The short answer is: you need health insurance to make sure you are protected from unforeseen medical costs in the US!
The long end of the answer lies in mandatory legal requirements for acquiring a US visitor visa, be it for a short trip to the US or a long-term stay abroad.
A recent proclamation by the Trump administration mandated that having the ability to pay for your own health care was a condition to acquire permanent residency within the US. This could be met with visitor visa insurance plans that cover short-term stays. Subsidized plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or other options like Medicaid did not qualify to meet this mandatory need.
Many new immigrants are not aware of the cost of medical care in the US until they experience it first handedly. Without health insurance, a simple visit to the doctor can cost a few hundred dollars, and a more serious medical emergency can cost much more.
In comparison to most other countries, medical costs in the United States are very high and are unlikely to be covered by domestic insurance from your home country. Due to this, the first step when planning a trip to the US is mitigating the risk of unforeseen medical expenses. Any trip, be it a quick two-week visit or be it a longer stay, can be met with unplanned accidents or health crisis. If you are over the age of 60, you are at a higher risk of injury and illness as well. To add to this, having pre-existing conditions is always a reason to protect yourself from a medical debacle and rather enjoy your trip in peace. Therefore, even if it is not legally required, medical insurance that will cover you while you are in the United States is effectively necessary.
In certain situations, like entering the US on a J-1 visa, you are required to show proof of travel insurance in order to obtain your visa.
Short-Term Stays are defined as anything less than a year
Any stay in the United States that is less than a year is defined as “short-term” by insurance providers. If you lived outside of the US previously and recently immigrated, a short-term policy can be a good option to ensure you have coverage until an employer plan or another type of sponsored insurance begins. With flexible options for coverage and start dates, you can get temporary insurance to suit your medical health needs.
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Short term health insurance provides medical coverage for residents and new immigrants for temporary purposes. It is available for any US resident below the age of 65, including but not limited to those who recently got their green cards and people with H-1, L-1, F-1, and J-1 visas.
Why is Getting Short Term Medical Insurance Important?
New immigrants may not be able to get health insurance upon arriving in the US for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Waiting on employment
- Waiting on Medicare
- Arrived in US after open enrollment period for Obamacare ends or missed Obamacare deadline
- Waiting to receive social security number
All of the above situations are usually limited to a brief period of time, which is why many new immigrants choose to go uninsured. It is important to factor in the huge financial risk of not having health insurance in the US.
Is Short-Term Insurance the Right Choice For you?
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