Many agents’ websites claim that their Travel Medical Insurance plans are cashless or direct payment plans. However, in travel Medical insurance plans, there is no guarantee for cashless transactions or direct pay.
Billing process depends on the service provider; the insurance company does not control it: Whether it is going to be a direct billing or not, depends entirely on the billing practice of the doctor or the facility you visit. Most big hospitals & doctors directly bill to the insurance company. However, in exceptional cases patients may receive the bill from the provider.
Higher amounts are usually directly billed: For expensive medical services like surgery or hospitalization, the providers bill the insurance company directly. For routine services (mostly outpatient services) like general doctors consultations, you may be required to pay directly either in full or as per the applicable policy’s deducible or co-insurance.
Why Direct Pay can’t be Guaranteed in Travel Medical Insurance:
- Travel medical insurances are short time emergency medical insurance plans and require claim submission and reimbursement.
- Different providers have different billing practices. They may or may not work with all insurance companies.
- Travel medical Insurances are not commonly perceived by doctors or hospitals like the mainstream domestic plans are. So unless the bill amount is big, the hospitals or doctors do not want to utilize their time to find out who and where to bill.
Insurance Company will pay for eligible covered expenses: Even though the billing process is at the provider’s discretion, a valid claim for a covered service would be paid by the insurance company, whether the bill comes from the doctor’s office or sent by you.
Always remember that the insurance industry is regulated, insurance companies are subject to comply with the regulations. As long as the claim is as per the policy it should be paid.