This is what the trip to America will really be like

Narendra Khatri, principal and co-founder of Insubuy, with his wife and partner, Jagruti Khtari and … [+] director of HR and customer service, Cristanatte Washington.

InsuBuy

The United States has announced an opening date to allow foreigners to visit the country. Beginning November 8, people traveling to the United States will be required to show vaccination tests and a negative RT-PCR coronavirus test, performed within three days of the trip. Insubuy, a travel insurance company specializing in the sale of health and travel insurance to foreigners, has been closely monitoring developments. I spoke to director and co-founder Narendra Khatri to find out what visitors should expect.

The US has just announced an opening date for entry trips. How will this be?

Very busy. Many people who have not been able to visit their loved ones for most of two years will find themselves in a rage to get visas and make travel plans as soon as possible.

Should people arriving in the United States wait longer to obtain visas?

Yes. U.S. embassies and consulates have been operating with reduced staff due to the pandemic. If they are not able to keep up, the waiting times are likely to be longer.

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What kind of travel demand do you expect, now that America is open to visitors? Where will they come from?

I would expect a lot of demand, especially from people with family members or business connections in the United States who have been unable to visit for quite some time.

These visitors are likely to come from any of the 33 countries from which the United States allows travel. Expect to see an influx of visitors from India, China, the UK and European Schengen countries.

What destinations will most of these international visitors get?

Initially, they will probably be the major cities in the United States with large international populations: New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston. But many of these visitors will come to see the family from whom they have been separated and who live all over the country. Reopening the US will reopen the entire US

Talk to people who plan trips to the United States every day. What is the mood of incoming visitors at this time? What are you telling them?

People are eager to travel and meet relatives and friends they haven’t seen in a long time. We ask that you be patient and make a checklist so that they are ready to finalize their travel plans as soon as possible.

How will this affect U.S. visitors who are already here and perhaps on vacation at one of these destinations?

For those who have already been allowed entry into the United States, nothing should change directly. Still, they will have to wait to share airports, flights and tourist attractions with larger crowds. They should continue to take steps to protect their health from virus transmission and have a contingency plan in case they get sick or injured in the future.

You are an advocate of checklists. What should be on your checklist to prepare you to visit the States, apart from a visa and, of course, travel insurance?

If you haven’t traveled internationally in a long time, call your credit card company and let them know about your plans to prevent the card from freezing. Also, visit a local bank or currency exchange site to convert some of your money into small US dollar bills before you travel. The best rates are at ATMs, which you can access at the airport.

Since you will probably have a connecting flight once you arrive, allow yourself enough time to get to your next plane. There may be flight delays and U.S. airports are quite large.

The US is also quite large geographically. Keep this in mind when budgeting and planning a car, bus, or train rental trip upon arrival.

I imagine COVID will be a major concern for anyone visiting the United States. What are some of the other concerns?

It is natural for visitors to think of COVID-19 with trips to the United States open again. But international travel is full of uncertainties. We may not like to think about the possibility of a medical problem landing us in the hospital, but the risk of illness or injury is always present. U.S. visitors need to make sure they have insurance coverage, not just because of COVID-19, but because health problems of any kind are impossible to predict.

What are some of the health issues you’ve seen recently, in addition to COVID?

Most doctors expect a big rise in flu cases compared to last year, as more Americans are returning to school and work. While COVID remains everyone’s main concern, we need to remember the most common diseases that can spread quickly when more people start traveling more.

Visitors should also remember that many hospitals are still quite tense due to the pandemic, so it is important to do everything we can to stay safe, especially when we visit another country.

One thing I’ve always wondered: what’s the difference between visitor insurance and travel insurance?

Visitor insurance is short-term insurance, primarily focused on medical coverage, to protect you during your travels. It usually covers new and unexpected medical conditions.

Travel insurance is often called trip cancellation insurance, because that is the focus of coverage. If you get sick or injured before a trip, lose your job, or if your destination is affected by a natural disaster, travel insurance can help you recover your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel. -les.

Is there now travel insurance on the market that does not cover COVID?

There are some visitor insurance plans that have exclusions related to CDC or State Department travel notices. Plans with these exclusions will not cover coronavirus testing or treatment.

However, it is important to read the wording of the policy. Some plans will explicitly mention COVID coverage in the wording of the certificate, but others will not. This does not necessarily mean that these plans do not cover COVID. They simply cover it like any new illness that occurs after the policy’s effective date, but they don’t specifically mention it.

Why is visitor insurance important?

American health care is among the best in the world, but the cost of care is also the highest in the world. Most people simply cannot afford to pay for the treatment on their own and their home country insurance will not provide enough coverage in the US.

Visitor insurance is the only viable way for most visitors to cope with the cost of medical treatment, surgery, testing, room and hospital advice, prescriptions and other medical needs during a trip to the United States. After waiting so long to finally travel, the last thing you want is for your finances to be destroyed due to medical or travel-related costs that could have been avoided if you had established visitor insurance. In addition to financial protection, visitor insurance gives you the peace of mind of having coverage for the uncertainties of international travel.

Does the US require insurance for entry?

Currently, the United States does not require visitor insurance for those with a tourist visa. However, those entering the United States with an Exchange Visitor (J) visa require a minimum medical coverage of $ 100,000 per incident.

Do you need insurance for visitors if you are already vaccinated?

Absolutely. People bought insurance for visitors long before the pandemic started, and now it’s just as essential. The important thing to remember is that a COVID-19 vaccine only reduces the chances of being hospitalized due to one type of disease. It does nothing to protect you from any other unforeseen circumstances. If you travel in the winter, climate change can cause illness, or slip and fall on ice and require medical treatment. All types of injuries and most types of diseases have nothing to do with COVID. Visitor insurance can provide you with financial protection for any type of emergency medical problem you may encounter, from colds and flu to broken bones and ankle sprains.

In addition, it should be borne in mind that advanced cases of COVID are possible even for vaccinated people. And if you travel with children too young to be vaccinated, you will need to have insurance to cover them for medical treatment as well.

Visitor insurance also provides other valuable benefits. Many visitor insurance plans offer benefits such as coverage for occurrences of pre-existing conditions, interruption of travel, emergency medical evacuation and accidental death and disassembly, as well as other ancillary benefits.

If you are visiting for a long period of time, do you have to buy a fractional insurance or at the same time?

I recommend that you purchase insurance for the duration of your trip in advance. Some visitor insurance plans can’t be extended and others have rules that, if you don’t extend them for a certain length of time, can no longer be extended, which could leave you without coverage.

Age must also be taken into account. If you are buying insurance for a parent who will be celebrating a birthday during the trip, you may be charged a higher rate if you extend it after the birthday is over or they may reach an age where they are no longer eligible. of certain benefits, such as outbreaks of pre-existing conditions.

Buying insurance for the entire duration of the trip in advance prevents this from happening, and also eliminates the possibility of you accidentally forgetting to expand coverage, which many people are prone to do when not in their normal routine.

Does your insurance only cover you in the United States?

A visit insurance plan can cover you outside of your home country, even during transit to other countries after the effective date of the policy. For example, if you travel around Dubai while traveling in the United States, you are covered.

Who doesn’t need visitor insurance?

If you are already in the United States and have already become ill or injured, this is not the time to buy visitor insurance to cover it. Your current illness would be considered a pre-existing condition and would not be covered.

Otherwise, if you are 100% sure that you will not get sick or have an accident that requires medical treatment while traveling in the United States, or if you are comfortable paying large out-of-pocket treatment expenses, you can waive purchasing insurance for visitors. For everyone visiting the United States, visitor insurance is recommended.

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