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Medical Insurance For New Immigrants to USA Thumbnail

Medical Insurance For New Immigrants to USA

Making the decision to immigrate to the U.S. can be both exciting and overwhelming. It is important to keep in mind there are several requirements for the immigrant who has or is trying to obtain a green card. One of the most important aspects to consider is what kind of health insurance will be right for you specific situation.

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Under the Affordable Care Act, most residents of the U.S. are required to obtain a health insurance policy. An immigrant can find themselves in one of four unique situations which will impact what policy is right for them.

Situations that impact medical insurance for new immigrants to USA

U.S. green card

1. Green card holders who frequently travel between the U.S. and their home country

Many green card holders don’t permanently reside in the U.S. Typically these immigrants travel to the U.S. every six months to a year. If this is your situation, you are required to obtain health insurance, but you have a few options to choose from. You would need to either purchase an immigrant or visitor’s plan which satisfies eligibility criteria.

2. Green card holders who permanently live in the U.S.

If you are a current green card holder and you have lived in the U.S for a long time or spend most of your time here, you may be required to obtain an insurance policy. If you are below 65 years of age, you can consider domestic insurance policies. If you are above 65 years of age you may be eligible for a U.S. state or federal supported health program such as Medicare.

3. New immigrant/ recent card holder

For those immigrants who have recently obtained their green card and will be going to the U.S. soon, you should consider short-term insurance plans. These are ideal because the provide temporary coverage while traveling and settling in. Temporary short term insurance plans are also the best option if you have your green card and have just arrived to the U.S.

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4. In the process of getting green card

If you are visiting the U.S. on a visitor’s visa and your family has applied for a family sponsored card, you will be considered a visitor until your card is processed and issued. While you are waiting for processing, you are eligible for any number of visitor health insurance plans.

No matter what situation applies to you, it is important to make sure you are always covered. If you are interested in medical insurance for new immigrants to USA or want more information on international travel insurance, visit Overseas Health online or call one of our insurance experts at (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 today.

7 Things to do in America Thumbnail

7 Things to do in America

If you are planning a trip to the United States anytime in the near future, you’re probably thinking of all of the sites you want to see. Here is a list to help you narrow your search down.

1) Walk the Las Vegas Strip

This world famous attraction is sure to be one of the most beautiful sights you will behold in your lifetime. Make your way down Las Vegas Boulevard while taking in the city lights and sipping a cocktail. And remember– what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

2) See the Grand Canyon

Experience this gorgeous wonder of nature first hand in a variety of ways. You can see the mile deep crater via bus, helicopter, raft, kayak or mule. While travel medical insurance should be on your radar with any trip abroad, you want to make not to skip it if choosing one of the more extreme tour options.

3) Celebrate Mardis Gras

Fat Tuesday is an American carnival festivity, taking place in New Orleans before Ash Wednesday. Originally, this festival was meant to allow Christians one more night of eating rich foods before Lent. It has moved passed it’s religious roots, and is now a unique southern celebration for everyone to take part in.

4) Visit Walt Disney World

Located in beautiful Orlando, Florida, this family friendly attraction is perfect for any visitors looking for wholesome fun. See Mickey, Minnie, Snow White, the Seven Dwarves, and every other Disney character you grew up with!

5) Watch American Football

This sport may not be 100 percent exclusive to the United States, but it’s called “American Football” for a reason. Only in the U.S. with you experience the level of enthusiasm and excitement fans have for the sport.

6) Visit a gun range

For better or worse, the United States has some of the loosest gun restrictions of any first world country. If you’re from a nation that does not allow its citizens access to firearms, visiting a gun range in the United States may allow you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fire a weapon.

7) Visit Alcatraz

Often referred to as “The Rock”, this infamous federal prison was in operation from 1934 to 1963. It developed a reputation for being “escape proof”, and housing some of America’s most notorious criminals.  Al Capone, George “Machine-Gun” Kelly, Alvin Karpis (the first “Public Enemy #1”), and Arthur “Doc” Barker all called Alcatraz home at some point in their lives.

At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance as easy to obtain as as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.


Coming to Study in the US? What You Need to Know First Thumbnail

Coming to Study in the US? What You Need to Know First

The choice to study abroad in the United States is both exciting and nerve racking. Of course the best way to learn about a culture is to be fully immersed in it, including (but not limited to) food, transportation, fashion, and finances. As you’re probably aware, the United States is quite different from other countries in all of those aspects. To adjust a little quicker upon arrival, familiarize yourself with a few key pieces of information about American culture before leaving your home country.

