Why are Travel Insurance Plans Less Known in Hospitals

When I called the Hospital, they didn’t recognize the Travel Insurance!

One of the major concerns and confusions about travel insurance plans involve the recognition of the plan names. Sometimes, we hear our customers voice their frustrations like “I tried calling many hospitals and doctors and they did not recognize the insurance name.


The 2 most important reasons why the providers might not recognize your visitors insurance are:

  1. Relatively less Use of Travel Insurance Plans
  2. Travel Insurance Plan Names are Not Widely Known

Relatively Less Use of Travel Insurance Plans:
Travel medical insurance is not the main stream insurance plans. Hospital staffs are more familiar with the domestic insurance plans which they see every day frequently. So, if the person at the reception at doctors office does not recognize your “Visitor /  Travel insurance” plan by its name, don’t be surprised. Travel insurances are short term plans, which are mostly claim based. The good thing about Travel insurance for USA is that the provider can contact your plan benefit department and may directly bill to the insurance company.

Travel Insurance Plan Names Are Not Widely Known:
Atlas America Insurance, Liaison Continent Insurance, Inbound USA Insurance etc. are not the name which a service provider recognizes.  These are just the name of specific travel insurance plan that you purchased.  The providers are better at recognizing the PPO networks (First Health, Multiplan, and Hygeia) associated with your Plan. They also recognize the names of plan underwriters (like Nationwide, AIG, and Lloyds etc.). So when you talk to a hospital or doctor, you should give them the names of PPO network provider’s, or the Underwriter’s names.  Keep your Insurance certificate / ID handy. It has most of the information, necessary for the hospital administration to contact the insurance benefit department and confirm the coverage or bill to the claims department.

Remember, no travel insurance guarantees the direct billing, so, even if you have to make any payment from your pocket, you can always claim and get the reimbursement for any eligible covered benefits as per the policy.

File Claim & Get Reimbursed
This may sound uneasy for most of us who are so used to our domestic health insurance, where showing your insurance ID card and making a small co-payment is all it takes. Travel insurances for visitors are temporary short term plans, which are international in scope. With these plans, you can have coverage anywhere outside your home country. And you can get services from any hospital or provider of your choice. It is practically impossible for insurance companies to have direct billing tie- ups with all providers throughout the world. So it is the discretion of the provider to bill the insurance company directly, or to bill you. If they ask you to pay upfront, ask for the itemized bill from the doctor or hospital and file for a claim. You would be reimbursed for your valid claims. To find out how to file for claim, please refer to the article – Insurance Claim Process.

Recommended Readings:
How travel insurance works
Direct Billing or Paying Upfront

If you have any additional questions about travel insurance, send your queries to support@visitorscoverage.com.

*Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/w_yvr/

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