.

International Student Health Insurance (Studying in a foreign country)
International Students in America (US F1 visa), their spouses and children (F2 dependents) are required by American Universities to have good medical insurance coverage. International Student Health Insurance plans cover medical expenses (pre-existing conditions & pregnancy may be covered), prescription drugs expenses, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

US Immigrant Health Insurance (H4, F2 Visa holders and new immigrants)
US Immigrant Health Insurance are long term plans designed for the health needs of new immigrants (Green Card holders sponsored by family members) to the US and potential immigrants (H4 & F2 visa holders). Immigrant Health Insurance plans cover healthcare costs resulting from illness or injuries during the period of coverage. These plans offer coverage ranging from 2 to 5 years.

J1, J2 Visa Health Insurance (Exchange program students and scholars)
US Government regulations stipulate that J-1 exchange scholars in the US and J-2 dependents must have health insurance, and if one fails to carry health insurance, the J-1 sponsor must terminate the exchange visitor program and inform the US Department of State. Benefits include coverage for medical expenses (pre-existing conditions may be covered), prescription drugs expenses, emergency medical evacuation and accidental death & dismemberment.

Package Trip Insurance (Vacationers and cruise travel)
Trip Insurance plans are packaged solutions designed for short term travel, vacations and tours. These plans offer good coverage at affordable prices. Benefits include coverage for medical expenses (pre-existing conditions may be covered), dental expenses, prescription drugs expenses, emergency medical evacuation. These plans can also cover your losses (non refundable ticket costs) due to a trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage etc.

Europe Travel Insurance (Business travel, vacation and Scehengen visa)
The common Schengen visa allows travelers to go to all schengen countries. However Schengen visa countries require visitors to have health insurance coverage. Schengen Visa insurance have specific requirements defined by the consulates. These plans satisfy Schengen visa consulate requirements.

Nanny (BabySitter) Health Insurance (Nannies during their stay outside their home country)
Babysitter (Nanny) Health Insurance protects nannies and au pairs from hospital and doctor bills. Au Pairs and nannies who are non US citizens will often require health insurance to cover for medical expenses during their engagement. New immigrants to the country (green card holders) and au pairs while in the US are eligible for special classes of medical insurance.

Pre-existing Coverage Plans
Temporary medical insurance quote & plans are designed to protect against sudden accidents or illnesses and they usually do not include benefits for preventive care, physicals, immunizations, dental or vision care. These Short term plans typically do not cover pre-existing medical conditions. However the plans displayed in this page do provide some coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Choosing an insurance policy

Overseas insurance while very important can be difficult to understand and choose for your specific needs. There are many plans, various coverages, options and restrictions. Deciding on a plan that best suits your needs is not always easy.

One can compare all the major insurance policies, select, and purchase a policy that best suits your preferences using our Compare Visitors Medical Insurance tool.

Feel free to call us if you have further questions, toll free at 877-340-7910.

Disclaimer

AmericanVisitorInsurance has tried to provide relevant information to the best of our knowledge. However we make no guarantee regarding the accuracy of our answers. The exact answers for some of the questions can change periodically as insurance companies change their policies and is not liable for any problem resulting from the content on this Guide.