Vellore Jaishankar No Comments

Many overseas citizens plan on visiting USA at any given time, they give a lot of thought in advance about getting the US visitor visa necessary to gain legal entry at the United States port of arrival, the choice of airline for flight tickets, the gifts they plan to buy their near and dear ones they are visiting in the United States, and what clothes and other personal items they need to pack for their stay while in America. But one important item in the checklist which is often commonly overlooked, is to buy visitor health insurance which they might personally need in the event they become sick or injured while in the U.S. This post discusses in detail the travel medical/health risks for anyone planning on visiting USA without a qualified visitor medical insurance plan.

The USA offers any visitor an enchanting experience with a wide choice of places to visit and sights to see. But also, it is important to remember that for the uninsured visitor, access to medical services and cost for healthcare is not going to be cheap. It widely reported on the internet that how just a 2 hour visit to the hospital emergency room in USA resulted in medical bills in excess of USD 12,000 for an uninsured person. Also, the new Affordable Care Act which was declared constitutional by the US Supreme Court in June 2012, requires all US residents to purchase and carry provide proof of health insurance coverage for themselves and their families. The same law does not clearly state if visitors to USA, to also, by mandate purchase visitor medical insurance, however many US consulates and consular missions abroad may require temporary visitors to the U.S. to be required to show proof of health insurance coverage from U.S. based health insurance providers before they will be issued a US visitor visa. Also, in terms of enforcement of the law, U.S. immigration officers at airports and other ports of entry in USA may also start randomly asking some of the visitors to USA if they are medically covered for their duration of stay.

Even if the current law does not fully mandate health insurance for visitors traveling to the U.S., the financial and medical risks associated with any travel to USA as an uninsured individual does not go away. Every uninsured visitor needs to be fully aware of all such risks, even if one chooses to visit the USA without insurance. Remember that facing catastrophic illnesses or an accident as an uninsured visitor to USA may lead to a scramble or failure to raise the much needed funds to get medical treatment and attention in the needed hour of health crisis. Many Indian, Chinese, Russian, Brazilian, Mexican and other senior citizens, such as elderly relatives or parents visiting USA for the first time or subsequently on a multiple entry US visitor visa, have a predisposition towards diabetes and high blood pressure, and this may factor to the complications and cost of medical care also.

It is always prudent to alleviate such financial and health risks due to access to medical care by purchasing a visitor medical insurance policy from a US based provider. Given the fact that with so many choices of visitor insurance plans that are very affordable, costing around a dollar a day for visitors coverage, gives a compelling reason to not carry the risks on one’s own shoulder. Visitor medical insurance plans are broadly made of fixed benefit plans, which have caps on the maximum amount of coverage for each medical condition, and a comprehensive coverage plan, which covers most medical conditions up to the selected maximum coverage. Both policy types allow its members to choose from a wide network of doctors, hospitals, laboratories, urgent care facilities, and other caregivers, or even from out of the PPO network. can help you find the best suited policy the meets your requirements and coverage needs.