Getting granted an H-1B visa brings the excitement of a new start, a new environment, and a wonderful opportunity to start one’s life abroad. While working on an H-1B visa is undoubtedly life-changing, it can also bring some uncertain in the event of losing your job whether it be termination or layoffs.
Major layoffs have been abundant in recent times, which is why many H-1B visa holders have been affected. There are over 500,000 foreign high-skilled workers on an H-1B visa in the US who are largely dependent upon their employers for health insurance for themselves and their families. Losing your employment will most certain bring up the question of what to do for health insurance coverage while in limbo between jobs or immigration status. While COBRA, Medicaid and ACA will be applicable to US citizens, H-1B visa holders may not be eligible. So, what are your options for health insurance as an H-1B holder?
Health Insurance for H1B Visa Holders in the US
It is a known fact that medical costs in the US can be exorbitant. Trying to pay these costs from your own pocket without having health insurance can cost you a fortune. This is exacerbated if you have pre-existing medical conditions and need constant care. Did you know that 60% of all bankruptcies are due to medical costs because of the lack of health insurance coverage?
Approximate Expense For A Medical Emergency Without Health Insurance
How does the temporary foreign worker on an H-1B visa tackle medical insurance without having a job, especially since their employer likely sponsors their medical insurance as well? Since this unique visa situation for many temporary workers does not allow them to access the domestic health insurance offered by the state, we have outlined some alternative health insurance options for H-1B visa holders.
Travel Medical Insurance for H1B Holders
When an H-1B visa holder is uninsured through their employer, they are vulnerable to exorbitant medical expenses. Buying a travel medical insurance policy is a great option that can provide coverage for anywhere between 5 to 364 days. Not only is travel medical insurance one of the most inexpensive options available, it covers any new medical condition as well.
Looking for a Medical Insurance Plan as an H-1B Visa Holder?
Here’s a list of affordable travel medical insurance plans that will fit your needs
Seven Corners Travel Medical USA Visitor Basic, for example, is a basic insurance plan that covers urgent care and the acute onset of pre-existing conditions.
Depending on the policy type and duration chosen, plans like these cover hospitals stays, diagnostic tests, therapy and certain medications. It is advisable to read your policy brochure in detail and talk with your insurance provider to verify all information pertaining to your insurance plan before purchasing.
Short-Term Health Insurance for H1B
Another great option is buying short-term health insurance. It provides coverage between 30 days to a maximum of 180 days. Although slightly more expensive than travel medical insurance, short-term health insurance plans have the advantage of catering to different budget options, with deductible and copay options.
Need a Short-Term Insurance Plan?
Here’re a list of your best options
Safe Travels USA Comprehensive is a great short-term health insurance plan which covers all medical costs 100% after the deductible is met and also provides coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions. This is an ideal choice for H-1B visa holders who might need a health insurance plan right away.
If you are on an H-1B visa and have lost your job recently or are unsure about the future of your job in the current economic climate, you have enough to worry about. Getting a health insurance plan to protect yourself and your family should be one less thing to worry about. Talk to an insurance agent to clarify the policy details to ensure you have a suitable plan today!