Health Insurance for Observership.
Why should I purchase insurance with an American company and not buy insurance in my native country?
It is advisable to have insurance from an American company while in the United States, even if the premium for these plans are more expensive. The reason is that while almost all Doctors/hospitals in the United States accept American insurance company cards, they will be reluctant to acknowledge overseas insurance coverage. The medical office can easily contact an American insurance company for clarification, while the same will not be true for an overseas insurance company.
Typically medical offices in the US will bill directly to known American insurance companies. For overseas insurance companies you most probably will have to pay the bill, and then try to get the claim reimbursed from the insurance company.
When should I purchase the insurance?
You should purchase the insurance only after being certain of your travel plans (having the passport/visa papers and the airline tickets in order). It is safest to start the insurance coverage from the date of departure from your native country.
My parents are not yet here, can I purchase insurance for them in their absence?
Yes. You can purchase the insurance coverage on behalf of others in their absence.
Is the insurance plan refundable should I leave the country during its validity?
Some insurance plans do refund money if given enough advance notice, however since travelers insurance is typically for a short duration, they are often not refundable. If this situation is a concern for you, you should look out for insurance plans which are renewable. Such plans are available among the plans listed in our comparison engine.
What is the proof of my purchasing insurance?
When you purchase insurance online, you will immediately receive a confirmatory email with details of the insurance. This is the virtual insurance card, and it is prudent to print this and to keep a backup of this email. You will also receive an insurance card from the insurance company by mail. This card will have your name, policy number, group number, insurance company's contact information such as the toll-free telephone number and the address where claims should be submitted.
How do I purchase the insurance? When does the insurance take effect?
Purchasing insurance online is very simple. From our compare engine, you can click on the Buy button in the first column. This leads you to the appropriate online application form. You have to complete the appropriate online application form and you will immediately receive an email acknowledgement which is the virtual ID card. The coverage will start from the start date as indicated on the form. Within a week you will receive a package from the insurance company, which will include the insurance card and a hard copy with details regarding the insurance plan.
Can I purchase insurance for only part of the stay of my parents in the US?
Yes you can purchase for only partial duration of the entire stay. However the purpose of purchasing insurance is in the event of unanticipated medical emergencies. One can never be sure when such an emergency can happen. Having purchased insurance for part of their stay will not help in the event of an emergency during the uninsured period.
Is the insurance plan purchased on a calendar monthly basis, or can a plan span 2 calendar months ?
A month is calculated as 30 continuous days from the start date requested and it can include two partial calendar months.
What is the minimum duration for which insurance can be purchased?
The minimum duration varies for different insurance plans. This information is presented in the 'Plans benefits' column in our compare engine.
How are the insurance companies rated?
The insurance companies are rated by an independent rating company A.M.Best rating. For all the plans, each insurance company's A.M. Best rating is displayed in our compare engine.
Can I go to any doctor/hospital, or am I limited to specific medical practitioners?
This will vary for different insurance plans. Some plans allow you to visit any medical practitioners, while others have their provider network.
In the latter case, if you visit a doctor/hospital within the provider network, the fee will be a standard rate that has been agreed between the insurance company and the provider. However, if you visit a provider outside of the insurance companies provider network, there may be a difference between the amount charged to you and the amount the insurance company considers reasonable. In this event, you will have to pay the difference between the two.
How do I find out which doctors are part of a given insurance network?
You can also get this information by calling the toll free number of the insurance company or by visiting the insurance company web site. The toll free number should be on the insurance card that you receive on purchasing the insurance plan.
Can you give an example of my medical expenses with different insurance plans?
This really depends on the policy. For example if your medical bill is $24,000.
After deductible, policy covers up to a maximum of $50,000.
Here your expense is the only the first $100 deductible.
Thus your final expense is only $100 while the insurance company will cover the remaining $23,900.
Deductible is $100 with Maximum coverage of $50,000.
Policy covers 80% of first $5000 then 100% to the policy limit.
So your expense is the first $100 deductible followed by 20% of first $5000, which is $1000. Thus your final expense is $1100 while the insurance company will cover the remaining $22,900.
Our insurance comparison engine allows you to evaluate different plans based on deductible cost.
Should I pay the medical practitioner/organization initially and then get reimbursed or will the insurance company be billed directly?
On purchasing insurance from an American insurance firm, you will receive an insurance card with details about your insurance. When you visit the doctor/hospital, the billing office at the hospital will usually make a photo-copy of your insurance card, call the insurance company to verify your policy, and will then bill the insurance company directly. You will have to pay the deductible amount.
In some instances if the medical office has not dealt with this particular insurance company, they might insist that you pay the bill on receiving medical treatment. In this scenario, you would get an detailed bill, which should be sent to the insurance company for reimbursement. NRIOL advises policy holders to visit hospitals with in the provider network wherever possible.
What is a deductible?
If your plan has a $100 deductible, you pay the first $100 of expenses and then the insurance company picks up the rest. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium cost and vice versa.
What are the different types of deductible?
Per incident deductible:
You pay the deductible every time you get a new medical ailment (be it sickness of accident related) before the insurance company pays anything. Inbound USA and Inbound Immigrant from SRI have deductible per incident.
Per visit deductible:
You pay the deductible every time you you visit a health care provider (doctor, hospital, laboratory etc..) before the insurance company pays anything.
Per policy period deductible:
You pay the deductible only once during the entire policy period, irrespective of how many times you get sick or injured during the policy period.
You pay the deductible only once in a year irrespective of how many times you get sick or injured during the entire year.
Is it safe to purchase Insurance online?
Yes. The application forms are in a highly secure ordering environment so you can enroll in the insurance plans with confidence. The insurance providers use Secure Socket Layers (SSL), for transferring information to process your orders. The SSL encrypts, or translates, your order information into a highly indecipherable code, which is processed immediately. You will remain in this secure zone for the entire purchase process.
Who/What is the beneficiary (AD&D Beneficiary)?
The Beneficiary is the person who receives the Accidental Death benefit if the Insured dies in an accident while insured under the policy. Typical examples of beneficiaries are your spouse, your children or your parents.
Is there any medical test required before we can buy the insurance?
No, there is no medical test required for purchasing any of these policies. You can buy the policies online any time and get coverage from the following day.