Patriot America Insurance FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Patriot Insurance FAQ with Frequently Asked Questions gathered over the years of helping many clients and the most relevant answers as it relates to the Patriot Travel Series, Global Medical Series, Student Health Series, Trip Series, and other IMG Insurance Plans.
Patriot Insurance FAQ
Below are the answers to common queries asked by customers:
Why should I purchase insurance with an American company and not buy insurance in my native country?
It is advisable to have insurance from an American company while in the United States, even if the premium for these plans are more expensive. The reason is that while almost all Doctors/hospitals in the United States accept American insurance company cards, they will be reluctant to acknowledge overseas insurance coverage. The medical office can easily contact an American insurance company for clarification, while the same will not be true for an overseas insurance company.
Typically medical offices in the US will bill directly to known American insurance companies. For overseas insurance companies you most probably will have to pay the bill, and then try to get the claim reimbursed from the insurance company.
When should I purchase the insurance?
You should purchase the insurance only after being certain of your travel plans (having the passport/visa papers and the airline tickets in order). It is safest to start the insurance coverage from the date of departure from your native country.
My parents are not yet here, can I purchase insurance for them in their absence?
Yes. You can purchase the insurance coverage on behalf of others in their absence.
Is the insurance plan purchased on a calendar monthly basis, or can a plan span 2 calendar months?
A month is calculated as 30 continuous days from the start date requested and it can include two partial calendar months.
Can I purchase insurance for only part of the stay of my parents in the US?
Yes you can purchase for only partial duration of the entire stay. However the purpose of purchasing insurance is in the event of unanticipated medical emergencies. One can never be sure when such an emergency can happen. Having purchased insurance for part of their stay will not help in the event of an emergency during the uninsured period.
How do I purchase the insurance? When does the insurance take effect?
Purchasing insurance online is very simple. From our (compare engine), you can click on the ‘Buy’ button in the first column. This leads you to the appropriate online application form. You have to complete the appropriate online application form and you will immediately receive an email acknowledgement which is the virtual ID card. The coverage will start from the start date as indicated on the form. Within a week you will receive a package from the insurance company, which will include the insurance card and a hard copy with details regarding the insurance plan.
What is the proof of my purchasing insurance?
When you purchase insurance online, you will immediately receive a confirmatory email with details of the insurance. This is the virtual insurance card, and it is prudent to print this and to keep a backup of this email. You will also receive an insurance card from the insurance company by mail. This card will have your name, policy number, group number, insurance company’s contact information such as the toll-free telephone number and the address where claims should be submitted.
Is the insurance plan refundable should I leave the country during its validity?
Some insurance plans do refund money if given enough advance notice, however since travelers insurance is typically for a short duration, they are often not refundable. If this situation is a concern for you, you should look out for insurance plans which are renewable. Such plans are available among the plans listed in our comparison page.
What is the minimum duration for which insurance can be purchased?
You may initially enroll in most Patriot Series plans for as little as 5 days duration. Annual plans require an annual commitment, but typically offer a monthly payment option. Some student health plans require 1 month purchase. Please refer to the plan pages for coverage duration information.
How are the insurance companies rated?
The insurance companies are rated by an independent standard rating company known as A.M.Best or Standard & Poor’s. The carrier or plan underwriter company for Patriot Travel Series and Visitors Care products administered by International Medical Group is Sirius Specialty Insurance Corporation, and for Global Medical Series and Student Health Series plans is Sirius International Insurance Corporation, both rated A (excellent) by A.M. Best Company, and A- by Standard & Poor’s.
Do I need a Social Security number to complete the form?
No, you can complete the online application form using just the name of the insured individuals and the visitors passport number (optional).
Can I go to any doctor/hospital, or am I limited to specific medical practitioners?
This will vary for different insurance plans. Some plans allow you to visit any medical practitioners, while others have their provider network. This information is provided as PPO Network.
In the latter case, if you visit a doctor/hospital within the provider network, the fee will be a standard rate that has been agreed between the insurance company and the provider.
However, if you visit a provider outside of the insurers provider network, there may be a difference between the amount charged to you and the amount the insurance company considers reasonable. In this event, you will have to pay the difference between the two.
