I am a US citizen and will be moving back to the US from the UK. I will be leaving the UK the day my visa expires and arriving in the US 2 weeks prior to my job starting in the US. What type of health insurance do I need to provide cover similar to what the NHS provides for myself and my family for the 2 weeks that I am unemployed?


2 Answers 2


Normally when changing employer in the US, your old coverage would continue to the end of the month, and the new coverage start the following month.

You don't have such an option and don't have a COBRA option as you are returning from the UK.

You need to take out some private short term insurance of your own to cover this situation, for example


But I am sure that most insurance companies will offer similar 'stop gap' insurance.

You might want to contact the insurance company your new employer uses, and negotiate with them for coverage for your break, since you will be signing up with them anyway, it may reduce paperwork.

  • Asking your employer to help you out is a better approach than contacting the insurance company. As the insurance is actually bought by the employer the insurance company won't deal with your directly. But ask the company; it's worth a shot.
    – Christian
    Apr 2, 2014 at 13:47

Unless you are prone to injuries or have pre-existing conditions that require medications or hospitalizations I would recommend you not get any for that gap. In most states there are Urgent Care centers, like the one at NYU, which are basically walk-in clinics that allow you to see a doctor get medications and the like.

If you do feel that you still want to get insurance I would recommend getting travel insurance instead of the short term medical because the minimum duration of the medical is 30 days and it may cost you more. Companies like TravelGuard will provide you short term medical insurance for the duration of your travel, which would be 2 weeks and won't cost a lot.

  • Good suggestion. But I recommend the OP reads the policy carefully Mar 13, 2014 at 13:35
  • @iandotkelly Generally a good thing to do when signing ones name on the dotted line. :)
    – Karlson
    Mar 13, 2014 at 13:37
  • When I emigrated to the USA from the UK, I did the same thing. I relied on the fact that I could claim I was traveling - my UK bank account came with travel insurance. If anything major happened, after the initial urgent care I could even defer my emigration, return to the UK and seek follow up treatment there. The OP doesn't have that option however if they are literally leaving on the last day of their visa. Mar 13, 2014 at 13:57
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    @iandotkelly I don't know for sure, but I could imagine that if something happened that was expensive enough to make the insurance really worthwhile that the insurance company would claim you were not travelling and let you fight them in court over it. Then again I have a negative view of insurance companies.
    – StrongBad
    Mar 14, 2014 at 9:46

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