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Spending A Semester Abroad In America? Here’s What To Pack Thumbnail

Spending A Semester Abroad In America? Here’s What To Pack

As with any extended trip, it’s important to properly prepare yourself with enough luggage to last the duration of your time away from home. For university students, it can be tricky to know exactly what you will need for the entire time you will be studying abroad. To help you cut down on clutter and pack only the essential items, here are some helpful tips on how to pack for a semester abroad in the United States.

General packing tips

To begin planning for your trip, make a list of everything you think you will need during your time in the U.S. Next, remove the items from the list that you will be able to purchase once enter the United States. While it’s smart to be prepared for everything, you won’t want to lug around unnecessary items during your stay.

Clothing

Most university students dress in a casual manner when attending classes or walking around campus. With a majority of people donning jeans, t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts, don’t worry about dressing to impress on the first day of courses. Additionally, look into the weather habits of the region where you are studying to properly prepare for any excessive rain or snow while you are there.

Electronic devices

Since most electrical outlets differ from country to country, look into bringing both a power adapter and a converter with you on your travels to America. Converters will change the electrical voltage for safe use, while a power adapter will allow you to plug the devices from your country into American outlets. These helpful tools can prolong the life of your electronic devices and will prevent you from blowing a fuse in your room.

Medicine

To ensure your medications make it safely with you to your final destination, have a doctor sign off on a list of all the prescriptions you currently take. This will reduce the risk of having to explain why you have drugs in your bag to TSA officers. Additionally, make sure to bring extra medications and replacements for important items like eyeglasses and contact lenses. It also couldn’t hurt having a copy of your eyeglasses prescription in case of emergency.

By taking the time to detail exactly what you need when studying abroad in the United States, you will be properly prepared for just about anything during your time at university. For more information on travel medical insurance, contact Insurance Services of America today at (800) 647-4589.

Tips for First Time Visitors to the USA Thumbnail

Tips for First Time Visitors to the USA

America is often considered the land of the free and the home of the brave. While it certainly takes a brave person to visit the United States for the first time, you will find that the freedoms found in America make it one of the most unique and fascinating countries in the world. Like any other location, there are some things to be aware of when visiting the USA for the first time. Here are some tips that will help you fit in with Americans and enable you to have the best possible trip to the United States.

Try not to get offended

American citizens have a tendency to communicate with friends and even strangers in a very frank and informal manner. Don’t be alarmed if someone says something insulting or rude upon first meeting, since American’s usually talk to each other in an informal and joking style. Don’t get offended by anything you hear at a restaurant or on the street, it is likely that they aren’t talking to you or didn’t mean to provoke you.

When in doubt, tip

Unlike some other countries around the world, the United States is a tip-centric culture. Since tips are generally a major portion of the paychecks of many Americans, this means that you should be prepared to pay an extra dollar or two when dining out, enjoying drinks or having your car parked.

Don’t be alarmed by measurements

On of the quirkier aspects of the United States is a stubbornness and unwillingness to adapt the same measurements used in a majority of countries across the globe. While you may be used to seeing meters and kilograms in your country, prepare yourself for the onslaught of pounds, inches and miles that are used as measurements in America.

Prepare your electronic devices

In the United States, the standard electrical current is 120V, with 60V alternating current. If the electronic devices in your country utilize a different voltage, you will probably need an adapter to charge or use your high tech gadgets.

Upon landing in the United States, you will find that America is no different from any other country. It might take a little while to learn all of the customs of American life, but being aware of these helpful tips can offer a solid starting point to ensure a fun and exciting trip to the USA. For more information on overseas health insurance, contact Insurance Services of America today.

Coming to the United States? Travel Health Insurance and Regular Care Thumbnail

Coming to the United States? Travel Health Insurance and Regular Care

If you or someone you know is planning to visit the United States, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. This article will help bring into focus one important aspect of your travel planning. Before you or your loved one leaves for the United States, be sure to do your research on international health insurance for non-US citizens. To start, we’ll help you cut through one of the most common myths regarding travel insurance in the U.S.

