Health Insurance Options For International Students
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.
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