Travel Visa Insurance
Traveling the world provides you with opportunities that you just cannot and will not find in your home country. When you decide to travel, you are setting yourself up to see amazing things, experience wonderful cultures, and meet new people. Choosing where to travel can be a difficult decision. The world is open to travelers, and you have freedom to choose from so many places, but one of the most rewarding experiences for travelers is the opportunity and decision to travel to the U.S.
The history of the United States has been and is influenced by an extraordinary number of people, cultures, and traditions from the world over. As a result, America is a wonderful place for travelers. Whether you are on business, looking for work, studying, or you simply wish to explore the country, the U.S. is an amazing place to visit. However, it is not enough to pack your bags and book a flight. The U.S. has several types of visas that you must apply for, receive, and follow through with before you can leave your home and travel to the U.S.
There are different types of visas for all different types of travelers, but there are a few steps that the visas all have in common. You are most likely excited to be traveling to the U.S., and in your excitement it is easy to lose sight of the necessary required steps you must take in order to receive your visa.
Visa requirements are not always straightforward, and sometimes you may have to do research before you fully understand everything. It is best to get that research out of the way before you begin filling out your application. You want to understand the process and the different steps necessary for your visa application before you actually begin. To help you out with understanding this process, we have compiled some of the things you need to know and do, no matter what type of visa you are planning on applying for:
- Fill out and submit form DS-160. Form DS-160 is also known as the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. This is one of the first stepping stones you need to complete in order to start your visa application process. The form allows consulate officers to find out basic information about you that is vital to the visa application process.
- Have a valid passport. In many cases your passport must not only be valid, but it must be valid for at least six months after you return home. Visas have a time limit, so you know by what date you must leave the U.S. and return home, which means you can tell if your visa will be valid for those six months after your visa expires.
- Know when you plan to travel. You will have to know when you need or want your visa to be valid. Therefore, you need to know on which date you plan to return. Before you fill out form DS-160, you need to decide when you will be traveling to the U.S. and when you will be returning to your home country.
- Schedule a visa interview. After you have submitted your visa application, you must schedule an interview with a consular officer. During this interview you will need to establish the purpose of your trip to the U.S. and answer visa interview questions the officer may have about your trip. Be sure you answer questions as honestly as possible because lying could result in the denial of your visa.
- Know how you plan on supporting yourself and funding your trip. One of the things the consular officer will want to know regards your financial situation. Before you arrive, you need ask yourself, “How am I going to pay for my trip?” and “How am I going to support myself while in the U.S.?” These questions are vital, and you will need actual documents that support your answers to them.
- Pay the visa fees. There are two different fees that you must pay. The first fee is the visa application fee. Depending on what visa you are applying for, you will either have to pay between 160 and 190 US dollars. In some cases, you will have to pay more than that. If you are issued a visa then you will have to pay the visa issuance fee, which is based on the type of visa and the country you are from.
For some of the visas, it is a requirement to have travel visa insurance. In other cases, visa insurance is only recommended. With travel visa insurance you are giving yourself peace of mind while you travel. No matter your reason for traveling to the U.S., there is always a risk of illness or injury. The unfortunate thing is that your domestic medical insurance may not keep you protected as you travel to the U.S., which is where travel visa insurance kicks in.
