Last Updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Coronavirus has infected millions of people and hundreds of thousands of people have died. With international travel almost non-existent, it seems like the world has come to a halt. What some may not know is that there are many people stranded in the U.S. that were visiting temporarily from various countries. Some of them had already purchased visitors insurance, some purchased from their home country and it has since expired, and others still don’t have any visitors insurance.
Healthcare expenses are among the highest in the U.S. and Coronavirus treatment can cost a lot. If someone were to get sick with it and need to be hospitalized they could end up spending weeks, or even a couple of months in a hospital before recovering or dying, the healthcare bills for such patients would easily be several hundred thousand dollars. Healthcare is not free in the U.S. and neither is COVID-19 treatment.
What visitors insurance plans would cover Coronavirus?
There are many visitors insurance plans available in the U.S. market. Many of them have exclusions related to CDC travel warnings, and/or U.S. Department of State travel warnings. Therefore, those plans won’t cover any medical expenses related to COVID-19 treatment or testing.
However, the following plans would cover Coronavirus testing or treatment just like any other new medical condition that occurs after the effective date of the policy:
- Safe Travels USA Comprehensive
- Safe Travels USA Cost Saver
- Safe Travels USA
- Safe Travels for Visitors to the USA
I looked through the certificate wording for the above listed plans and it does not list Coronavirus or COVID-19 as the covered expense. Are you sure?
As you can see, unlike other products, there are no exclusions related to CDC Warnings, U.S. Department of State Warnings, or any specific exclusions related to COVID-19. Therefore, COVID-19 is covered just like any other new medical condition that occurs after the effective date of the policy. Regular terms and conditions as listed in the certificate wording apply.
If you still have doubts, please contact us and we will be able to provide you further information.
Please note that if you already have symptoms, or if you are already infected and still in the incubation period, or even asymptomatic initially, if you contracted COVID-19 before the effective date of the policy, it will NOT be covered.
Therefore, it is the best to purchase the insurance as soon as possible and not wait until you feel the need for the same.
Is COVID-19 test covered?
Many visitors insurance plans don’t provide any COVID-19 coverage. Among the plans that do listed above, testing is covered only if it is a new sickness after the effective date of the policy, it is medically necessary and physician prescribes it.
You can’t get COVID-19 testing done just like that and expect that to be covered under any visitors insurance.
My parents are preparing to return to their home country. However, their government is requiring a negative result of the COVID-19 test, in order to avoid 14 days quarantine upon arrival in their country. Is that covered?
No. This is not something that would be covered by visitors insurance.
I had COVID-19 symptoms. Physician prescribed the test and it came negative. Is that covered?
As long as you have purchased a visitors insurance plan that covers COVID-19 and you contracted it after the effective date of the policy, the cost of the test would be covered even if it came back as negative as the physician decided that it was medically necessary.
I purchased travel insurance from my home country and it has expired. Can I purchase additional insurance from you?
Yes. You can do that even if you are already in the U.S. Additionally, the next time you are planning to visit the U.S., consider purchasing it again from us as most of the travel medical insurance plans we have available are extendable.
My parents bought enough prescription medicines for their planned stay of 4 months. However, they are unable to go back now. I need to get their medicine refilled. Is that covered?
No. Visitors insurance plans are not meant to cover routine maintenance of pre-existing conditions. They generally cover any new medical conditions, injuries or accidents that occur after the effective date of the policy. Additionally, some of the insurance plans may also cover acute onset of pre-existing conditions, which may be an unexpected emergency that occurs after the effective date of the policy where you need to take the treatment within the next 24 hours. However, routine expenses related to pre-existing conditions are not covered.
You will have to take an appointment with the U.S. based physician. They may either see them in person or they may schedule a virtual visit. Depending upon situation, they will be ordered certain tests that they must go through. After that, the physician may be able to prescribe appropriate medicines. Using that order, you would be able to get prescription medicines from your local pharmacy. Of course, you will have to pay out of your pocket for physician appointment, any lab tests and for the actual medicines and that would cost at least a few hundred dollars. No visitors insurance would pay for any of that.
It is unfortunate that you would have to incur such expenses for this situation. We understand that you are unable to get the medicines couriered from your home country due to lock down. We understand that such medicines in the U.S. are expensive. We understand that they are unable to go back to their home country because there are no flights. However, visitors insurance would not pay for routine maintenance of pre-existing conditions.
Can the insurance company make an exception to cover prescription refill for my medication due to unavoidable circumstances?
Can the insurance company make an exception to cover the trip delay and flight cancellations due to COVID-19 lockdowns?
Each insurance plans will pay for the eligible expenses according to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. There are not specific exceptions.
My country has arranged repatriation flights. However, I would have to pay again and my existing ticket with the same or different airline would not work. Is that covered by visitors insurance?
No. You will have to pay out of your pocket for the same.
I have the visitors insurance plan that could cover COVID-19. If I need to be put on a ventilator, would that be covered?
As long as it is an eligible claim where COVID-19 is covered, whatever treatment is medically necessary, including being on ventilator would be covered as per the terms and conditions of the policy. Please note that if you are in ICU and/or on ventilator for an extended period of time, you might run out of your policy maximum. After that, there will be no coverage.
I feel perfectly fine, but if I go for COVID-19 testing and the results are positive would the testing and treatment be covered?
No, voluntary testing is not covered.
I have medical problems completed unrelated to COVID-19, if I go to the hospital and they want to do COVID-19 testing will that be covered?
If COVID-19 testing is ordered while getting treatment for something else, it is covered.
Is antibodies test covered?
If COVID-19 causes complications with pre-existing conditions, how will that be treated?
It will be treated as any other illness. COVID-19 does not negate the usual coverage conditions that must be met for pre-existing conditions or acute onset of pre-existing condition coverage.