Routine Care Not Covered

You may be surprised to learn that routine care in the United States is not covered by the typical travel health insurance plan. If you are worried about getting physicals, vaccines or routine check-ups while in the United States, you might want to find appropriate coverage. A good plan is to schedule a regular check-up with your doctor before you depart.

Why Isn’t Regular Care Covered?

The short answer is cost. Premiums for travel health insurance would rise steeply if these plans covered routine care. The premiums are reasonable now, but if the plans covered flu shots and everyone took advantage of that, costs would skyrocket.

So What Good is Travel Insurance?

International health insurance for non-US citizens is still an absolute necessity for any international traveler looking to protect their health and finances. Travel health insurance exists to cover you should you have a sudden illness or need emergency care.

If you’re coming to the United States, you’ve got two options for medical care: pay out of pocket or purchase travel health insurance that provides coverage for medical issues that arise. Be warned, pre-existing conditions aren’t typically covered, so take this into consideration when shopping for insurance. When you’re deciding whether to accept the risk of paying out of pocket for unexpected medical care, know this: medical treatment in the United States is among the most expensive in the world. The care is good, but it’s costly.

Talk to the Experts

Securing international health insurance for non US citizens can be complex, but the process doesn’t need to be a hassle. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an expert in international insurance to protect yourself against a financial disaster. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as ready, set, renew. Call us today at (800) 647-4589 to learn more about quality travel health insurance.

What Pregnant Women Should Know About Travel Health Insurance Thumbnail

What Pregnant Women Should Know About Travel Health Insurance

It is a common and safe practice for women to travel during pregnancy, depending on where their stage of pregnancy and the state of their overall health. For many, as soon as they get the doctor’s OK, they start packing their bags. This can be a welcome get away for those expecting, but without proper planning, your vacation can end up costing a lot more than airfare.

More common than you think 

For one pregnant woman, having her baby prematurely in a foreign country turned into an economic nightmare. A Saskatchewan woman prematurely gave birth to her daughter while on vacation, resulting in a $950,000 hospital bill. Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel was six months pregnant when she went into labor while on vacation in Hawaii. She spent six weeks in the hospital before her daughter was born, and her travel insurance provider refused to pay the bill on the grounds of a “pre-existing condition.”

Carefully read your policy

The so-called “Million Dollar Baby” case had insurance providers and lawyers strongly emphasizing the need for people to better understand the fine print in their insurance policies. In addition, even if the medical costs of the mother are covered, many insurance policies do not cover the costs of caring for the newborn. This could prove a very important policy detail if you are traveling to the U.S.

Do your research

Policy stipulations, such as pre-existing conditions or requirements that a patient be “medically stable” during the 90 days leading up to departure, can be confusing. It may be wise to ask your insurer for a print-out of all exclusions including pre-existing conditions. Discuss this list with your doctor to determine if you are at risk of incurring ineligible expenses. Ask questions about your health insurance policy, and get the details in writing.

Many visitors to the U.S. turn to health insurance for non U.S. citizens. These insurance plans, specifically for travelers, can help fill the gaps left by your tradition health insurance, so you can travel abroad without financial worry. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.

What are the most common travel accidents? Thumbnail

What are the most common travel accidents?

While planning your trip overseas, you’re probably not focusing on all the things that could go wrong. Accidents can happen whether you’re at home or traveling, so it’s important to have a plan just in case. Travel insurance for non U.S. citizens might be a good choice before entering the country, to help you navigate complex foreign healthcare systems in case of an emergency. With all the unfamiliar sights to see, it’s easy to forget to be cautious. Here are the most common accidents that happen to overseas travelers.

