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Do You Need Travel Insurance for the United States?

Do You Need Travel Insurance for the United States?

Do You Need Travel Insurance for the United States?
Visitors & Travel Medical Insurance
Covers medical expenses during your international trip.
Trip Insurance
Covers the cost of travel cancellation, CFAR, and more.
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Find the best travel insurance for the United States

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The United States is full of opportunities and exciting experiences for visitors. Reputed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, the U.S. has the largest economy in the world and is home to world-class cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

Whether you're headed for the hustle and bustle of New York City or the laid-back beaches of Hawaii, here's what you need to know before you travel to the U.S.

Travel insurance is strongly recommended for the United States

If you're planning on visiting the United States for a short period of time, you won't need travel insurance. However, if you're applying for a visa or planning on staying past 90 days, you may need to purchase travel insurance as part of the requirements for the visa.

Although travel insurance generally isn't required, one of the few downsides of traveling to the United States is the notoriously high cost of healthcare. Your domestic medical insurance won't cover you when you are touring the U.S. If you incur an injury or illness while in the United States, travel insurance for the U.S. could save you from facing debt-inducing medical fees.

COVID-19 in the United States

Some states have lower levels and can be relatively safe, while others may have higher Covid levels. It's best to check the regional and state official websites for the most up-to-date information on the Covid risk in your desired destination. If you decide to travel to the United States, here are some Covid safety precautions to take.

As of early November, the U.S. has opened its land borders to fully vaccinated travelers. Travelers from the European Union, China, Iran, Brazil and India will be able to the enter the United States, as long as they can provide both proof of vaccination and a negative Covid test taken within one day of their U.S.-bound flight.

In light of the Omicron strain of Covid, the U.S. currently restricts travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi. This means that people traveling from those countries, regardless of their vaccination status are not allowed to enter the U.S. The ban does not currently apply to U.S. citizens. The Centers for Disease Control has raised its travel advisory alert level to its highest level for each of these African countries. This means that the country's leading health authority recommends that all U.S. citizens and permanent residents avoid travel to these countries.

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Health & safety

When traveling through the United States, it's a good idea to be aware of cultural norms in the regions in which you are traveling. Different states and cities can have very different ways of dressing, speaking and interacting.

Some cities will have areas where it is unsafe to walk after dark, particularly if you are a woman. Be sure to research the area where you are traveling, in order to learn if there are areas to be avoided. It is more common for Americans to carry guns in the Southern states and rural areas. If someone seems particularly hot-headed or upset, it is best not to provoke them in case they have a gun.

Medical expenses in the United States are extremely high compared to other nations. If you are staying for an extended period of time or are over the age of 60, you are at a higher risk of injury and illness. Therefore, even if it is not legally required, medical insurance that will cover you while you are in the United States is important.

Necessary vaccinations

Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before your trip. Here are some common vaccination recommendations for the United States.

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
  • Polio
  • Meningitis
  • COVID-19
  • Hepatitis A
  • Shingles
  • Rabies
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pneumonia

For the most up-to-date information on required vaccinations and other health requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Visas & Documentation

If you are a U.S. citizen, all you need to enter the country is your passport. If you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda visiting the United States for tourism or vacation reasons, you also do not need a visa and only need your passport.

If you are from any other country or planning to work or study while in the United States, then you must enter with a visa and your passport. The type of visa you need may vary depending on what country you come from and what you plan to do while in the U.S. Exchange Visitor Visa J is designed for certain teachers, professors, summer work travelers and other programs, and is the only U.S. visa that requires applicants to secure travel medical insurance for their stay in the United States. However, travel insurance is a good idea for anyone entering the U.S.

For more information on visa and immigration requirements, check out expert visitor and immigration resource, Path2USA. We also recommend purchasing medical insurance that will cover you while you are in the United States, as medical costs are unusually high in the U.S.

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