Visitor Insurance: Comprehensive vs Limited Plans

Most of the Visitors Insurance plans falls under any of these two types.

Limited Coverage Plans
(Schedule Benefit Plans / Fixed Coverage Plans)

In this kind of plan, coverage is predefined for each type of services.
Some key features:

  • Low-cost
  • Limited coverage as per the policy defined clause
  • Can go to any doctor or hospital but payment will be done based on pre-defined dollar amount after you pay the deductible
  • Limited coverage plan provides the basic protection, and may not be adequate.
  • It may cost you less, but the coverage is limited to pre defined clause of fixed amount of charges. Must read policy details for benefit and coverage details.

Comprehensive Coverage Plans

These plans offer much better and flexible coverage. Most of these plans work like PPO-type of 80-20% plan. After one time deductible has been paid, insurance pays 80% for the initial $5,000, and thereafter 100%. The risk for the insured is a maximum of 20% of the cost of the first $5,000, that is, $1,000. The rest is the responsibility of the insurance company.
Some key features:

  • Better coverage more protection
  • Costly compared to limited coverage plan.
  • These are generic definition. Based on the plan and company, benefits may differ, please refer to the plan details for exact coverage.
  • All payments are paid as per URC.

Below is an explanation of the main types of visitor medical insurance plans for international travelers to USA. These type of plans are known by various other names like International travel insurance, visitor health insurance, visitor medical insurance, overseas travel health insurance, etc. Many international and national insurance companies offer insurance plans to visitors and travelers worldwide. Irrespective of the insurance company's size or name, visitor's insurance essentially falls under two broad categories.

Comprehensive Coverage Plans Limited Coverage Plans
Coverage Enhanced benefits package in comparison to limited coverage plans. Best suited for higher risks or anticipated substantial expenditure. Provides basic coverage. Ideal for general or basic service that covers lower risks.
Benefit and Liability Most comprehensive travel insurance plans work like PPO plans, where the insureds liability is deductible and you also have co-insurance. Basic coverage, all possible medical treatment/service cost is pre-determined. Example: each doctor visit is covered for $X.
PPO Network Most of them are like PPO plans and have a PPO network, implying a greater acceptance inside the network at higher discounted rates. May or may not be included in PPO network. You can visit any doctor. Hospital expenses will be paid as per the pre-determined rates stated in the policy.
Can you visit any Doctor or Hospital? You may visit any doctor. However, it is advisable to visit a facility within the provider network, if a PPO network is available. Yes, no matter which doctor you visit, the plan will pay only a pre-defined limit per doctor visit for the services taken.
Travel Related coverage Most of them include travel related coverage within the insurance bundle. This may offer you protection against trip cancellations, baggage loss, terrorism attacks, etc. None
Rates/Cost Higher premium Low premium (low cost)
Example Plan Liaison International, Atlas America, Liaison Continent, Visit-USA etc. See complete list of Comprehensive Coverage Visitor Insurance plans. Inbound USA, Travelers Liberty See complete list of Limited Coverage Visitor Insurance plans.

These are some common features people need to look out for before purchasing a plan. Also, check for factors like hospitalization, evacuation, surgery etc., in detail in the respective brochures or write-ups, once you have decide on the type of plan that would be perfect for your needs.

Visitor Insurance plans offered on this Web site are of the following types.

Comprehensive Coverage Plans Limited / Fixed Coverage Plans