In October 2019, the US government during the Trump Administration brought about a new rule. All new immigrants who seek an entry into the US effective November 3rd 2019 need to have a US health insurance within the 30 days of the entry or a demonstrate that any unforeseen medical expenses will be covered. when they become permanent residents of the US.
The proclamation is officially effective on November 3rd 2019 and has ordered consular officers be sure applicants will be covered by good US immigrant health insurance or show they have the financial resources to pay for future medical costs. With the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, travelling has become very challenging. The new mutation of the SAR’s virus is more contagious than any other previous mutations. Having a travel insurance now to the US is necessary.
For many people, this will mean they must have new immigrant health insurance for their stay in the United States. This can be a tricky situation since, as my clients inform me, the dates for interviews can be far into the uncertain future, and, technically, there are no official rules of coverage for the insurance as yet (as compared to insurance required for the Schengen visa). Fortunately, we have many affordable US immigrant health insurance options available to new immigrants into the US. I have had many calls and emails regarding this type of insurance, so this new rule is already impacting individuals applying for a Green Card from abroad for entry into the US.
A great option, if available and affordable, is to get a global or international health insurance. These policies are not guaranteed and must go through the underwriting process of the company, but once you are approved, you will have reliable health insurance year after year. In fact, after the first year, the coverage will be what we call "major medical coverage" which will even cover wellness doctor visits and can cover pre-existing conditions (if disclosed on the application and not specifically excluded by the policies). However, you cannot be older than 64 to start on one of these policies and, if you do have a medical condition, they may not accept you on a policy. Also, you must sign up for a whole year at a time. They may allow you to cancel your policy, but that will be at the company's discretion.
Additional benefits from the global plans is you can choose to start them at a future date (and move it, if your actual arrival date into the US changes or continues to be uncertain). You can sign up to pay for them monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually. And, once you are on a plan, you are guaranteed coverage year after year even should you get some condition that requires continuous treatment. Furthermore, if you are still traveling, it will cover you anywhere in the world you go even if it is back to your home country.
If this long-term option is not a good one for you, there are, so-called, short term options also available. These are good for filling the gap between your coverage while you wait to get a job (or your job may make you wait to sign up onto their plan -- 3 months is fairly standard) or some other coverage after you get to the US. You can compare short term US visitor insurance.
The advantages to these is they are guaranteed regardless of your current health (no medical questions) and you can purchase them for less than a year if needed. You can buy a minimum of 5 days and have a policy up to a year (sometimes 364 days), but you can also extend a policy after a year. Also,you can push the dates of a policy back if you need to as long as the policy has not started yet.
The disadvantage of the plan is they do not cover pre-existing medical conditions (you can find some that cover only "acute onset" of pre-existing conditions) and exclude some conditions and diseases (maternity and HIV, as examples). Also, whatever dates you put on the policy, you must pay for immediately. You cannot make monthly payments on a plan. Payment are made with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover are most commonly accepted, some take American Express, Diner's Club, and echecks).
With any policy that you purchase, you will immediately get a confirmation email from the company with your receipt and documents for the policy. Included in the documents are ID cards for all persons on the policy and most policies will have a "visa letter" available to download as well as the long, certificate of insurance. Also, all policies are good at any doctor or hospital in any state of the US and coverage will move with you should you change your US address in the future.
We hope that we can help you get through this additional hurdle to your immigration into the US. Please call us or email us with any questions you may have. We are here to help! Hope to see you state-side soon!
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#1 Maximum Coverage is the maximum eligible medical expenses that the plan will cover.
#2 Deductible is the amount of expenses that must be paid out of pocket before an insurer will pay any expenses.
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