Traffic accidents

The number one cause of death across the globe is car accidents, so it’s important to drive safely no matter where you are visiting. Often travelers don’t understand the local traffic laws in different countries. Foreign roads can be notoriously difficult to navigate, especially when you are unfamiliar with your surroundings. Even if you aren’t driving while abroad, keep your head up and pay attention to everything around you. Pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation can all play a role in traffic accidents.

Trips and slips

The likelihood of trips and slips increases while traveling, so when possible, remember to slow down and watch where you are going. Plan to arrive at airports and transportation centers early, so you’re not hurried to catch a flight or a train. In addition, while sight-seeing and taking photographs, try to slow down and look down at where you are walking from time to time. In your excitement and awe at discovering a new place, you might not see a curb or other obstruction in your path. Wet surfaces are particularly dangerous, so always hold onto available railings and wear the proper footwear for the weather and terrain you are expecting.

Snake bites

One of the best parts of traveling to distant lands is interacting with nature. Don’t let unfamiliar and dangerous wildlife get the best of you. If hiking is part of your journey, keep your eyes on the path in front of you to ensure you don’t surprise a snake. These bites can be particularly fatal especially if there are no nearby medical treatment facilities. Even if you are familiar with reptile wildlife, foreign wilderness can house unfamiliar and deadly creatures. If you encounter a snake, stay calm and get to an emergency room as soon as possible.

 

Accidents are often unavoidable, one helpful aspect of travel insurance is that your plan includes a toll-free phone number you can call no matter what the emergency entails. Your provider can then direct you to the nearest hospital, find you transportation, or even provide evacuation arrangements if necessary. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.

U.S. Ski Trips and Travel Medical Insurance: Why Preparation is Important Thumbnail

U.S. Ski Trips and Travel Medical Insurance: Why Preparation is Important

A ski vacation is the perfect adventure trip for many families, but without the right plan, an accident can quickly ruin your trip. Winter sports are as dangerous and unpredictable as they are fun. However, with proper planning, you can embark on your American ski adventure with peace of mind. Travel medical insurance is one of the most important precautions to take before embarking on a ski trip. There are plenty of reasons why skiers elect to get extra coverage rather than run the risk being unprepared for medical and financial issues. Here are three important realities for non-U.S. residents to consider before planning a ski vacation in the U.S.

You might have to cancel your trip

The expenses add up quickly when planning any vacation abroad, and for skiers, there are even more costs to prepare for. In the event of a last-minute trip cancellation, you could stand to lose a hefty investment. A good ski travel insurance policy will cover trip cancellations, as well as travel interruptions and stolen or lost baggage. When unexpected issues arise, as they often do, having travel insurance could help you reschedule your vacation and minimize your loss.

Skiing accidents are common

Outdoor vacation activities like skiing are inherently risky. When you least expect it, you or one of your fellow travelers may need medical attention. Even the best skiers can have accidents. Even if you are not faced with a serious emergency, a pesky flu could cut your trip short. Insurance can help with medical bills internationally, and some policies cover trip interruptions as well.

Weather can be unpredictable

As seasoned skiers know, snow and other weather conditions are extremely important for your ski trip. If the weather is too warm, you could be out of luck. In the case of extreme weather, you could be facing a cancelled flight instead of a gentle slope down a mountain. Many travel insurance policies cover ski trip cancellations, as well as weather delays.

Make sure you review your insurance plan carefully before you buy, so that all your specific needs are accounted for. Whether you are traveling solo, with a group, or planning a chilly but exciting family vacation, consider travel medical insurance USA before you head for the slopes. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.

Trip Insurance vs. Medical Insurance: What’s the Difference? Thumbnail

Trip Insurance vs. Medical Insurance: What’s the Difference?

If you are planning on traveling abroad, you might be thinking about purchasing travel insurance. Many don’t realize exactly what travel insurance can cover. Travel insurance is a broad term used for insurance that provides some sort of travel coverage. Typically travel insurance refers to either trip insurance (protection for financial losses due to unexpected trip related issues) or travel medical insurance (protection for health-related issues). For visitors to the U.S., both types of travel insurance can provide a more worry-free journey. Here’s why trip insurance and travel medical insurance are recommended, as well as the specific differences in coverage.

