What is travel health insurance, and do you really need it?
You’re here to find out about the best health insurance provider for travel to the USA, and I have a true gem of an insurance provider for you!
In short, a health insurance policy is an agreement between a company that provides health insurance and the individual that is insured by it.
Even if you have current health insurance in your home country, there are almost always limitations to coverage abroad (if your plan includes this at all). This can mean massive out-of-pocket expenses – and the possibility that you might actually not be covered at all!
Some home country medical insurance plans may also only offer coverage for a maximum of only 30 days out-of-country, which isn’t great at all for anyone planning to spend lots of time traveling in the USA or other countries.
The health insurance provider will financially cover a portion (or all) of your medical treatment costs or bills in line with their policy inclusions and exclusions. Some health insurance companies will even cover out-of-country medical expenses that you may incur while you are traveling.
For example, if an accident happened to you while you were out of your home country, such as if you were a Canadian traveling in the USA, a health insurance provider who covers out-of-country expenses would pay those treatment expenses incurred for medical conditions in USA medical facilities, such as hospital bills, costs of surgery, medication, ambulance bills, and sometimes even emergency air evacuation.
Purchasing solid travel insurance is incredibly important. However, all travel insurance providers are definitely not the same, and there is a need to do a lot of vetting during your search. But I’m here to provide you with an honest review of an excellent travel insurance provider I’ve found during my time as a digital nomad. And yes, they even cover travel to the USA!
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Why is Travel Insurance so important to purchase for travel to the USA?
The United States of America is practically famous for its privatized healthcare system. This country is easily one of the most expensive countries in the world for the cost of medical treatment in all categories, especially when it comes to the cost of paying for medical emergencies! A few of the factors that might lead to such hefty costs of health care in the USA are the lack of a national healthcare system, hospital consolidations, and inadequate regulation of the industry.
Needless to say, you absolutely do not want to find yourself in a medical emergency while traveling to the USA. A quick ride in an ambulance itself can cost an average of more than $1000 USD. With high costs like this, the price of a medical emergency in the USA can indeed add up very quickly, and in some places may not be given to you at all if you lack adequate health coverage!
Although you can travel to the USA for a holiday without having travel insurance coverage, the USA’s medical costs make this a risky move for travelers, and one that I would highly recommend against.
What is SafetyWing Travel Insurance?
2018 saw the emergence of SafetyWing, now one of the best travel insurance providers around, who offers a fresh take on USA visitor travel insurance plans.
In short, Safetywing specializes in providing medical coverage to frequent travelers and digital nomads, for as low as just $42/month (which is almost unheard of in the industry of travel and medical insurance!)
Although somewhat less comprehensive than traditional insurance plans, SafetyWing’s basic travel insurance plans are overall very affordable and much less expensive than those offered by other travel insurance providers.
I’ve researched this topic extensively during my travels and I’ve found their rates to be perhaps only 25% – 50% max of other travel insurance providers. This is largely due to the fact that they just “get” the frequent traveler / digital nomad situation. They really focus on covering exactly what frequent travelers need for medical travel insurance so that you aren’t paying for extras you won’t actually use.
Because of this, they are, in my opinion, the industry’s top provider of travel insurance for frequent travelers and digital nomads.
If you are a full-time traveler, work remotely from overseas, or find yourself frequently traveling, then this travel insurance provider should be given serious consideration! They’re truly the best health insurance provider for travel to the USA.
Their insurance is accessible to everyone under the age of 69 from any foreign country in the world (with just the exceptions of Iran, North Korea, and Cuba). This is another point of differentiation that makes them very special and valuable as a travel insurance provider.
Why SafetyWing travel health insurance is essential
Nobody likes to become ill while traveling, and getting sick or hurt could be one of the worst things that can happen to you during your international trips. During your travels, SafetyWing’s USA medical insurance plan will reimburse you up to the plan limits if you experience an illness, accident, or medical condition while traveling; it is all protected under their travel health insurance plans.
The following medical inclusions are covered by the SafetyWing Nomad USA travel health insurance policy:
Accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D): Covered. Read full policy for details.
Why You Should Purchase SafetyWing Health Travel Insurance when traveling to USA:
Receiving emergency medical care in the USA or other foreign countries can be very expensive.
Your local health insurance card won’t be accepted by hospitals in foreign countries. They’ll require your credit card instead since they will likely require upfront payment before providing you with health care.
Your best bet while traveling is to purchase trustworthy travel insurance if you can’t afford to cover the whole cost of your medical expenses out of pocket…and who can?!
You’ll receive quicker care when you have medical travel insurance.
In case of an emergency in USA or other countries, when you’re covered by a medical insurance policy with urgent medical coverage like Safetywing Nomad Insurance, your insurance provider will cover the payments to physicians and hospitals. This is crucial, as it will allow you to receive treatment as soon as possible after suffering a covered illness or injury, without having to deal with payment details ahead of treatment.
