If you are a US Expat living abroad, outside the USA, you most likely travel back to America to visit friends and family members throughout the year.
Most of the time, your international health insurance plan will provide worldwide coverage including the USA.
However, that is not always the case.
For example, if you are currently covered under a domestic health insurance plan in your host country, or you have an international health plan that covers you around the world but excludes the USA to keep costs down, you have an issue when traveling back to the USA.
What can American expats do to stay covered when traveling back to the states?
Unfortunately, getting domestic medical insurance for a short period of time presents a variety of obstacles. But there is a way!
This article will quickly cover why it can be difficult to get coverage when traveling back to the U.S. We also present a solution that provides healthcare coverage for U.S. expats while they’re back in the United States.
Why Obtaining Domestic Insurance Can Be Difficult
If you’re returning to the USA and need health insurance, you’ll want medical coverage. After all, medical costs in the U.S. are relatively high and you don’t want to get caught footing most of the bill for your medical expenses.
The simple answer would be to purchase a travel health insurance plan for the short 2 weeks when you are back in the USA.
However, this is not as easy as it sounds.
You will most likely run into the issue that nearly all travel insurance plans will not cover a US Citizen who needs coverage back in the USA. Most travel medical insurance plans are dedicated to people traveling outside of the country of citizenship.
Well, there are a couple of reasons why they do not provide coverage but essentially a US Citizen inside the USA is the domain of domestic insurance, which can be a regulatory nightmare for insurance companies, and thus they simply opt not to get involved.
A Travel Insurance Plan for American Expats Returning to the USA for a Visit
Despite the hurdles of domestic insurance, that does not mean America expats have to go without coverage. There are at least two insurance providers with travel insurance for U.S. citizens visiting the United States.
Seven Corners offers the Liaison Travel Elite plan, and their coverage is all about duration. You can buy insurance for 364 days at a time and renew for up to three years. This makes them unique among this list of the top 10 travel insurance companies. And they’re prepared to help travelers in extreme situations.
Their coverage for natural disasters is especially comprehensive. They provide up to 5 days of accommodation coverage if you’re displaced due to a natural disaster. If that disaster necessitates a return to your home country, your airfare home will be covered. And if you first have to move to a nearby safe location before you can fly home, they’ll also cover three days of accommodations at your midway point. In other words, if you have to go to a nearby city or country for safety’s sake and wait for a few days until a flight is available, your accommodations are covered.
Seven Corners also offers some excellent Trip Cancelation Insurance Plans.
Tokyo Marine HCC offers the Atlas Travel Medical which also covers unique categories of travelers. Volunteers for missionary work often find themselves in remote regions, but Atlas has coverage for them. They also sell coverage for the Schengen visa region. The Schengen visa allows travel for 90 days (or 180 days with multiple entry visas) throughout 26 European countries. Atlas will provide you with special proof of insurance to include with your visa application.
IMG Patriot Travel Insurance
The IMG Patriot Travel Insurance plan provides coverage for a US Citizen traveling back to the USA – as long as they have resided outside the USA for 6 months and they have a primary insurance plan.
The travel back to the USA should also only be for short-term coverage and not if you want to permanently move back home to America.
Patriot America Plan
The Patriot Plan is another good option. With this plan, coverage is designed for travel outside of your home country. The maximum number of days you are covered as a US citizen in the USA will be 60 days. To verify your eligibility, you will be asked three questions:
- Are you currently residing in the USA (Required Answer: No)
- Have you been living outside of the USA for at least the last six months (Required Answer: Yes)
- Do you have an existing health insurance plan in your foreign residence country (Required Answer: Yes)
Residing Abroad: What is my home country? It is the country where you have your true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment.
The IMG Patriot Travel Insurance plan offers single trip insurance coverage up to 60 days when you include the citizen return rider. For more information about the travel insurance plan, please check out the IMG Patriot plan in greater detail.