International Students - You Have Insurance Options!

International students and scholars have options for health insurance. Find a plan that covers you for your entire time in the states - the best plan for the university might not be the best plan for you. Shop around!

Sep 11, 2017, 09:00 AM

Are you visiting the United States for your studies? If so, you are far from alone; there are now more than 1 million international students in the U.S. — and projections continue to climb.

As you may already know, many universities in the U.S. require health insurance for their international students (F1 Visa holders), and the U.S. Dept. of Health has set health insurance requirements for J1 Visa holders.

While this may seem like a hassle, protecting your health in the U.S. is vital. According to IMG's international student claims data, 1 in 10 students will need to file a claim. Healthcare costs can quickly add up and, without the right coverage, you could be liable to pay the bills on your own. 

Most universities have their own coverage options for students; however, it's important to know that often you do not have to buy the university's insurance plan. 

You are allowed to buy a policy of your own from another provider to make sure the insurance you buy gives you the coverage you need at the price you want.

There are a number of options for health insurance for international students. By shopping around, you can potentially save money and get better benefits. Here are two plans that are available from International Medical Group® (IMG®) that meet student visa requirements:

International Student Insurance Option 1: Student Health Advantage

Health Coverage for Long-term International Students and Scholars

The Student Health Advantage program is designed for individuals or groups of five students or more who are participating in a sponsored educational exchanges. Some of the highlights of this plan include:

  • Mental health coverage, organized sports coverage, maternity benefits and international emergency care. 
  • The freedom to choose your own doctor, and seek medical treatment at the hospital of your choice.
  • Standard and Platinum options to let you choose how much you wish to pay and how much coverage you need.

International Student Insurance Option 2: Patriot Exchange Program

Coverage for individuals, families and groups involved in an educational or cultural exchange program.

This program is designed for individuals and groups of five or more students who are participating in an educational or cultural exchange program. Most of the Patriot Exchange Program plan options available are compliant with U.S. J1 and J2 visa requirements.

Highlights for international students seeking health coverage include:

  • Plans can be renewed for up to 48 months after a minimum of one month of coverage is purchased.
  • Coverage for students, groups, their spouses and unmarried dependent children who are traveling with you.
  • Optional add-on coverage for legal assistance; personal liability; high school, intramural, interscholastic or club sports.
  • Plan maximums up to $500,000 per incident and a lifetime maximum of $5 million.

Even if you do ultimately choose a non-IMG plan, it's important to remember that most of these insurance plans are not effective until the first day of class. Make sure that you are covered for the entire time you are in the country and purchase a plan that will provide health insurance for those first days or weeks that you spend stateside before your classes begin.

Check out our International Student Insurance Infographic for more information!

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