Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

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need403bhelp
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by need403bhelp » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:57 pm

I realize this has been posted before (without, it seems, a lot of answers).

Our in-laws are coming to visit the US for ~2 months. Their home country is not very well developed, and I wouldn't trust a travel health insurance policy issued in their home country. They are in their early 60's and pretty healthy.

Any particular advice or suggestions?

I found:
https://www.visitorscoverage.com/visito ... ce/quotes/
https://www.insubuy.com/visitors-insurance-quotes/

We mostly want to get catastrophic coverage, in case they have large medical expenses, with a high limit and high deductible.

It seems, for them, Patriot Platinum America provides the highest maximum coverage, at $8 million. However, acute exacerbations of pre-existing conditions (which basically seems to be defined as something that LIKELY existed within the past 2 years, even if they didn't know about it or have any symptoms) are limited to $1 million. It also requires pre-certification for most expenses.

On the other hand, Atlas America only provides a maximum coverage of $2 million, but they also cover pre-existing conditions (defined as above) up to $2 million also. It doesn't seem to require pre-certification from what I am reading.

Any personal experience with either of these companies, or another company? Any ideas of other forums that might be more appropriate for such a question?

Thanks!

vveat
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by vveat » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:49 pm

We haven't had any claims so the experience is limited that way, but we are getting Atlas America every year for the annual 2-month visit of an elderly parent. The coverage is good, price is reasonable, they have in-network providers near us and the insurance process - sign up, extensions or shortening (since the visit is usually open ended) - goes very smoothly.

Topic Author
need403bhelp
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by need403bhelp » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:53 pm

vveat wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:49 pm
We haven't had any claims so the experience is limited that way, but we are getting Atlas America every year for the annual 2-month visit of an elderly parent. The coverage is good, price is reasonable, they have in-network providers near us and the insurance process - sign up, extensions or shortening (since the visit is usually open ended) - goes very smoothly.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

Looking over both brochures, it seems that Atlas America does NOT require pre-certification whereas Patriot Platinum does seem to require it. Is it a correct understanding that Atlas America does NOT require pre-certification in your experience?

Thanks!

tiredguy
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Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:05 pm

Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by tiredguy » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:28 pm

What is the relationship between Atlas America, Tokio Marine, and HCC Medical Insurance? As far as I can tell, they are the same. You can read 58 out of 58 1-star reviews of HCC Medical Insurance if you search for them. Very easy to pay money to Atlas America; very difficult to receive claim from Tokio Marine/HCC Medical Insurance.

Our experience: A coworker recommended Atlas for my parents in law, as she used them for her mother in law. Of course she never had a claim. We ended up having a claim that was denied by Atlas (Tokio Marine) due to "pre-existing conditions". My wife and I are both physicians and this claim by the insurance company was illogical to us, but seemed to be the same issue dealt with by those writing the 1-star reviews I mention above.

I suspect after researching this, with a great deal of effort we could've gone through our state's office to eventually force them to pay, but what an unexpected hassle. Not to mention having to pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement through such methods. I also suspect that any other insurance provided to visitors is similarly problematic, though my experience is only with "Atlas America". It is much better to rely on insurance through the home country, as it is very easy for these U.S.-based companies to abuse non-U.S. citizens. I fear that the product you are looking for simply doesn't exist, but who knows until you file a claim? Are you absolutely sure some sort of reliable travel insurance from their own country doesn't exist?

I would mostly hope for the good health of your family members and no catastrophes while they are in the US. You can look for local urgent cares in the area that take discounted out of pocket payments, as those can take care of a lot of problems short of a true emergency. We are lucky to have one in our area. If there is some true catastrophe and they end up in the ER/hospital, I suspect there is not much the hospital can do to recuperate the costs for international visitors, but I have no experience with this issue. There's no easy answer. I could have just said nothing and you might feel reassured they are covered, as chances are nothing will happen, and perhaps that would have been better. I would, at very least, recommend being prepared for alternatives in a worst case scenario.

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kramer
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Location: Philippines

Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by kramer » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:05 am

At least you are taking the time to carefully research. I am currently in the US for a few days only and have been traveling for awhile and so I gave myself an hour last week to research and make the choice, Patriot Platinum. But I can tell by your post that I know less than you and can't add any value to your decision. I am returning again for a longer visit in a couple months and plan to do more research, thanks for the links.

My go-to travel-to-the-US health insurance before was World Nomads (backed by Bupa), which seemed to have a good reputation and was a pretty straightforward product, but about 10 months ago they decimated the quality of the insurance they offered to residents of the Philippines and the Cayman islands, without giving a reason. I am a resident of the Philippines. They now use the EU minimum health insurance standards for residents of those two places and it is not nearly enough to even be considered real coverage in the US.