Your insurance agent is there to help you as you need.
You always have someone on your side with Safetywing Travel Insurance. Once you submit a claim, your insurance agent will keep an eye on your situation, offer direction and comfort, and, if required, plan how to get you safely home. One of the many reasons I think they’re the best health insurance provider for travel to the USA.
You’re covered even for the worst of accidents requiring emergency evacuation.
What happens if you sustain a serious injury while traveling to the USA or other foreign countries and need to be transported by ambulance or helicopter for medical attention?
You could be forced to pay a hefty fee if you don’t have travel health insurance. Estimates for medical emergency evacuation in a few well-known locations are as follows:
- Mexico: $15,000 to $20,000
- Southern Hemisphere: up to $100,000
- Countries in developed Europe such as Germany, France, or others: $50,000–$100,000.
- Asia, Australia, and the Middle East: $220,000
- Russia: $90,000-$150,000
Keep in mind that weather patterns can significantly raise expenditures. These costs are only for getting you to the hospital; they do not include medical health care!
Could you imagine being faced with a bill in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if the worst does happen during your travels? These medical bills may double or triple if you are in a remote section of a developing country or if your illnesses are extremely severe. Compared to this, a travel insurance policy is so incredibly affordable that it just doesn’t make any sense not to purchase it.
You’ll only pay for the insurance coverage inclusions you’ll actually use.
The SafetyWing health insurance plan is a great choice for you if you’re a spontaneous traveler who prefers not to reserve hotel rooms and flights in advance. You receive the emergency insurance you require without having to pay extra for trip cancellation insurance.
They are a reputable company with strong values and take care of their clients.
SafetyWing was among the very few traveling insurance providers who did not cancel policies for customers who opted to stay abroad for foreign visitors during the present COVID-19 outbreak. They are reputable and really take care of their clients.
There is no time limit on how long you can stay on the travel in USA or any other country.
There is no time limit on how long you can stay on your travels! You’ll need to update your coverage after a year, but it’s simple to do.
Safetywing USA travel insurance offers flexible return dates for lengthy journeys.
Not sure of your precise return date? That’s okay! Another reason that SafetyWing offers the best travel insurance plan for USA is that it offers you the ability to travel for extended periods of time, without having to enter your return date when purchasing the insurance. It is truly the best travel insurance provider for digital nomads and long-term travelers or even just frequent travelers.
If you decide to extend your stay, you can easily continue your insurance plan.
Did you fall in love with your destination and decide to extend your trip to the USA? Great! It’s very easy to extend your health insurance plan with SafetyWing because it was created with digital nomads and long-term travelers in mind.
SafetyWing offers COVID-19 Coverage:
SafetyWing is one of the few insurance providers to cover COVID-19 related medically-necessary treatments. Coverage works the same for COVID-19-related expenses as any other illness, as long as it was not contracted before your insurance coverage start date and doesn’t fall under any other policy exclusions or limitations. (However, the COVID-19 antibody test is not covered, as it is not deemed medically necessary)
Quarantine requirements outside of your home country is also covered by SafetyWing’s Nomad Insurance for up to $50 per day for a total of 10 days. This policy is only applicable once every 364 days. If a government agency or doctor orders a quarantine because you tested positive for COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms while waiting for test results, the quarantine will be covered.
Why SafetyWing is Superior to Other Travel Health Insurance Providers:
The following factors set SafetyWing Nomad Insurance apart from other types of travel insurance:
Designed by nomads for nomads.
SafetyWing is well aware of nomad requirements for a quality insurance provider, as it was designed by nomads for nomads! They are continually making modifications to their products to better suit those needs.
If you choose automatic monthly renewal, your coverage will be extended like a subscription every four weeks for a minimum of 364 days until you cancel it, which is easy to do! This is especially helpful if, like me, you are often unsure about how long you will be traveling away from home.You can obtain comprehensive travel insurance while already abroad.
It’s perfect if you forgot to acquire insurance ahead of your trip, or if you need to update your coverage since it has expired.
SafetyWing Coverage is Immediate!
Yup, that’s right – there’s no wait time, and coverage is active immediately once you purchase it! Just one of the reasons I think they’re the best health insurance provider for travel to the USA.
Traveling on a one-way ticket is possible.
Unlike other insurance providers, SafetyWing will cover you if you don’t have a return ticket and don’t know when you’ll be back in your home country.
Some coverage is offered in your home country.
Unusually, SafetyWing offers some protection even once you get home. Home country coverage is for up to 30 days (or 15 days in the USA). This can be invaluable to long-term travelers, as sometimes home country insurance policies can expire if you’re out of your own country for an extended period of time.
