Angela Borden | May 12, 2023
Your family and friends are coming to visit you in the United States. That means great times and a chance to make memories you’ll never forget.
Travel insurance probably isn’t the first thing you think of when planning a trip, and it certainly isn’t the most exciting. However, it’s still a good idea to plan for the unexpected. Illnesses and injuries don’t discriminate, and they can happen when you least expect them, even on holiday. That’s why visitors travel insurance is worth having.
With a visitor insurance plan, you pay a small price for coverage that protects you if you get ill or injured during your trip. In other words, you trade a small and certain payment (the premium) to be covered for a possibly large and unexpected medical expense later.
When you review pricing for visitor insurance plans, you’ll find that it can be very economical. Seven Corners Travel Medical USA Visitor, for example, tends to be inexpensive compared to some other plans because of the way the benefits are addressed. Travel Medical USA Visitor provides scheduled benefits, which pay a stated dollar amount for each type of medical treatment or service you receive.
Alternatively, Seven Corners Travel Medical Insurance offers comprehensive benefits, which are typically more expensive. In this case, you spend more upfront and receive greater coverage of costs later if you file a claim for medical treatment.
You can learn more about the key differences between visitor insurance plans and their scheduled versus comprehensive benefits on our blog.
Don’t let the idea that a certain type of plan is more expensive than another scare you off. In most situations, especially in the event of a severe injury or illness, it will still be cheaper to purchase insurance than it would be to pay for treatment yourself out of pocket without insurance.
What many people learn, often the hard way, is that it is more expensive to get medical treatment in the U.S. than it is in many other countries around the world. Unless you have set aside a large amount of money to cover potential medical expenses, it could be financially devastating if you or a family member became seriously ill or hurt during your trip.
Just how expensive is health care in the United States? The 2022 International Health Cost Comparison Report by the International Federation of Health Plans (IFHP) and Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) showed that while not all procedures were more expensive in the U.S. than in other countries, many were.
The median cost of an appendectomy, according to the report, was $13,260 in the United States. The same procedure in Australia and Spain cost less than $3,000. Similarly, the median cost of a chest X-ray was $57 in the U.S., or $7 in Spain.
Depending on the extent of the injury or illness and the type of medical treatment required, you could be financially responsible for a large bill. Travel insurance, however, can help ease that financial burden.
We’ve said that visitors coverage protects you if you get sick or hurt during your trip, but what does that mean? Your insurance could pay for medical treatment for ailments such as appendicitis, the flu, or food poisoning. It could also help if someone breaks a leg or needs stitches.
Additionally, some visitors insurance provides limited coverage for dental care. Your visitor may be able to use this benefit if they need sudden relief of pain or suffer damage to an otherwise healthy tooth due to an accident.
You never know what could happen on a trip, so it’s good to be prepared for many different types of emergencies.
If the trip is going well and your visitors decide to stay in the U.S. longer, it is possible to extend coverage for visitors insurance. That means they don’t have to let their coverage lapse, and they can remain protected for the remainder of their stay.
Additionally, some plans will actually provide coverage for a limited number of days outside the United States. Let’s say you want to spend part of the visit taking a cruise and one of the ports of call is in Mexico. As long as your visitors don’t exceed the number of days outlined in the plan, they can maintain their coverage in a country other than the U.S. with no need to worry what they’ll do if they get sick on the ship or fall and hurt themselves in a foreign port.
With a plan from Seven Corners, you receive 24/7 travel assistance from our multilingual team. This is a reassuring benefit that can prove helpful for visitors to the U.S. who need assistance navigating the medical system here.
Assistance services can include helping you to find a doctor or other medical care at your location, recommending translation services, and more.
Our team helps travelers from all over the world every day, and they understand the types of concerns that can come up when traveling.
Some visitor insurance plans allow you to seek care from any facility or physician you wish. Why is this helpful? If you have a medical provider you like and trust in the U.S., your visitors with this type of insurance can receive treatment there, too. This can be reassuring to some people who don’t want to visit an unfamiliar doctor.
Not all plans are like this, however. If you have a plan that requires you to use a specific network of medical providers, you may have less choice of where you can go for treatment.
As we said earlier, if you are traveling throughout the United States during your visit and you are not certain where to seek medical treatment, we can help. The U.S. is big, so finding care in an area you’re not familiar with can be difficult.
When shopping for visitors coverage, pay close attention to the types of benefits that are offered. Here are a few critical items your program should provide.
You don’t know what type of medical incident will arise, so you need options for a wide assortment of benefits. Look for a plan that provides coverage for a variety of treatments.
It’s also important to verify where and how medical care is provided. Like we said earlier, some visitor plans don’t require the use of a network of medical providers, while others do. If your plan requires you to choose a provider from a network, going outside that network will result in you paying more for treatment.
If you choose a plan that does require you to see a provider within their network, look for one that includes a widespread and reputable network of medical facilities and physicians. If an illness or injury occurs, you want to have good choices for care, and you don’t want to have to go far to find it. No one wants to drive 200 kilometers to find a doctor.
One more consideration is the start date for the coverage plan. It’s best to begin coverage on the first day of the trip. That way, your loved ones are covered from the moment they leave their home country. There are no worries about gaps in protection.
For example, let’s say your loved one’s flight leaves their hometown the afternoon of Dec. 13. They have a layover in another country until later that evening, and when they finally arrive in the U.S. after an overnight flight, it’s Dec. 14.
You want their coverage to begin Dec. 13 to protect them from the first leg of their journey until they return home, not just when they land in the U.S.
A visitors insurance plan can take the confusion out of seeking medical care in the United States, and at the same time protect visitors’ wallets from the high cost of care.
Seven Corners has visitors insurance options for you: Seven Corners Travel Medical USA Visitor and Seven Corners Travel Medical Insurance. While there are some important differences between these policies, they both provide the medical protection you and your loved ones need to have peace of mind during a trip to the U.S.