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.
Almost all Visitors Insurance aka Travel Insurance falls under two categories:
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 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.
It’s important to understand the basic terms and their use. let us go through the terms before buying a policy.
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.
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:
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.
They usually give better coverage and offer more protection. They are costly as compared to fixed benefit plans.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.