Visitor health insurance is a medical coverage that allows non-permanent travelers in a foreign country to obtain protection in the case that they fall ill to sickness or injury during their stay in that host country. This type of medical insurance is a short-term plan, and also accounts for instances of evacuation and repatriation if necessary. In the United States, most visitors are not required to have purchased visitor health insurance. However, those from the European Schengen area, such as Austria, Belgium, and the Czech Republic, are required to show proof of this insurance in order to become eligible for a visitor visa later.
There are several types of visitor health insurance that fall under different Preferred Provider Organization Networks (PPO) networks. For example, those who want coverage for a short span of time may choose to purchase Patriot America’s Insurance, while visitors looking for an economical choice may choose Visitors Care. Similarly, there are different options for short-term, long-term and indefinite lengths of time; coverage that allows exclusive U.S. treatment; domestic or international; group or individual; student or full-time worker, and the extent of coverage, ranging from dental and vision to full body insurance.
While there are types of health insurance for people both inside and outside the United States, the more popular choice has been to purchase insurance from the U.S. — and for good reason too. The United States offers insurance with the most coverage, with an additional list of advantages:
- Easy access to your own information, such as claim address, ID number, PPO network, etc.
- No medical exam, excessive paperwork, or membership is required
- Plans are refundable and renewable. Renewability is a helpful option if the span of time outside a visitor’s host country is unknown, while refunds are an option for those who decide to leave early
- Quick and easy quotes and purchase options
- The majority of U.S. based insurance companies are part of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) which is a guaranteed option in the case of any disputes
- Thorough examinations of insurance offices by the U.S. government ensure the abidance to regulation
Ultimately, the type of visitor health insurance you choose is dependent on a number of factors: size of your group, your income level, your citizen status, and the duration of your stay.