Vaccine Passports and Future Travel

Soon most American adults will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines, which hopefully leads to more businesses and international borders reopening. However a strong debate has started across the United States over whether a digital health certificate (some have coined as a “vaccine passport) should be required to prove immunization status.

Currently, Americans are issued a white paper card as evidence of their Covid-19 Vaccination, although these can easily be forged or falsified. Online scammers have already begun selling false and stolen vaccine cards.

Even though the federal government said it will not introduce digital vaccine passports by federal mandate, a growing number of businesses — live entertainment venues, cruise lines, and even sports venues — are vocal about requiring proof of vaccinations for entry or services. Hundreds of digital health pass initiatives are now scrambling to launch apps that provide a verified electronic record of immunizations and negative Covid-19 test results to help streamline the process.

States like Texas and Florida have banned businesses from requiring vaccination certificates, raising privacy and equity concerns, but digital developers continue their argument that the infrastructure is secure and will help speed up the process of reopening society and reviving travel.

While governments, tech companies, airlines, and other industries are testing different versions of digital health “vaccine passports”, the process comes with great technical challenges. As they are struggling to create compatibility between each system and health records to ensure they are pulled in a safe and controlled format, the challenge arises because of the sheer number of app initiatives underway. For these vaccine certificates to be useful, countries, airlines, and businesses must agree on a common standard. There is an added complexity of having individual states share data with different platforms while still maintaining resident privacy.

Are vaccine passports actually available? Right now, it’s only available if you live in New York. New York is the first state in the U.S. to launch a digital health certificate called the Excelsior Pass, which verifies a person’s negative coronavirus test results and their Covid-19 vaccination records. Most businesses in New York require individuals to show their state ID along with their Excelsior Pass to prevent potential fraud. So far, this pass has been used by thousands of New Yorkers to enter Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and other public venues.

In the world, other countries are requiring fully vaccinated residents to show their records digitally. Israel requires its residents to show an electronic “Green Pass” to attend places such as gyms, concerts, wedding halls, and to dine indoors. When it comes to foreign visitors, Israel requires a blood test upon arrival to prove vaccination. Once the vaccination certificate is introduced for travelers, the blood test will no longer be required.

The European Union has considered the idea of an electronic vaccine certificate with hopes it would be available by June of 2021, however each individual member country will be able to set its own rules for travel requirements.

The AXA Global Healthcare is Now Offering Mind Health Service

 

 

 

 

It’s clear the “year that shall not be named” left most of us coping with distressing life events, anxiety, and mental and health worry. In an effort to help and provide mental health support during the pandemic, the AXA Global Healthcare expanded its health and wellbeing offer by introducing the Mind Health service. This service provides quick, convenient access to a fully qualified psychologist for members in need of mental health support.

Regardless of where in the world you are based, members can use this Mind Health Service to seek advice on a variety of concerns, from anxiety, problems at work or home, or any difficult life challenges. This is a service that is available to all individual and small business members and their dependents and can be accessed through the Virtual Doctor from the AXA service.

I’m a member of the AXA, how do I go about using this service?

After initially discussing your need and health concern with your doctor, you will e referred to the Mind Health team and a consultation with a psychologist will be arranged at a time that suits you. With the integration of Virtual Doctor, it will be easy for members to have the access to expert help in Mental and Physical Health.

Questions? We’re ready and waiting to help — give us a call today!

The Most Frequently Asked Questions We Get About International Health Insurance

I’m a legal U.S. Resident but not a citizen. My job doesn’t offer health benefits. What can I do?

We can get you health coverage! Legal U.S. Residents have the same eligibility as citizens to receive coverage through the ACA, along with income-based subsidies. Another great option we offer is short-term health insurance, which is great for those who are still unable to afford an ACA-compliant plan.

I live in another country right now but we don’t have health insurance for the time we’re back in the states. What kind of insurance can we get?

The fantastic news is that E&M Global Insurance offers insurance plans customized for YOU! Whether you were born outside of the U.S., we offer unique, affordable, worldwide coverage specially designed for those who work and live abroad. This long-term global insurance has some great perks like: PPO insurance, no policy expiration date, no special enrollment period, applicants can receive approval within 24 hours, and coverage begins immediately. You also don’t nee da U.S. Visa or Social Security Number. Wether you are traveling for a few months or a few days, we can make sure you’re covered during travel, stay and return.

Will my pre-existing medical conditions be covered by my international health insurance plan?

Well, the short answer is — every application is different. International health insurance plans typically have an underwriter working for the insurance company review your medical history and determine whether or not they can insure you. Either they will approve the application as is, limit or exclude the pre-existing condition, or add a premium to cover the additional risks associated with the pre-existing conditions. Or they may simply deny the policy. At E&M, we take extra care to ensure our clients receive not just health insurance, but the best possible health coverage to suit their needs.