How do I find out which doctors are part of a given insurance network?
This information is displayed in the PPO Network. You can also get this information by calling the toll free number of the insurance company or by visiting the insurance company web site. The toll free number should be on the insurance card that you receive on purchasing the insurance plan.
Should I pay the medical practitioner/organization initially and then get reimbursed or will the insurance company be billed directly?
On purchasing insurance from an American insurance firm, you will receive an insurance card with details about your insurance. When you visit the doctor/hospital, the billing office at the hospital will usually make a photo-copy of your insurance card, call the insurance company to verify your policy, and will then bill the insurance company directly. You will have to pay the deductible amount.
n some instances if the medical office has not dealt with this particular insurance company, they might insist that you pay the bill on receiving medical treatment. In this scenario, you would get an detailed bill, which should be sent to the insurance company for reimbursement. ServeGlobe Inc., advises policy holders to visit hospitals with in the provider network wherever possible.
What is a deductible?
If your plan has a $100 deductible, you pay the first $100 of expenses and then the insurance company picks up the rest. The higher the deductible, the lower the premium cost and vice versa.
Typically, the deductible for comprehensive plans, like Patriot America Plus, is an accumulated amount, and you don’t have to pay the set amount on every visit to a doctor or any other provider or caregiver.
For fixed benefit plans, like Visitors Care, they work like a co-pay amount and you pay that amount on every visit.
What are the different types of deductible?
Per incident deductible: You pay the deductible every time you get a new medical ailment (be it sickness of accident related) before the insurance company pays anything. Certain IMG fixed benefit plans have deductible per incident or accident.
Per visit deductible: You pay the deductible every time you you visit a health care provider (doctor, hospital, laboratory etc..) before the insurance company pays anything.
Per policy period deductible: You pay the deductible only once during the entire policy period, irrespective of how many times you get sick or injured during the policy period.
Annual deductible: You pay the deductible only once in a year irrespective of how many times you get sick or injured during the entire year.
I made a mistake in entering my data while purchasing the insurance, what should I do?
You can contact us and we will have the changes made to your policy and have a corrected policy sent to you.
What is co-insurance?
After your deductible is met, co-insurance is the percentage of the covered medical expenses that you, the insured person, must pay.
For instance, if your health plan has an 80/20 co-insurance rate, your insurance plan pays for 80% of your eligible medical expenses and you are responsible for the remaining 20%.
Is it safe to purchase Insurance online?
Yes. The application forms are in a highly secure ordering environment so you can enroll in the insurance plans with confidence. The insurance providers use Secure Socket Layers (SSL), for transferring information to process your orders. The SSL encrypts, or translates, your order information into a highly indecipherable code, which is processed immediately. You will remain in this secure zone for the entire purchase process.
Who/What is the beneficiary (AD & D Beneficiary)?
The Beneficiary is the person who receives the Accidental Death benefit if the Insured dies in an accident while insured under the policy. Typical examples of beneficiaries are your spouse, your children or your parents.
Is there any medical test required before we can buy the insurance?
No, there is no medical test required for purchasing any of these policies. You can buy the policies online any time and get coverage from the same day or a future effective date.
What is the Policy Period?
A policy period represents the amount of time you have purchased insurance. In Patriot America Insurance, policy periods can be as short as 5 days and as long as 24 months. For example, if you complete an application and pay for 6 months of insurance, the policy period for that program will be 6 months. if you extend or renew the same policy certificate for another 6 months, the policy period for that program will be 12 months.
Should I purchase a combined policy for my parents or separate individual policies as both my parents are visiting me?
The cost for both alternatives will remain the same, in other words there will be no price differential.
The main disadvantages are:
- (a)You have to pay two renewal fees should you renew the policies.
- (b)It can get cumbersome to deal with different companies should you choose to buy from different insurance providers.
There are however many advantages of having separate policies. They are:
- This gives you the flexibility to buy different policies for each of them depending of the specific needs of each of your parents. You might want to have different maximum coverage’s, different deductible or different coverage period’s, all of these can only be achieved through separate insurance policies.