Social Settings

Completely uprooting yourself from your friends and family will no doubt be difficult, but the friends you will make during your time abroad will last a lifetime. To make this process a little easier, brush up on your conversational English skills. Jumping out of your comfort zone and into a conversation is much less intimidating when you speak the language semi-fluently. Try first making friends with some of the other international students, then enlarging your circle of friends together.


The importance of driving a vehicle varies by country, and it is extremely important in the United States. Having the knowledge and ability to move freely on their own schedule is a facet of the American culture. Though the driving system in your home country will likely differ from that in the U.S., at least knowing how to operate and maintain a vehicle will be extremely useful during your time abroad. You never know what sort of situation you will be in — it’s best to be prepared for anything.


Though there are a ton of dining options in any given area of the U.S., knowing how to cook a couple staple dishes from your home country is not a bad idea. Not only will it silence a bit of the homesickness you may experience, but it’ll also help in your venture to make new friends. Suggest a potluck in which everyone brings a dish from their home country!

Hopefully these tidbits of knowledge will help your transition to into American culture much smoother. Aside from the above factors, keep in mind that the medical system is also quite different and oftentimes confusing for citizens and visitors alike. Because you never know what you’ll encounter on your time away from home, being prepared by having travel medical insurance is your best bet for a flawless study period. For more information on travel insurance plans, get in touch with Insurance Services of America by calling (800) 647-4589.

Traveling to the States from Canada: What Canadian Citizens Should Do Before They Leave Thumbnail

Traveling to the States from Canada: What Canadian Citizens Should Do Before They Leave

While they may be a part of the same continent and share a border, Canada and the United States are completely different countries with unique entry requirements. It can be tricky to know all of the things that Canadian citizens need to do before entering the USA, which is why it is important to be aware of the following tips that can help make your time in America as efficient and stress free as possible. Here are some valuable things to keep in mind when heading south from Canada into the U.S.

Have your documents ready

If traveling to the United States by air, you will be required to show officials your Canadian passport or Air NEXUS card upon leaving the country. If entering the U.S. by land or sea, prepare to show your Canadian passport, NEXUS card, enhanced driver’s license or ID card, FAST/EXPRES or SENTRI card. These documents prove that you are legally allowed to enter the United States and will dictate how long you can stay in America, typically for up to six months.

Look into where you are visiting

Before embarking on your trip, look into the area where you will be visiting. With so many bad neighborhoods in most U.S. cities, it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Since America has a much higher crime rate compared to Canada, it is wise to keep all doors locked and to ensure that the area where you are staying is located in a good neighborhood.

Secure health insurance

Nothing is worse than having a medical emergency while traveling overseas without health insurance. For any trip out of the country, it is imperative that you purchase health insurance to ensure that you are protected from any medical emergency away from home. Take the time to find the appropriate coverage for your needs to stay safe while spending time in a foreign country.

By keeping these helpful tips in mind, you can travel safely to the United States from Canada. For more information on overseas health insurance, contact Insurance Services of America today at (800) 647-4589.

Things to Remember Before Traveling to the US Thumbnail

Things to Remember Before Traveling to the US

For many people visiting America for the first time, it can be difficult to learn all of the customs and traditions of U.S. life prior to your arrival. With so many different races, genders and personality types, it’s important to know a few vital pieces of information that could help you feel more comfortable in a foreign land. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when spending time in the United States, ensuring that you have a great stay and don’t offend anyone.

Expect to pay a little more

Two terms that begin with the letter “T” should be expected during nearly every monetary transaction you make in America. Don’t be caught off guard if you see tax or tip included in your bill, these are common additions that should be expected on every receipt or transaction you make.

TSA is no joke

While it isn’t smart to joke around at any airport, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not tolerate any kind of funny business or game playing. Try to keep the bomb jokes to yourself, or if you have to tell somebody, wait until you have landed and are away from security to share your thoughts.

Be prepared for stares

Americans are typically very friendly, but many have never left the states and could have problems understanding your foreign accent. Try to be patient and enunciate everything, or do what many visitors do when they enter the United States: adopt an American accent.

Use your phone sparingly

When spending time in another country, a good tip for saving money on unnecessary expenses is to cut back on how frequently you use your phone. While free WiFi may be available at some locations, don’t rely on this for everything. Anticipate spending money on roaming fees anytime you make a call, so ease up on the browsing until you find a spot to do so safely and free of charge.

These travel tips will help you make the most of your next trip to the United States. For more information on international travel insurance, contact Insurance Services of America today at (800) 647-4589.

