As an international student, most, if not all, universities require you to have some form of health insurance during your academic program. You can double check on your university’s health insurance page, but even if it is not mandatory at your college, you should still consider getting a health insurance plan. We are here to help you figure out what is best for you!
Why do you need health insurance in the US?
Not only do most universities require international students to have US health insurance, it is also beneficial to your own life and wellbeing in the US. Without insurance, healthcare in the US can become extremely expensive because the US does not have universal healthcare. For example, calling an ambulance costs $1,189 on average for people without insurance but it can be lowered for those with insurance. A regular check-up at the doctor’s office can also be pricey if you don’t have insurance coverage. So, having US health insurance in case of emergencies can be really useful and relieve you of a lot of unforeseen financial stress.
How can you get US health insurance?
First of all, you should check what your school’s policy on health insurance is and whether or not they have a mandatory group health insurance plan. If they have a mandatory group plan then you should figure out whether it’s included in the tuition or comes as an additional cost. Frequently the health insurance plan that your university offers is the best option, but if you decide that their offering is not what you want then you can search for another plan that better fits what you are looking for. A university’s mandatory group plan may have an optional waiver that you can request for and fill out if you want to opt out of their program.
If you decide to seek out your own insurance plan, you should look into other available options through insurance firms or brokers. Some of the options that you can look into include Student Medicover, Cigna Global, and International Medical Group (IMG). You should make a pros and cons list for every insurance plan that you look into, in order to clearly see the difference between each one.
When should you get health insurance?
You should get an insurance plan after you have successfully enrolled at your university and received your required visa. Ideally, you should buy a plan before departing for the US so that you won’t have to stress as much when you arrive in America. Please make sure that your policy will start by the time you get to the US!
What are the different types of healthcare for international students?
There are so many different healthcare options available in the US but some of them are not relevant to international students, so be sure to search for ones that will work with your international student status and filter out the ones that won’t be compatible. Before you get too invested in a particular insurance plan, you should always ask whether or not international students can apply for the plan. Also keep in mind that insurance companies do not offer just one plan, meaning that there are usually multiple levels that increase in price and coverage.
What is the best option?
It ultimately depends on what best suits your needs. Most of the time, a university health insurance plan is already a good enough option, but if you want more coverage or a lower price than what they’re offering then you should definitely find another option that fits your preferences.