Over the next few months, the number of international visitors traveling to the U.S. with a B-2 visa will increase dramatically as we reach peak travel season. While travel medical insurance isn’t required for these U.S. visitors, it is highly recommended. Receiving medical care in the U.S. can be much more expensive than in other countries, and while you may never intend to need health coverage, purchasing a visitor insurance plan can help protect you and/or your loved ones from an unexpected illness or injury.
If you’re one of the many people planning a visit to the U.S. for either yourself, a family member, or friends, you’re most likely shopping around to find the best visitors insurance plan that fits your needs. With so many options and different benefit descriptions on the market, it can be hard to determine which plan is the best for you.
To help your search, we’ve compiled a brief comparison of IMG’s four visitor insurance plans: Visitors Care, Patriot America, Patriot America Plus, and Patriot America Platinum. Each plan is specifically designed for non-U.S. residents traveling away from their country of residence and varies mainly by cost and coverage level.
Visitors Care is designed for the budget conscious, healthy traveler that is interested in limited coverage for emergency situations. There are three different plan options for you to choose from (A, B, and C), with Plan A offering the lowest levels of coverage and Plan C offering the highest.
Visitors Care is a fixed benefit plan, which means covered benefits are paid out up to the designated maximum amount listed, then the insured pays the difference. While a fixed benefit plan is generally the most affordable option up-front, it may result in higher out of pocket costs if covered events accrue higher bills than the maximums listed. View the full Visitors Care benefits table.
Patriot America is designed for the healthy traveler that would prefer to invest in a plan with higher coverage amounts for unexpected illnesses and injuries to lower potential future out-of-pocket costs. Unlike Visitors Care, Patriot America is not a fixed benefit plan, meaning several benefits allow coverage up to the maximum limit selected for the plan, which could result in significantly higher contributions from IMG for covered events.
For example, Visitors Care Plan C provides physician visits/services benefits up to $85 max per visit (30 max visits per period of coverage), while Patriot America provides physician visits/services benefits up to the maximum limit of the plan (Patriot America maximum limits range from $50,000 to $1,000,000). View the full Patriot America benefits table.
Patriot America Plus is our most popular visitor insurance plan because it offers all the same benefits as Patriot America with the addition of one key benefit: acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
Patriot America Plus offers potential coverage up to the maximum limit of the plan for acute onset of pre-existing conditions for insureds under 70 years of age and a $25,000 maximum limit for a directly related emergency medical evacuation.
Acute onset of pre-existing condition is defined as “a sudden and Unexpected outbreak or reoccurrence that is of short duration, is rapidly progressive, and requires urgent medical care.” Pre-existing conditions that are chronic or congenital, or that gradually become worse over time are not covered under this benefit. Please see Section (I.) in the Patriot America Plus Sample Contract for a full list of conditions and restrictions. You can also view the full Patriot America Plus benefits table.
Patriot Platinum America is designed for the traveler seeking the highest amount of travel medical coverage on the market. In addition to the benefits included with Patriot America Plus, Patriot Platinum America also offers higher maximum limits (up to $8,000,000), additional benefits for remote transportation and supplemental accident, as well as the ability to extend coverage up to 36 months (vs. 24 months w/ IMG’s other visitor insurance plans). View the full Patriot Platinum America benefits table.
Let’s look at some hypothetical examples to better explain what may be covered in various unexpected illnesses or accidents on IMG’s different visitor insurance plans.1
Sanjay is 68 and spending a few months in the U.S. to visit his son and grandchildren. One month after his arrival, he develops a fever, cough, and congestion. Sanjay goes to an urgent care facility and is diagnosed with an Upper Respiratory Infection (the common cold). A Visitors Care plan’s fixed benefits may leave him paying more up-front for the visit and a small amount of the bill after IMG’s coverage, but a Patriot America Plus plan would require less initially and potentially cover more of the entire visit.
Maria is 52 and has come to the U.S. to spend time with her sister, niece, and nephew for nine months. She’s had some health issues in the past but doesn’t suffer from anything chronic or congenital. A few months after her arrival, Maria develops a cough, a fever, and is feeling quite ill. After a trip to urgent care, she is sent to the emergency room where it is determined she has pneumonia. The pneumonia confines her to the hospital for a week and she ends up with a large medical bill. A Patriot Platinum plan, with a higher maximum limit than IMG’s other visitor insurance plans, may provide the most coverage given the circumstances.
Charlie is 8 years old and is visiting the U.S. to spend the summer with his extended family. While trying to show off his new bike riding skills to Grandpa, he falls off and breaks his wrist. He needs to be taken to the emergency room for x-rays and to diagnose the wrist. Charlie’s visit may be covered on a Visitors Care plan up to the fixed benefit amount, but his family would be responsible for the difference, which could be a substantial amount of money. With a Patriot America plan, portions of Charlie’s visit may be covered up to the maximum limit of the plan.
Liam is 45 years old and lives in Ireland. He leads a healthy lifestyle and works out regularly. Liam is on vacation with his family in the U.S. when they decide to take a walk along a popular wilderness trail. During the walk, Liam faints. His family brings him to the hospital. It is discovered at the hospital that Liam fainted because he is diabetic. He was not diagnosed prior to the trip. Due to the nature of type II diabetes, this is a condition that was likely developed over time. If Liam received an annual physical, this could have been diagnosed before his trip. This is a pre-existing condition. Liam’s medical expenses pertaining to this event would not be covered.
If you have questions regarding different scenarios and what may or may not be covered between IMG’s different visitor insurance plans, please contact our Sales Service Center at +1 (317) 655-4500 and the team will be happy to help you.
For additional information about visitor insurance, check out our Visitor Insurance FAQs. You can also learn more about How to File a Claim in case you experience anything unexpected during your visit.
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