Visitors Insurance for Traveling in the US

Accidents and injuries are a serious concern when traveling abroad, particularly in the US. While most people know how to navigate health insurance care in their home countries, foreign destinations often have different healthcare systems. Depending on the destination, health care may be lacking or unavailable, necessitating travel home or to another country with better care choices.

Care availability is essential, but the cost can be a severe problem. Particularly in the US, health care is expensive, and injuries that require lengthy hospital stays can result in huge bills if you don’t have adequate insurance. Foreign citizens working or traveling in the US are often shocked by the cost of medical care. Many countries have much lower prices for both medical care and medications.

While the US does subsidize health insurance for some low-income residents, these subsidies can be difficult or impossible to obtain if you’re a foreign national in the US. If you’re planning to spend time abroad for work or a vacation, you must get health protection to give you access to medical treatment when needed and protect you from large and unexpected expenses.

Let’s dive deeply into international medical insurance to see who can benefit and what’s required to protect yourself and your family.

US Visitors Insurance Types

Health insurance for travelers is sold under a few different names. These can be: visitors insurance, travel medical insurance, and international health insurance. Travel medical insurance is needed when taking a vacation when the duration is short and the destination is known. For example, if you’re traveling to the US for a conference and expect to return home within two weeks, travel medical insurance can protect you during this period for a one-time payment.

Living abroad can also be a lifestyle. Ex-pats and global citizens often spend a long time abroad and can visit different countries without returning home for a year or more. Simple travel medical insurance won’t be a good fit for long-term travelers; these people need a comprehensive solution that matches their global lifestyle. 

International health insurance can help protect against medical emergencies even when returning home for treatment isn’t an option. These policies assume extended travel periods abroad and can be paid with a yearly premium.

US Travel Insurance

Unlike travel medical, global health insurance is more comprehensive protection targeted at people who spend extended periods away from their home country: Foreign workers, students, and even marine crews who visit many different countries during their voyages. International health can cover costs for medical procedures and help with logistics, including travel to a neighboring country for treatment or even medical evacuation when necessary.

Travel insurance is different and usually covers non-medical situations that can arise before and during travel. Fight cancellations, disasters, and lost luggage are just some inconveniences that travel insurance can mitigate. Travel or international medical insurance is often a separate product for medical care when traveling in a foreign country.

Depending on your travel destination and duration of stay, you’ll need to obtain travel medical or international health to protect you when away from your home country. Travel insurance can be essential but isn’t a substitute for protection that covers you or your family’s medical needs. Be sure you’re getting a policy that will protect you wherever your travels take you.

Who Can Get Visitors Insurance?

Anyone traveling abroad should consider visitors insurance. This protection is vital for foreign citizens spending time in the US. The healthcare system in the US is expensive, and an unexpected health crisis can result in large bills. If you often visit the US or another country to work as an employee, your employer will provide insurance, but this doesn’t always happen.

Verify that you’ll have health coverage before working abroad, even if this means you have to obtain this protection yourself. Exchange students or those studying abroad will spend extended periods in a foreign country and need medical insurance. International health insurance is critical if you plan to emigrate to the US or another country.

It can take months or years to arrange residence, employment, and coverage through the local health system. Immigrants need to plan to protect their health while navigating residence and employment in their new homes.

International Health vs. Travel Medical Insurance

Understanding the difference between international health and travel medical insurance is essential. You want to get the one you need to ensure you’re fully protected and aren’t paying any more than necessary. Travel health insurance is the best option for short trips where you’ll spend a set time at your destination and then return home.

You’re less likely to have a health crisis that requires long-term care when taking a short trip, and travel medical insurance is often cheaper and can be purchased for a one-time fee. Are you a globe-hopping ex-pat who spends time in and travels between foreign countries? If so, you’re likely to need global health insurance.

This longer-term coverage can protect you during extended stays abroad. Ex-pats can often travel between other foreign countries, and international health insurance can protect you from accidents that occur away from your primary foreign residence. Global health is usually available with yearly premiums, similar to regular health insurance. Instead of paying a one-time fee, this protection can continue for months or years as long as your premiums are paid.

Marine Captain and Crew

Marine captains and crew have special health insurance needs, reflecting their time in international waters and ports of call in various countries. Larger vessels will likely have a preferred insurer and may provide insurance protection for all crew and passengers. Policies which provide for emergency evacuation are essential when far from advanced medical care.

Members of a yacht crew can have a medical emergency out at sea or cruising in a country’s territorial waters without the first-rate medical care of more developed countries. Marine crews often have ports of call in multiple countries and may have on-shore accidents which require medical attention. International health insurance allows these people to locate and access medical care and provides emergency transportation when needed.

