15 Tips That Take the Frustration Out of Visitors Insurance
After buying visitors insurance, many people become confused or frustrated when they find out certain things about their policy they did not know prior. Visitors health insurance plans have many defined terms, exclusions, and requirements that can be easy to miss when reading the plan brochure, and unfortunately, if you are not aware of these policy details, you could face a denied claim or other frustrating insurance situation.
These 15 visitors insurance tips will spare you the frustration of dealing with hidden or confusing policy terms that come as a surprise to many people when it's too late.
1. Do Your Research
Find out everything you can about visitors insurance, including the plans and companies you are considering. Look into what is covered, how it works, and what restrictions the policy may have.
2. Read the Exclusions
The policy exclusions are extremely important, so do not skip over them. The #1 reason people become frustrated or unhappy with their policy is finding out that a certain service or claim is denied because they did not read the exclusions. To get more information about various common exclusion, read Visitors Insurance Policy Exclusions.
3. Determine Your Eligibility
Not all visitors insurance plans are for everyone. Make sure you meet the eligibility requirements of a particular plan before buying. Factors such as nationality, residency visa status, and age may determine your eligibility for a particular visitors insurance plan.
4. Keep Reasonable Expectations
Don't assume that everything is covered. Buying visitors insurance does not guarantee that every treatment or service will be covered. Insurance benefits are paid based on the policy terms and are subject to a strict claims verification process.
5. Renew Your Policy in Time
If you plan on renewing your visitors insurance policy, do not miss the deadline. Once your policy expires, you cannot renew it.
6. Remember Pre-Certification
Most insurance companies require you to obtain a preauthorization or pre-certification for certain medical services or procedures. It is your responsibility to obtain a pre-certification, which will help you avoid frustration due to denied claims or limited coverage.
7. File a Claim
Unlike regular health insurance, where it is not always necessary to file a formal claim, with travel medical insurance, you must file a claim in order to receive reimbursement for medical bills. You will not be reimbursed if you do not file a claim. Get more information here about Visitors Insurance Claim Process.
8. Keep all Medical Records and Documents
Hold on to and make copies of all records, receipts, and other documents you receive from the doctor or hospital, including the physician's name and hospital information. You will need these when filing a claim. Losing your documents will make the visitors insurance claims process much more frustrating.
9. Keep Policy Changes in Mind
The insurance cost may increase, and the available benefits may change if the insured reaches a certain age during the policy period.
For example, if the person turns 70 while the policy is in force, the original policy benefits may not apply as those that were in effect when he was 69. Once the person becomes 70, the benefits may change according to the new over 70 age group.
10. Premium Rates are Not Locked and Could Increase
Your insurance premium rates may go up during the life of the policy, so at the time of renewal, don't be surprised if you are required to pay new rates that are applicable at the time of renewal.
11. Pre-Existing Conditions may not be Covered
Pre-existing conditions are not covered by most travel medical Insurance plans. Unless it is clearly written with no strings attached, it is unlikely that your policy covers for pre-existing conditions. Some travel medical insurance policies, however, do provide coverage for Acute Onset of Pre-existing Medical Conditions.
12. Work with a Reputable Company and Knowledgeable Advisor
Not all visitors insurance agents have a thorough understanding of travel medical insurance. Make sure you work with a reputable travel health insurance expert. It will spare you frustration later on.
For example, not all doctors can advise you for all medical problems. If you have an ear problem, you have to go to an ENT specialist. Similarly, not all insurance agents know about all insurances, so be sure to seek out a travel medical insurance expert.
13. Understand Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions
Acute onset of pre-existing conditions is different than pre-existing conditions. A few polices provide coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions, but keep in mind this benefit has certain restrictions.
14. In-Network or PPO vs. Non-PPO Payments
Most comprehensive plan benefits that are defined in the plan brochure are usually in-network or in-PPO rates. If you go to a healthcare provider that is not included in the PPO network provider list, your benefits may be reduced.
15. Know Your Rights
Know what you are entitled to as a policyholder. For example, you have the right to the all benefits and coverage you are eligible to receive, so know exactly what your policy guarantees.
Many people find out exclusions or other policy details about their visitors insurance plans when it's too late, resulting in confusion and frustration. Don't be one of these people. The best way to avoid becoming confused or frustrated with your policy is to get informed and read your visitors insurance plan brochure carefully.