Which Doctors Can I Visit with My Insurance?
Often people purchase visitors insurance based solely on price, and not functionality. The purpose of visitors insurance is to protect you & your family from the unknown risk of a medical event & large medical bills. As such, it is important to know where your insurance coverage will be accepted. This question can be determined on which type of plan you have purchased & area of coverage.
Area of Coverage
If you or your visitor are traveling within the USA or Canada, you can check for a list of PPO providers in your area to see who will accept the insurance you have purchased. However, if you are traveling internationally, you may need to pay the full amount of medical care upfront and submit a claim for reimbursement at a later date. Nevertheless, there are 24 hour emergency hotlines in case of a medical event happening outside the United States.
Coverage Type & Health Care Providers
There are two types of Visitors Insurance plans: Fixed Benefit & Comprehensive Plan.
For Fixed Benefit Plans: These plans are often cheaper in premiums and enable you the freedom to go to any doctor or hospital- giving you the power to choose your health care provider. That being said, Fixed Benefit Plans may not be accepted at certain health care providers. In these cases, you will have to pay upfront and get reimbursed by the Insurance Company. Other fixed benefit plans- such as the INF Choice & INF SelectCare- work with a PPO Network and allow for direct billing.
For Comprehensive Plans: These plans often work with a PPO network- which will accept your visitors insurance policy. Additionally, the insurance company will contract with health care providers to give the insured a discount on medical services. The health care provider will also bill the insurance company directly, allowing the insured to take advantage of "cashless claims". Insureds will no longer need to pay massive medical bills up front. Examples of these plans include the INF Elite Network Plan.
What you need to do
When purchasing a visitors insurance policy, call the insurance company & ask where their insurance will be accepted. It is important to protect yourself, and ensuring that your policy will be accepted by local area hospitals is one of the most important things you can do.