Author Topic: Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)  (Read 1940 times)

dragoncar

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Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)
« on: June 11, 2016, 01:25:29 PM »
We have a number of people visiting from out of country this summer, some for extended  periods, and at least one has health insurance that won't cover expenses in the USA.  I looked at various travel insurance plans, but they look expensive for the coverage you receive (e.g., $300 for up to $50k in expenses).  We aren't looking to cover long-term or chronic conditions that would be treated in the home country, just emergency services.  I'm leaning away from suggesting travel insurance because:

1) If something happens in my car or home, our auto/home policies are likely to cover it
2) If someone else is at fault, we can probably recover something from them/their insurance
3) If it's a small issue, we can easily self insure
4) If it's an expensive illness that can be treated in the home country (cancer), home country insurance will cover (we'd have to get them home)
5) If it's an extremely expensive emergent condition, e.g. a $200k appendectomy (what Google told me the upper limit is), I'd expect the hospital to negotiate this down A LOT, since they are unlikely to recover any debt from visiting tourists.  This is a bit of a moral hazard, but on the other hand we've been paying years of increased premiums due to the emergency room heath insurance "loophole"

Any thoughts or suggestions for good travel insurers?  At it's face, it seems like the plans I'm looking at are pricing in something like a 0.6% chance of having to pay the maximum, which doesn't sound TOO terrible.  But if the bill is huge (hundreds of thousands) I'm not sure $50k will help us very much.

Edit: Perhaps it makes sense to get regular (temporary) health insurance, if it's possible to meet the requirements for enrollment.  For the same price, you get "full" coverage
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 01:32:43 PM by dragoncar »

Doubleh

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Re: Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2016, 01:47:57 AM »
Are you looking at travel insurance in USA or in their home country? Typically insurance of this type would be specific to the home country of the insured.

For example we live in the uk but travel regularly to usa at least once a year. We pay something like 100 / $150 for an annual policy covering any trips worldwide up to a maximum duration per trip - something like 60 of 90 days. If we planned a single trip longer than this we could get a single trip policy for a similar rate. This covers a family of four and includes medical costs of up to $10m per insured, at which price it seems a no brainer.

My wife used to deal with insurance issues for employees of a major us corporation and saw some of the issues that happen eg staff member from overseas office travels to usa for a staff meeting, has a coronary and ends up in an extended stay in intensive care. As a result of these experiences she won't board a plane without 10m medical cover.

TL:DR - I wouldn't have them there without decent cover, but $50k seems neither here nor there and what you're being quoted sounds crazy expensive for what it offers, maybe you're looking in the wrong place.

Luckyvik

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Re: Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 02:44:32 AM »
I'm not sure where they are from, I'm from Australia and for my last trip to the US, I paid $350 for 40 days of insurance for my husband and I including a couple of mil in medical cover, perhaps it's best they investigate getting it back home?


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Kaminoge

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Re: Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 04:25:33 AM »
That cost you mention seems crazy.

Out of interest I just picked a major travel insurer (World Nomads) and looked at what it would cost me to buy a month of cover for the US. For 139 euro I get 3.5 million worth of hospital coverage, for 154 euro I can have unlimited. Plus you get a whole lot of other stuff with that.

I wouldn't even consider traveling to the US without some kind of insurance... your health costs are just too crazy should something go wrong.

dragoncar

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Re: Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 11:03:32 AM »
That cost you mention seems crazy.

Out of interest I just picked a major travel insurer (World Nomads) and looked at what it would cost me to buy a month of cover for the US. For 139 euro I get 3.5 million worth of hospital coverage, for 154 euro I can have unlimited. Plus you get a whole lot of other stuff with that.

I wouldn't even consider traveling to the US without some kind of insurance... your health costs are just too crazy should something go wrong.

World nomads was one of the places I looked, but they have pretty bad reviews.  Some of the visitors are older, which likely increases the price

Dmy0013

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Re: Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 11:37:38 AM »
Check your Credit Cards, I believe a lot of credit cards have travel insurance build into them,  How long are they visiting?  We usually pay around 40 dollars a week for health insurance.

Maybe I am being over cautious but even if we go down into the US for a few hours for shopping we buy insurance before crossing the border

dragoncar

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Re: Health insurance for visiting foreigners (to USA)
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 01:32:10 PM »
Check your Credit Cards, I believe a lot of credit cards have travel insurance build into them,  How long are they visiting?  We usually pay around 40 dollars a week for health insurance.

Maybe I am being over cautious but even if we go down into the US for a few hours for shopping we buy insurance before crossing the border

It has trip insurance but not health insurance.  If you die, it pays, but that's not very helpful.

The longest trip will be a couple months