I am restricted from certain plans (a minority) because I am a US citizen, even though I am not a US resident.

My only comment is that I would not worry too much about maximum payout levels of, say, 2 million versus 8 million, on a 2 month policy. I would let other factors be of higher importance, like determinations of what a pre-existing condition is, whether the company is aggressive against claims, etc.

J45
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Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by J45 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:33 am

So I tried this for my folks earlier this year. The biggest problem is coverage of pre-existing conditions which is anyway a big issue for Americans too! Make sure you ask details on how they cover pre-existing conditions e.g. someone has Diabetes and if their glucose levels are through the roof. Will the insurance company cover this? Usually they have very tricky definitions of "Acute" conditions related to Pre-existing conditions.

My insurance company declined, but I had other ways to do it, so I was fine and I didn't make a big deal of it. Most of the plans are by United Health, so you should find out more about this issue. There are tons of negative reviews on this if you google.

vveat
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Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by vveat » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:04 am

need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:53 pm

Looking over both brochures, it seems that Atlas America does NOT require pre-certification whereas Patriot Platinum does seem to require it. Is it a correct understanding that Atlas America does NOT require pre-certification in your experience?

Thanks!

No pre-certification and it covers pre-existing. I haven't looked at it for a year, just need to redo for next visit, but other good things were the ER coverage and decent pricing for age over 80 years which many do not accept on principle

vveat
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by vveat » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:12 am

tiredguy wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:28 pm
What is the relationship between Atlas America, Tokio Marine, and HCC Medical Insurance? As far as I can tell, they are the same. You can read 58 out of 58 1-star reviews of HCC Medical Insurance if you search for them. Very easy to pay money to Atlas America; very difficult to receive claim from Tokio Marine/HCC Medical Insurance.

Our experience: A coworker recommended Atlas for my parents in law, as she used them for her mother in law. Of course she never had a claim. We ended up having a claim that was denied by Atlas (Tokio Marine) due to "pre-existing conditions". My wife and I are both physicians and this claim by the insurance company was illogical to us, but seemed to be the same issue dealt with by those writing the 1-star reviews I mention above.

I suspect after researching this, with a great deal of effort we could've gone through our state's office to eventually force them to pay, but what an unexpected hassle. Not to mention having to pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement through such methods. I also suspect that any other insurance provided to visitors is similarly problematic, though my experience is only with "Atlas America". It is much better to rely on insurance through the home country, as it is very easy for these U.S.-based companies to abuse non-U.S. citizens. I fear that the product you are looking for simply doesn't exist, but who knows until you file a claim? Are you absolutely sure some sort of reliable travel insurance from their own country doesn't exist?

I would mostly hope for the good health of your family members and no catastrophes while they are in the US. You can look for local urgent cares in the area that take discounted out of pocket payments, as those can take care of a lot of problems short of a true emergency. We are lucky to have one in our area. If there is some true catastrophe and they end up in the ER/hospital, I suspect there is not much the hospital can do to recuperate the costs for international visitors, but I have no experience with this issue. There's no easy answer. I could have just said nothing and you might feel reassured they are covered, as chances are nothing will happen, and perhaps that would have been better. I would, at very least, recommend being prepared for alternatives in a worst case scenario.

Seems correct - my mother's policy shows Atlas America, Administered by: Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group, Underwritten by: Lloyd's

You may be right re their claims processing - as I said we haven't done a claim. I would still use them since nothing else from my research came close to offering coverage needed. I have had a very bad experience trying to negotiate on my parents behalf with insurance provider in their home country, and at least these guys are here in the US. Insurance is never a slam dunk, let alone visitors one.

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ResearchMed
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Re: Travel health ins. for visitors to US - Patriot Platinum vs Atlas America vs Others?

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:16 am

vveat wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:04 am
need403bhelp wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:53 pm

Looking over both brochures, it seems that Atlas America does NOT require pre-certification whereas Patriot Platinum does seem to require it. Is it a correct understanding that Atlas America does NOT require pre-certification in your experience?

Thanks!

No pre-certification and it covers pre-existing. I haven't looked at it for a year, just need to redo for next visit, but other good things were the ER coverage and decent pricing for age over 80 years which many do not accept on principle
Are there any restrictions about country of residence for the person visiting the USA?
And is it ONLY for those visiting the USA, and not traveling elsewhere?
(This question comes up frequently on CruiseCritic.)

Thanks.

RM
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