Are you planning to move to the United States? If so, regardless of a permanent or temporary move, travel medical insurance will ensure that you’re covered in any event while you are enjoying your time in the U.S. Imagine traveling to your dream destination and not being able to make the most out of it because you became ill or injured and the treatment ended up costing you a fortune without coverage. For this reason, it is recommended to travel to the U.S. only with sufficient travel health insurance for USA visitors.
Below are some tips to help you choose the ideal travel medical insurance plan when moving to the U.S.:
If Traveling to the U.S. Temporarily Before Moving, Choose Tourist Health Insurance for US
Before moving to the United States permanently, you may want to travel and experience life in the U.S. before committing. When you visit the U.S. before actually moving, it is highly recommended to purchase a travel medical insurance policy before you embark to protect you overseas in the event that you become ill or injured on your trip. Even if you are initially moving on a visitors visa or non-immigrant status before you receive permanent status, you can purchase a visitors insurance policy for your initial stay in the U.S. until you acquire a more permanent medical coverage plan.
Check for Eligibility
You may be eligible for domestic health care plans as soon as you have established permanent residency and/or have a social security number. To view your options, visit the Healthcare Marketplace at HealthCare.gov. The homepage will prompt you to first enter your state of residency in order to navigate you to your local state domestic healthcare provider website. Also, you can check with your local Social Security Administration office to check for eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid (insurance available based on income requirements).
Green card holders under the age of 65 are eligible for domestic healthcare plans after holding their green card for 6 months. Green card holders ages 65 and above have to wait 5 years in order to apply for Medicare. Medicare is a domestic healthcare plan for senior citizens in the U.S. (65+ years of age).
Not Eligible? Heres Plan B.
If you are not yet eligible for domestic healthcare plans, then you can purchase a short-term travel medical insurance policy until you are eligible. Short-term tourist health insurance for US policies are available to those who are eligible for domestic healthcare plans (permanent residence, long-term work visa holders, U.S. citizens and others) but are awaiting enrolling in a domestic healthcare plan. This is especially helpful for H1B visa holders who first enter the US and aren’t yet eligible to enroll in their employer’s healthcare benefits. In this case, it is best to enroll in a travel medical insurance policy until you become eligible for your employer’s insurance to ensure that you are covered at all times while in the U.S.
Short-term policies are only available for a short period of time, varying from 3 months to a year. These policies are designed like travel medical insurance policies in that they only cover unexpected illnesses, sicknesses, or injuries that may occur. Once you are eligible and able to enroll in a domestic healthcare plan, it is in your best interest to do so since domestic healthcare plans offer the most coverage.
Do Visas Require Proof of Insurance?
Although there was a previous rule put into place in 2019 by the Trump administration requiring immigrant visa holders to show proof of obtaining health insurance, this rule was revoked by Biden in 2021. This means that proof of health insurance is not a requirement any longer. However, it is strongly recommended for those entering the U.S. on a visa to purchase a visitors insurance plan due to the very expensive medical costs in the United States, especially for older visitors traveling to the U.S. on a visitor visa.
Stick a Long-Term Policy (Domestic Healthcare Plan)
Make sure that once you are eligible for a domestic/long-term policy, that you enroll. Travel medical insurance is not an alternative to domestic healthcare plans – instead, it is an option for those who are not yet eligible for domestic plans since they are in the US for a temporary period.
While every resident or citizen can still enroll in a domestic healthcare plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they will not face tax penalties when filing taxes in the US if they do not. This alteration to the ACA policy is applicable beginning January 1, 2019.
Traveling for Leisure? No Problem!
After moving to the U.S., if you travel outside of the country for leisure or business, you can purchase a travel medical insurance policy as well. Travel medical insurance policies will cover you anywhere outside of your home country, once your home country is the U.S.
Its time to pack your bags and get on that flight. You have nothing to worry about once you are covered with travel medical insurance. Its time to meet new people, see new places and learn new things. If you can get your safety covered first, then you are ready for take off. At VisitorsCoverage, we want to make sure you step into your destination with the right foot.
Compare plans and purchase your travel health insurance plan today!