Visitor Insurance: Comprehensive vs. Limited Plans

Visitor Insurance: Comprehensive vs. Limited Plans
comprehensive vs limited

Most visitors insurance plans fall under two types: comprehensive coverage plans and limited coverage plans. Simply put, limited plans are usually less expensive, but they don't provide as much coverage. On the other hand, comprehensive plans are a bit more expensive, but they provide more extensive coverage in situations in which medical attention is needed. We recommend Comprehensive Coverage plans for the reason that they provide higher benefits and less out of pocket benefits in most cases.

Key Differences

Below is an explanation of the two main types of visitor medical insurance plans for international travelers to the U.S. These type of plans are known by various other names like international travel insurance, visitor health insurance, visitor medical insurance, or overseas travel health insurance.

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: limited and comprehensive.

overview icon Comprehensive Coverage Plans
overview icon Limited Coverage Plans

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 insured's liability is the 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's 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.



Higher premium

Low premium (low cost)

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.

overview icon Comprehensive Coverage Plans

  • Better coverage and more protection
  • Costly compared to limited coverage plan

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.

80% $5,000 100%

overview icon Limited Coverage Plans

  • 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

In this kind of plan, coverage is predefined for each type of services. In other words, this is a fixed coverage plan.