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Study Abroad Health Insurance – If you are planning to study abroad at an international school or university, you will be required by both your school and your host country to have adequate international student insurance when you are visiting. The international health insurance policy provides for illness and accident expense protection.
This policy will help you find a hospital that can pay for your treatments. So! for your well being, this article has made provisions for every detail you will need to know about the study abroad health insurance for international student.
Call your parents’ insurance company. As a student, you might qualify for your parents’ insurance plan. Some plans pay only for treatment rendered at a specific network of providers, while others will pay for a doctor anywhere. Low-cost HMOs usually cover emergency treatment outside of the network, but might not cover international travel. Provide detailed information on your itinerary, including any extreme sports you plan to do and the length of your trip.
Meet with your advisor at school. If your trip is school-sponsored or you are in an exchange program, the school might have made arrangements to provide low-cost insurance to participants. Even if you will travel independently, some schools offer discounts for specific travel insurance companies. Your advisor also can help you work through exclusions and limitations and compare different plans.
Check major insurance websites such as travelguard.com. Some companies specialize in student travel, while others offer coverage for travelers of all ages. You can customize a plan that is right for you, combining theft insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and other products with your health insurance for a single fee. Make sure you read the fine print, as each policy has its own requirements and exclusions.
Roll insurance into your package. Most tour operators allow you to add health insurance to your package for a low rate. If you are going on a guided tour or a cruise, this is often the cheapest option. If you are combining several trips with different companies, add up the total price of insuring each segment individually and compare it to the cost of independently ensuring your entire trip.
Look at global health insurance plans at websites such as globalhealthinsurance.net and offshorehealth.com. If you travel extensively or are planning to study abroad, you might be eligible for a global health insurance plan. The plans are accepted in dozens of countries around the globe, but function like traditional health insurance. You can choose your deductible and level of coverage. United States citizens must reside abroad for six months of the year in order to qualify.
Things to know about medical insurance for international
1. Know why you need international student health insurance.
Regardless of how old you are, how well-traveled you are, or your relative health (future Olympian vs. hours-spent-watching-Sarabhai-vs-Sarabhai-on-couch-record-holder), there are very real risks that need to be prepared for before studying in the United States. Yes, remembering to pack your favorite hair products or must-have tennis shoes is important, but your international student health insurance carries even more weight. Not having health insurance coverage in the United States—a country particularly notorious for expensive health care costs—can have lifelong consequences for both your health AND your bank account.
2. Memorize the terminology.
it’s helpful to know the definitions of a few important terms, like:
- Claim: A claim is sent if an accident occurs. You can do this by hand or online. You usually need to submit receipts, reports, and photos with this.
- Premium: This is what you pay every month—or every six months—to have insurance. It’s like a Netflix subscription. But WAY less fun.
- Deductible: This is a predetermined amount that YOU must pay BEFORE insurance begins paying IF you have a problem. This can range significantly and will impact your premiums; the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly costs generally are. The deductible is the maximum amount you will have to pay in a year before insurance kicks in.
- Co-Insurance: Beyond your deductible, your plan might include co-insurance payments, which is a percentage of what you’ll be charged after your deductible is reached/exceeded. This is typically a percentage, like 10%.
- Co-payment or co-pay: This is a fixed amount that you’ll have to pay the doctor when services are rendered.
- In and out of network: When you have health insurance in the United States, it will likely fall in one of two categories—HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations) or PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). This means different rates for services depending on if procedures are performed by certain individuals who are in or out of network.
3. Fulfill the health insurances requirements necessary for your visa.
Your international student health insurance requirements will vary based on your full-time student statuses—aka your J1 vs. F1 visa.
International students entering the USA on a J1 visa must have adequate health insurance that fulfills requirements set forth by the US Department of State AKA the visa authorities. As of now, the J1 visa insurance requirements include:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- Repatriation of remains coverage amounting to $25,000
- Expenses associated with the emergency medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
- A deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness
The international student health provider must be legitimate in the eyes of the US State Department too. This means the policy must be underwritten by an organization that checks off boxes such as an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above; an Insurance Solvency International rating of “A-1” or above; a Standard and Poors Claims Paying Ability rating of “A-” or above; or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.
F1 visa holders do not have to meet government-mandated standards. They have less stringent health insurance requirements than those holding a J1 visa, as these international students don’t have any oversight or requirements from the US government.
4. Understand what health insurance for an international student typically covers.
There are many different organizations out there keen to provide you the type of coverage that you are looking for. Typically speaking, medical insurance for international students in the USA covers new illness or injuries, so wellness or preventative care is usually not covered. Emergency doctor visits and lab orders, emergency surgeries? Yes. Routine check-ups? No
5. Budget properly to cover the cost of health insurance for international students.
What is the average cost of health insurance for international students in the USA? Generally speaking, international student health coverage plans are very affordable (your young age and good health might have something to do with that). You need to plan ahead to pay for your monthly premium but to also budget additional savings to cover any unexpected out of pocket expenses, such as deductibles, co-insurance, or co-pays.
it is recommended to have a nest egg of $1500 in your bank account to cover any unplanned for medical expenses per year of study in the United States. It is very unlikely that you will need to tap into these funds—or that you will need to use all of them—but having them there will make an already stressful situation slightly less-so if finances are taken out of the equation.
6. Select a trustworthy, high-quality insurance provider.
Here are the most recommended options you would like to give a try
- Compass Student Insurance. Compass Student Insurance offers multiple packages depending on your needs for studying in the USA—you’ll love their comprehensive benefits packages and affordable prices! You can opt for their basic Care Plan, which costs ~$35 per month with a $100,000 maximum benefit per injury plan (as well as $250 in-network deductible) or signs up for their most popular plan, the Care Plus. This costs about $20 more monthly but more than doubles your maximum benefits and slashes your deductible to just $100 per injury. Other options include the Benchmark Plan and their Sports plan for serious student-athletes.
- AETNA. AETNA international student health insurance works with many US universities—200+—to underwrite their student insurance policies. If you are attending a university that collaborates with this provider, you will be satisfied with the policy options and overall coverage.
- ISO. International student insurance by ISO can also meet your needs. This organization has four plans: Compass PPO, Essential (Basic), J1 Exchange, & OPT Students. ISO provides multi-lingual support, including Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Hindi and more.
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