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Health Insurance Options For International Students

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

During your time in the United States, chances are you’ll need to seek medical assistance at some point. Though medical care in the United States is among the best in the world, healthcare in America can be incredibly expensive. It’s a great idea, therefore, to purchase health insurance.

What is health insurance?

Health insurance lets you pay a monthly fee (called a “premium“) for access to a package of medical coverage options. This coverage includes doctors, prescriptions, hospitals or clinics, and benefits. With health insurance, if you need healthcare, you won’t have to pay for it all yourself.

Your monthly premium can vary based on the insurance provider you choose, and the specific plan you purchase. However, many insurance packages can cover you for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Remember, even though a monthly fee may seem like a steep price to pay, it could save you a lot of money should healthcare be necessary.

What are my options as an international student?

Many colleges and universities have their own health insurance packages that they arrange with private insurance agencies. These plans tend to cover more services typical to international students on campus and are often rolled right into your tuition for convenience.

School plans also tend to be more expensive because they’re designed to meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. Students on an F, Q, or M visa are not required to meet the ACA insurance standards because it’s mainly aimed to meet the needs of lifelong citizens. It includes services most international students will most likely never need, however students on a J1 visa must meet these standards, along with other minimums set forth by the US Department of State.

If your school gives you the option (Contact your school’s international student office for more details on insurance waiver), therefore, it’s important to consider purchasing an independent insurance plan. This can help you meet the needs of your medical care, and your budget.

Independent plans for international students are less expensive than many school sponsored plans. This is because they don’t have to meet the ACA standards. Additionally, they require less overhead than your school needs to collect payment and assist you with your claims.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our newsletter and receive “Picking Traveler Medical Insurance That Works for You”- coming soon! It includes comprehensive information to help you find the international health insurance that’s right for you.

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.

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Hank Greene

Hank Greene is an award-winning playwright, comedy writer, and freelance writer/editor living in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to his writing and editing work, Hank serves as the Resident Playwright at the Bloomington Playwrights Project, the Literary Manager at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, and as a Co-Founder and Owner of the acclaimed sketch comedy trio Vienna Juvenile. He is a proud alumnus of Indiana University where he graduated with degrees in Sociology and History.


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