If you’re planning to study in the United States as a student from another country, is international student health insurance necessary?
The short answer: Yes.
Some type of insurance is a must when you are studying abroad so that you can pay medical bills in case of emergency.
However, there are many types and options of insurance coverage for international students so it’s important to get the details before you settle on an insurance plan.
Why do you need international student health insurance?
Health insurance is essential for US citizens or residents because they are otherwise unlikely to receive any aid in paying medical bills – unless they are on special veterans insurance or Medicare plans.
As an international student who is not eligible to receive veterans or Medicare benefits, it is important to secure some type of international student health insurance plan. In fact, most US colleges and universities require international students to prove that they have some sort of international student health insurance plan.
There’s really no way out of it: international student health insurance is simply a must.
What are your options for international student health insurance?
There are a number of approaches to take when deciding on a health insurance plan. Three of the major options are:
- International Student Health Insurance Plans: Some international and US insurance companies provide specialized insurance plans, such as traveler’s insurance and international student health insurance. For example, International Student Protection offers affordable, flexible policies not only for international students traveling to the US, but also for non-students traveling to the US and US students traveling abroad. International Student Protection also allows international students to easily compare plans so you can choose the one that’s right for you.
- University or College International Student Health Insurance Plans: Some schools have a mandatory international student health insurance plan that all international students are required to sign up and pay for in order to attend the school. This may sound extreme but can actually be quite simple and, in some cases, a more affordable option than going to an insurance company.
- Home-Country International Student Health Insurance Plans: If you have insurance in your home country, it may be possible to secure some type of international health insurance plan through your home-country provider. This may be a cheaper option than trying go through a US or international company. Check with your current insurance provider to learn about your options.
What should you consider when you choose a plan?
Different insurance plans will cover different things. For example, some plans cover more medical procedures than others. Find out which plan will give you what you need.
If you have no special medical needs, a bare-minimum plan may be sufficient. If you have medical conditions that require regular treatment, care or expensive drugs, you should take this into account and find out which insurance plans will help you cover these costs.
The best thing to do may be to contact the international student services of the college or university you plan to attend. They may have additional information and be able to advise you regarding your international student health insurance options.