Comprehensive VS Limited Coverage Travel Insurance Plans

Comprehensive vs Limited Coverage
Comprehensive vs Limited Coverage

Comprehensive vs Limited coverage travel insurance plans have several differences. If you are visiting the USA, you need to have the optimum medical coverage in the form of travel insurance. This ensures you are covered should you experience sudden injury or illness.

Medical costs are very high in the USA and can burn a big hole in your pocket if you have to spend on medical expenses that you did not foresee.

Understanding Comprehensive vs Limited coverage plans will help you decide what is the optimum coverage for you.

This article will also help you if your parents are visiting the USA and you need to buy travel medical insurance also known as visitor insurance, for them.

Travel Insurance Types

Almost all Visitors Insurance aka Travel Insurance falls under two categories:

  1. Comprehensive Coverage Plans
  2. Limited Coverage Plans

Travel Insurance plans within these two categories differ significantly in terms of their coverage, cost, benefit limits, etc.

It is important to understand the difference between comprehensive vs limited coverage visitors’ insurance plans:

  • Comprehensive coverage plans offer more extensive coverage benefits
  • Limited coverage plans provide basic travel medical protection

Comprehensive Coverage Plans:

  • Provide more extensive coverage & maximum medical coverage benefits
  • Are more expensive to purchase compared to limited plans

Limited Coverage Plans:

  • Cost-efficient but has limited coverage per condition with low premiums
  • It provides basic coverage and the premiums are cheaper compared to comprehensive medical insurance

Comprehensive vs limited coverage: Comprehensive health insurance coverage plans pay a higher amount, some of them paying 100% of the policy maximum. After the deductible, In most cases leaves you with minimal out-of-pocket cost. Fixed Benefit plans pay a fixed amount for each and every procedure.

Compare Travel Insurance Plans

Comprehensive Coverage VS Limited Coverage Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance Coverage, Comprehensive vs Limited

Important Terms To Get Familiar With:

It’s important to understand the basic terms and their use. let us go through the terms before buying a policy.

  • A copay: is a set rate you pay for prescriptions, doctor visits, and other types of care.
  • Deductible: is the set amount you pay for medical services and prescriptions, before your coinsurance kicks in fully. A deductible is an amount you pay each year for your healthcare before your plan starts to share the costs of covered services. For example, if you have a $2,000 deductible, you have to pay $2,000 before your insurance kicks in fully. If you have any dependents on your policy, you’ll have an individual deductible and a different (higher) amount for the family.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses: are the medical expenses you must pay yourself. After you have spent the out-of-pocket maximum, your healthcare plan should cover 100% of eligible expenses.
  • Premium: Lower your monthly premiums and more out-of-pocket expenses you will have to pay before the insurance begins to cover your bills.
  • Coinsurance: this is the percentage of the covered medical expenses you pay after you’ve met your deductible. Your insurance plan pays the rest. For example, if you have an “80/20” plan, it means your plan covers 80% and your share is to pay 20%—up until you reach your maximum out-of-pocket limit.
  • PPO Network: A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO Network) is a type of arrangement that lets people get medical services like doctor visits, hospital stays, and medicines for less than they would normally cost.

What Is The Limited Insurance Coverage?

Limited coverage insurance provides basic protection, and is usually less expensive (Low cost) than comprehensive coverage plans.

They’re cheaper than comprehensive plans, They tend to be more popular with travelers on a budget who don’t require extensive medical care while overseas.

Limited coverage plans have a fixed, pre-defined amount for each benefit. Any costs that exceed the fixed amount, Must be paid out of pocket.

With limited coverage plans, you also pay a deductible for each sickness or injury. For example, Consider you have a limited coverage policy with a $100 deductible, then you must pay the deductible for each treatment received before your insurance coverage begins.

Medical costs are really very expensive in America, let’s take up an example to understand how a fixed coverage plan works:

Example: If you or your known relative are traveling to the USA and have to undergo hip surgery.

Considering the Cost of hip surgery = $40,000

Fixed coverage plans pay you $3,300

Minus the deductible = $100

You have to pay (Out of your pocket) $36,600

These are some of the main highlights of the limited coverage plans, outlined below.

  • Basic medical protection
  • Affordable cost, low premium
  • Pre-defined, fixed benefit coverage
  • Per sickness or injury deductible

Limited Coverage Plans Overview

With limited benefit plans, you are responsible for paying a certain amount before your plan starts paying any benefits toward your medical care expenses.

If you’re looking for an insurance plan that covers the most common medical emergencies and illnesses, limited benefit plans are a great choice. These plans typically cover the following:

  • Doctor visits
  • Urgent care visitors
  • Emergency room
  • Surgery
  • Labs, etc.

You can go to any doctor or hospital you choose as there may be no PPO network to consider. There will be no discounted rates, the plan will only pay up to the clearly defined limits for different expenses.

With these kinds of plans, You will be responsible for paying the full bill upfront and claiming it to the insurance company to get the reimbursement as per the schedule of benefits.

These plans have a deducible you have to meet per sickness/illness.