Trip insurance

Trip insurance typically refers to trip cancellation insurance coverage. These policies are usually for a short duration of a trip, such as up to 30 days. This type of coverage protects you against financial losses suffered because of unexpected trip related situations. This can include trip cancellations, interruptions, delays, missed flight connections, lost baggage, or rental car coverage. Some plans may include only certain features and benefits, so make sure that you choose a plan that works for your specific needs.

This type of insurance is useful in cases where specific circumstances may cause changes in your travel plan. Traveling with children or seniors or traveling in high-risk areas might also be reasons to consider this type of coverage.

Travel medical insurance

Travel medical insurance provides protection for unforeseen health issues you may encounter while traveling. These insurance plans are intended for sickness, injuries, and accidents. They may also cover expenses for medical treatment, medical evacuation, and/or accidental death repatriation. Travel medical insurance can also be called visitor insurance, visitor medical insurance, travel health insurance, or overseas travel insurance. It is important to ask the experts what kind of coverage might be best for your specific needs.

Travel insurance plans are especially recommended for traveling abroad to destinations where risk to exposed health issues could be higher, or for foreign visitors to the U.S. Travel insurance for non U.S. residents can provide a low cost solution to the common risks associated with visiting a foreign country. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.

Do you Need Health Coverage for Your Parents if They Visit You in the US? Thumbnail

Do you Need Health Coverage for Your Parents if They Visit You in the US?

Understanding healthcare in the United States can be very difficult. However, you don’t have to understand it fully to know that travel medical insurance for non-US citizens is necessary.

If you have parents coming to visit you for the holidays, while on vacation or for any other reason, you need to get travel medical insurance for them. This is very important because if they need any type of medical care, while in the United States, they won’t get the best care and it will be expensive.

What type of insurance is right for your parents?

A comprehensive policy with full medical and travel benefits is the best choice, if you can afford it. Most of these policies are called visitor health insurance and will include higher medical limits.

Do you need separate policies for each parent?

You need travel medical insurance for each person visiting the United States. If both of your parents are coming to visit, you should get a separate policy for each of them. This will allow for more coverage and usually it’s more cost effective.

What should the policy maximums be for visiting parents?

You should always try to get the highest policy maximum you can. A $100,000 maximum is preferred by many, especially if the stay is short. However, if they plan to be more active or they are older, you may want a higher maximum.

Are you allowed to purchase the travel medical insurance for your parents?

Yes, you can do the entire application for your parents and pay for the policy with a credit card. This will save your parents the hassle of having to deal with it.

What else should you be aware of?

When purchasing travel medical insurance for non-US citizens, you should make sure you get the right policy for their needs. If your parents plan to visit the United States, but also want to see Canada, Mexico or any other country, you may need a different policy. Some type of travel insurance won’t cover them outside the United States.

It’s also important to consider where your parents will be staying. If they will be staying with you, a policy with the right protection may not be the same as if they are staying in a hotel.

It’s important to understand what type of travel medical insurance is best for visiting parents. Whether they are coming for a week, a month or longer, you need to make sure they are covered.

Does ObamaCare have an Effect on Those Visiting the United States? Thumbnail

Does ObamaCare have an Effect on Those Visiting the United States?

When it comes to health insurance for non-US residents, it’s important to understand how ObamaCare affects these individuals. Some traveling to the USA are under the impression that they will get free healthcare due to the U.S. Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. However, this is simply not true.

Not only is healthcare not free for those living in the United States, but it’s also not free for non-US residents traveling to the country. US visitors don’t gain free access to health care while in the country because they are not United States citizens. Even if they have family living here, they don’t get free healthcare.