I’m at risk of becoming a public charge. What are my options?

If you’re at risk of denial under the DHS public charge rule, a perfect solution to avoid public charge is Short-Term Medical Insurance. There is no open enrollment period (you can apply at any time), and most plans can last anywhere from one month up to thirty-six months. Although these plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, immigrations considers these plans “positively” when using the public charge test.

Are New Legal Permanent Residents Eligible for Medicare Coverage through ACA?

Are New Legal Permanent Residents Eligible for Medicare Coverage through ACA?

One of the questions we get asked most frequently is whether or not new legal permanent residents are eligible for Medicare coverage through the ACA. The short answer is yes — however there are strict eligibility requirements immigrants must meet and qualify for U.S. Healthcare Marketplace coverage.

To be eligible for Medicare, a person must first be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident who is past his/her 65th birthday. Additionally, the person or their spouse must have worked in the United States and paid Medicare taxes for a minimum of forty (40) quarters. If you’re a recent legal permanent resident or new immigrant to the U.S. and haven’t worked in the U.S., you may not immediately qualify for Medicare. In this case, you can still purchase it as long as the following applies to you:

  • You’re 65 years or older
  • You’ve recently become a U.S. Citizen by naturalization and haven’t worked enough quarters in the U.S. to have social security coverage
  • You’re a green card holder and have constantly lived in the United States for 5 years or longer and don’t qualify for social security benefits

If you are a recent immigrant that has not yet accrued 40 quarters of work history but is lawfully present, you can qualify for health care (not Medicare) through the ACA. There is no five-year waiting period under the ACA and you could be eligible for subsidies to help offset costs.

If for some reason you are not qualified for government-supported healthcare or are unable to get private health insurance in the U.S. you may still be able to get short-term medical plans. And that’s where we come in! We are able to help new legal permanent residents get the right coverage they are looking for at an affordable price.  Questions? Give us a call — our agents are ready and waiting to help!

K-1 Visas Explained

If you’ve binged-watched 90-day fiancé like the rest of us, you probably already have an idea of what the K-1 visa is. For those who have not heard of it, the K-1 visa is issued to a finance of a United States citizen to come to the United States for 90 days or less with the goal and intent of getting married. At the end of the 90 days the fiancé  will need to either marry the U.S. citizen petitioner or leave the United States.

At E&M Global, we can help you with options for a K-1 individual:

Short Term

Depending on your state, we can pursue a short term major medical product covering large medical expenses and provide negotiated rates for things like doctor visits. Usually, these short term policies are written as a 3-month term with the option to extend another 3-months, making it a 6-month policy. Short term major medical is a great option for a K-1 individual and less expensive than an ACA policy.

Long Term

If the K-1 individual is looking for a more permanent policy, we can provide health care as well. If not in the open enrollment window, then an Expat policy should be considered. Expat policies cover wellness exams, hospitalization, doctor visits, medications, and more. Unlike ACA plans, these plans are usually cheaper and often offer superior benefits. However, one should note that it does not cover pre-existing conditions, so be sure to let one of our agents know before making any decisions!

Regardless of whether you’re coming to the United States on a K-1 Visa, you’ll need a fantastic health insurance plan. At E&M we have contracts with all carrier and can properly advise you on your best options! Give us a call today!

J-1 Visa Insurance Plans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At E&M Global, we’re proud to sponsor the American immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and thoroughly educate our agents about Visa types and the individuals who apply for them. Today, I wanted to chat about our most common Visa application, the J1 Visa.

What is the J-1 Visa?

A J-1 Visa is for an individual who is coming to the Unites States to enroll in work or education-based exchange programs. These programs are sponsored by an educational or other nonprofit institution, which must be accredited through the Exchange Visitor Program designated but the U.S. State Department.

What are J-1 Insurance Requirements?

Unlike other Visa applications, a J-1 Visa applicant must meet specific insurance requirements:

  • Acquire medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • A deductible not to exceed $500
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $2500
  • Medical Evacuation of the J1 individual to home country in the amount of $50,000

We believe a “bare bones” policy with these limits above is unacceptable; we insist our applicants are insured to the highest quality. For example, we ensure our clients have at least $1,000,000 of hospital coverage.

We want to make sure your experience is as hassle free as possible — don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any questions! We’re ready to help!

Thinking of applying for an E-2 Non-Immigrant Visa? Here’s what you need to know

The E-2 non-immigrant visa is perfect for those foreign nationals who are interested in starting a business in the United States. E2 Visas are notorious for their rigorous application process which can be stressful for many individuals. Thankfully we are here to help you with that process!

With an E-2 Visa, one may:

  • Work legally in the company that is the investment vehicle in the US
  • Travel freely in and out of the US
  • Stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited two-year extensions as long as you maintain E-2 qualifications
  • Be accompanied by your dependents under 21, relatives, and spouse. Your spouse may also work while in the US and your dependents may attend US schools, colleges, and universities and do not have to apply for a separate student visa.

