US enforces new regulations on immigrant healthcare coverage

medical travel cover

New regulations are to be imposed in the US, supposedly intended to protect the country from the burden of unpaid medical bills

The Trump administration has issued a proclamation requiring that immigrant visa applicants prove they can pay for healthcare within 30 days of entering the country, or else demonstrate that they can pay for medical treatment, as a condition of eligibility for a green card. In line with this new proclamation, plans that are subsidised under the Affordable Care Act would not count as an eligible form of healthcare, as stated by the proclamation, and applicants would be ineligible to apply for other subsidised care such as Medicaid.

Luckily, US-based insurtech company VisitorsCoverage has been quick to highlight a solution: visitors’ insurance coverage. “Visitors’ insurance has long been a solution to providing temporary health insurance for non-US citizens entering the US on various types of visas,” explained Rajeev Shrivastava, CEO and Founder of VisitorsCoverage. “The coverage is good for both immigrant and non-immigrant visas for individuals such as green card holders and expats.”

Visitors insurance can provide short-term travel medical insurance for up to a year for those in the immigration pipeline, protecting immigrants from the extensive cost of healthcare in the US, thus providing peace of mind to the insured, as well as healthcare providers, who won’t be left with unpaid medical bills.

“As more and more countries struggle to pay for their citizens’ healthcare while bearing the burden of unpaid medical bills incurred by foreign travellers and immigrants, we can expect other countries to take similar action,” continued Shrivastava. He added that countries such as Thailand and New Caledonia have implemented mandatory medical travel insurance, having been financially stung by millions of dollars of unpaid medical bills.

“Requiring a minimum amount of travel medical coverage such as €30,000 in coverage to enter the 26 Schengen visa countries, will likely be replicated in 2020 across the globe. For immigrants in the visa application process in the US, visitor’s insurance may become an affordable and popular solution,” Shrivastava concluded.

The new regulation is to take effect from the 3 November 2019. It will not apply to refugees, asylum seekers or non-citizen children of US citizens.