Many friends in our Return to India group have been going through tough times now, since many of them have visitors in the USA and they’re stranded.
The other day, someone was complaining that their parent who was visiting them in the USA, had to return to India for medical emergency purposes, but they couldn’t since no flights are available, except the Vande Bharat Mission special flights.
To get on one of those flights, you need to make a special request and there’s a queue. Only if you’re lucky would you get on the list.
Many NRIs have made it back. But OCIs or visitors to USA (B1/B2 visa) cannot travel on Vande Bharat mission flights.
So, what do visitors to US do, who are stranded currently in the USA?
How do they stay safe until international travel is back again?
The answer might be short term travel/medical insurance.
Luckily, many visitors have already bought travel insurance plans for USA, but they’re all most likely expired by now.
COVID19, as you might already know can be contracted easily, and it is important that you stay safe.
In the USA, medical expense is very expensive and COVID treatment can leave you with a hospital bill of thousands.
Getting medical insurance is probably a good choice, if you want to cover any unexpected expenses.
Insurance for stranded US visitors
I’d suggest the following insurance for stranded visitors in the USA.
Which means if you’re traveling to an area under or warned by the CDC, then you won’t be covered. Since USA is a region that has travel warnings, it is obvious that COVID related treatment won’t be covered in such plans.
But insurance plans like Safe Travels USA Comprehensive, do cover new medical conditions (like Corona Virus/COVID19) that occur after the effective date of the policy.
My understanding is that the testing and treatment of COVID19 is unlike any other disease as one cannot just walk in and get tested. You need to have followed Govt. recommended protocols in order to get tested and treated for COVID.
So, if you’re a visitor in USA, who is stranded and want to go back to your home country but cannot, it is recommended that you get a short term medical insurance like the ones mentioned above.
So that, in case you contract the Corona Virus, your testing and treatment expense is covered.
Can visitors to USA get treated for COVID19?
Yes. If you have a travel insurance policy that covers treatment of new diseases, just like COVID19, then you can get treated.
However, not all travel insurance policies cover COVID. Most policies have exclusions for CDC travel warnings and affected states/countries.
So, when you select your policies, please, please, please double check with your company on whether COVID would be covered and if yes, what are the exclusions or if there are any.
Can stranded visitors in USA get COVID treatment?
Yes, if you have the right travel/medical insurance policy that covers the occurrence of any disease after the policy effective date, then you can get treatment, just like any other disease would be covered.
If you’re a visitor in USA who is stranded, I’ll recommend you to call up your insurance company asap and get an extension or find out if COVID19 is covered in your insurance plan. If not, switch to an insurance plan that covers COVID.
In any case, please do no make assumptions. Always cross check with the insurance companies customer support team.
Note: I’m not a licensed insurance agent. Information given in this article is purely for research and educational purpose only.