Posted on February 4, 2020
#Health Insurance #International Students #Tips 

Being a new student at a university abroad can spark a variety of emotions including excitement, anticipation, anxiety and doubt. But the experience is sure to bring you many new adventures, lifelong friends and, of course, invaluable knowledge. From finding a space to call home and exploring a brand new city with your newfound friends, to enjoying a cup of coffee at the corner cafe or pulling an all-nighter in the campus library to study for an exam, studying abroad is sure to broaden your horizons and give you a sense of independence and confidence.

While selecting courses and signing a lease may be a top priority for your time studying abroad, many international students fail to consider other important details prior to departure—like health insurance.

Many international students do not know that their domestic health insurance most likely will not provide coverage outside of their home country. That leaves students vulnerable to pay large medical bills if you have an injury or illness while abroad. Student health insurance is especially important for international students in the United States because health insurance is extremely expensive.

If you’re confused and don’t know what to do, or which plan will work best for you, don’t panic! See our list of tips below to learn more about international student insurance and find the right plan for your time abroad.

What is international student health insurance?

Student health insurance is health coverage for students who are enrolled in a university or college abroad. International student health insurance provides medical coverage for international students, including expenses related to illnesses and injury. Plan recommendations and premium costs will vary depending on where you are enrolled. For example, international students traveling to the United States for school will most likely have a different plan than a U.S. resident studying abroad in London.

Students usually have two options for health insurance: purchasing insurance from a private insurance provider or opting for a university-sponsored student health plan. However, getting coverage from a private provider may be a better option as the plans offered by private providers can be more affordable as compared to the university-sponsored student health plan. Universities also tend to have a “one size fits all” student health plan, while a private provider has many options to choose from, and you can compare policies to find the right fit for you.

Note that if you buy a plan from a private provider, your university might ask you to provide proof of coverage at the time of your admission to deduct the insurance premium from your tuition.

What to know before applying for health insurance:

1) Know what international student health insurance covers and which plan is best for you:

There are many insurance companies offering many different student insurance policies, but it is important to remember that every policy is different. Prior to purchasing insurance, think about your specific needs and consider your overall health.

Some policies may offer coverage for new illnesses or injuries and emergency doctor visits and lab orders, while some may not provide any coverage for routine check-ups. If you have a chronic medical condition, make sure that you select a plan that provides coverage for your potential medical needs, like prescription drugs and lab tests. If you’re still confused about finding your perfect student health insurance, check out VisitorsCoverage where you can find a whole list of all the available international student insurance plans.

2) Make sure you are eligible:

Before selecting a student insurance plan, make sure that you are eligible for that particular policy. Many insurance providers also have eligibility criteria, like full-time student status or a minimum weekly class attendance requirement.

3) Choose a trustworthy, high-quality insurance provider:

Many health insurance providers claim to be the most reliable and best student health insurance provider in the market. But let’s be realistic—not everyone can be the best! So before selecting a student health insurance plan, always research the current best health insurance for international students and compare each plan’s pros, cons and costs.

4) Review the plan details and cancellation policy with your education consultant, parents or elders:

Even though you might be a very bright student, insurance can be a complicated topic—even for native English speakers. It is always best to walk through the cancellation policy and plan details with someone more knowledgeable than you, such as your education consultant or your parents so that you’re well aware of all the policy details.

No matter how old or how well-traveled you are, there are certain risks and unforeseen circumstances that you need to be prepared for before studying abroad, so don’t leave home without a student health insurance plan.

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