USA Health Insurance
The United States has complicated insurance issues that make it distinct from other countries. Often USA medical insurance is bought as a separate entity to your normal international health insurance plan, as the treatments in America are of excellent quality but also incredibly expensive. If you are an American expat, are going to be moving to America, are planning on travelling through America for an extended period of time, or just want to visit the United States to make use their excellent medical facilities, then you should consider a USA insurance policy which must be purchased separately from your normal insurance plan. You can consult one of our advisors here and we will help you to go through all the technical and legal aspects of gaining coverage in America, and can even recommend plans to you based on things such as your area of coverage, and the extent of the benefits you want.
Coverage in the USA is important because if you suffer from any injury, accident, or illness during your time in America, the treatment costs at hospitals, clinics, or any other treatment facility will be incredibly high. America has the most expensive healthcare in the world, and the treatment costs are rising over 10% annually. If you need treatment and are going to end up encountering a bill of thousands of USD, you will want to make sure you have an insurance policy that means you are covered for the costs of your treatment.
Furthermore, without insurance coverage you will be unable to get treatment in some areas of the United States. This will be covered in greater detail below, but individual doctors, clinics, hospitals, and surgeons in the USA belong to certain individual insurance networks (PPOs). The places and people you can get treatment from are determined by the network of the insurer you choose. If you want to be treated at somewhere outside of your network, this may either be at great cost to you, or might even be impossible. We can make sure to help you find the best policy to give you access to the network that will best benefit you depending on where you will be staying in America.
Who Needs USA Cover?
We have indicated the three types of people most likely to want/need coverage in America.
Travellers to and Future Expats in America
It can be a surprise to the system for foreigners travelling to America to see the cost of healthcare there. Particularly if you are coming from a country that has free local healthcare. The level of coverage and type of policy you will want in the USA will depend on if you are just travelling through, or are planning on visiting regularly or spending significant amounts of time there (as an expat for example). Regardless, you need to make sure you have sufficient coverage to avoid paying the high costs of treatment at healthcare centres throughout America that can reach thousands of USD. Make sure you are sufficiently prepared and covered before you embark on your trip to the States.
Americans Living Abroad
For many Americans living overseas, depending on your location, you may want to go home to receive medical treatment rather than stay in the country you’re living in. The comfort of familiar home surroundings, and the high quality of care available in America mean that you can get great treatment whilst knowing that you won’t have to overcome language barriers, or unfamiliar treatment methods. It may also be necessary for you to continue receiving treatment in America for any pre-existing conditions you had before leaving for your current country, in which case you will need USA insurance coverage.
Medical tourism has become increasingly popular in the modern world where travelling between countries is easier and cheaper than ever before. Many people travel to the United States simply to seek out top quality medical facilities and to receive the best treatment from the best medical professionals. If you are travelling to America for medical tourism, then obviously it is recommended that you take out a USA coverage insurance policy. This will make whatever treatment you are seeking to have done in America considerably cheaper than paying yourself for the expensive treatments. Medical tourism is especially popular with people from Russia, India, and China. These are places that may not have the best facilities available and therefore want to take advantage of America’s excellent services. USA coverage is highly recommended for medical tourists.
There are several options for where you can get coverage with a USA medical insurance policy. The extent of the area your insurance policy covers will depend on a few factors: how far within America you plan on travelling, whether you want coverage in any other countries, and the PPO that you want to have access to in America.
You must determine whether you plan on visiting other countries whilst you are in America, and whether you want insurance coverage for your time in these places. If you do, then as well as USA coverage, you may need a global health insurance policy. Insurers will often include other countries in USA coverage policies, because medical treatments are cheaper in other countries and therefore represent a saving to them. Regardless, either of these options will allow you to get treated in virtually any country you want to. Conversely, if you only want coverage in America, or only in the particular State you will be staying in in America, then you can find a plan that will facilitate this too, and should be cheaper.
America’s PPO networks are often what determine whether you can be treated by a particular hospital or doctor. We try and only recommend plans that provide you with access to an expansive PPO network, increasing the likelihood of you getting treatment where you want to. If there is a particular surgeon, doctor, or hospital that you know you want to receive treatment from, then let us know and we will make sure you are with an insurer that is in the correct PPO for you to receive treatment there. If you want treatment from any facility or individual not in your PPO, then you will either encounter high costs, or will simply find it impossible to do so. This makes picking the right insurer even more important and complicated for American insurance policies
Coverage in the USA is offered by a multitude of insurers from all over the world. There are several motivating factors that can help you distinguish between insurers. Here we have emphasised four points to consider when choosing your insurer, but you can always contact us to talk through your options in greater depth.
The Length of Your Trip: how long you are going to be spending in the USA determines whether you will need a short-term or long-term plan. Those of you who are moving to the United States as expats, or are American expats living elsewhere and returning home for a long period of time, will be more limited in your insurance options than those of you who are travelling through America be it for a holiday or as a medical tourist.
How Often You Will Be Receiving Medical Treatment: Linked to the length of your trip, the frequency with which you will need treatments helps determine your type of cover. If you will be needing treatment for a variety of things, long term, then you will need a plan to accommodate this. However, if you’re only going to America as a medical tourist for treatment for something very specific, you can get a plan that covers the benefit that you specifically need and make sure it is a short-term policy. Make sure you get the right amount of cover for what you need as the extent of your benefits will affect your premiums.
Where in America Are You Going To Be?: Depending on which State you will need insurance coverage in, we can help you to determine which PPO you would be better suited towards, and what insurers operate in that State (or States).
Your Nationality: We have found that some insurers in the United States cannot give coverage to all nationalities. To clarify which insurers you can use for your policy, contact us and we will be happy to help you.
The high costs of medical treatment and drugs in the United States mean that insurance premiums are also incredibly high. There are some ways to manage your premiums though to make sure they are as low as possible, whilst still protecting you from everything you need coverage for.
One way to keep premiums low is to highlight exactly what you want/need cover for, and then only get a plan that involves coverage for those things. If you have extra benefits on your plan that you don’t want or need, they are simply inflating your premium and wasting your money.
Customised plans are the best way to manage your premiums and keep them as low as possible. We work with a range of insurers that can offer you customised insurance policies so don’t hesitate to contact us and make an enquiry.
Premiums are calculated according to several factors, including; how old you/your family are (if you are insuring the whole family), whether you want any deductibles on your plan, the extent of your benefits, and the length of your insurance plan (short-term or long-term). For more information on short-term plans, which range between 1 and 12 months, click here.
Once your premium has been determined and your policy settled on, you will typically pay for your premium in a one time annual fee. It is possible to pay a monthly premium if you would prefer to do this, or if it helps with your finances, but a monthly fee will include a small % additional surcharge. To get a quote now, click here.
For any questions regarding obtaining a USA insurance policy, or to get a quote for your insurance, contact us here at IHI and we’ll be happy to assist you. Using our well established contacts with the world’s leading insurers, we can help you to find the best possible deal on your plan.