There are many reasons why someone might visit the United States. Whether its for a job or to attend college, the process of becoming a citizen or visiting overseas relatives, there are certain considerations that must be taken before embarking on a trip to the United States.

In addition to planning the transportation, lodging and trip itinerary, visitors should consider purchasing insurance to cover any sudden and unexpected medical expenses that could come up. A lack of travel health insurance can result in incredibly high bills for an injury or illness, and even more exorbitant costs for situations like a hospital stay, surgery or emergency medical evacuation.

Insurance for visitors helps ensure that those coming to the United States from abroad can access health services at nearby medical facilities without worrying about the cost. Lets take a closer look at this type of health insurance plan, what it can cover and who should consider travel health insurance for their next trip to the U.S.

Who needs insurance for visitors?

As suggested in the name, were discussing a type of short-term travel health insurance that helps to cover medical expenses for people visiting the United States. There are different situations in which people may find this kind of policy beneficial:

  1. A short-term vacation: Non-U.S. citizens take trips to the States from abroad all the time, including to visit relatives who live there. Visitors traveling to the U.S. for a short-term trip should secure a visitors insurance policy to help guard against the costs of medical or travel emergencies.
  2. Students attending school in the U.S.: About 5% of all students enrolled in American colleges and universities are international students. These individuals should carry student health insurance during the time that they spend studying abroad in the U.S.
  3. Those visiting with a Visa: Individuals that come to the U.S. with a J1 Visa—including for an exchange program, government training, education or scholarly research, and for camp counselor, au pair and other job positions—will also need insurance for visitors in addition to their Visa documentation.
  4. New immigrants and Green Card holders: In addition to those with J1 Visas, other travelers beginning the immigration process, or those that already hold Green Cards, can benefit from insurance for visitors. These policies can help provide coverage before a government or employer health insurance plan kicks in.
  5. Even U.S. citizens&emdash;in specific situations: U.S. citizens that now live outside the country may need insurance for visitors if they decide to take a short trip back to the States. This situation can be a bit complex, but you can read more about it here.

What does insurance for visitors cover?

As you can see above, there are an array of different types of policies to suit a variety of travelers needs. Whether visitors are coming for a short trip to visit family abroad, or have secured work or an educational opportunity, there is a health insurance plan available for your international travel needs.

The coverage provided will vary depending on the exact policy and provider. However, the purpose of these insurance plans is to help cover medical expenses, like those related to an injury or illness, or, in some cases, the acute onset of pre-existing conditions. Coverage may be limited to a specific PPO network, where the provider offers a list of doctors and hospitals where insurance can be used. Some plans provide benefits like specific coverage for urgent care visits or cruise trips, and some policies may even offer limited trip insurance that covers things like the loss of a passport.

With health insurance specifically for visitors, policyholders can head to the nearest hospital or doctors office (within their PPO network, should it apply) and show their insurance card. From there, visitors can receive the medical service or assistance they need and request an itemized bill for the services provided. After documenting this claim form, policyholders can be reimbursed for covered medical services through their insurance provider. Check out this page to learn more about how insurance for visitors works.

Whether you're venturing outside your home country to the U.S. for a job opportunity, for higher education, to see relatives or simply for leisure, its best not to embark on international travel without the right health insurance plan.

Connect with us at VisitorsCoverage today to learn more about purchasing the best trip and travel insurance coverage for your specific needs.