Health insurance in the US
The American health system
The health system in the United States is radically different from the European system and in particular from that of France. In the US, it relies on private companies that offer insurance plans. The price of these plans then depends on the risks covered: the larger the coverage, the higher the bill. The amount can be staggering or… nothing at all. There is no obligation to have health insurance, so some people may choose not to have any.
The cost of drugs, consultations with general practitioners or specialists as well as hospital stays are between 7 to 10 times more expensive than in France! For example :
- A visit to a general practitioner costs an average of $70;
- A visit to a dentist costs an average of $350;
- A consultation with a specialist costs an average of $350;
- A simple blood test costs an average of $150;
Therefore it is recommended to take out insurance because if a problem occurs on the US territory, the French social security will not be able to cover you. And in a country as procedural as the United States, a third party insurance is also to be considered.
Travel insurance for the US
Wording “travel insurance” is sometimes used incorrectly because it includes several types of insurance:
- Business travel insurance for professionals ;
- Expatriate insurance for people leaving for more than one year;
- Trip Cancellation Assistance, which reimburses travel expenses if a problem finally prevents you from leaving;
Therefore it is the latter that interests us here. Because in case you leave on vacation thanks to the authorization ESTA, it allows a trip not exceeding 90 days, so no need to take insurance covering a longer period. And even within the travel insurance, there are two distinct assistance:
- Travel cancellation assistance that allows you to be reimbursed for travel expenses if a problem finally prevents you from leaving;
- Assistance that includes only baggage, liability, emergency repatriation, medical expenses and hospitalization.
It is possible to subscribe to these two insurances at once thanks to the so-called multi-risk travel insurance package to be covered by all possible glitches. Prices vary depending on the duration of the insurance but also the variety of problems covered. It is therefore important to study your budget and your physical condition so that you do not get uncomfortably surprised during your vacation.