Understanding International Student Health Insurance

International students who desire more comprehensive coverage or a less expensive plan — or in some cases, both — should consider purchasing their own health insurance.

Aug 22, 2017, 09:32 AM

International student health insurance provides coverage in the event of an injury, illness or other medical emergency while away from home. 

Student health insurance plans are specially designed to cover: 

  • Scholars and educators
  • International students
  • Cultural exchange participants
  • Students studying abroad
  • Dependents or spouses of program participants

Most plans are available on a monthly basis and are annually renewable, allowing for students to maintain coverage for the duration of their program. 

International Medical Group® (IMG®) offers this type of health insurance for international students. Coverage includes everything from pharmacy discounts, $5 student center co-pays, and the freedom to seek treatment with the facility of the student’s choice.

For international scholars, coverage is not only a priority for peace of mind, but it is also required by most universities or colleges.

Is Your Group or Sponsored Plan The Best Option?

The excitement of studying internationally can sometimes overshadow one key step in the planning process: researching other options for international student health insurance. 
 
It can be easy to simply enroll in the university-sponsored plan, but doing so could mean higher costs and potentially less coverage. For example, school plans may offer limited benefits for pre-existing conditions or a longer waiting period before they become eligible for these benefits.  

International students who desire more comprehensive coverage or a less expensive plan — or in some cases, both — should consider purchasing their own health insurance. 

Student Infographic Supporting Image - Health Insurance Plans to Avoid

For additional information on insurance plans and the importance of your health insurance while studying internationally, check out our International Student Insurance Infographic!

When (And How) to Submit a Waiver for University-Sponsored Insurance

In general, schools allow waivers for students who can provide proof of their coverage, along with documentation and contact information for the insurance provider. In many cases, they must purchase coverage that meets or exceeds the school’s requirements. 

It’s important to complete and submit the waiver before the school’s posted deadlines to avoid denials or delays.

In most cases, purchasing health insurance for international students provides excellent coverage at a better value than a university-sponsored policy. By being aware of their options and the steps needed to opt out of school’s coverage, international students can make better decisions for their health and wellness.

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