Only some U.S. Cities and some permanent residents with green cards qualify for the federal programs for health care or ObamaCare. Non-US residents are responsible for getting their own healthcare coverage and ObamaCare won’t help them at all.

United States health care can be very expensive

If you’re traveling from another country to the US, it’s important to make sure you’re covered. Paying for medical care in the United States is very expensive and can put you tens of thousands of dollars in debt quickly. You want to make sure you have the right travel medical insurance before you leave for your trip.

If you’re involved in any type of accident or just need minor care, it can quickly become more than you can afford. Any of the common illnesses or accidents can cost you quite a bit of money out of pocket. Make sure you’re covered or you may end up at home with massive credit card debt because of a medical emergency.

You cannot visit the ER free of charge

You may think the United States will provide a free emergency room visit, but they won’t. If you have a medical emergency that lands you in the emergency room, it may get very expensive. Just a trip in an emergency vehicle can cost several hundred dollars.

If you do end up in the emergency room and you don’t have any health coverage, you may be transferred to a welfare hospital very quickly. The quality of your care may be compromised and you may not get the treatment you need.

Liability falls on your visa sponsor

If you’re in the United States on a sponsored visa and you have to go to the emergency room, your visa sponsor will be held liable for your bills. This can cause your sponsor to lose their visa or be prosecuted by bill collectors.

There are many reasons why you need to make sure you have the right health insurance for non-US residents before you travel. Without the right coverage, you may find yourself in debt or putting your visa sponsor in jeopardy.

Visiting the US? Here’s Why You Need Travel Insurance Thumbnail

Visiting the US? Here’s Why You Need Travel Insurance

It’s no secret that medical care in the United States is a complicated issue, even for US citizens. So it should come as no surprise that a foreign national visiting the country should also have to take this into account, especially as the Affordable Care Act (so-called ‘Obamacare’) rolls out and impacts the system in unpredictable and often misunderstood ways.

If you or someone you love is planning a trip to the United States, you owe it to your peace of mind to know a bit about the landscape so you can plan accordingly. Of course we hope the trip will go smoothly, but the simplest, easiest way to secure your finances while traveling to the US is to purchase US Visitor Insurance or travel insurance. In the case of an emergency, you’ll be glad you did, and here are three top reasons why:

Visitors are not entitled to medical care

Unlike the United Kingdom or other European countries, medical care is not covered by taxes, and visitors are not entitled to free care. This might surprise many visitors from countries where a visit to the doctor costs nothing, and never has. So please plan accordingly.

What about the emergency room?

Visitors are expected to pay for this too. In the case of an absolute disaster, the cost of the ambulance, the emergency visit, and ultimately the cost of any long-term care, should you need it, would be billed to you if you are uninsured. Needless to say, these costs will add up quickly. Health care in the US and Canada is the most expensive in the world. A simple visit to the emergency room for some stitches can cost hundreds of dollars. A ride in the ambulance might cost a thousand or more.

Students and foreign workers can purchase domestic insurance, but consider the coverage gap

Short-term visitors to the United States will be ineligible to purchase domestic health insurance, so will want to secure US Visitor Insurance to cover the whole of their travel. However, students and foreign workers on visa will be eligible for insurance, typically through their school or employer. That noted, even students and workers on visa will want to consider travel insurance to cover any gaps between the beginning of the insurance eligibility in the United States and their date of arrival.

You might be wondering: what’s the likelihood of the US health and insurance landscape changing in the near future? Will it ever be less complicated? The answer, unfortunately, is that the system only recently received one of the largest overhauls in history, which seems to have only added to the confusion and complexity. So, foreign visitors are urged to plan accordingly.

Fortunately you don’t need to understand the often inscrutable American health insurance system to secure yourself or a loved one against financial disaster should something go wrong when they’re visiting the US. At Insurance Services of America, we make health insurance for foreign nationals as easy as ready, set, renew. Call (800) 647-4589 or 01 (480) 821-9052 to learn more.