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USA: how the travel medical insurance works

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No matter how well the trip is planned, unforeseen circumstances can always arise an allergy attack, an annoying cold with a temperature, food poisoning, or a traffic accident. The traveler will have to consult a doctor so as not to risk his health and not spoil his vacation. In unusual countries, medication is available for everyone (for example, in Argentina), and even a foreigner will be provided with adequate assistance without asking for a penny.

However, the United States does not belong to them – bills for treatment there reach astronomical values. And in the ranking of countries with the most expensive medicine in the world, America ranks first, head and shoulders ahead of expensive Switzerland. 

Without insurance, you can spend several hundred, and maybe thousands of dollars on medical care. For example, an ambulance call will cost 900-1300 USD, an ENT consultation – 200 USD, and an operation to remove appendicitis costs up to 60,000 USD. The insurance company will cover all the costs of the treatment and the cost of the necessary medications.

A basic policy for a two-week stay in America costs 30-50 USD, depending on what services it covers. The cost of insurance should not be confused with the amount of insurance coverage – this is the amount within which the tourist is reimbursed for medical services.

For example, if your guarantee coverage is USD 30,000, you can go to the doctor’s department, receive medications, spend the night in the hospital and take an X-ray for free. But the protection company will refund only half for the removal of the appendix for USD 60,000. For a trip to the United States, the minimum recommended coverage is 50,000 USD, although some travelers buy insurance for 100,000 USD, keeping in mind the costly medical care.

If you are going to travel to the United States many times throughout the year or do not know the specific trip dates, take out an annual policy with a certain number of insured days. They will start to be utilized as soon as you cross the border.

You can buy a policy at the office of the insurance company or online. The most beneficial way to purchase a policy is online. Here it is enough to register the duration of the trip, the country or zone, the age of the tourist – and in a minute you can prepare for yourself insurance.

In short, it is better to get insurance in the USA – there is expensive medicine there. The primary option costs 1,600-4,000 USD. The minimum coverage is 50,000 USD. The quality of the service depends on the assistance.

Registration and use of insurance

To acquire an insurance policy online, the traveler’s full name in Latin letters, as in a foreign passport, and date of birth is expected. You can take out insurance not only for yourself but also for another person. Usually, the policy is sent to email immediately after payment.

The letter will detail the terms of insurance and the services included. The most important thing is the policy number indicated on the first page, and the assistance phone number, which to call in case of something. It is not necessary to print the document, but it is better to always have these two numbers with you: who knows exactly when the insured event will break out.

If something goes wrong, your first action is to call (or write in the messenger) to the assistance company at the phone number specified in the policy. The operator will ask you to describe the problem in English, if an American insurance agent was selected, confirm that the case is indeed insured, and tell you what to do next.

In most cases, the compensation immediately contacts the most imminent hospital from its list, sends them a letter of guarantee, and calls you back with information about the address and time of appointment. Depending on the time of day, they can send to the doctor the next day, but if the case is critical and an ambulance is needed, the assistance will act immediately.

In the USA, there are hospitals in almost all cities, but assistance may not have an agreement with the hospital closest to you. In this case, the insurance will cover transportation to another hospital, but it is better to agree on this point in advance when you first call.

In the hospital, you will be admitted free of charge according to the letter of guarantee received from the insurer. There is another option, but only by prior agreement with the assistance – you pay for all the necessary services, and upon returning home, the insurance company will reimburse the costs. Then do not neglect to carefully accumulate all receipts, recipes, and statements.

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