Understanding Health Insurance - Terminology & Language
Purchasing health insurance can often be confusing. There are many options insurance options available for you to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics. We've put together a quick guide which can help you better understand the terminology used by many health insurance providers. We will go through the common terms used by health insurance companies and explain them simply.
This is the maximum amount of money a insurance company will provide to cover eligible medical expenses. Most visitors insurance have a per-sickness coverage maximum.
For example, you have a policy with $50,000 policy maximum. If you get sick and visit a doctor, the policy will pay up to $50,000 for that sickness. If later you fall and fracture your ankle, the policy will again pay up to $50,000 for that medical event.
This is the percentage of eligible medical expenses paid by the insurance company after a deductible has been met.
The amount paid in exchange for insurance coverage. Premiums are typically paid in full for the given coverage period.
Emergency Medical Evacuation
Insurance will cover the expenses related to transport for a seriously ill or injured person to one of the following places:
These are medical expenses which the insurance company will not pay for. These are considered non-covered expenses. Typical exclusions include: complications from HIV/AIDS, use of illegal drugs, or participating in dangerous activities or intramural sports.
These are companies which administer visitors health insurance policies. These companies are responsible for claims, customer support, healthcare provider information, authorization / confirmation of benefits. INF is a Policy Administrator.
Carrier / Underwriter
The insurance company which underwrites (carries) risk of visitors insurance policies. For example, CHUBB American Insurance Company is the Underwriter of INF Plans.
Medical Treatment which does not require an overnight hospitalization.
The return on the insured to their home country in the event of an illness or injury while traveling abroad.
Return of Mortal Remains
Usual & Customary Charges (U&C)
These are the maximum amount the insurance will pay for a covered expense. These medical charges are determined by a geographic average of similar medical expenses in your area.
This is the amount paid by the insured before the insurance coverage takes effect. The deductible is on a per-sickness/incident basis.
For example, you purchased a visitors insurance plan with a $75 deductible. After visiting a doctor for a sore throat, you are presented with a bill for $150. You will have to pay the first $75. A few weeks later you visit the doctor again for a follow up visit and are present with another $150 bill. You will not have to pay the first $75 again.
Medical conditions that started before a person's health benefits went into effect. Only a few visitors insurance plans will cover all pre-existing conditions, while many exclude any coverage regarding a pre-existing conditions.
Acute Onset / Sudden Recurrence
The sudden and unexpected recurrence of a pre-existing conditions which manifests itself without any advanced warning. Acute Onset is typically short in duration, rapidly takes hold, and requires emergency medical attention. Typically, policies will only cover these conditions if medical attention is sought between 12-24 hours from first show of symptoms. This type of coverage does not cover any post-emergency doctors visits, medications, or continuing care.
Full Pre-Existing Coverage
Visitors Insurance which cover all pre-existing conditions do exist. INF Premier Plan & INF Elite Network Plan will cover all pre-existing conditions. These plans cover both In-Patient & out-patient medical care, emergency situations, post-emergency follow up visits, continuing care & new prescription medications, etc. for pre-existing conditions. Read our article: Full Pre-Existing Conditions FAQ for details.
Renewable & Non-Renewable
Visitors Insurance policies may or may not be renewable. Renewable means you will be able to extend the coverage for a certain amount of time period the initial enrollment. Some plans do not have the feature to renew.
A person designated on the visitors insurance policy who will receive benefits in the event of the death of insured.
Medical attention which requires overnight hospitalization.
Hospital Intensive Care
Medical care provided with greater concern than ordinary, meant of individuals who are not in a stable condition. This health care is typically provided by the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) of a hospital.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment
Benefits will paid to the insured or insured's beneficiary in the event of an accidental death or loss of leg, limb, or any of the senses while traveling.