Very often visitors to the United States have a check-list of things to cover when planning their trip. One of the most important factors is to ensure you have travel medical insurance to protect you from unforeseen emergencies.

We have answered the most frequently asked questions when you are considering purchasing travel medical insurance so that you have all your queries addressed to make the right choices.

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Can visitors get health insurance in the US?

Yes, visitors can get health insurance in the USA. Not only is it easily available but also highly recommended since the medical costs in the USA are very high.

Is travel insurance mandatory to enter into the USA?

No, travel insurance is not a prerequisite to enter the US. However, given the exorbitant medical costs in the US it is highly recommended that everyone visiting the US for a temporary period purchase visitors travel insurance. Temporary visitors coming on a H, J or F visa will have to get medical insurance coverage once they come in. They can either buy it themselves or get it from their school or employer.

How much does it cost to buy travel insurance for the USA?

Travel medical insurance generally costs approximately 4%-10% of the cost of your trip and can cover medical emergencies, lost passport and missing luggage among other things. However, the cost is not the only determining factor when buying travel medical insurance. Duration, ages of the insured as well as the pre-existing health conditions are also important. Use the trip calculator for an estimate of your trip costs.

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Is an Emergency care visit at a hospital free service in the USA ?

No emergency costs are not free in the US. Once you are triaged, you will be expected to pay for the ambulance ride, treatment, medicines as well as any subsequent stay. Without medical insurance, this can be anywhere from $150 a day to several thousand dollars.

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Can Visitors to the USA get free medical care?

No, visitors to the US are not eligible for free medical care. Medical expenses in the US are exorbitant and with medical costs ranging anywhere from $250 to $250,000 for a single treatment or hospital stay, it is highly recommended to get travel medical insurance before visiting the USA.

Do foreign visitors need to pay for medical services in the US? 

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Yes, medical services are not free in the US and all foreign visitors are expected to pay for any medical services.

 Is ambulance service free in the US?

No, ambulance services are not free in the US. If you access an ambulance for a trip to the hospital, you will be charged for it. This can range anywhere between $100 to $1000. It is highly recommended to have health insurance that can help with these costs.

Do you need a prescription to buy medicine in the USA? 

Yes, you need a prescription for most medical narcotics from a licensed doctor. However, you may get general medicines from Over-The-Counter and non-drug capsules in most grocery stores. Buying medicines online is illegal and prohibited by law.

Find Out: Does trip insurance cover prescription medication?

Can you get medicine via mail / courier from your home country?

You may get your prescription medication mailed or couriered to you from your home country provided it is sent by a licensed medical professional with proper documentation. This should include –

  • A prescription (in English);

  • Letter from your doctor endorsing that these medicines are for your own personal use;

  • A copy of your visa/passport