When planning everything you want to do and see in New York, you should not forget that there are some procedures that will make your life there easier. Getting the ESTA visa or taking a good medical insurance is one of them.
In the United States health care is private and can become very expensive for a traveler if a mishap occurs during the trip and does not have medical coverage. That is why it is better to take precautions and before traveling to New York take out medical insurance.
Do I need medical insurance to travel to New York?
The United States does not have health agreements with other countries, so even if you travel to New York with the European health card or the health card of your country, they will not be valid if unfortunately you suffer a health problem during your vacation.
That is why you need to take out health insurance to cover the cost of health care if you ever need it. It is not mandatory, as you will not be asked at the airport security checkpoint if you have it, but in this country health care is private and, believe me, it can be very expensive for a tourist. Having it will save you a lot of trouble!
What are the medical costs in the United States?
My recommendation is that before you cross the pond you soak up how the health care system works in the United States and travel insurance. It is an added expense, but if for some reason you need medical assistance during your trip to New York you can be sure that you will be taken care of and return home debt free. Otherwise, you will have to assume very high costs for not having coverage. Here are some reference prices:
- The minimum price for a consultation is $300 (approximately €279.50).
- A visit for a prescription can cost $350 (about €326).
- Treatment for a broken leg can cost $7,500 (about €8,000).
- The average cost of a three-day hospital stay is about $30,000 (about €32,200).
Also, if you don't have insurance, care at different hospitals in the city is priced differently, which can make it hard to be sure how much a treatment will end up costing you. Therefore, I will never tire of repeating it: to avoid unpleasant surprises in your bank account, the best thing to do is to take precautions and take out medical insurance before traveling to New York.
When to take out medical insurance for New York?
Most medical insurance cannot be taken out once you are at your destination, but you have to do it before you travel. My advice is to buy it as soon as possible. You can also add coverage in case of trip cancellation. In this case, all health care coverage and reimbursement for the cancellation of your trip will be included.
What is included in the health care insurance: it covers medical expenses, repatriation, early return, luggage and many other coverages.
Which travel insurance to choose?
New York is one of the cities with one of the highest healthcare costs in the United States. The most common coverage for travel to other countries is usually around 50,000 € but here it may not be enough.
To travel to the Big Apple I recommend taking out medical and trip cancellation insurance with coverage up to 200,000 € minimum (better if it is higher). The higher the coverage the more expensive the insurance will be, but I would not travel to the United States with less than that amount.
How to choose the best medical insurance to New York?
If you have already done some research on this topic, you will have seen that there is a lot of choice on the market and insurance is often difficult to compare as each insurer has different conditions and coverage.
On top of that, insurers use very specific terminology that may sound like Greek to you if you are not familiar with this subject. So how do you choose the best insurance for you? In order to help you choose the most suitable one, here is what I think is essential in any insurance policy when it comes to contracting it with any company.
What is essential in a medical insurance to New York?
- Medical coverage of up to 200,000 € minimum in accidents and illnesses (if it is higher, the better). Make sure that part of this insurance is also intended for dental emergencies (treatment costs for infection, trauma or pain) just in case a tooth decides to give you a hard time during your vacation.
- The coverage usually includes the shipment of medicines that can be obtained in Spain abroad, although it is not so important in the case of New York since in this city you will be able to find any medicine.
- Do not have to advance money: Health care is very expensive in the United States, so it is essential that your medical insurance to New York does not make you advance money, but that the insurer manages the payments directly with the hospital. Some require the traveler to make the payment first and then they will reimburse you, but paying such a large amount all at once can leave your bank account shivering and you may lose money in the currency exchange.
- Repatriation: It is very important that the insurance includes the insured's medical transfer or repatriation in case of illness or death.
- Legal assistance and civil liability: The insurance you choose should include civil liability coverage for damages you may cause to third parties if, for example, you have a car accident, as well as legal assistance to have the advice of a lawyer in case you need it.
- Early return: Make sure that the insurance you choose includes early return in the event of death or hospitalization of a direct relative or if a serious incident occurs at your residence or business premises, such as theft, fire, flood or explosion. In all these cases, you will have to provide the supporting documents certifying these events.
- Resumption of the trip: You should check if your insurance covers the resumption of the trip if you had to return to your place of residence early. If so, in these cases the insurance covers the cost of returning to the place where you were before the incident occurred.
- Luggage: It will ensure that your luggage is protected against all the problems it faces when you travel. For example, in case of theft during the outbound journey. Also if your bag does not show up on the baggage claim belt or if the airline loses it and you are without luggage during your trip to New York.
- Travel Delay: Travel to New York is expensive and requires a great deal of planning, so as a traveler you will probably want some compensation if your flight is delayed or cancelled. In this sense, it is advisable to read the fine print of the policies because insurers do not usually compensate if it is the airline's responsibility, if the delay has not been at least 4 to 6 hours or if it is due to a strike.
- Trip extension: If you need to extend your stay in New York due to convalescence or if you need a relative to travel there to accompany you, insurance policies have a limit on accommodation per day and per person. Check that the amount does not fall short because hotels in this city are quite expensive, especially if you have to book at the last minute.
Isabel's Traveller Tip
Keep the invoices, complaints and all the documentation you have to send to the insurance company.
How does the policy work in case you need it?
Once you contract your medical insurance to New York they will send you all the documentation and will provide you with a phone number to contact the insurance company in case you need to use the policy. They will inform you which hospital you need to go to. This way, you will not have to pay any money up front and your insurance company will cover the costs.
When you are abroad and an unforeseen event occurs that may cause you distress, it is essential to be able to communicate easily and quickly with the insurer to resolve the matter as soon as possible. All of them provide their clients with a 24-hour assistance telephone number, but the fact that they have a chat is a plus that you should value because you will have an open communication channel with the company and you will not have to repeat everything that has happened and the details every time you call them.
Is credit card insurance enough if it covers me in the United States?
Many travelers consider that the insurance coverage offered by credit cards when paying for airline tickets with them is sufficient for traveling to New York. However, it is advisable to check the terms and conditions of the cards, because the amount provided may not cover everything you might need.
Although taking out medical insurance to New York is an extra outlay that you may prefer to avoid because you are in excellent health, my advice is not to skimp on expenses because if unfortunately an incident occurs during your vacation, with a policy you will save yourself a lot of headaches.
Does insurance cover the costs of coronavirus?
Given the current circumstances, it is important that the insurance you take out for travel to New York also covers health care in case of coronavirus infection, including testing and extension of your stay in your accommodation if you need to quarantine.
In addition to health insurance, how do I get an ESTA visa to travel to New York?
There are numerous things to do and things to see in New York. If you are organizing your trip, in addition to medical insurance, you will need to get an ESTA visa to enter the United States as a tourist. It is very simple and quick to obtain! In this article I tell you how to do it online