Visitor Insurance FAQs

Planning a trip to the U.S.? Check out our frequently asked visitor insurance questions and answers.

Apr 10, 2018, 13:44 PM

Do I need visitor insurance to come to the US?

The short answer is no. An international travel medical insurance plan is not required to visit the United States as a tourist on a B-2 visa. However, it is strongly recommended due to the high cost of healthcare. For the relatively low cost of an international travel medical plan (plans start at a few dollars a day and increase depending on age and coverage options), you can protect yourself from potentially thousands of dollars in medical bills in the event of an unexpected medical emergency when outside of your home country.

What does visitor insurance cover?

For complete coverage information, it’s best to look at the benefits table of our most popular visitor insurance plan, Patriot America Plus. In general, visitor insurance covers your health in the event of an unexpected illness or injury when traveling outside of your home country. For new, medically necessary emergencies, eligible medical expenses include benefits for local ambulance care, prescription medication, emergency medical evacuation, return of mortal remains, trip interruption, and more.

Can I buy insurance for my parents / relatives?

Yes! You may buy visitor insurance for your parents, friends, or relatives, as long as you have the necessary personal information required to purchase the policy and the consent of the insured.

When does the policy become effective?

Policies can become effective as soon as the next calendar day if the insured is or will be outside of their home country’s territory. You may also purchase your plan in advance during the planning stages of your travel with an effective date set for the first day abroad until the day you return to your home country.

Do I need to buy insurance before I leave or can I buy it when I get there?

It is highly recommended to purchase coverage before you leave as there are some eligibility restrictions that may deny eligibility that vary based upon age. In most cases, a new arrival to the US may purchase a visitor insurance plan within 6 months of arrival if under the age of 65. For travelers 65 and older, purchases must be made within 30 days of arrival.

Are any pre-existing conditions covered?

IMG international travel medical plans may cover “Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions.” This is different than a more traditional definition of “Pre-Existing Conditions” (such as medical expenses accrued as a result of an existing condition, such as for care related to existing diabetes or high blood pressure medical needs). Pre-existing conditions are not covered under IMG international travel medical plans.

For plans that do cover acute onset of pre-existing conditions, they are only covered prior to age 70 and are subject to the language in the insurance plan. Here is our definition of what would be considered an acute onset of a pre-existing condition (according to a sample insurance plan from March, 2018):

A sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence of a pre-existing condition which occurs 1) spontaneously and without advanced warning either in the form of Physician recommendations or symptoms, is of short duration, is rapidly progressive, and required urgent medical care; 2) after the Effective Date; and 3) prior to the age shown in the Schedule of Benefits / Limits. Treatment must be obtained within 24 hours of sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence. A pre-existing condition which is a chronic or congenital condition or that gradually becomes worse over time and / or known , scheduled, required, or expected medical care, drugs, or treatments existing or necessary prior to the effective date are not considered to be an acute onset.

Do I need to go to the doctor for an exam before I buy?

No, international travel medical insurance plans do not require underwriting, thus a medical exam or review is not necessary to purchase. The primary purpose of an international travel medical insurance plan is to protect you from future (or new) emergencies, thus a medical history review is not needed.

How do I get proof of insurance?

After you purchase your insurance plan, your Declaration of Medical Insurance is emailed to you immediately. Within this document, you may download further related plan documents. You can also access all of your information in IMG’s member portal, MyIMG, where you can find a copy of your certificate, information on how to submit a claim, and our PPO network to find doctors in-network.

Have more questions about buying international insurance? Check out some of these resources:

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