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How to use Visitor Health Insurance in the USA?
Visitor health insurance plans are designed for international travelers coming to the US. These plans are written for non-US citizens who are visiting the US for a short stay. If you ask why you need to purchase a visitor insurance plan despite having a standard health insurance plan in your home country, it is because the latter plan will not offer you protection in a foreign land.
As healthcare costs in the US are expensive, any unexpected illness or injury can cost you thousands of dollars. Therefore, visitor health insurance plans are excellent for individuals visiting their friends, families, vacationing, taking a short business trip, and more. Though purchasing a plan is not mandated by US law, it is recommended so that you do not have to pay for necessary medical expenses.
Once you buy visitor insurance, you will get a confirmation immediately after you submit the application. You will be able to download the ID card and other insurance documents through that email. In the event you need medical help for an illness or injury, you can search for a provider in the network if the plan you selected follows a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) network. Upon going to the provider, you can show your ID card.
The ID card will have the network logo. The providers identify the plan through this network. The ID card will have details of the number in the event of a claim, or to reach the insurance company to check benefits, eligibility, and billing questions. The provider (doctor’s office) calls these numbers to enquire about coverage and claims submitting procedure.
How to use visitor insurance?
You can use your insurance for new illness right from minor cold, coughs, or flu to a sudden illness or injuries where you may need medical attention immediately as long it happens after the effective date of the plan. What you can do is call 911 for an emergency or rush to the nearest emergency room. Conditions like sudden chest pain, heavy bleeding, burns, injures, broken bones, spinal or head injuries, difficult breathing, and more may need you to rush to a clinic or hospital.
Check your plan to know if you’ve any sub-limit or clauses linked to it. You can show your insurance ID card to the receptionist so that he/she can verify the benefits. Your insurance provider will make the payment only for the medical services that are covered within the policy.
People can face life-threatening situations like cardiac arrest, respiratory issues, or major accidents. In this case, the patients need to be immediately taken to the hospital for treatment, surgery, or some major accidents. Paramedics can be called, and patients can be taken to an emergency facility.
Once you call 911, an ambulance will come to your location with paramedics. They will check the vitals and get you transported to the nearest hospital. In maximum plans, you need to pre-certify within 48-hours if there is hospitalization involved. In pre-certification, you or your family member need to inform the insurance company about the situation either by calling them or completing an online form.
When your conditions are not life-threatening, you can go to an urgent care clinic. Wounds, flu, allergies, sprains, etc. can require you to visit a doctor. Go to the medical center that is listed under the insurance company’s PPO Network. If you choose a facility outside the network, you may have to pay some hefty medical charges.
If your health condition is not that serious and can wait , you can go to a primary care doctor. In the US, if you are a new patient, you might not get an appointment immediately. The doctor assesses your medical records and can refer you to a specialist if needed. If you wish to get medical services in the US, you can go ahead. Inform your insurance provider about the visits, appointments, and follow-ups. Keep the bills and medical receipts with you to speed up the claim process.
No matter where your next adventure takes you, make sure that you are financially covered and protected. As visitor insurance plans have comprehensive and limited coverages, it may not be easy for you to select a plan that works the best for you! Contact Visitor Guard® to get quotes or for any questions you may have.