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. 


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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

Recent Blog Articles

International Students - You Have Insurance Options!

Sep 11, 2017, 09:00 AM by Alec Synnestvedt

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!

Frequently Asked Questions


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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