Medical insurance is essential for all visitors and residents of the United States due to the way the healthcare system is set up and the high cost of medical treatment. If you are a resident of the US and you are in full time employment you will normally get your health insurance through your job, or you will pay separately for a long-term policy. However, visitors, recent immigrants and others will not be able to apply for long-term health insurance. For this reason, short term medical insurance is useful.
Short term medical insurance is for people who are between jobs, working part time, recent graduates with no employment, or people waiting for a work plan or other insurance to become effective. Short term insurance benefits are similar, if not equal, to long-term insurance benefits.
The short term plans cover outpatient and inpatient expenses, doctor visits, x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, and surgery. Generally pre-existing medical conditions and dental and vision are not covered. These temporary plans differ depending on the insurer, and you need to check what is covered before you sign up. Plans can be purchased for periods of time between a few months to one year. Again, plans differ depending on the provider so check you are properly covered.
In addition to short term medical insurance you need insurance for your health when you travel. Domestic health insurance, short term or long term, does not normally cover you for any injuries or illnesses that affect you when you are traveling abroad, so make sure you take out a separate travel insurance plan for vacations and business trips. Remember, when you are buying travel medical insurance for the United States it is best to go with insurance from a US insurer.