Is health insurance mandatory for visitors to the US? 

Is health insurance mandatory for visitors to the US?

Visitors to the US are not required to carry health insurance by law, but it is highly recommended. Health insurance plans for foreigners are designed to protect them in a foreign land for new illness/injury that may arise during their travel. Without adequate coverage for medical and travel-related benefits, people may find themselves in deep trouble financially. 

Traveling to the US can be for several reasons, such as site seeing, study trips, business work, studying, and more. Nevertheless, it can be a life-changing experience. However, visiting the US comes with a price- remarkably high medical bills! The medical expenses are so high that many, especially tourists, may not be able to afford these. 

Medical events are unforeseen and can happen anytime. Therefore, one cannot guarantee sound health during a brief visit. Tourists may fall sick, get injured, meet with accidents, need to be evacuated, etc., which may quickly add up to thousands of dollars. Therefore, a medical insurance plan is required. It can help cover eligible medical expenses during the temporary stay abroad. 

US residents and citizens are entitled to receive domestic plans under Obamacare, but the visitors have no access to these plans. Instead, they need to purchase visitor insurance from private insurance companies.

What is the importance of health insurance? 

Financial benefits 

One of the primary roles of health insurance is to make health care more affordable while protecting peoples’ finances. However, with no insurance policy, travelers become responsible for bearing their medical costs, hospitalization charges, emergency transportation, etc. Therefore, it can put them at severe financial risk. 

For instance, a simple surgery for a broken leg may cost anything from $16,000 to $35,000. With robust visitor insurance coverage, a visitor may not have to pay the entire amount. The plan can cover the expenses per the chosen plan and policy maximum. 

Having a health insurance policy becomes more significant for severe illnesses. For example, a cancer diagnosis can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. An insurance policy can save one from bankruptcy in critical health situations. Most insurance plans cover prescriptions, doctor’s visits, emergency room, hospitalization, urgent care, medical evacuation, repatriation, etc. By paying a monthly premium, visitors can get the insurance that can cover various medical emergencies. 

Health benefits 

Health insurance plans provide access for US visitors to a network of providers and medical facilities to receive continuous care during an emergency. Individuals can look for doctors and hospitals to receive treatment within the insurance plans network of providers. Some insurance policies also cover the acute onset of pre-existing conditions.  Travelers who have pre-existing conditions and go through a sudden onset of the condition can receive immediate treatment within 24 hours of the first symptom. Some plans cover medical evacuation and repatriation, through which insureds can get transferred to the nearest qualified medical center. Emergency transportation can be arranged quickly. If there is death in a foreign country, the plan can provide coverage for returning the mortal remains to the insured’s home country with the repatriation or return of mortal remains benefit.  

Some health insurance policies include optional add-ons like hazardous sports, AD & D coverage, and more. Travelers who like adventure sports or extreme activities can opt for these plans with the add-on rider and get coverage for these activities.  

Peace of mind 

Foreigners have no clue how complex the healthcare system of the US is. When a medical emergency strikes in, visitors may find themselves in a perplexing situation- not knowing what to do! A visitor insurance plan can save travelers from various troubles, eliminating the fear of being alone in a foreign country. 

Having health insurance provides the visitor a feeling of being a part of the US healthcare system.  On purchasing a plan, the visitor gets an insurance card, which they can use to show at a hospital, Urgent Care, etc., in the event they need to use the insurance.  The hospital can recognize the plan and offer the insured the treatment they seek.  Also, billing and claiming reimbursement becomes easy. 

How to find the right plan? 

There are plenty of health insurance plans for foreigners visiting the US. Visitors can find comprehensive and fixed benefit plans for their temporary stay. While choosing the right plan, one must consider age, duration of stay, nature of travel, and medical needs. Visitors with excellent health and a short stay may not need to choose a plan with a $ 5 million policy maximum. In contrast, tourists in their late 60s may need to buy a plan that covers the acute onset of pre-existing conditions. 

Choosing the right plan may appear confusing at first. To know about the visitor insurance plans in detail, contact With extensive insurance knowledge, we ensure to pass on the correct information and provide the proper guidance to our customers.