Compare Travel Visa Insurance Plans
|Covered Benefits||Provided With Atlas Travel®||Atlas Travel® Competitors|
|Guaranteed Acceptance||Yes: No medical underwriting is required for eligible individuals. See the Description of Coverage for full eligibility.||Yes. Some companies offer guaranteed issue policies.|
|Coverage for pre-existing conditions (excludes chronic and congenital conditions)||Limited: Up to medical coverage maximum lifetime for the eligible medical expenses for the acute onset of a pre-existing condition. See the Description of Coverage for more details.||Coverage Varies. Some companies offer no coverage or very little coverage for pre-existing conditions to non-U.S. citizens and coverage amounts can be as little as $2,500.|
|100% coverage for accidents and injuries outside the U.S.||Yes: We will pay 100% of eligible medical expenses after the deductible, up to the overall maximum limit of the policy. See the Description of Coverage for more details.||Coverage Varies. Some companies expect members to pay coinsurance outside the U.S. even when using their PPO network|
|100% coverage for accidents and injuries inside the PPO||Yes: For eligible expenses within the PPO Network. See the Description of Coverage for more details.||Coverage Varies. Some companies expect members to pay coinsurance even within the PPO.|
|Sports coverage at no additional charge||Yes: Coverage for eligible injuries or illnesses related to sports activities. See the Description of Coverage for limitations.||No. Up to 20% additional cost to add coverage for sports|
|Emergency medical evacuations available 24/7||Yes, $1,000,000 in coverage regardless of policy maximum||Yes, but coverage amounts for medical evacuation are much lower.|
|Complete online enrollment capabilities & immediate fulfillment||Yes: Selecting 'Yes' to online fulfillment when purchasing will ensure your policy information will be available to print once your application has been processed and your credit card approved||Varies.|
|Crisis response benefit||Yes: $10,000 certificate period maximum covering losses resulting from kidnapping or express kidnapping.||No. Competitor travel medical plans do not include a crisis response benefit.|
|Personal liability benefit||Yes: $10,000 lifetime maximum covering losses due to a third-party injury or damage/loss of third-party personal property or related-third-party personal property. This benefit applies only for court-entered eligible judgments or approved settlements.||No. Competitor travel medical plans do not include a personal liability benefit.|
*HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC (HCCMIS) is a service company that is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. HCCMIS is regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. HCCMIS has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd’s underwriting members of Lloyd’s Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.
Purchasing a Travel Medical Insurance Plan
When you purchase a travel insurance plan, like Atlas America insurance from HCC Medical Insurance Services (HCCMIS), you are taking the necessary precautions that can help you avoid some large medical bills. Because you cannot predict accidents and injuries, having insurance can help keep you protected as you travel. Atlas America comes with some great benefits that can help make your travels much easier.
- Client Zone: At HCCMIS, we recognize that policyholders do not always want to call a 1-800 number to change a small thing with your account. For that reason, we have created the Client Zone, which allows you to control and manage your account. You can view pre-trip destination information, search the provider networks, print new ID cards, and extend your policy. Through the Client Zone you can also view and access your visa letter.
- Visa Letter: You may need to prove that you have actually purchased travel insurance, and the visa letter that HCCMIS provides helps you do that. The letter not only states that you have an Atlas America insurance plan, but the visa letter also provides the effective dates of your coverage, your destination, passport number, and the amount of maximum coverage that you will have while you are traveling.
- Travel Assistance: Traveling in an unfamiliar place can be difficult and a little intimidating. However, HCCMIS does its best to help you prepare for your adventure and to help out along the way. With travel assistance services like 24/7 customer service, travel warnings, lost luggage tracking, and provider referrals, you can rest easier on your travels to the U.S.
Planning Your Trip
Once your visa application has been approved, and you have paid your visa issuance fee, you can begin taking care of those final details for your trip. Since you already have your visa, you know the dates you will be traveling and where you are going, so now you get to finalize the rest of your trip details.
- What will you do? For some, their trip to the U.S. will be filled with business meetings and other work-related activities. For others, they will attend classes. And still, there are those who are free to explore the U.S. while here on their visa. What do you want to do while in the U.S.? Do you want to hike the Rockies? Go kayaking? Hang out at the beach? See a musical? Explore museums? The possibilities are endless.
- What will you see? Other than activities, you also need to plan out the specific things you want to see. If you are in the U.S. for a short amount of time and only be visiting one city, what are the best things to see? Do some research about your destination and find out what you can see and do.
- What will you pack? Packing for a visa trip can be pretty complicated. You are not packing for a few nights away. For some visa holders, the trip may mean packing and traveling with several suits. For other visa holders, packing may mean figuring out a way to get most of their closet to a new country. Depending on how long you will be in the U.S., you will need to figure out how much clothing to bring with you. Before you start throwing things into a suitcase, make a list of the things you absolutely need, and be smart as you are packing everything up. Remember you can always purchase things like soap and shampoo once you arrive in the U.S.
Travel visa insurance is vital to securing your visa and for keeping you safe as you travel in the U.S. Not only will purchasing visa insurance help you get your visa, but it will also help you avoid high medical bills and provide you with some great beneficial services that will make traveling easier. Remember to take your time through the visa process, do not skip any steps, and plan everything as carefully as possible.
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HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC (HCCMIS) is a service company that is a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings Inc. HCCMIS is regulated by the State of Indiana in our capacity as Third Party Administrator. HCCMIS has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.