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Best Insurance For Visiting Parents

by JC, published: 2011-10-16 11:51 viewed: 5499 times
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Many companies have traveler insurance, but for parent visit medical insurances, you need to buy insurance for non US citizens inside the USA. There are only a couple of companies that provide short term insurance, they are:

MultiNational Underwriters
Comment: it has Atlas America plan

Seven Corners
Comment: it has Liaison International,Inbound USA A,B,C,D plan.

International Medical Group
Comment: plan including Patriot America,Visitor Care

HPA (Health Plan Administrators)
Comment: Overseas Travel Medical Plan

The disadvantage of these companies are, they are small and thus lacking network negotiation/discount. Lot of times you need to submit bill to the claim's department. They cover reaonsable and customary expenses, but if your doctor asks for too much, they won't negotiate for you. It is best to call up the insurance company and get their suggestion for doctors before you take your parents the clinic.

The advantage of these companies are, they are a lot cheaper than the traveler insurance companies.

Note: I just want to remind those who really care about money and who think that such an insurance is a way of mitigating the risk of having medical problems, it may not be the case as you expect. Please read the plan of coverage carefully and don't find out later that your over $500 a month does not solve anything. The exclusion of pre-existing conditions should warrant your double thinking on buying it.

If you are in Seattle, other options for visitors without any insurance, you can try:

Seattle International District Medical & Dental Clinic
www.ichs.com
located in Seattle's Chinatown/International District

Hope Link Bellevue
www.hope-link.org
14812 Main St., Bellevue, WA 98007, Phone: 425.943.7555

Country Doctor Community Clinic
www.countrydoctor.org
Comments (7)
1. visitor 2011-03-06 08:55
A useful site for comparing fixed and comprehensive visitor insurance coverage:
http://www.visitorscoverage.com/
2. lb 2011-03-09 00:17
I have heard this kind of stories several times: a visiting parent had an emergency, got free medical care since she didn't have any income. Her children won't be responsible for the bill. Is this true?
3. JC 2011-03-09 03:08
Yes, we've heard something like this too and it is true. Somebody's parent came here and got ill, went to emergency. The hospital treated the parent, then sent the bill to China. Next you know what, it was just left off at that.
4. visitor 2011-03-09 06:48
All of the insurance companies offer more-or-less the same benefits. It is always better to go in for a comprehensive coverage plan instead of fixed if the insuree does not keep good health.
5. visitor 2011-04-28 07:56
Someone recommended neighborhood care clinic, it might be a good choice to negotiate a lower payment
http://www.neighborcare.org/clinics
6. JC 2011-07-23 23:10
The Washington Health Program (www.washingtonhealth.hca.wa.gov) offers affordable community health insurance program that covers the basic health care needs. However, I am not sure if it is ok for parents though.
7. JC 2011-10-16 11:51
Some more suggestions I read online about visiting parents insurance and how to deal with emergency care such as heart attack.

1) When they come to USA, bring a copy of their monthly salary or bank statement. Go to a bank that has notary service and get the document notarized.

2) In case the visiting parents got sick and need to go to emergency, make sure you put their name on all paperwork and let them sign the hospital documents. Of course the contact person could still be yourself. The hospital typically won't allow them to stay more than 2 days, as the hospital knows that they don't have insurance coverage.

3) When the hospital bill comes, you can just mail the above notarized income statement back, this way the hospital should exempt all or most of the expenses, but only charge some processing fee.

Couple of things to note:
--Typically the hospital would waive emergency visit, but probably not other type of visits. So, if your parents run into heart attack type of situations, do make sure to use emergency service.

--In case they lived in USA for over 183 days, don't put your parents as your dependent for tax purpose.

--Most hospital has charity program or foundation for low-income patients. What they do is to assess if they would charge the patient 25%, 50%, 75% or waive the fee. To do this, they need proof of the visiting parents income or bank statement.

Case study:
--One gal's mom got heart problem and stayed in hospital for one day and one night. The total hospital bill came around $14,000. Upon analyzing her mom's income, all departments in the hospital waived the fee and only charged under $100 handling fee instead.

--A guy's dad got sick and called 911 to go to emergency. Stayed overnight and used CT service. The total bill is $20,000. After his father went back to his home country and mailed him the retirement salary statement, the charge was waived.

--A guy's mom got heart problem and went to the hospital, stayed for about 20 hours. The final bill is $11,000 + $1,800 + $1,100. Finally the $11,000 got waived by the hospital's charity program.
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