It’s a joyful time when your parents plan to visit you in the USA. It’s your chance to show them around, take them to your favorite spots, and make them feel at home.
However, with the joy and excitement, there also comes the apprehension of unforeseen medical expenses.
The cost of healthcare in the USA is among the highest in the world[^1^]. Even minor treatments can lead to substantial bills, making it crucial for visitors, especially older ones, to have adequate health insurance coverage.
But how do you find the best health insurance for your parents visiting the USA? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this article…
Why Health Insurance for Visiting Parents?
Before we dive into our top picks, let’s understand why health insurance is essential for your parents visiting the USA.
As per data, the cost of a routine doctor’s visit in the USA can range from $70 to $250^2^, not to mention hospitalization or specialized treatments.
Therefore, to protect your parents from exorbitant healthcare costs, and to ensure they get the best medical care when needed, it’s wise to invest in health insurance.
Factors to Consider
Choosing the right health insurance for your parents involves considering several factors:
It’s beneficial if the plan covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions, given the prevalence of such conditions in older age.
Policy Limit: Policies have different maximum limits. Consider a higher limit if your parents have any severe health conditions.
Deductible: This is the out-of-pocket amount you need to pay before the insurance kicks in. Higher deductibles lead to lower premiums, but ensure it’s an amount you can comfortably afford.
Network: Some policies require you to visit network healthcare providers. Ensure the policy’s network includes good hospitals near your place.
Best Health Insurance for Parents Visiting USA
Now, let’s look at some of the best short-term health insurance options available for your parents visiting the USA.
Here’s a comparison of these health insurance plans:
|Feature||CoverAmerica Gold||Atlas America||Patriot America Plus|
|Deductible||$0 – $5,000||$0 – $5,000||$0 – $2,500|
|Pre-existing Condition Coverage||Yes (acute onset)||Yes (acute onset)||Yes (acute onset)|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
A little bit of details on each plan.
Safe Travels Elite:
This plan offers excellent coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions and provides a $25,000 policy maximum for emergency medical evacuation.
Atlas America provides comprehensive coverage, including complications of pregnancy, emergency medical evacuation, and even coverage for eligible injuries or illnesses resulting from terrorist activities.
Patriot America Plus:
This policy is one of the few that provides coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions for people above 70.
A budget-friendly option that offers scheduled benefits plan, which means it pays a pre-determined maximum amount per covered procedure.
Remember, while these options are highly rated, it’s essential to read the terms and conditions to ensure the policy matches your specific needs.
It’s always a good idea to consult with an insurance expert if you’re unsure.
Buying Health Insurance for Parents Visiting USA
When your parents plan a visit to the USA, one crucial aspect that you must pay attention to is purchasing a suitable health insurance plan for them.
With the exorbitant medical costs in the USA, having health insurance can serve as a financial shield, covering unexpected medical expenses.
The process of buying health insurance for parents visiting the USA can be straightforward but involves several critical considerations and steps.
1. Assess the Need
The first step is to identify the need for health insurance. Factors such as the duration of stay, their age, and health condition play a significant role in determining the kind of insurance coverage they may need.
Longer stays typically warrant comprehensive coverage, while older parents or those with existing health conditions might need a policy that covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions^1^.
2. Research Options
Next, research various insurance providers and their offerings. Look for plans designed explicitly for visitors to the USA, as these are tailored to meet their unique needs.
Consider factors such as the coverage amount, deductible, coverage benefits (hospitalization, prescription drugs, dental emergencies, etc.), and the network of healthcare providers.
Comparison websites can help you get a bird’s eye view of various plans and make an initial shortlist^2^. However, ensure to visit the individual insurance providers’ websites for the most accurate and detailed information.
3. Understand the Coverage
Insurance policies can often be packed with technical jargon that might be confusing. Make sure to read the fine print and understand what the plan covers and what it does not.
Pay special attention to terms like ‘pre-existing conditions’, ‘deductible’, ‘policy maximum’, ‘co-insurance’, and ‘exclusions’. It’s essential to comprehend these terms to avoid unpleasant surprises later. If you find it difficult to understand, seek help from an insurance advisor or broker.
4. Consider the Cost
The cost of insurance plans can vary dramatically depending on the coverage, deductible, and policy limit. While it might be tempting to opt for a low-cost plan, remember that it might not provide comprehensive coverage.
Consider your budget, but don’t compromise on critical coverage elements. It’s also important to note that the premium increases with the age of the insured person and the duration of coverage.
5. Purchase the Plan
Once you’ve chosen a plan, the next step is to purchase it. Most insurance companies offer the convenience of online buying.
You will need your parents’ passport details, date of birth, travel dates, and a credit card for payment. Some plans may require a basic health questionnaire to be filled out.
Ensure that all information is accurately provided to avoid issues during claim settlement.
