St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia Indian Community - MOIndian.com
| | |
 


 

Five things to keep in mind while buying insurance for parents visiting USA !!!

Travel
Contributed by : Staff

Share With Your Friends

Add To My Favorite
The quality of health care in US is one of the best in the world, but they come at a pretty high cost. If you are planning to buy parents insurance, it is strongly advised to buy one before hand. Buying an insurance plan can be tricky as there are tons of options available with low to very high premiums. Here are few things to keep in mind while buying insurance for parents visiting USA:

Choose the insurance plan wisely:
While choosing an insurance plan, one should keep these key factors in mind: maximum coverage limit, deductible, coverage of pre-existing conditions, cost, availability in your local area. This data below shows a comparative study of three of the most popular parents insurance plans:

1) Atlas America:
Cost: $191
Pre-Existing conditions: coverage Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions
Plan Type: Comprehensive
Coverage during travel: Yes
Cancellable: Yes
Renewable: Yes
Maximum coverage: $2M
Coverage within PPO network: 100%
Coverage outside PP network: 50% for first 5k, then 100%
PPO network: Yes, Extensive list of doctors and hospitals.
Limitations: Not allowed for NewYork, WA and Maryland state residents

2) Patriot America Plus:
Cost: $215
Pre-Existing conditions: coverage Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions
Plan Type: Comprehensive
Coverage during travel: Yes
Cancellable: Yes
Renewable: Yes
Maximum coverage: $500k
Coverage within PPO network: 90% for first 5K, then 100%
Coverage outside PP network: 80% for first 5k, then 100%
PPO network: Yes, Extensive list of doctors and hospitals.
Limitations: Not allowed for Maryland state residents

3) Choice America:
Cost: $65
Pre-Existing conditions: Limited coverage of pre-existing conditions
Plan Type: Fixed
Coverage during travel: Yes
Cancellable: Yes
Renewable: Yes
Maximum coverage: $100k
Coverage within PPO network: Fixed amount for each service and treatment
Coverage outside PP network: Fixed amount for each service and treatment
PPO network: No PPO network
Limitations: Not allowed for Maryland state residents
- Cost: For a coverage of 100K for 1 month for single person aged 60.
- PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. Read PPO Network section below for more details.

We recommend: Use Atlas America or Patriot America Plus- if your parents are over 60 and/or have any pre-existing condition. We have consistently used them in past and have been quite pleased with their experience.

Comprehensive or Fixed coverage:
These are two types of insurance plans each with different coverage, deductible and premium fees. Its important to understand the difference between them as your contribution could vary drastically if you do end up using the medical facilities.

- Fixed coverage plans: As the name suggests, it provides limited coverage and your entire coverage amount is predetermined for each type of medical service procedure. (for eg, it will cover $100 for each doctor visit, $600 for lab tests, $500 for emergency visit etc). Note that these amounts are often not enough and you might have to contribute a large portion of the overall fees. (For eg, I know someone whose parents had to pay one emergency room visit and their bill ended up being $6000 and their fixed coverage insurance covered them upto $500 only). You should choose this option only if visitor has a healthy history and does not plan to stay here for more than a week.
- Comprehensive coverage plans " Comprehensive plans offer percentage based coverage. i.e. depending on the plan you choose, they usually cover from 75% to 100% of the bill after the deductible, up to policy maximum. You can choose your deductible amount too (higher the deductible, lower the premium). For example if a typical comprehensive plan would offer you a coverage of $50,000 Policy Maximum, $500 deductible and 80% coverage upto $2500 and 100% beyond that. Now, imagine you had to undergo a surgery that costed you $20,000, you shall be required to pay, $3900 (20 % of (20,000 " 500)).We recommend: Always use "Comprehensive plans as visitor medical insurance for parents visiting USA since they cover 80-100% of the treatment costs (based on your insurance plan).

Where to Buy:
visitorscoverage.com and insubuy.com are the two most reputed brokers who offer wide variety of insurance plans with varying premiums and coverages. They have tie ups with good insurance providers like Atlas America, Patriot America Plus etc and are known for good support and service.