Why You Should Consider Holiday Travel Insurance for Your Cruise Thumbnail

Why You Should Consider Holiday Travel Insurance for Your Cruise

If you are taking a cruise anytime in the near future, you should consider making holiday travel insurance a part of your travel plans. Travel insurance can protect you from many of the unexpected events that can occur during your trip, and give you the peace of mind to relax during your vacation. Here are just a few reasons you should consider securing travel insurance before your next cruise.

Trip interruption

If an unexpected event such as bad weather or mechanical issues brings your cruise to an abrupt end, you may find yourself disembarking at the next port of call. While the cruise line may assist passengers during events such as this, travel insurance will reimburse you for out of pocket expenses that the cruise line doesn’t cover. You’ll avoid the hassle of being stuck waiting around for a cruise line to book hotels and flights home for thousands of passengers in the same position as you.

Trip cancellation

When unexpected events force you to cancel your vacation, the cruise line may not refund the cost of your trip depending on how close it is. Even if you are refunded some amount, there are typically cancellation penalties associated with doing so. Holiday travel insurance can cover you in cases such as this, ensuring that you receive near full reimbursement.

Trip delay/missed connection

There are many reasons a flight can get delayed, from harsh weather, to mechanical issues, to everything in between. You shouldn’t be penalized for delayed flights or missed connections that are out of your control. If you miss boarding you cruise liner because of travel delays, travel insurance will cover the expenses associated with either rescheduling or refunding your trip.

Medical expenses/emergency evacuation

It’s always a good idea to have some form of medical coverage when traveling outside of the country. Whether you wind up with something as simple as the flu or as serious as a broken bone, you don’t want to be saddled with the out of pockets costs associated with emergency medical treatments. With more serious health threats, such as heart attack or stroke, the ships sick bay may not be able to treat you. If the next port of call is too far away, a medevac may be the only means of preventing loss of life.

At Insurance Services of America, we put over 40 years of experience to good use by making holiday travel insurance easy to obtain. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 today to learn more.

Spending A Semester Abroad In America? Here’s What To Pack Thumbnail

Spending A Semester Abroad In America? Here’s What To Pack

As with any extended trip, it’s important to properly prepare yourself with enough luggage to last the duration of your time away from home. For university students, it can be tricky to know exactly what you will need for the entire time you will be studying abroad. To help you cut down on clutter and pack only the essential items, here are some helpful tips on how to pack for a semester abroad in the United States.

General packing tips

To begin planning for your trip, make a list of everything you think you will need during your time in the U.S. Next, remove the items from the list that you will be able to purchase once enter the United States. While it’s smart to be prepared for everything, you won’t want to lug around unnecessary items during your stay.


Most university students dress in a casual manner when attending classes or walking around campus. With a majority of people donning jeans, t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts, don’t worry about dressing to impress on the first day of courses. Additionally, look into the weather habits of the region where you are studying to properly prepare for any excessive rain or snow while you are there.

Electronic devices

Since most electrical outlets differ from country to country, look into bringing both a power adapter and a converter with you on your travels to America. Converters will change the electrical voltage for safe use, while a power adapter will allow you to plug the devices from your country into American outlets. These helpful tools can prolong the life of your electronic devices and will prevent you from blowing a fuse in your room.


To ensure your medications make it safely with you to your final destination, have a doctor sign off on a list of all the prescriptions you currently take. This will reduce the risk of having to explain why you have drugs in your bag to TSA officers. Additionally, make sure to bring extra medications and replacements for important items like eyeglasses and contact lenses. It also couldn’t hurt having a copy of your eyeglasses prescription in case of emergency.

By taking the time to detail exactly what you need when studying abroad in the United States, you will be properly prepared for just about anything during your time at university. For more information on travel medical insurance, contact Insurance Services of America today at (800) 647-4589.

Tips for First Time Visitors to the USA Thumbnail

Tips for First Time Visitors to the USA

America is often considered the land of the free and the home of the brave. While it certainly takes a brave person to visit the United States for the first time, you will find that the freedoms found in America make it one of the most unique and fascinating countries in the world. Like any other location, there are some things to be aware of when visiting the USA for the first time. Here are some tips that will help you fit in with Americans and enable you to have the best possible trip to the United States.

Try not to get offended

American citizens have a tendency to communicate with friends and even strangers in a very frank and informal manner. Don’t be alarmed if someone says something insulting or rude upon first meeting, since American’s usually talk to each other in an informal and joking style. Don’t get offended by anything you hear at a restaurant or on the street, it is likely that they aren’t talking to you or didn’t mean to provoke you.

