International Student Health Insurance in the USA
You’ve achieved your dream of studying in the USA, congrats! But now it’s time for the details of planning and preparing for your time abroad. One important thing you’ll need to live and study in the USA is health insurance.
Why do I need it? And what is covered?
You might not think you need it, but emergencies happen, and you’ll be glad you thought ahead to obtain health insurance. Whether it’s a broken bone, a car accident, or even the flu, you absolutely need insurance coverage in the USA. Without it, you’ll still get treated in an American hospital or clinic, but you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for the services. The price of healthcare in the USA can be astronomical without insurance, so it’s extremely important to plan ahead and sign up for a plan. Even something as simple as an ambulance ride can cost up to $2500USD! It’s a fact of life in the U.S. and U.S. citizens need health insurance too!
What is covered by the insurance depends on which company and type of plan you select. You can choose to add on dental or eye care insurance, or special coverage in disaster situations, like earthquakes or hurricanes. Additionally, for students studying abroad, many insurance companies offer the option to be flown back in emergency situations to a hospital in your home country.
What are the requirements to get insurance?
While international students on F1 visas do not have insurance requirements, most university programs will require students to obtain health insurance in the USA. Some universities will require their international students to purchase school-sponsored insurance coverage, or even offer it for a reduced fee or free through an on-campus job. Be sure to double check what your university offers and requires!
Students on a J1 visa are required by the U.S. government to obtain health insurance that meets the following criteria:
- 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
What should you know before buying insurance?
Plan ahead. Make sure you have a budget ready for your insurance abroad. We recommend setting aside $1,500 for your time in the U.S. to cover any unexpected medical costs, in addition to any expected physical exams or medications.
If you have preexisting conditions or prescription requirements, make sure your insurance plan covers or helps with those costs.
Who do you recommend as an insurance provider?
There is no one-size-fits-all insurance plan for international students. The needs of each student will vary, and each school will have different requirements. Our friends at International Student Insurance are leaders in their field, and can help you find the right plan.
International Student Insurance ( ISI) specializes in understanding the needs of each student and helping them navigate the U.S. healthcare system as well as their school’s insurance requirements. At International Student Insurance, they can:
- Find a plan that will meet your needs – as well as any requirements you need to meet
- Offer online enrollment where you can start coverage as soon as the same day
- Provide flexibility including monthly payments and flexible start and end dates
- Offer online support including a digital ID card, online claims tracking, and a Student Zone where you can manage your plan