6. Policy Document and ID Cards
After purchasing the plan, you will receive the policy document and ID cards through email. The policy document contains all the terms and conditions of the policy, while the ID cards are proof of insurance that your parents can carry with them.
Be sure to go through the policy document in detail and ask the insurance company if any doubts arise.
After the purchase, if you need to make any changes to the policy (like extending the coverage period), contact the insurance company directly. In the event of a claim, follow the claim procedure outlined in the policy document.
Remember, purchasing health insurance for your parents visiting the USA is an investment in their well-being.
By taking the time to choose the right plan, you can ensure their health is protected, giving you and them peace of mind throughout their stay.
As individuals age, they become more susceptible to certain health conditions. Therefore, it’s important to choose a health insurance plan that provides adequate coverage for seniors.
For parents aged 70+, the “Patriot America Plus” plan offers substantial coverage, including acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
It’s also worth considering “Safe Travels USA Comprehensive,” which provides similar benefits and covers individuals up to the age of 89.
Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions
Many older individuals have pre-existing medical conditions. Not all insurance plans provide coverage for these conditions, and those that do often only cover “acute onset” – a sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence.
CoverAmerica Gold” and “Atlas America” are both excellent options for parents with pre-existing conditions, offering coverage for acute onset of these conditions.
Best Health Insurance for Parents Aged 70+
For parents aged 70+, “Patriot America Plus” stands out as it offers good coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions for people up to the age of 79.
“Safe Travels USA Comprehensive” is another good option as it provides high policy limits and a wide range of coverage.
Best Health Insurance for Parents with Pre-existing Conditions
When dealing with pre-existing conditions, “CoverAmerica Gold” is an excellent choice as it covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions for individuals up to 79 years of age.
Another contender is “Atlas America,” providing similar coverage.
Common Mistakes Buying Travel Insurance for Parents
The most common mistake is choosing a policy based on price alone. It’s important to evaluate the coverage, limits, and deductibles.
Not reading the fine print and failing to understand the terms and conditions can lead to unwelcome surprises later.
Lastly, not considering the age and health condition of your parents while choosing a policy can lead to inadequate coverage.
Having your parents visit you in the USA should be a time of joy and celebration, not stress. By securing the right health insurance, you can ensure that unforeseen medical expenses won’t cast a shadow
on their visit. Research, compare, and make an informed choice – your peace of mind is worth it![^1^]: Health System Tracker [^3^]: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [^4^]: CoverAmerica-Gold Policy Details [^5^]: Safe Travels Elite Policy Details [^6^]: Atlas America Policy Details [^7^]: Patriot America Plus Policy Details [^8^]: Visitors Care Policy Details
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is health insurance necessary for parents visiting the USA?
Medical care in the USA is extremely expensive. Without adequate health insurance, an unexpected illness or accident can lead to significant financial burden. Therefore, health insurance is crucial to cover such potential medical expenses.
Can I get health insurance for my parents after they have arrived in the USA?
It is always best to purchase health insurance before your parents arrive in the USA. However, some insurance providers offer coverage for individuals already in the country, although the terms and conditions might be different.
Does health insurance for parents visiting the USA cover pre-existing conditions?
Coverage for pre-existing conditions varies among insurance providers. Some policies may offer limited coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Always check the specific policy details.
How much does health insurance cost for parents visiting the USA?
The cost of health insurance for parents visiting the USA depends on factors like age, duration of stay, coverage amount, type of coverage, and the specific terms of the policy.
What should a good health insurance plan for parents visiting the USA cover?
A comprehensive health insurance plan should cover emergency medical expenses, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medications, and emergency evacuation. Additional coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions, dental emergencies, and accidental death or dismemberment can also be beneficial.
Are COVID-19 related expenses covered under health insurance for parents visiting the USA?
Many insurance providers now offer coverage for COVID-19 related medical expenses in their policies. However, the specifics can vary from one policy to another, so it’s best to check the policy details or consult with the insurance provider.
Can the health insurance be renewed if my parents decide to extend their stay?
This depends on the insurance provider and the specific policy terms. Some insurance policies allow for easy extension, while others may require a new policy after the original one expires.
What happens if my parents’ travel plans change after buying the insurance?
Many insurance providers offer a refund policy if the trip is cancelled before the policy start date. If the policy has already started, the refund policy will depend on the specific terms and conditions of the insurance.
How do I file a claim for my parents’ health insurance?
To file a claim, you generally need to contact the insurance company, fill out a claim form, and provide supporting documents like medical bills, receipts, medical reports etc. Always consult your insurance provider for the exact process.
Can my parents visit any doctor or hospital in the USA with their health insurance?
This depends on the insurance policy. Some policies may require visiting network providers for non-emergency situations, while others may allow visits to any doctor or hospital. Always check the specific policy details.