How Travel Medical Insurance Works
Inside and Outside the U.S.
Inside the United States
Insurance is complex, let us help.
The U.S. healthcare system is different from most others. Although its complexity may be daunting for international travelers, VisitorsCoverage is here to help simplify the process, and reduce the stress that may come when using travel health insurance. We're travelers too, so we know how valuable having the right insurance can be. Our goal is to help keep you safe and secure so you can get back out there and enjoy your travels.
How to use insurance in the United States
Find a doctor (in general, in-network medical provider rates may be lower). Depending on your travel medical insurance policy, reduced out-of-pocket expenses may be available by visiting a medical provider within your plan's PPO network.
Share your insurance ID card with the medical provider to confirm acceptance.
Confirm payment expectations. The doctor/hospital may bill upfront if their office does not support direct billing to the insurance company. Make sure you're aware of any out-of-pocket costs.
Medical providers typically submit claims securely and electronically to the insurance company. However, travelers may need to file their own claims, so keep copies of medical bills, receipts, doctor's notes and any other supporting documentation.
If dealing with a non-urgent medical issue, travelers can contact the non-emergency assistance number on the back of their card. For emergencies, travelers will need to contact the U.S. emergency medical services number 9-1-1 for immediate help.
How to use insurance outside the United States
Outside of the U.S., there aren't any PPO networks, but certain travel medical insurance companies may offer a list of recommended medical providers located in your destination country.
When traveling outside the United States, medical providers may not request a traveler's insurance card. However, you should always travel with it, in case it is required.
Since there are no PPO Networks abroad, international travelers will be expected to pay out of pocket for any medical care and then submit a claim with the insurance company for reimbursement.
Travelers should make copies of every medical bill, receipt, doctor's notes and any other documentation to support every claim submitted.
If a medical issue is not urgent, travelers can find a medical provider and seek help but it's strongly advised that travelers contact the non-emergency number on the back of their insurance card to confirm coverage, as travel medical insurance generally excludes non-urgent medical situations. If facing a medical emergency, travelers should contact the country's emergency services number immediately.
VisitorsCoverage does not have access to claims due to health and privacy (HIPAA) laws. Click here for claim forms and insurance company contact information. Remember, additional contact details can be found on the back of your insurance ID card. The claim form will provide authorization for the insurance company to request medical information, which may be required to process your claims.
How to track your claim
Create an account with your insurance company to file/track claims. Locate your insurance company's website here.
The claims review process usually takes approximately 30 days or more, as they are worked in the order received and depend on volumes.
The Explanation of Benefits (EOB) will be available in your insurance company's account, which includes your claim status and any further information which may be needed.
Deductible and Maximum Amounts Explained
There are two main types of travel medical plans: comprehensive and limited. After the one-time deductible (the amount the insured traveler is responsible for before the insurance company will cover costs) is met, a comprehensive plan typically pays up to the policy maximum (the maximum monetary limit that the insurance company will be liable to pay for covered services) the insured traveler selected upon purchase. Whereas a limited plan pays pre-fixed defined amounts for each specific treatment and service up to the selected policy maximum. With limited plans, a deductible is applied to each time a service is needed.
Both policy maximums and deductibles vary from plan to plan and travelers may choose from several different amounts, keeping in mind that the deductible and policy maximum amounts selected will impact the policy premium cost. For more information on the key differences between comprehensive and limited travel medical coverage, check out this explainer.