Is travel insurance required to enter the United States? Many people ask the question, Is travel insurance required to enter the United States?”
The short answer is no: Purchasing travel insurance is not required to enter the United States as a tourist on a B1/B2 visa.
That is different from the Schengen countries, where Schengen travel insurance is required to obtain the Schengen visa, a visa for more than two dozen countries in Europe.
Millions of tourists travel to the United States every year and visit famous tourist spots, such as New York, Niagara Falls, Washington, D.C, Florida, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, California, and more. Many of them go through the arduous process of a visa. Many are preparing for the ride of a lifetime. As the United States is a vast country with many tourist spots, most tourists stay anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Among all the other preparations, it is very important to remember that travel insurance is vital when traveling to the United States.
Health Care System – travel insurance
The largest health care system in the United States is private. There are almost no government health services or free facilities. In fact, US citizens and residents are required to purchase adequate health insurance and maintain it throughout the year.
Many visitors traveling from countries with socialized medicine (such as the UK) may not realize the importance of purchasing travel insurance. Your home country’s healthcare system will not cover you in the United States, nor will the US government provide free medical care to tourists.
Travelers from countries where medical care costs little (such as Mexico) simply do not realize the importance of having adequate medical protection when traveling, as they are used to paying out of pocket for medical care. (Still, many low-income people cannot afford even very low-cost treatment. However, this is specifically referring to people who travel to the United States. Those who can afford to travel to the United States can afford to pay out of pocket for treatment in their country).
Very expensive travel insurance
Although the United States has the best medical care in the world, it is also among the most expensive: a simple visit to the emergency room can easily cost a few thousand dollars.
Health care costs in the United States are so high that they are simply not affordable and clearly out of reach for most people who do not have adequate health insurance.
Because you can’t avoid the unexpected, many sudden illnesses or injuries can happen when you travel to the United States. Without adequate travel insurance, you will be responsible for paying for everything out of your own pocket. And you don’t want to burden yourself or your family members who are hosting you with staggering bills for unexpected medical expenses.
While travel insurance won’t eliminate all the risks associated with traveling to the United States, it can greatly reduce them.
Other benefits are travel insurance
In addition to coverage for emergency medical expenses, travel insurance also provides coverage for emergency medical evacuation, repatriation of mortal remains, loss of checked baggage, accidental death and dismemberment, emergency assistance, and much more.
Other considerations travel insurance
When issuing a visitor visa for foreign tourists, the consular officer at the US consulate wants to ensure that the visitor will not become a financial burden on US taxpayers. Therefore, if they think that a specific visitor is more likely to become ill, they may request proof of adequate travel insurance.
It is not possible to say for sure how many visa applicants are asked and whether travel insurance would improve the chances of obtaining a visitor visa, but it is worth considering.
All visitor visa holders must pass an inspection by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent at the US airport. Among other things, a CBP officer wants to make sure that the visitor will not be a burden to the United States. Therefore, especially older visitors may want to see proof of adequate travel insurance before allowing someone to enter the United States if they feel they are likely to face a medical emergency during their stay…
Not everyone will be asked for a test. The fact that your friend’s parents and your cousin’s in-laws were not asked to show such proof does not necessarily mean that.