Visiting the US? Here’s Why You Need Travel Insurance
It’s no secret that medical care in the United States is a complicated issue, even for US citizens. So it should come as no surprise that a foreign national visiting the country should also have to take this into account, especially as the Affordable Care Act (so-called ‘Obamacare’) rolls out and impacts the system in unpredictable and often misunderstood ways.
If you or someone you love is planning a trip to the United States, you owe it to your peace of mind to know a bit about the landscape so you can plan accordingly. Of course we hope the trip will go smoothly, but the simplest, easiest way to secure your finances while traveling to the US is to purchase US Visitor Insurance or travel insurance. In the case of an emergency, you’ll be glad you did, and here are three top reasons why:
Visitors are not entitled to medical care
Unlike the United Kingdom or other European countries, medical care is not covered by taxes, and visitors are not entitled to free care. This might surprise many visitors from countries where a visit to the doctor costs nothing, and never has. So please plan accordingly.
What about the emergency room?
Visitors are expected to pay for this too. In the case of an absolute disaster, the cost of the ambulance, the emergency visit, and ultimately the cost of any long-term care, should you need it, would be billed to you if you are uninsured. Needless to say, these costs will add up quickly. Health care in the US and Canada is the most expensive in the world. A simple visit to the emergency room for some stitches can cost hundreds of dollars. A ride in the ambulance might cost a thousand or more.
Students and foreign workers can purchase domestic insurance, but consider the coverage gap
Short-term visitors to the United States will be ineligible to purchase domestic health insurance, so will want to secure US Visitor Insurance to cover the whole of their travel. However, students and foreign workers on visa will be eligible for insurance, typically through their school or employer. That noted, even students and workers on visa will want to consider travel insurance to cover any gaps between the beginning of the insurance eligibility in the United States and their date of arrival.
You might be wondering: what’s the likelihood of the US health and insurance landscape changing in the near future? Will it ever be less complicated? The answer, unfortunately, is that the system only recently received one of the largest overhauls in history, which seems to have only added to the confusion and complexity. So, foreign visitors are urged to plan accordingly.
Fortunately you don’t need to understand the often inscrutable American health insurance system to secure yourself or a loved one against financial disaster should something go wrong when they’re visiting the US. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.