New Immigrants to the US Can Stay Protected with Short-Term Health Insurance

New Immigrants to the US Can Stay Protected with Short-Term Health Insurance

Upon receiving their green card, many new immigrants make the risky mistake of moving to the US without buying health insurance. New immigrants in the process of getting a green card are not covered once they arrive in the US, and US healthcare is not free. Therefore, new immigrants should have a temporary health insurance plan during their transition to protect themselves against any unforeseen medical emergencies.

Short-term health insurance provides medical coverage for residents and new immigrants for temporary purposes. It is available for any US resident below the age of 65, including but not limited to those who recently got their green cards and people with H-1, L-1, F-1, and J-1 visa status.

New immigrants may not be able to get health insurance upon arriving in the US for a number of reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Waiting on employment
  • Waiting on Medicare
  • Waiting to receive social security number
  • Arrived in US after the open enrollment period for Obamacare ended or missed the Obamacare deadline

All of these and other situations are usually limited to a brief period of time, which is why many new immigrants choose to go uninsured. What they don’t realize is how much of a financial risk it is to not have health insurance in the US.

Many new immigrants are not aware of the cost of medical care in the US until they experience it firsthand. Without health insurance, a simple visit to the doctor can cost a few hundred dollars, and a more serious medical emergency can cost up to thousands of dollars.

How Does Short-Term Medical Insurance Help New Immigrants?

Short-term medical insurance is designed to protect against unforeseen illnesses, injuries, medical emergencies, and other incidents. These medical insurance plans for new immigrants may typically offer the following health-care benefits for any new sickness and injury that happens after the effective plan date:

  • Surgery treatment
  • Ambulance and hospital room expenses
  • Urgent care visits
  • Dental coverage
  • AD&D insurance
  • Emergency medical evacuation coverage
  • Acute onset of pre-existing conditions coverage up to a limit
  • Return of mortal remains

Pre-existing conditions, maternity care, and preventative care such as annual medical exams, immunizations, and check-ups may not be covered by short-term health insurance. Such treatments should be completed before leaving your home country.

Can I Purchase Short-Term Health Insurance after Arriving in the USA?

Yes, but you may want to purchase temporary health insurance applicable for immigrants to cover you during the time between arriving in the USA and purchasing short-term medical insurance. If anything happens to you during that small window in which you do not have insurance, you risk paying huge medical bills out of pocket. Aircraft complications, car accidents, or simple injuries and illnesses could occur immediately after arriving in the USA, putting you in need of medical attention. Even though you can buy short-term medical insurance after arriving in the US, the coverage may not start immediately. There is usually a time period between the purchase date and coverage effective date.

It is important that new immigrants have health insurance while in the US. Even if you are only waiting a short period of time for other health insurance options to begin, medical emergencies and accidents can happen at anytime without notice, leaving you with huge medical bills to pay. New immigrants can avoid a financial disaster and get the medical coverage they need with a short-term health insurance plan.

To explore your insurance options, read about our Short-Term Health Insurance Plans. Find out more information by reading our Short-Term Health Insurance FAQs.

Those who are not eligible for short-term health insurance may consider purchasing health insurance for immigrants.

Erin FraboniAbout the Author:
Erin Fraboni writes about travel insurance and trending travel topics. She graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Literature & Writing and specializes in composing articles on travel health insurance.


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