- One of your parents might want to return earlier, you can claim a refund for this individual policy which you cannot do if it is a combined policy.
- Likewise one of your parents might extend their stay. It will not be possible to extend the policy for only one person if it is a combined policy.
When I buy the policy for more than one person, I am asked for only one passport number. Don't you need the passport number of all applicants?
In many insurance plans, only one passport number per family is required per application. This insured person is referred to the primary insured.
Is it possible to renew my policy?
Yes, it is possible to renew the Patriot Series Insurance and many other plans online, please click on renew or extend coverage to complete the renewal or extension. You can only extend the policy date to the maximum allowed duration for the plan, and not change the purchased policy maximums, deductibles or any added optional riders to the policy certificate.
Does the insured need to have a medical examination?
No, there is no medical examination required to purchase the Patriot Series policy, there is no need to furnish medical records or paperwork also. This is because the short-term visitor health or travel medical plans are guarantee issue policies and medical underwriting is done at the time of a claim.
However, Global Medical Insurance and other international health plans need medical underwriting acceptance at the time of purchase, and you may be asked to submit recent treatment details or health records for medical underwriting team to evaluate and make a decision to accept or reject the application submitted.
What is the meaning of UC & R ?
UC & R (or Usual, Customary & Reasonable):
UC & R (or Usual, Customary & Reasonable) Charges represent the average or most common amount charged by providers for a particular service, treatment, or supply in the same geographic area. Typically information on rates for procedures is compiled into a data bank and updated periodically. So when a claim is submitted for a plan with UC & R benefits, the insurance company before making the claim payment reviews the UC & R rate and double checks that hospitals and doctors are not billing excessively for the particular service or procedure. Most well respected plans from Blue Cross, Aetna, Lloyd’s, Unicare etc. follow the UC&R schedule.
What is the meaning of Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions?
Acute Onset of Pre-Existing Conditions:
Some Patriot Travel Series plans offers coverage for acute onset of pre-existing condition as detailed in the plan brochure. This includes a sudden relapse or reccurrence of a pre-existing condition that existed or manifestated in the lookback period prior to purchase of the policy. If a treated medical condition in stable condition, and which is not excluded, requires medical attention due to an unexpected relapse and with no prior advance warning or forewarning by a medical doctor, by way of physician recommendations or medical symptoms. To be eligible, one needs to be below age 70 and treatment must be sought and obtained within 24 hours of the sudden and unexpected outbreak or recurrence.
The Patriot Travel Series plans do not offer blanket coverage for all pre-existing conditions which could vary from person to person depending on their unique medical history or treatment record, such as chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, etc. or chronic injuries like back pain also.
When Does Coverage Become Effective and When Does It End?
Your coverage becomes effective on the latest of: the start date as early as today (or future date) in the case of online application, or the date the plan administrator receives your application with the correct requisite premium amount in the case of paper application, the moment you depart from your Home Country or the date you request on your application. Your coverage will end on the earliest of: the end of the period for which you have paid a premium, the date requested on your application, or the moment of your arrival upon return to your Home Country (unless you have started a Benefit Period or are eligible for Home Country Coverage under the certain IMG insurance plans).
How is "Home Country" Defined?
Your Home Country is the country of your Principal Residence and is the country where you principally reside and receive regular mail.
What Is Excluded in Patriot Travel Series Insurance?
For a summary of general exclusions, and for more detailed policy description, please always refer to the Certificate of Insurance sample description of coverage document. There will be a index page in this sample certificate description which will indicate the page number of the listed exclusions. Please read the listed exclusions for the plan selected, as anything in the physicians report indicating an exclusion for an outstanding claim is typically NOT covered and excluded.
What Is Covered in Patriot Travel Series Insurance?
The plans explicitly details all exclusions, and sickness or injury other than exclusions is typically covered. Some plans offer exceptions for acute-onset of pre-exiting conditions, age and other restrictions apply. For an overview of what is covered in the selected plan, please always refer to the policy Brochure which has a Summary of Benefits table listing a broad overview of what is covered in the plan.