Friday, April 18, 2008

Health insurance for visitors to the US

It's that time of the season - parents visiting from India, and their big engineer "kids" wondering where to go for insurance coverage for mom & dad. Here are two tips from my experience, but not specific advice for your situation:
  1. Check out the website You can enter some specifics on age, deductible etc and Mr. Jeewanjee provides you a 3-4 provider options to pick from. If you are ok with the conditions that apply, you can complete the purchase online. I like options that have an US phone number and physical address - else, it may be impossible to catch them or make them accountable when you need, or the doctor/hospital may not be willing to work with that provider.
  2. The website This is run by a professor as a non-profit, and works with a bigger provider like AIG to get good deals as a group insurance.
I have purchased from both at various instances, for my parents visits over the last 12 years. G1G is the recent favorite since it has cheaper options. However, I have never filed a claim, so I can't speak to the claim experience.

These generally wont cover pre-existing conditions such as diabetes (KV Rao has some options around this), but can come in handy for emergencies. There is one friend I know, whose mom was hospitalized for nearly 30 days with a broken hip (she tripped over a shopping cart and fell inside a grocery store), and the KV Rao insurance worked in his favor - they paid the $50k maximum benefit to cover various things such as Xrays, doctor fees etc (the bills don't come singly), and it limited his out-of-pocket expense (he still had to pay a few thousands). The key thing to note was the hospital (it was a top notch non-profit community hospital) looked at his case favorably, since he had some type of insurance and was willing to provide him discounted rates and worked with the insurance. If he didn't carry any insurance, they may not have been forthcoming with discounts.


Raghu said...

KVRao's plan is from AIG. Therefore be very careful, given AIG's condition recently. Even today, government gave $40 billion for AIG to survive.

Please note that KVRao sells insurance on a non-profit basis is completely misleading. It is like saying Ford Mustang car is sponsored by Ford Foundation, a non-profit organization. Just because Ford owners have a charity organization on the side does not make the entire Ford Motor Company non-profit organization.

The same way existance of India Network Foundation does not make KVRao's entire insurance business non-profit.

venky said...

Find out the real details about India network insurance from KV Rao at

This is not a spam. Not an advertising. No sales are going on at that web site. Pure useful information.

london said...

The details posted on India Network plan in the link provided by venky are outright lies and misleading. These are posted by some frustrated desi agent who could not compete but wishes to confused community at large by spreading false information. The poster mis-represent atlas plan coverage as well. Check out and do your research before you buy.