Health Insurance for H-1B Employees
When an H-1B holder comes to the U.S.A., health care is unlikely to be the same as in their own country. In order to access health care in the U.S. it is necessary to pay for health insurance. Without insurance cover, medical costs can be prohibitive. Taking out a medical insurance package ensures that the H-1B visa holder and his or her family are covered for any medical emergency - and hospitalization if required.
Medical insurance should be dated from the date of arrival in the U.S. This ensures that if you need medical care that its costs will be covered. You can take out travel insurance for you and your family before deciding to take out health insurance once you arrive in the country. Travel insurance will cover you for any event that may happen to you or your family while you are in transit to your new job, but it will be more expensive in the long run than a health insurance policy.
Employer health insurance
Sometimes, employers offer health insurance. However, there is often a waiting period, which means the coverage does not start immediately. You will need to ensure you are covered for this period. Also your family may not be covered by the employer insurance. You need to be aware that an employer initiated health insurance policy may still require a deduction from your pay so it is important to ensure that the coverage you are offered is competitive when compared to independent insurance providers.
The current Obama government had initiated a requirement that all employers that employ 50 or more workers had to offer health insurance, but this action has been delayed until 2015. Once your H-1B visa has expired, you will no longer be covered, whether you intend to get a renewal through your current employer or a new employer. You should ensure that you obtain coverage for that intermediary period.
How much does an H-1B health insurance plan cost?
The cost of insurance is not a fixed amount but will depend on specific factors such as age and past medical history. A single worker’s contribution to health insurance in 2013 was nearly $5,000 for the year. When it comes to insuring the whole family, this cost will be considerably higher. Insurance policies vary in what they cover so once you have opted to purchase health insurance you should check the small print. Many insurance providers expect an excess amount be paid before the actual insurance cover pays the costs. There are other medical costs to consider too that can also cost a lot of money if paid directly and these are dental care and optical care. These can be included in an insurance policy too.
The only real benefits you get in the U.S. when it comes to accident and injury coverage is that if you have a vehicle accident and you are injured and it’s not your fault the insurer of the at-fault driver may be required to pay costs such as medical fees and loss of income while recovering if the negligence can be proven.
Return to "The H-1B Visa" to learn more.