Since the announcement that new immigrants into the US should not impose a burden on the healthcare system of the US by President Trump on October 4, 2019, we have seen the calls, emails and general inquiries for visitor insurance, particularly for new immigrants explode! While the proclamation seems to apply only for persons seeking permanent resident status (an eventual “green card”), it seems that consulates all over the world, particularly in Latin America, are applying the rule for even tourist entry.
Citizens of many countries have to obtain a visa and have an interview for even a pleasure trip into the US. It seems many people are being required to show proof of insurance for their time in the US.
Fortunately, here at American Visitor Insurance, we sell private insurance that will cover a person’s unforeseen medical situations while they are here in the US. Whether you are a new immigrant or a short-term tourist, you can find the best coverage for USA to fit your needs and budget. Plans will produce a “visa letter” which will list out the coverage of the plan and is considered an official document even though you print it out yourself. It is included or accessible immediately after your purchase in the confirmation email you get after your purchase is complete.
In order to sign up for any of our visitor insurance, you should use a foreign address as your “home” or “residence” address. Until you have a green card in hand, a foreign address can be your official residence. You will have to give your name, date of birth, and a passport number.While the passport number is technically not required for the insurance, it often prints out on the visa letter and can help your whole immigration or visa process. Note that you can purchase a plan a few months in advance of your trip. We usually recommend to purchase the plan after you have your plane ticket and travel dates set, but this may not be possible for someone still trying to get a visa. However, we can help you change the dates (push the date back or forward) as long as the plan has not already begun. You can purchase up to 364 days of a plan and can generally renew a plan after that time. If you must show the consulate you have the full 364 days covered, you will have to pay for them up-front. There is no way to set up monthly payments for a visitor plan.
There is a monthly payment option if you choose to purchase a global medical insurnace. These are excellent plans as long as you are under 65 years of age and without pre-existing medical conditions. Unlike the visitor plans, these are not guaranteed and you will have to fill out an extensive medical questionnaire. The company may accept you on the plan or reject your application (in particular if you have a pre-existing medical condition). You may be asked to provide medical information from your doctors and the application process can take a couple weeks depending on how busy the company is. However, on the plus side, once you are accepted on the plan, you are guaranteed coverage year after year regardless of any changes in your health. In other words, you cannot be denied coverage later if you get sick. However, you must fill out the medical application honestly and completely.
Once you have a green card in hand, then green card health insurance plans for you do become limited, but you still have options until you qualify for an employer plan, medicare, or medicaid even if those options are years down the road for you.
Don’t despair and don’t change your plans! The new hurdles for immigrants are not insurmountable and we are here to help you get the coverage you need so we can see you State-side soon!
As always, we wish you safe and happy travels!
#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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