International Student Health Insurance

Health Insurance Plans for International Students & Students Studying Abroad

Health insurance plans for international students provide the right mix of plan benefits, value, and coverage to keep you safe and healthy. IMG student health plans can help keep your budget healthy, too.

Coverage for international students studying in the U.S. is available to students on an F1 visa and meets J1 visa requirements. Students from the U.S. studying abroad can also stay protected in Schengen visa countries and beyond with an IMG plan.

Long- and short-term student health plans from IMG are great for: 

  • Individuals and groups participating in international student programs
  • Cultural exchange participants
  • International graduate students
  • Scholars and educators 
  • Dependents of those participating in international study programs 

With health insurance plans designed specifically for international and study abroad students and scholars, IMG has done the homework so you don't have to. 

Why do I Need International Student Health Insurance?
Simple. It's Generally Required.

Most universities and colleges require that international and study abroad students obtain a minimum level of medical coverage for their enrollment period.

While some schools provide their own coverage options for students, others do not require students to buy the university-sponsored insurance as long as they buy comparable coverage that meets or exceeds the school's requirements.

Your host country may also require insurance for international students, so it's important to verify your visa requirements before purchasing coverage. 

International students who hold F1 visas are not required by the U.S. government to meet certain health insurance requirements, but they may still be required by their school to purchase certain coverage.

Factors that Determine Cost
The cost of an individual international student health insurance plan varies based on the following factors.

Age of the Student

Age is the primary determining factor for price. Insurance companies often charge different amounts for different age groups, with the price increasing for older age groups.

Length of Coverage

There are monthly rates associated with international student health insurance, so price increases proportionally to the number of months of coverage purchased.

Level of Coverage

Plans can range from basic and budget-friendly, to robust and complete with maternity coverage and enhanced pre-existing condition coverage. Students can choose the level of coverage they desire and balance that with the cost they are willing to incur.

International Student Health Insurance Benefits
Key Considerations for Purchasing Student Health Plans

Student Medical Coverage for Accidents or Illnesses

Your school and host country will often require students to purchase a plan that includes a minimum amount of medical coverage for accidents or illnesses. 

Emergency Medical Evacuation

Coverage for an emergency medical evacuation to the nearest qualified medical facility, expenses for transportation resulting from the evacuation, and the cost of returning the student to either their home country or the country where the evacuation occurred.

Repatriation and Return of Mortal Remains

In the unfortunate event that a student dies as a result of a covered illness or injury while outside of their home country, this benefit can cover expenses for transporting the remains back home.

How to Get International Student Health Insurance
Follow these simple steps and purchase your coverage worry free.

1. Research

Research your school's and host country's coverage requirements.

2. Confirm

Confirm that your school allows you to waive the university-sponsored plan and purchase your own insurance.

3. Search

Search for the right plan for you, paying close attention to coverage and cost.

4. Purchase

Purchase a plan and submit a waiver to your university, providing proof of coverage and any other necessary documentation.

Planning on studying in the US?

Check Out Our Study Abroad Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a non-U.S. citizen and an international student. Will PPACA's individual mandate affect my IMG plan?

As non-resident aliens, international students on F, J, M and Q visas (and certain family members of students) are not subject to the individual mandate for their first 5 years in the U.S. All other J categories (teacher, trainee, work and travel, au pair, high school, etc.) are not subject to the individual mandate for 2 years (out of the past six).

Since international students are not subject to the mandate, they are not required to purchase a plan that meets PPACA requirements and can purchase an appropriate IMG plan.

International Students – Exempt as Non-Resident Aliens

Under the IRS international student exemption, anyone “temporarily in the United States on an “F”, “J”, “M”, or “Q” visa for the primary purpose of studying at an accredited academic institution or vocational school (and certain family members of students), and who substantially complies with the requirements of that visa,” is exempt from being treated as a resident alien, and is therefore exempt from the individual mandate as a non-resident alien.

That exemption applies for 5 years. After 5 years, a student is no longer exempt, and the substantial presence test must be applied. See examples here.

Even after 5 years in the U.S., an international student may continue to be a non-resident alien for tax purposes under the “Closer Connection” exception if they can prove that they still have a closer connection to their home country than to the U.S.

The Individual Mandate and Alien / Non-Alien Status

The IRS provides a questions and answers page on the individual mandate. Question 11 asks whether all individuals living in the U.S. are subject to the mandate. The answer is that U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents are subject to the mandate, as are “foreign nationals who are in the U.S. long enough during a calendar year to qualify as resident aliens for tax purposes.” Thus, non-resident aliens are not subject to the individual mandate, even if they have to file a tax return.

Am I a Resident or Non-Resident Alien?

The IRS states that you are a non-resident alien unless you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test.

Under IRS Publication 519, Tax Guide for Aliens (the green card test), green card holders are resident aliens for tax purposes. The substantial presence test uses a formula to count the number of days present in the U.S. over the past 3 years. Generally, you a resident alien after six months of presence in the U.S. – unless you are exempt.

Am I getting the best deal on these plans?

Insurance prices are regulated by the government - you won't find a better price on IMG insurance plans anywhere else.  

When should I complete my waiver?

Once your plan is purchased and you have your plan documents, you will have the information you'll need to complete your school's waiver. 

How do I determine the status of my waiver?

Check with your school to get your waiver status. 

How do I provide proof of insurance for my school?

To show proof of insurance, simply download or print a copy of the ID card and/or confirmation letter and provide it to your school's program administrator.

Do these plans cover sports-related illness or injuries?

IMG plans include customization options and add-ons, including add-on coverage for high school sports, interscholastic, intramural, or club sports, personal liability and legal assistance. 

How long does it take to process my application and receive my ID card and other documents?

If you are applying for coverage under the Patriot series of plans, IMG will process your application and send your ID card and other documents within one business day. If you are applying for coverage under the Global or Group series, IMG will process your application within three to four business days following the receipt of all required information, and your materials will be forwarded the same day coverage is approved. Every attempt will be made to process your application timely. The specific time frame depends largely on the type of coverage for which you are applying. 

Disclaimer

This is not an offer to enter into an insurance contract. This is only a summary and shall not bind the company or require the company to offer or write any insurance at any particular rate or to any particular group or individual. The information on this page does and will not affect, modify or supersede in any way the policy, certificate of insurance and governing policy documents (together the "Insurance Contract"). The actual rates and benefits are governed by the Insurance Contract and nothing else. Benefits are subject to exclusions and limitations.


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