Country information USA
Health insurance for foreign workers in the USA
Every year thousands of foreign workers enter the US labour market. Some of the workers want to stay and live in the USA forever, some of them just want to work temporarily in the United States. The attraction of the United States can has several reasons. First, the USA is the world’s largest economy in nominal terms, which makes the United States appealing for foreign workers. Second, the USA offers foreign workers a broad spectrum of career opportunities, as well as access to both domestic and international companies, which makes it an ideal place to broaden one’s professional and personal horizon. Furthermore, the USA traditionally is an immigration country with a long history of foreigners entering the country to become economically succesfull.
If you want to start a job in the USA you need a valid visa. A visa can only be applied for in a US Consulate in your home country. Applicants between 14 and 79 years of age must be present in person and conduct a short interview in order to apply for the visa.
There are several categories of visa depending on the purpose of travel. The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) includes among others nonimmigrant visas for people who have their permanent residence outside of the USA and want to work in the USA for a defined time. The homepage of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Germany provides the complete list of the visa categories and their exact descripions.
Please note that you can only receive a work visa for the USA, if a US employer has filed a petition for a work permit for you. The American Embassy can, however, still deny the visa when, for example, one is not proficient enough in the language, or one’s Certificate of Good Conduct reflects criminal activity.
Legal basics about health insurance for workers in the USA
The health caresystem in the USA is very special in comparison to other advanced industrialized nations. Healthcare and health insurance plans are treated as a private matter with no general statutory healthcare cover for American citizens. Public health care is provided via two governmental programs: Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is a state-sponsored health insurance program, which is aimed at the care of the elderly (citizens over 65 years of age) and the disabled. Medicaid is a state-sponsored health and medical service program for citizens with low income and few resources regardless of age. Both programs are managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The US healthcare market is dominated by private health insurances, which can be taken out directly or through your employer. Most of the privat health insurance plans are taken out through employers and are bound to the employment contract. If an employee is insured through his employer he looses his health insurance if he looses his job. Companies that have 50 or more employees are required to offer health insurance to their full-time staff. This provision can be attributed to the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010“- also known as “ObamaCare“, however, some companies participate voluntarily in the law.
The US medical care quality is concerned as one of the best in the world. Nevertheless the privately dominated system is one of the inefficent systems worldwide, with constantly increasing premiums and unregulated high prices for medical care. These conditions make it absolutely necessary for foreign workers in the USA to opt a health insurance in order to make the costs for medical care controllable.
The U.S. has established a network of Social Security Agreements with different nations. One of the purposes of Social Security Agreements is to eliminate dual Social Coverage. Here you can check out the list of countries the USA has Social Security Agreements with. You can look up if the agreements contain regulations about medical insurances.
Every country has its own healthcare system. On the basis of characteristics like your home country, the duration of your stay, the reason of your stay and the destination of your trip different needs for health insurance appear. Our organistion recommends Care Concept AG from Germany for health insurance solutions abroad. Click here for further informations about Care Concept AG.
As a foreign worker in the USA you are not insured through the statutory health insurance in your home country. In order to make the exceptionally high costs for medical care in the USA controllable it is absolutely necessary to take out a health insurance for your time as a foreign worker in the USA. We recommend to take out a travel health insurance that fully covers the costs of medical care. For foreign workers in the USA we recommend the health insurance Care Discover.