A very close friend of mine was visiting America with his parents to attend a family function. He has been so excited for so long. Unfortunately, the festivities were dampened halfway through their vacation when his father fell ill. The good thing was that my friend had invested in a visitors insurance plan, which saved him hundreds of dollars in treatment costs. What he needed to do to get reimbursed for his medical expenses on his return to India. What eased the process for him was his familiarity with the claim filing process. Here’s a look at the process if you ever are in need to file a visitors insurance claim.
Documents Required for Filing a Visitors Insurance Claim
- Completed Claim Form: Go to the site of your insurance provider and download the correct form. Fill this form and take a print out.
- Passport and Visa: A clear copy of your passport is required, including photo and address, and the entry and exit stamp pages. Provide a copy of your visa too.
- Documentary Evidence of Medical Expenses: Give copies of all receipts and bills from the hospital you visited in the country you were in. Include the doctor’s prescriptions and proof of other itemized services.
- Copy Of I-94: This is applicable in case you have visited the US. The I-94 is an arrival-departure card issued by the US Customs and Border Protection, mostly at the port of entry to US soil, according to Wikipedia.
- Cover Letter: It will be wise if you include a cover letter mentioning your trip abroad, the medical emergency that you dealt with and all the documents you have attached for your claim processing. This will help the insurance official understand the scenario faster.
Process of Filing a Claim
Now that you have all the documents in order, send these to the insurance company via mail or fax. The insurance provider will review your documents, based on which they will accept or deny your claim. This process can take a few weeks or even months in certain cases. Remember to follow up regarding your claim periodically.
In case your claim is approved, your provider will pay you or your doctor or hospital, based on whether the bills were sent to you or to the company directly. In the event that your claim is rejected, review your claim, and find out if you had missed out any document or whether you failed to adhere to the terms and policies of your insurance provider. You can always try to file an appeal.
Also read: How to renew your visitors insurance
Certain things that you have to keep in mind are:
- Even if the doctor or hospital bills the insurer directly, you will still have to file a claim.
- If you have paid for the medical expenses, put your name and information in the claimant section; include this in your cover letter.
- If you have already paid the expenses upfront, you can still get reimbursement, if your company finds your claim valid.
- Remember that US law makes it necessary for its insurance providers to have complete documentary evidence before making payments. Therefore, you are required to file a claim for this purpose.
- Check all the terms and conditions of your insurance when you buy the policy, so that you don’t get a nasty shock when it is time to file for a claim.
Understanding the policy you have chosen well will also help you understand what you can claim for and what you need to pay for on your own.
If you have any questions, please let me know in comments.