American Expats: Review Your Health Insurance Before Returning to the United States
Life as an expat is more fluid than ever. Freelancers with flexible schedules can take advantage of sales to travel all over the world. Overseas teachers enjoy extended summer holidays. Come high season, retirees rent out their apartment to holidaymakers and take up temporary residence elsewhere. And for American expats, there’s always the temptation to travel home to the United States for a short visit to catch up with friends and family, renew connections with colleagues, celebrate the holidays, or even travel to a new part of the country. Travel connections are easier to arrange than ever before – and so is travel health insurance. Here’s what American expats need to know before visiting the United States.
Reach Out for Expert Advice
Speak with your insurance provider or a global insurance agent (like us). You’ll find a wealth of knowledge to ease your worries. There are some different packages to compliment your existing coverage as an American expat living overseas. Now’s the time to double check the fine print on your existing expat health insurance. There may be more to your coverage than meets the eye. It never hurts to ask!
Insurance Coverage for US Citizens Returning to the USA
If you have a comprehensive global medical plan, there is a chance that it also includes coverage in the USA. Start with checking your existing coverage. If you have a local plan in your new country that does not cover you when you travel, then you likely will need cover when you visit the USA. We have a couple of options:
Travel Insurance for US Citizens Traveling to the USA:
Patriot America Plan
The Patriot Travel plan provides coverage for people traveling outside their residence country whose destination includes the U.S. or its territories. Meaning, a U.S. citizen residing in France can purchase a Patriot America plan to visit the U.S.
It’s important to note that while travel medical plans like Patriot offer a complete package of international benefits for medical emergencies, they won’t cover you if you want to get a checkup from your old primary care doctor.
Residing Abroad: What is my residence country? It is the country where you have your true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment.
Travel Medical Insurance for all other Situations and Nationalities
We offer a variety of travel medical plans for all nationalities traveling anywhere in the world. Click here to: Compare and Review the Best Travel Medical Insurance. We also offer Insurance for International Citizens Visiting the US.
Plan Ahead for your Visit to the US
Returning home to the USA always feels so relaxed. But this travel requires the same level of preparation as any other trip. You want to make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your lifestyle.
Take time to consider your itinerary. Will you be making quick trips to neighboring countries? Or will your trip aggravate any pre-existing conditions? Any chance of participating in extreme sports or adventure travel? These are all important things to review with your insurance provider.
Any form of insurance coverage will have restrictions and limitations. American expats returning to visit the United States are not exempt. You have to meet the insurance provider’s definition of being an expat. In many cases, that may include proof that you’ve resided outside of the United States for a certain period. Others may require you to have pre-existing coverage already established in your new home before they extend coverage for your trip to the United States. They may also limit the length of time you’re covered while in the United States before you’re considered a permanent resident once more.
Budget Like an American
One of the best things about expat life is the affordable quality of life. But if you’ve been away for too long, you might be forgetting the real costs of health care coverage in the United States. Make sure you’re up to date on your facts and figures and compare insurance packages with a realistic eye. $150 a night for hospital indemnity might sound very generous if you’ve been living in Guatemala or Thailand. However, it may not be sufficient coverage if you’re visiting New York or Los Angeles. It’s time to budget like an American once more!
Emergency Care Versus Preventative Care
It’s always tempting to catch up with old acquaintances when you return to the United States. But before you pop in to say hello to your childhood ophthalmologist, remember that you’ll likely be paying privately for a visit. Your insurance coverage for returning home for an American visit is primarily for emergencies, not routine or preventative care. That said, many expat health insurance plans include comprehensive care, including routine checkups. Having comprehensive insurance to cover your non-American, expat living is essential for enjoying good health no matter where you go in the world.