Outdoor activities are covered.
For several high-risk activities, such as horseback riding, scuba diving, skiing, and bungee jumping, there is no additional charge and these activities are covered. Check your policy for full details.
Operating a motorcycle or scooter is covered.
A frequent mode of transportation for many international travelers (particularly in SE Asia) is a scooter. However, few insurance businesses offer coverage for accidents during scooter or motorcycle travel. However, SafetyWing does!
For a complete list of exclusions and limitations please see this link: Description of Coverage.
No need to select a travel location.
We never knew where we’ll travel to in the upcoming year, but that doesn’t matter, as SafetyWing’s coverage doesn’t care!
Note: You’ll just need to update your coverage to include or not include the USA, as there are two different policies – and two different prices – to include or not include USA.
A fair and transparent pricing system.
There aren’t any hidden fees, no convoluted quotes, and no need to select between many confusing tiers of insurance.
Only your age and whether to include the USA as a destination determine the price of your insurance, which can be as low as $42/month!
Protection for children is included at no extra cost.
Per family, one child under 10 years of age (per adult) may be included for free.
Focusing on just the essentials of a travel and medical health insurance plan keeps costs down.
By concentrating on just the fundamentals for world nomads, including emergency medical coverage, SafetyWing keeps costs down. This is achieved by excluding trip cancellation and other types of coverage that we are less likely to use.
Signing up for SafetyWing health travel insurance is easy.
Create a SafetyWing account first by entering an email address and selecting a password, or sign in with Facebook. Next, input some information, such as your home country, birthdate, and address. Then, select your travel timeframe and whether you’ll be going to the USA or not to activate your insurance. You also can add friends or relatives to your insurance policy. If you pick specific trip days and pay in advance, your debit or credit card will be deducted every four weeks. It’s so simple!
You can easily cancel at any time with a single click, and you’ll remain insured up until the final day of the paid-for period.
FAQs about SafetyWing Insurance:
What number should I call in an emergency?
If you or someone else insured by SafetyWing Insurance policy should have a medical emergency, you should call 911 in the United States and an ambulance or the local emergency phone number for that country in other countries.
Contact World Trips for assistance with emergency travel plans (including medical treatments), doctor recommendations, questions about claims, or any concerns relating to your insurance policy. You may contact their helpline at +1 866 635-2163 anytime, or call the claims division at 1 (800) 605-2282 (free from Skype).
How can I locate a medical professional in USA or any other country?
You can visit any licensed hospital, clinic, or physician of your choosing, whether they are public or private. To find a healthcare provider in your area, utilize “Find a hospital” in your profile. SafetyWing offers a network of qualified hospitals, doctors, and specialists around the world. Direct billing, when the medical office submits the bills immediately to the Plan Administrator so that you don’t have to pay ahead and wait for reimbursement, is frequently an option for the hospitals and physicians in our U.S. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) network.
How long is my travel insurance protection valid?
If you choose automatic monthly renewal, your coverage will be extended like a subscription every four weeks until you cancel it or for a minimum of 364 days. Before your policy renews, you will get an email letting you know that your credit or debit card payment has been successfully processed to keep your coverage in place. If you anticipate remaining foreign for more than 364 days, you must obtain a new insurance plan under a new policy; the deductible, benefits, and pre-existing condition lookback will all be reset. There is no restriction on how long you can keep making purchases (other than the age limit of up to 69 years of age).
Is there any coverage while I’m in my home country?
SafetyWing does cover trips home, but keep in mind that they must be incidental. What they mean by “incidental” is that you cannot return home to receive medical attention for a disease or injury that developed while you were away. For unanticipated qualified medical situations, you are covered for up to 30 days in your home nation (fifteen days if your home nation is the US), every 90 days.
Your insurance policy is void until you depart if you remain in your native country for more than thirty days (15 for the USA). Once you return from your trip abroad, the coverage starts up again. There are only 30 days covered (or 15 days if the US is your home country); more days cannot be accumulated per 90-day term.
Final thoughts about SafetyWing Travel Insurance:
After learning about all the advantages and disadvantages of SafetyWing insurance policies, I feel confident to share my opinion with you about this fantastic travel insurance offering that is perfect for the digital nomad, remote worker, or frequent traveler. They top my list as the very best health insurance provider for travel to the USA.
I trust SafetyWing with my own travel insurance coverage and have had absolutely zero issues or regrets with using them.
I suggested that you highly consider SafetyWing as a valid travel insurance option if you are a digital world nomad or are always on the go in the USA or other countries. The monthly cost is significantly less than that of its rivals, as SafetyWing focuses on just the coverage options that you actually need, keeping costs down.
Be sure to also read my full review of all SafetyWing Travel Insurance products!