What is suitable U.S. visitor insurance for pregnancy coverage?
My sister is pregnant, and I would like to invite her to the United States for delivery so that the baby becomes a U.S. citizen. What kind of insurance plans are available for maternity coverage?
Unfortunately, there are no insurance products from any company anywhere that would cover maternity expenses such as delivery if you are already pregnant.
You will need to pay for all the expenses yourself, if you want the child to be a U.S. citizen.
If no visitors insurance plan covers for childbirth in the USA, can I get the coverage for other expenses related to pregnancy?
No. Routine maternity related expenses such as morning sickness, routine check ups or sonograms etc. are not covered in any short term insurance plans. Those expenses are expected and no short term insurance plan can afford to cover that.
Is there any visitors insurance plan available that would provide any kind of pregnancy related coverage?
Yes. There are a couple of visitors insurance plans available that would, for first 26 weeks of pregnancy, cover only the complications of pregnancy that are distinct from any maternity related routine expenses. e.g., Atlas America insurance and Visit USA-HealthCare.
Please note that the way the weeks of pregnancy are calculated in the U.S. may be different than the way you may be used to in your home country. While many countries count the pregnancy duration from the day of conception, in the U.S., it is counted from the date of last menstrual period. Therefore, you may need to add about two weeks to your calculation, as appropriate.
What does complications of pregnancy mean? What is covered under that benefit?
Please read the brochure and/or certificate wording of each insurance plan (the ones that cover it) to understand the exact details
Complications of Pregnancy:
Illnesses whose diagnoses are distinct from Pregnancy, but are adversely affected by Pregnancy or caused by Pregnancy and not associated with a normal Pregnancy. This includes: ectopic Pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, hyperemesis gravidarum, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, missed abortion and conditions of comparable severity. Complications of Pregnancy does not include: false labor, edema, prolonged labor, prescribed rest during the period of Pregnancy, morning sickness and conditions of comparable severity associated with management of a difficult Pregnancy, and not constituting a medically distinct condition.
I really want to deliver a baby in the U.S. What kind of expenses will I incur?
As the medical expenses can vary greatly in the U.S., it is not possible for us to give any estimate on that. You should really contact the providers (doctors, hospitals etc.) who will be providing the care to get an estimate of the expenses, if they can even tell you. For regular delivery with no complications, you should be prepared to spend around $15,000 to $20,000. However, please keep in mind that any number of complications may arise and the costs may run into hundreds of thousands of dollars if mother and/or child needs to stay in the hospital for a longer period and/or need surgeries or other care.
I can't afford to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in maternity bills that I may incur. What should I do?
As pregnancy is considered high risk period in medical terms, if at all possible, you should try to avoid traveling during pregnancy. It is possible that any medical complications may arise while at home, the chances of that happening increases a lot while traveling overseas. However, if you must travel due to personal or business reasons, be prepared to pay a lot of money in case major complications occur.
Those who are considering inviting and/or sponsoring a pregnant woman to the U.S. must keep in mind that you may be held financially responsible to pay for all the bills. Therefore, you should really consider it carefully before making such a decision.
There is no coverage for pregnancy in visitor insurance, should I even consider buying it? Is it worthwhile?
Yes, absolutely. You should still buy visitors insurance as because any one can get into new medical conditions, injuries or accidents at any time which are not related to pregnancy.
If I am not already pregnant, can I purchase an insurance coverage plan that would cover pregnancy also?
We are non-U.S. citizens. We are going to have our second child via a surrogate in the USA. The surrogate will have her own medical insurance to cover her and the baby during the pregnancy. However, as soon as the baby is delivered, she will be a US citizen but we will be her legal guardians- ie our names will appear on her Birth Certificate. We seek insurance to cover the baby from birth to include any eventuality that may occur with a newborn baby. Please advise if this is something you are able to arrange for us.
No such insurance is available from any company.
If I am pregnant, am I even allowed to enter the U.S.? Will I face any problems at the port of entry?
Following is taken from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) web site:
Although there are no specific regulations prohibiting pregnant foreign nationals from entering the U.S., entry is allowed or denied at the discretion of the admitting CBP officer. If the CBP officer determines that you are likely to become a ward of the government (meaning that the government must provide medical care because you do not have medical coverage while visiting the U.S.), you can be denied entry. When determining if you will be allowed to enter the U.S., CBP officers take into consideration the date your child is due for delivery and the length of time you intend to stay in the U.S. In addition, they want evidence that you have sufficient medical insurance to cover any medical necessities while you are in the U.S. If it is determined that you do not have sufficient medical insurance to cover any unexpected or expected medical care while in the U.S., you can be denied entry. Additionally, if you are pregnant and entering the U.S. at a border port of entry via vehicle, be aware the radiation detection portals deployed at the ports do not emit any radiation, and do not present a hazard to you and your unborn child. Coming to the U.S. for the purpose of child birth is not a valid reason for travel.
Are there any airline restrictions that prohibit pregnant woman to travel?
Each airline has a different set of rule regarding how many weeks you can be pregnant before they prohibit you from traveling in their airline. And those rules may keep changing frequently. Additionally, they may also require some medical records and/or physician certificate regarding the fitness of air travel during pregnancy. Please check with airline directly.