Are you aware of the new rule for adequate health insurance for immigrant visa applicants from Nov 3, 2019?
Yes, we are well aware of the rule.
The Presidential proclamation lists different types of approved health insurance plans. Under which listed items do your health insurance plans fall?
The insurance plans we offer fall into the following parts of Section 1 (b) of the presidential proclamation:
- (iii) a short-term limited duration health policy effective for a minimum of 364 days — or until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States;
- (vii) a visitor health insurance plan that provides adequate coverage for medical care for a minimum of 364 days — or until the beginning of planned, extended travel outside the United States;
How many days of insurance coverage do I need to buy? Can I buy for 30 days at a time, or only for 364 days?
You must purchase the insurance for 364 days.
Do I need to be physically present in the U.S. to be eligible to purchase immigrant visa insurance?
No. Most immigrant visa applicants reside outside the U.S. and are applying to immigrate to the U.S. Therefore, you don’t need to be physically present in the U.S. to be eligible to purchase immigrant visa insurance.
Do I need U.S. social security number in order to purchase immigrant visa insurance?
No. We understand that immigrant visa applicants are applying at the U.S. embassy/consulate outside the U.S. and therefore, they typically would not have a U.S. social security number.
If I am over the age of 65 years, can I still purchase the insurance?
Yes, people age 65 and older can still purchase insurance. The exact policy maximum options available depend upon the age and the specific plan.
Can I purchase the insurance for 364 days but pay monthly?
No. In order to prove to the U.S. embassy/consulate that you have the insurance for 364 days you have to pay upfront for the entire 364 days.
As I am not sure when exactly I would be immigrating to the U.S., what effective date should I put?
Even though you are not sure of the exact travel date, you would have made some plans for immigration to the U.S. Therefore, put the effective date to the best of your estimation.
If your plans change, you can postpone the effective date, as long as you do it before the current effective date.
Instead of purchasing the insurance, can I just get the quotes and take that to the immigrant visa interview?
No. You need to actually purchase the insurance in order to get the proof of insurance. You can get proof of insurance coverage only after you make the payment.
Once I purchase the insurance, what kind of proof will I get?
In most insurance plans, you will get a visa letter (also called confirmation of coverage letter) that you can download immediately from this website, print it and take it to the U.S. consulate/embassy.
In some insurance plans, after you purchase coverage, you would have to manually request the visa letter, which may take 2 to 3 business days. Therefore, please plan ahead accordingly.
After I get an immigrant visa, can I simply cancel the insurance?
No. By law you are mandated to have the insurance for a minimum of 364 days.
Can I cancel immigrant visa insurance, as after coming to the U.S. I will be applying for Medicare or the Medicaid program in my residence state?
In most cases, Medicare is available only to those who have been permanent residents for 5 years and not immediately.
Medicaid is available only on the basis of financial conditions or disability. And new immigrants are not eligible to apply for the same, because you (or your sponsor) have already proved that the income and/assets are above the poverty line. Furthermore, Medicaid is not an approved health insurance for persons over 18 years of age.
Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program and new immigrants cannot apply either due to public charge rules.
Can I cancel my immigrant visa insurance later if I get a job in the U.S. that would provide me health insurance? Or can I cancel my immigrant visa insurance coverage if I am enrolled into my spouse’s health insurance?
Yes, with valid of proof of other health insurance in effect, you can cancel immigrant visa insurance. Cancellation rules would be applicable based on the specific plan that you have purchased.
Should I make the insurance effective a couple of days before my immigrant visa interview?
No. As the insurance would not provide any coverage in your home country, you should not do that.
Should I simply buy the cheapest insurance just to meet the requirements?
That is not advisable as the healthcare in the U.S. is very expensive. If you buy the lowest cost insurance you find, the coverage will be very limited and you will be responsible to pay most of the healthcare costs out of your pocket, which defeats the purpose of the rule in the first place.
Would immigrant visa insurance provide me coverage only in one state?
No. It would provide coverage everywhere in the U.S.
Do immigrant visa insurance plans cover everything?
No. They are modeled similarly to short-term health insurance plans or travel medical insurance plans. Therefore, they would generally not cover routine maintenance of pre-existing conditions, maternity, preventive checkups, etc.
However, many of such insurance plans would provide the coverage for acute onset of pre-existing conditions, which is generally an unforeseen emergency occurring without any prior warning or symptoms and you need to seek the treatment within the next 24 hours.
Please make sure to read the terms, conditions and exclusions of each plan before making a decision.
I have already received an immigrant visa. Am I required to purchase immigrant visa insurance?
No. As per the presidential proclamation, only those immigrant visa applicants that apply from Nov 3, 2019 onwards are required to have adequate health insurance.
However, as the healthcare in the U.S. is very expensive, it is highly recommended to purchase immigrant visa insurance for yourself.
My immigrant visa was not approved; can I cancel the immigrant visa insurance?
You may be able to cancel the immigrant visa insurance; it depends on the plan you purchased. The cancellation rules vary by the specific plan, so please review the terms and conditions before you purchase.