- VisitorsCoverage.com: This is the most popular choice to buy & compare various different insurance plans. They have more than 35 plans to choose from with varying premiums and coverage catering to various needs of visitors. We have heard really good reviews about Atlas America and Patriot America Plus plans as both cover Acute Onset of Pre-Existing conditions up to the policy max. We have personally used them to buy Atlas America plans and was quite pleased with the overall experience. Their customer support, web portal is good too. Their website has video library with nice tutorials to help users understand some of the tricky insurance terminologies. They are one of the few brokers listed on the US Department of State site as an reputed insurance provider for visitors.
- Insubuy.com: Again a good broker for comparing various insurance plans and options. They also provide various options of insurance plans with varying premiums and coverage. Again, We would recommend, Atlas America and Patriot America Plus plans as they have best coverage plans. They too have good customer support too. They allow you to renew and refund if visitors travel plan changes. For any specific questions, call insubuy.com support and ask them for the options. They too have articles and blog posts to help customers understand insurance scenarios and terms. We found this post quite useful on Insubuy, it takes you through various scenarios and suggests the plan one should choose.
- There are some other options available at www.kvrao.org, www.sevencorners.com, www.nriol.net, www.indnet.org with similar insurance plans and options for parents visiting USA. We do not have much experience with them though. If you have any feedback from using them, let us know. We recommend: Use www.visitorscoverage.com to buy your insurance plan as they are most reputed and provide the best service and customer care experience. TrustPilot.com rates them 9.3/10 with 250-odd reviews and most of them are positive.

Pre-existing condition coverage:
If your parents have any pre-existing medical conditions, do consider buying plans which cover them (at least partially). Most of the plans offered in USA, DO NOT cover pre-existing conditions. However, there are a few who DO cover "acute onset of pre-existing conditions" i.e. if a person has diabetes, this wont cover for the treatments for diabetes and regular medicine, but will cover any complications due to diabetes. Read through the policy terms & conditions before buying though. Atlas America and Patriot America Plus both offer these coverage. For parents aged over 70, Patriot Platinum offers this coverage.

PPO Network:
Most plans have extensive PPO network across the country. This means that if you go to doctors within the PPO Network, you get a reduced rate, negotiated between the providers and the insurance company. However you are not obligated to go to doctors within the network. Also the Providers within the PPO Network tend to bill the insurance company directly, than asking the member to pay upfront. Do some research in your local area to find out hospitals and doctors covered in PPO of the plan providers. You can use this link to find out doctors/hospitals that are covered by PPO network of PatrioAmerica Plus. For eg, in Sunnyvale area of California, El Camino, Santa Clara Valley medical center, Palo Alto VAMC etc are covered. Similarly for Plano area in Dallas, The Park at Plano, Medical center at Plano etc are covered. We recommend: Do extensive research using these links: Atlas America PPO providers and Patriot America PPO providers before deciding on one of these plans. Ideally, choose a hospital that you are most likely to visit nearby and check if they are covered. We would recommend calling their customer care in case its not obvious from the links above.

Should We consider Indian travel insurance providers:
Indian medical insurance providers like ICICI Lombard, HDFC Ergo etc do not have extensive tie-ups with hospitals and providers and you might end up paying the cost upfront and then filing a reimbursement claims. I have heard stories of people not being able to claim those bills and dealing with their customer care being a nightmare. We recommend: Stay away from Indian insurance providers for buying parents insurance unless you do not mind paying the cost upfront.

 

Disclaimer: Please use this channel at your own discretion. These articles are contributed by our users. We are not responsible or liable for any problems related to the utilization of information of these articles.

 

View All Contributions

Post an Article
Notify Me of New Articles

Become A Featured Contributor
Add Your Blog | Add Recipe | Add Article

More Article by Staff

Mercure Hyderabad KCP associates with Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival
Jimmy Shergill and Mahi Gill starrer film 'Family of Thakurganj' written by Dilip Shukla will be released on July 19
New Jersey State, USA honours Soparrkar for his initiative 'Dance for a Cause'
Female director wins big at Birmingham Indian Film Festival, presented by LIFF
Claras College of Commerce vibrantaly concludes Plantation and Environment Rally' with Jimmy Shergill, Bhagyashree, Padmini
View All Articles

Featured Contributors


Tahmina Watson

Darshan Goswami

Christine Dunbar
Christine Dunbar

Anu Peshawaria

Aayushi Manish

Shruti Sadolkar
Shruti Sadolkar

Ananya Kiran

Dilip Saraf

Vasudha Sharma
Vasudha Sharma

Latest Articles

VIGO'S RIDA JAVED AND HER BROTHERS ARE ENTERTAINING INDIA, ONE FAMILY AT A TIME by Sonia Malhotra Soi
Mercure Hyderabad KCP associates with Hyderabad Bengali Film Festival by Staff
Jimmy Shergill and Mahi Gill starrer film 'Family of Thakurganj' written by Dilip Shukla will be released on July 19 by Staff
New Jersey State, USA honours Soparrkar for his initiative 'Dance for a Cause' by Staff
Female director wins big at Birmingham Indian Film Festival, presented by LIFF by Staff
View All Articles