If you are planning on spending time as a member of a yacht or other boat crew, be sure you have enough protection. At the same time, insurance may be provided depending on the vessel. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the types of policies available and be prepared to purchase additional protection for yourself if necessary.

What Does Visitors Insurance Cover?

Depending on the company and policy type, visitors insurance can cover a range of medical conditions when you’re away from your doctor back home. Surgery and hospitalizations can be expensive, and most policies will cover these during an expected health crisis. Medicine can be costly, particularly in the US, and most visitors insurance policies can help you cover these costs.

Even a very simple visit to the doctor can be a challenge without insurance coverage. It’s hard to predict what will happen when traveling abroad. Suppose you’re the victim of violence or an accident that isn’t your fault. In that case, you can still be stuck with expensive bills for extended hospital stays, ambulance transportation, X-Rays, and even physical therapy.

Costs can spiral out of budget if you’re in a country without facilities to provide specialized care. Some policies cover medical evacuation, which can transport you to a neighboring country with specialists and equipment to address serious medical emergencies. 

How Much Does Visitors Insurance Cost?

Prices for visitors health insurance will vary depending on the type of policy along with trip duration and health of the insured persons. Travel health insurance is often the cheapest and easiest to obtain. These policies usually cover shorter trips to a single foreign country and can protect you or your family for a one-time price.

International health insurance covers extended periods and can provide protection in foreign countries or out at sea. These policies are more complicated to obtain and may require a health evaluation. When looking for international health insurance, expect to pay yearly premiums for protection, similar to a standard insurance policy.

Costs can vary depending on the insured’s age, deductible, and what is covered by a particular policy. A simple visitors health insurance plan can be purchased for less than USD 30 per month. More comprehensive policies are available, costing around USD 180 per month. When purchasing visitors insurance, you’ll want a policy that gives you protection in your destination country at a reasonable price.

Examples of Top International Health Insurance Companies

When looking for a visitors plan, many companies offer various types of travel health and international health insurance policies. Some companies specialize in simple travel health insurance, while others provide more comprehensive international health insurance policies. Here are some of the top visitors insurance providers to get you started when looking for the best health insurance policy.

GeoBlue Travel Insurance

GeoBlue is respected in international health insurance and has networks in 180 countries. They offer a range of plans, covering both single and multiple trips. For global citizens, ex-pats, and those who spend extended periods away from their home countries, GeoBlue also offers long-term health plans.

While they can be an excellent option for individuals, they have specialty insurance packages for groups and marine crews. While they have a great network of doctors, GeoBlue travels with you via their Global TeleMDTM smartphone app. The app allows you 24/7, same-day, virtual appointment access to their global network of multilingual doctors. This feature lets you speak to a doctor without worrying about work or personal commitments. Find out more or shop for coverage at their website:

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz Travel offers plans that blend features of regular travel insurance with international health insurance. Available for a single travel trip or annual/multi-trip, Allianz’s policies can protect your health and travel plans with choices that best fit your traveling lifestyle.

Their policies can be a good option for those who want standard travel insurance but must ensure they are protected from medical emergencies abroad. Allianz offers coverage beyond global health insurance, baggage and travel delay protection, 24-hour hotline assistance, and a concierge. To find out if their plans can be a good match for your travel itinerary, visit their website at:

Cigna Insurance

Cigna offers international health insurance for global professionals, families, students, and retirees. They don’t only work with individuals but can help employers and NGOs/IGOs navigate obtaining protection for their employees and teams. Cigna gives you 24/7 access to multilingual service centers and has a global network of over 1.6 million hospitals and healthcare professionals.

With medical support available in 200 countries and territories, Cigna can confidently help you work, travel, and study. To find out more or to get a quote in 2 minutes, visit their website at:

IMG Global Travel Insurance

Immigrants, students, maritime organizations, business travelers, ex-pats, and just people on vacation, IMG serves many different clients with various needs. They offer travel, medical, and international health insurance for those who spend long periods abroad. If you’re an individual or organization looking to protect yourself or your employees, IMG can work with you to find the right plan for your particular needs.

If you need more detailed coverage to protect against various accidents and travel mishaps, IMG can be a single source for complete coverage. They can be an ideal company for those wanting to work with a single company instead of buying individual policies from different providers to make a complete protection profile. To see how IMG can protect your health and travel plans, check out their website:


Health insurance is vital for those living and working outside their home countries. Without the proper protection, you can be surprised by large medical bills or may not get the medical care you need. Travel abroad can take you to countries with inadequate healthcare systems or those that have high costs.

The right insurance policy can give you peace of mind whether traveling for pleasure, studying, or even on a boat at sea! This information can get you started in your search for the best international health protection which fits your needs at an affordable price.

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