Hi- is there any travel insurance where the hospital will bill the insurance company directly?

  • by puh puh puh piya
  • Nov 06,2015
  • 6 answers

My parents are visiting from India, and my mom took travel insurance from India to cover her for the duration of her stay in the US (4 months). While here she developed back problems and we wound up taking her to the ER and urgent care several times, with the assumption that insurance will cover all but the deductible. However the hospital has advised us that we have to pay them the entire amount and then we must seek reimbursement from the insurance company in India. I m worried because the bill is several thousand of dollars, which we can barely cover and I m worried about how difficult it will be to get the reimbursement. When we did this the other way around, we were in India and needed some minor but urgent healthcare we also paid up front. Upon our return reimbursement was made so difficult by united healthcare (months of sending them documentation and figuring out applicable codes) that I just had to let go of the idea of reimbursement, which was just a few hundred dollars. Anyone have experience with Bajaj travel insurance? Any travel insurance that you recommend where we would not have to pay up front?


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Insurance Answers (6)

Flower 6 months ago

A hospital cannot bill a foreign insurance company. They are correct. You have to pay and then request the reimbursement from the Indian insurance company. Thats how it works here. You could have gone to an urgent care clinic which is cheaper than the E.R. which usually costs several hundred to several thousand dollars.

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Beverly S 6 months ago

I believe it is the hospital that would have to agree to wait for your insurance to pay them. In other words, hospital would have to agree to bill them directly.

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mbrcatz 6 months ago

No. What you want, doesn't exist.

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Insurance Pickle.com 6 months ago

The question you want to ask is, "What hospital won't require us to pay up from when I can prove I'm insured?" In other words, it's not the insurance company, it's the provider. They could bill the provider if they wanted.

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A Hunch 6 months ago

When you traveled to India, it sounds like you used your standard health insurance with United Healthcare, not specific travel insurance. This is very different = UHC is used to providing health insurance coverage in the US, not abroad. Where as, a travel insurance is in the business of providing insurance abroad.
As long as your mother purchased legitimate insurance before arriving in the USA, it's unlikely that she will have a problem with reimbursement.

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StephenWeinstein 6 months ago

I can't imagine how there could be. Hospitals in the U.S. can't tell how much, if anything, insurance will cover until long after you leave, sometimes months or years later. For someone who lives in the U.S., they can bill the patient later for whatever the insurance doesn't pay, but they can't force a foreigner to pay the bill. So, with a foreigner, they really do have to get paid up front, because they don't know if the insurance will pay, and they can't trust you to pay later if the insurance doesn't.

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