In order to successfully obtain an E-2 Visa, applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of a country which the US h
    as a treaty with, specifically for commerce and navigation. Citizenship is required. Simply being a permanent resident is not enough.
  • Prove the applicant has invested economically or is in the process of investing economically in a bonafide US business. This often requires extensive paperwork and might include the need for witnesses or statements from current US citizens. Prove the applicant is coming to the US solely for establishing, developing, or doing work for the business in which they have invested in.

Clearly, it’s not as simple as filling out a form. While this may be a great option for some businesspeople, it can be risky to fulfill all of the application’s requirements. The E-2 Visa also requires a substantial investment of capital in a viable US business. The applicant would be In the US on a temporary basis and must return home to their country upon visa expiration.

How E&M Global Insurance Can Help You with Your E-2 Visa

We understand the difficulties and stresses of starting or taking over a business. Our goal is simplicity. As leaders in international health insurance, we know the right questions to ask. We work closely with you to ensure only the best policies are made available to you. Having good insurance provides the peace of mind and security you need as you strive toward the establishment of your new business.

Questions? We’re ready to help you! Give us a call today!

Things to Consider When Buying International Health Insurance

Buying International Health Insurance

Global healthcare is quite different from domestic policies, and the purchasing an international health plan is not only challenging, but a big decision. We are here to help you choose the right coverage and offer a few things to consider when purchasing an International health insurance plan.

Do you require portable coverage? Many expatriates move from one country to another, so it’s important your international plan allows you to move from one region to another.

Does the Insurer Have a Large Medical Network?

It’s a good idea to choose a global health insurance provider with an extensive medical network, that way you don’t have to pay a ton of out of pocket costs when you need a claim.

Only Traveling For a Short Amount of Time?

If you are going abroad for only a short amount of time and don’t think you need an international healthcare plan can purchase travel medical insurance. This will cover emergency health care costs —  you can enjoy quality time while vacationing abroad!

Will My Pre-existing Medical Conditions Be Covered?

If you have a pre-existing condition, it’s important to declare these when applying for your international health plan. Failure to disclose this information could lead to your claim and/or policy being canceled.

The good news is — we can help you with this!  We provide private medical/health insurance for Expatriates and their families, EB-5 Investors and their families, those born outside the US, international students and those studying abroad, and US citizens and legal residents who travel internationally. We customize our insurance plans based on your needs. Questions? Give us a call — our agents are ready to help!

What To Do If You’re A Public Charge Risk

Public Charge Risk

Are you at risk of denial under the DHS public charge rule? A perfect solution for those looking to avoid public charge is Short-Term Medical Insurance.

Even if you’re a healthy individual, it’s still a good idea to purchase private health insurance plans like short-term medical. One of the benefits to plans like these is there is no open enrollment period — you can apply anytime. Most plans can last anywhere from one month up to thirty-six months. Although they do not cover pre-existing conditions, immigration deems these plans in a “heavily positive” favor when using the public charge test. Social security numbers are not required and STM plans meet the new requirements under the Public Charge Rule. Another huge benefit is the cost — short-term plans are priced significantly cheaper than traditional options.

Looking for suitable coverage to meet your new requirements? Give us a call. We can provide a number of options that will qualify under the new rule and help you with your application!

Predictions for the Global Healthcare Industry Post Covid-19

Healthcare Industry

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis of the global healthcare market post covid forecasts 2020 will be an unforgiving yet transformational year in the healthcare industry. As the world struggles with this global emergency, the healthcare industry should expect to see a drop in growth from 5.3% to .6% by the end of 2020, with revenues remaining below the $2 trillion marks.

Because of their analyses, Frost & Sullivan have revisited predictions and identified the top for the global healthcare industry post covid-19:

  1. The United States will have an excess of 100,000 ventilators, while Western Europe will purchase an additional 30,000-50,000. This uneven distribution across the world will not only redefine non-hospital and home critical care models but will also revive the mature mounting devices post Covid.
  2. Traditional models of in-vitro diagnostics testing in a healthcare setting are unable to meet unprecedented demand. By the start of 2021, the $5 billion point-of-care testings for the infectious disease market will drive the change in service models with alternate testing sites like pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens, etc.). These stores have already begun building the infrastructure to offer IVD testing at their locations.
  3. Virtual consultations by healthcare professionals will become the mainstream care delivery model post covid-19. However, reimbursement, physician training, and platform usability will be the key to recalibrating Telehealth.

Moving forward, healthcare IT companies are leaning towards AI platforms that predict pandemics, forecast patient volume, and drive the general well-being of the insured population through medication management and self-care enablement. Hopefully, through these analyses from Frost & Sullivan, companies can identify top growth opportunities as well as high-risk measures to help survive through the pandemic.