One important part of traveling abroad, especially to the USA, is to get travel health insurance. Even if you are only spending a week or two there and you are healthy, you cannot predict the future or any accidents that can happen. Health insurance for visitors to USA minimizes the cost of any medical problem or accident that can occur while traveling.
Do I Need to Get US Travel Insurance?
Technically, no. If you are traveling to the US for a short period of time, you are not required by law to have health insurance. However, the price of healthcare in the US is very high, so while medical insurance for visitors to the US is not mandatory, it is highly advisable.
Only a consultation with a doctor in the US can reach hundreds of dollars. If you have an accident and call an ambulance, the ambulance ride to the ER on its own can set you back thousands of dollars, not to mention the cost of medical treatment and hospitalization. If you do not have health insurance, you will have to cover all of the expenses yourself. And we are talking about bills that can reach tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds.
If you will stay in the United States for longer periods of time, i.e. more than six months, you can look for US health insurance options. See here the differences between travel insurance and international health insurance.
The amount of coverage depends on the specific plan that you choose. Comparison marketplaces such as Insubuy, offer affordable health insurance coverage plans for visitors in the United States.
What Does US Travel Health Insurance for Visitors Cover?
Usually, all health insurance plans for visitors to the US cover the following:
- Doctor’s visit
- Hospitalization (the cost of the hospital room)
- The cost of prescription drugs and medicine
- Surgical procedures
- Emergency services, such as the ambulance and ER
- The cost of lab tests and X-rays
- Physical therapy
The following medical procedures, however, are not included in all plans:
- Pre-existing conditions
- AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment)
Where to Find the Best Travel Health Insurance for Visitors to the United States?
One of the first things all tourists to the US have to prepare for when planning their trip is travel health insurance. The easiest way to buy travel health insurance for the US is online. Comparison marketplaces such as Insubuy allow you to easily compare different plans from the convenience of your own home.
What Is the Best Health Insurance Plan for Visitors to USA?
Here are the best health insurance plans for visitors to the United States:
- Safe Travels for Visitors to the USA.
- Visitors Care.
- Safe Travel USA Comprehensive.
- Atlas America.
- Safe Travel USA Cost Saver.
- Atlas Essential America.
- Safe Travels USA.
- Atlas Premium America.
- Patriot America Plus.
- Patriot America.
- Patriot Platinum America.
- Beacon America.
If you are unsure about these plans, you can simply use Insubuy to compare them.
How to Purchase Visitor Medical Insurance for The US?
Before you purchase a health insurance plan for visitors to the US, you have to do your research and find one that suits your needs. This means looking through different plans and carefully reading what they have to offer.
You can compare health insurance plans for tourists to the US through comparison marketplaces such as Insubuy.
When deciding which medical insurance plan to buy, you should carefully read the policy, learn how much coverage they offer and for what. See below for the things you have to keep in mind when buying visitor’s health insurance in the USA.
Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Travel Health Insurance for USA
Purchasing health insurance in the US can be tricky and confusing even for residents, let alone visitors. So, before deciding on which plan to purchase, make sure you have considered the following:
- There are health insurance policies with different amounts of coverage. They can range from $25,000 to millions of dollars in coverage. This is the maximum amount of money the insurance company will cover for your medical expenses. Naturally, policies with a higher amount of coverage will cost more.
- You have to choose a plan with a policy maximum in concurrence with the time you intend to stay in the US. So, if you are only staying for a week, the policy maximum can be smaller than if you were staying for a month or longer.
- Even if you are healthy, do not choose the cheapest visitors health insurance plan you find and call it a day. That’s because if you do need medical care during your trip to the US, a cheap health insurance policy will likely only cover a small portion of your medical bill, leaving you to shoulder the majority.
The coverage: What types of travel health insurance plans are there for visitors?
Coverage-wise, there are two types of travel health insurance plans:
- Plans with a fixed coverage
- Plans with comprehensive coverage
|Fixed coverage||Comprehensive coverage|
|For this type of health insurance plan, there is a fixed amount that the insurance company pays for every medical procedure, regardless of the cost of the procedure.
So, let’s say there’s a fixed amount of $5,000, but you had to undergo a $50,000 surgery; in this case, you will have to pay approximately $45,000 yourself, depending on the deductible.
|For this type of health insurance plan, the insurance company pays a percentage of the cost of medical procedures up to a certain amount. For any costs exceeding that amount, the company pays 100% of the costs up to the policy maximum.
(E.g: After the deductible*, the health insurance company will cover 80% – 90% of the first $5,000, then 100% of the expenses up to policy maximum).
|You have to pay a deductible every time you get sick or injured.||You have to pay a deductible only once for the entire policy.|
|They have a lower policy maximum**.||They have a higher policy maximum.|
|They are usually cheaper to purchase.||They are more expensive.|
*The deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of your own pocket for a medical procedure before the health insurance company begins covering you. For example, if you have a $2,000 deductible, you have to pay $2,000 first, then the company will begin paying.
**The policy maximum is the maximum amount that the travel health insurance policy will pay for any covered medical services or expenses. The policy maximum changes from plan to plan, and the higher it is, the higher the cost of the plan.
The price of a travel health insurance plan depends on three main factors:
- The type and amount of coverage you want. As mentioned above, comprehensive coverage plans cost more than fixed coverage. Additionally, there are plans which cover more medical procedures and/or emergencies, some can start from the day you land in the US, while others also cover you while you are travelling – so, the more coverage you want, the travel insurance plan will naturally cost more.
- The duration. The price of health insurance changes depending on the duration that you need coverage for. A one-week coverage period will be cheaper than if you were purchasing insurance for one month, for example.
- Your age. The price of all travel health insurance plans increases along with your age. Senior citizens generally have to pay more for the same amount of coverage than a younger person would. However, most health insurance companies do not offer plans with coverage for elderly visitors over the age of 69 at all. So, if your parents are coming to visit you in the US, it is necessary to find an adequate health insurance plan for elderly parents or visitors to the US.
Do not get the cheapest plan you can find! Since cheaper plans equal much less coverage, in case there’s a medical emergency, you will just end up paying a lot more from your own pocket later on.
The prices of travel health insurance are regulated in the US, so it’s not like you can find a plan for a cheaper price elsewhere.
Pre-existing conditions coverage
Not all health insurance companies in the US offer coverage for pre-existing conditions. For example, if you have diabetes, they will not cover the price of your diabetes medication while you are abroad. That’s because travel insurance is supposed to cover you only for any emergencies or incidents that happen while travelling.
However, there are several travel health insurance plans that offer coverage for the acute onset of a pre-existing condition.
Travel health insurance plans will also not offer coverage for any conditions related to pregnancy – at least, not to what would be considered a “normal pregnancy”. So, if you give birth, go for a check-up, or get assistance for things such as morning sickness while you are in the US, you will have to cover the cost of your medical bill yourself.
There are, however, some plans which offer travel insurance with coverage for pregnancy complications, but even so, the coverage is limited.