When in doubt, tip

Unlike some other countries around the world, the United States is a tip-centric culture. Since tips are generally a major portion of the paychecks of many Americans, this means that you should be prepared to pay an extra dollar or two when dining out, enjoying drinks or having your car parked.

Don’t be alarmed by measurements

On of the quirkier aspects of the United States is a stubbornness and unwillingness to adapt the same measurements used in a majority of countries across the globe. While you may be used to seeing meters and kilograms in your country, prepare yourself for the onslaught of pounds, inches and miles that are used as measurements in America.

Prepare your electronic devices

In the United States, the standard electrical current is 120V, with 60V alternating current. If the electronic devices in your country utilize a different voltage, you will probably need an adapter to charge or use your high tech gadgets.

Upon landing in the United States, you will find that America is no different from any other country. It might take a little while to learn all of the customs of American life, but being aware of these helpful tips can offer a solid starting point to ensure a fun and exciting trip to the USA. For more information on overseas health insurance, contact Insurance Services of America today.

Coming to the United States? Travel Health Insurance and Regular Care Thumbnail

Coming to the United States? Travel Health Insurance and Regular Care

If you or someone you know is planning to visit the United States, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. This article will help bring into focus one important aspect of your travel planning. Before you or your loved one leaves for the United States, be sure to do your research on international health insurance for non-US citizens. To start, we’ll help you cut through one of the most common myths regarding travel insurance in the U.S.

Routine Care Not Covered

You may be surprised to learn that routine care in the United States is not covered by the typical travel health insurance plan. If you are worried about getting physicals, vaccines or routine check-ups while in the United States, you might want to find appropriate coverage. A good plan is to schedule a regular check-up with your doctor before you depart.

Why Isn’t Regular Care Covered?

The short answer is cost. Premiums for travel health insurance would rise steeply if these plans covered routine care. The premiums are reasonable now, but if the plans covered flu shots and everyone took advantage of that, costs would skyrocket.

So What Good is Travel Insurance?

International health insurance for non-US citizens is still an absolute necessity for any international traveler looking to protect their health and finances. Travel health insurance exists to cover you should you have a sudden illness or need emergency care.

If you’re coming to the United States, you’ve got two options for medical care: pay out of pocket or purchase travel health insurance that provides coverage for medical issues that arise. Be warned, pre-existing conditions aren’t typically covered, so take this into consideration when shopping for insurance. When you’re deciding whether to accept the risk of paying out of pocket for unexpected medical care, know this: medical treatment in the United States is among the most expensive in the world. The care is good, but it’s costly.

Talk to the Experts

Securing international health insurance for non US citizens can be complex, but the process doesn’t need to be a hassle. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an expert in international insurance to protect yourself against a financial disaster. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as ready, set, renew. Call us today at (800) 647-4589 to learn more about quality travel health insurance.

What Pregnant Women Should Know About Travel Health Insurance Thumbnail

What Pregnant Women Should Know About Travel Health Insurance

It is a common and safe practice for women to travel during pregnancy, depending on where their stage of pregnancy and the state of their overall health. For many, as soon as they get the doctor’s OK, they start packing their bags. This can be a welcome get away for those expecting, but without proper planning, your vacation can end up costing a lot more than airfare.

More common than you think 

For one pregnant woman, having her baby prematurely in a foreign country turned into an economic nightmare. A Saskatchewan woman prematurely gave birth to her daughter while on vacation, resulting in a $950,000 hospital bill. Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel was six months pregnant when she went into labor while on vacation in Hawaii. She spent six weeks in the hospital before her daughter was born, and her travel insurance provider refused to pay the bill on the grounds of a “pre-existing condition.”

Carefully read your policy

The so-called “Million Dollar Baby” case had insurance providers and lawyers strongly emphasizing the need for people to better understand the fine print in their insurance policies. In addition, even if the medical costs of the mother are covered, many insurance policies do not cover the costs of caring for the newborn. This could prove a very important policy detail if you are traveling to the U.S.

Do your research

Policy stipulations, such as pre-existing conditions or requirements that a patient be “medically stable” during the 90 days leading up to departure, can be confusing. It may be wise to ask your insurer for a print-out of all exclusions including pre-existing conditions. Discuss this list with your doctor to determine if you are at risk of incurring ineligible expenses. Ask questions about your health insurance policy, and get the details in writing.

Many visitors to the U.S. turn to health insurance for non U.S. citizens. These insurance plans, specifically for travelers, can help fill the gaps left by your tradition health insurance, so you can travel abroad without financial worry. 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.