Trip Expenses: Mostly not covered

Covid 19 coverage: Is covered like any other illness

Between comprehensive vs limited coverage plans, comprehensive coverage plans are better as they pay more coverage. Limited coverage plans are cheaper if premium cost is the main factor in deciding a plan.

Popular Fixed-Benefit Visitor Insurance Plans

  • VisitorSecure
  • ChoiceAmerica Insurance
  • Safe Travels Visitors to USA
  • Visitors Care
  • Inbound USA Basic
  • Inbound USA choice
  • INF Choice Plan Insurance
  • INF Standard Plan Insurance
  • INF Premier Plan Insurance

Comprehensive Health Insurance Coverage

They usually give better coverage and offer more protection. They are costly as compared to fixed benefit plans.

Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan Details

This is the most common type of health insurance offered by insurers because it gives you a full range of benefits that can be used at any time during your trip abroad.

No matter how many conditions you want to cover, or what level of coverage you need, comprehensive visitor insurance is always available to provide a solution.

Comprehensive coverage offers more benefits than limited, and as a result, tends to be more expensive. However, comprehensive plans are also typically more comprehensive—they have higher deductibles, copays, and out-of-pocket maximums.

Benefits vary from one insurer to another but generally include:

  • Emergency medical treatment and hospitalization expenses for any illness or accident during the duration of your trip (in case of an emergency)
  • Adequate compensation in case of death due to an accident that occurs while traveling overseas

It’s a type of coverage that provides thorough protection from the expenses incurred in treating a wide range of health issues, including both in- and out-of-hospital treatments.

With comprehensive insurance, you’re only responsible for paying your deductible each year as well as co-payments or co-insurance payments after that point.

Trip Expenses: It Covers Trip Cancellation, Baggage Delay, and Baggage Loss.

Covid 19 coverage: Is covered like any other illness.

These are some of the main highlights of comprehensive coverage plans, outlined below:

  • A higher premium, slightly more expensive than limited coverage plans
  • Better, more extensive medical protection
  • Percentage-based coverage
  • One-time deductible
  • Most include travel-related coverage

What Is Comprehensive Health Insurance?

Comprehensive coverage insurance offers more complete protection at a slightly higher cost than fixed coverage.

Comprehensive insurance plans provide percentage-based coverage, This means that they cover some percentage of your medical bills, up to a certain amount, and then 100% of your bills thereafter.

This is the reason that comprehensive plans are preferred. They provide better protection.

An Important benefit of comprehensive plans is their one-time deductible.

Comprehensive health insurance is a type of health insurance policy that covers the cost of medical expenses related to sickness or injury. It also covers expenses related to preventive care, such as routine checkups and immunizations.

It’s important to remember that while comprehensive plans may cost more in premiums today (and every month thereafter), they’ll pay out less over time since they’ll cover a greater number of claims.

Comprehensive Health Insurance Policy

A comprehensive policy will cover you for accidents, illnesses, and injuries.

Covers emergency room visits.

You’ll have access to emergency medical treatment as well as hospitalization in most cases. In addition, prescription drugs are covered and mental health services may be included if they’re part of your policy’s list of benefits.

Dental care is sometimes included in a comprehensive plan as well as vision care (e.g., eyeglasses). These coverages may be limited to emergency situation and incidents only.

Popular Comprehensive Visitor Insurance Plans:

Basic VS Comprehensive Health Insurance, Which One To Choose?

Basic health insurance plans are the least expensive option, but they usually cover only the most common medical problems. They’re a good choice if you want to save money on your monthly premium and don’t have any major health issues.

Comprehensive health insurance plans are more expensive than basic plans, but they provide more benefits and coverage. If you have a chronic condition or need help paying for prescription drugs, a comprehensive plan might be the best option for you.

Comprehensive VS Limited Plans – Details

If you have a comprehensive policy, then you are covered for most of your healthcare needs. For example, if you need surgery or prescription medication during your trip, this type of policy will typically cover those costs. If instead, you were only covered for emergency evacuation back home due to an injury or illness (and not surgery), then it would not be considered comprehensive coverage.

Fixed coverage vs comprehensive coverage, policy maximum

In contrast with these more robust options is limited coverage which covers fewer things than comprehensive health plans do – usually just emergency medical evacuation back home. This can be helpful if there is no other option on hand but may not be as beneficial as having full coverage when dealing with an unexpected medical emergency while abroad

Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage

Travel Insurance is usually offered by an insurance company to protect against any new incident like an injury or sickness while you travel abroad. Most healthcare providers refrain from travel insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions because of the increased risk to their business.

Travel insurance company when designing a health plan for travelers looks at the minimum essential coverage needed for a certain condition and sets the limit to cover an incident. The insurance provider is also in the business to make profits and if they cover pre-existing conditions then they may not be able to fulfill the coverage commitment promised in the plan due to the potential risk of high amounts of payouts for pre-existing conditions.

Hence most travel insurance plans offer coverage for the acute onset of pre-existing conditions only. There are plans available with acute onset benefits under limited and comprehensive coverage categories of travel insurance.


Comprehensive medical insurance is more expensive because it covers everything, while limited medical insurance is cheaper because it doesn’t cover everything. Assess your specific situation and the coverage needed, and most importantly compare travel insurance plans before you decide to buy.