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Visitor Insurance > Health insurance for H4 visa

Health Insurance for H4 Visa Holders

Family members often come from India and other countries to help their immigrant relatives for any number of reasons: to care for the elderly or very young, for example. The H4 visa is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members of those individuals holding an H-1B visa. The USCIS allows immediate family members to lawfully visit and stay in the U.S. for the same amount of time the principal family member (holding an H-1B visa) is permitted to stay.

See Health Insurance for H-1B Visa Holders for more details.

H-4 Visa Holder Rights

H-4 visa holders are not eligible to get a Social Security Number, and they cannot be employed by a U.S. company although they are allowed to study. They can, however, hold a driver’s license, open bank accounts, and get an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number for U.S. tax purposes.

When family members from outside the U.S. visit, they will need an H-4 visa to join their family and they must buy comprehensive medical insurance to cover their medical care while they are in the U.S.

H-4 Visa Holders Need Health Insurance

Not only are health care costs extremely high in the U.S., H-4 visa holders are not qualified to purchase health insurance under the U.S. health insurance marketplace. They are also not qualified for medical care under Medicare or Medicaid programs because of their foreign status.

It is essential for H-4 visa holders to have a visitors health insurance plan with adequate limits to ensure their medical emergencies, illnesses, and injuries are covered while they are in the U.S. Otherwise, they may be facing a very expensive financial mistake and even jeopardize the status of the family member who holds the H-1B visa.

A H4 visa-holder may need medical insurance coverage in any of the following situations.
  • Coverage for your travel to USA: You should consider protecting yourself from the moment you leave your home country. You may need coverage for a medical emergency while on the aircraft, for emergency evacuation, or for any emergencies that may occur while waiting for your connecting flight.

  • Coverage for medical emergencies/illnesses that occur in the USA: Coverage for things like; sudden illnesses, body aches, slips and falls, and any injuries can be covered with a comprehensive coverage visitors insurance plan.

  • Employer's Health Insurance Waiting Period: Your H1B spouse's employer may offer health insurance however, it is very common that their health insurance is not effective immediately upon arrival to the US. Additionally, depending on which US state their employer is located; the health insurance may have a waiting period before your spouse's employer-provided insurance starts covering you.

  • No family coverage : Your H1B spouse's employer may not cover family members like spouse and children who are on H4 visas.

  • Adding H4 depends may cost more : Adding depends who are on H4 visa to primary person who is on H1 Visa may increase cost and contribution from H1B's pay check.

H-4 Spouses and Insurance

If the H-4 visa holder is the spouse of the person holding an H-1B visa, their employer-based health insurance may not be effective immediately. This is true of dependent children as well.

Some employers require the employee to work for some months before their health insurance is in effect. In addition, adding a spouse and/or child or two to the H-1B visa holder’s insurance plan will be an expense that is automatically deducted from their paycheck.

Where to Buy H-4 Visa Health Insurance

People coming for the first time to the U.S. on an H-4 visa should have a visitors insurance plan adequate for covering any medical emergency they experience in the U.S. The coverage should last for at least as long as it takes the H-4 visa holder to be covered on their spouse’s employer-based plan and it should be renewable in case there is any delay in the employer coverage. The reason for this is that any gap in coverage puts the H-4 visa holder at great risk of having to pay a very expensive medical bill if they do not have coverage - even for a single day.

If you need help choosing a plan, use this simple tool:

You can get a quote and purchase a visitors insurance for H-4 visa holders online at You can get further assistance by calling toll-free 866-384-9104 and speaking with our travel health insurance experts.