Since I work in the United States with an H1B visa, can I cover my parents with the insurance provided by my employer?
Probably not. Generally, this option is only available for your spouse and dependent children. Even then, you usually can not add people to your contract at any time, only during certain times of the year or when your situation changes.
Is there a visitor insurance that I can take out for my mother and cover an expense like this?
If she has health insurance at home that covers her abroad, see what is covered. Beyond that, it is unlikely that you will find good options at this stage. There is certainly a temporary cover for visitors, but it can in no way be profitable if it works as you wish: you have waited until it already needs medical care to buy insurance. It's like trying to take out home insurance while your house is on fire. Travel and short-term insurance policies have significant limitations and exclusions that generally preclude coverage of pre-existing conditions.
Do you have any idea of the costs that I could incur if I am not able to find insurance to cover that?
Although healthcare costs are high in the United States, it is certainly possible to consult a doctor and pay the uninsured (inflated) price. In some cases, discounts may be offered to people without insurance, and you should certainly inquire about it from the start.
The least expensive option is probably a "doc-in-a-box" clinic, often run by a nurse practitioner, in a pharmacy in some states. It will probably cost less than $ 100, but it is really aimed at routine problems: antibiotic infections, strep throat, renewal of check and prescriptions for common health problems, physical at school or at work, etc. It is not there that you would like to go for a second opinion on arthritis. Emergency care facilities have senior staff and can provide more care. The cash price can go up to $ 200 but could increase if it performs tests during your stay. Yet, as its name suggests, it is more for urgent (but not urgent) situations: severe cuts requiring stitches, fractures, sudden illness, etc. This is probably not the best place for this either, except in case of an immediate outbreak. and needs help.
Some general practitioners (the price of a visit for a visit are likely to cost less than $ 200, but ask, and all lab tests will be separated) can treat arthritis, but a second opinion probably involves that you want a specialist, namely a rheumatologist. A specialist will probably charge more, up to a few hundred dollars, but you can contact local rheumatologists, explain to them that your mother is not insured and know the situation, and ask what they would ask for a visit from office unable to answer). If she had lab tests at home, she could ask for the results and bring them.
Prescription drugs, especially drugs that are not available in the form of generic drugs, can be extremely expensive in the United States. If you are prescribed medication to cure your illness, it can be absurdly unaffordable (they may not be available at home to continue your care). Doctors often do not know how many medications are costing, but discuss with the doctor if a medication is prescribed and make sure that she can continue taking it when she returns home.