International Student Health Insurance in US

April 29, 2017

Ankit Malhotra

Health Insurance

International Student Health Insurance for overseas destinations such as US, UK, Germany, Australia etc. are very important, even obligatory for students to get enrolled in some countries such as USA. US universities demand every international student to get enrolled in any of the student health insurance plans available. These plans can either be a university sponsored insurance plan, external health insurance plan or any other either under your employer, parents or spouse’s plan who are based in US.

In 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) became law, providing for major changes in health insurance. According to the act, hospitals and primary physicians must transform their practices. Emphasis should be given on clinical, financial and technological changes in the medical practices. This would prove to drive better health results, lower costs, and better their methods of distribution and accessibility.

International Student Health Insurance in US

Due to the excessive cost of medical services in the US, insurance becomes all the more important and obligatory. In this regard, every university in US offers each of the international student with a health insurance which is mostly called Student Health Insurance Plan or SHIP. Cost of international student medical health insurance is included as part of the fees in their admission letter (I20). Most of the times this cost seems to be expensive or out of an Indian student’s budget because cost effective and well-featured health insurance plans from the US as well as Indian Insurance companies are available.

There are ample reasons why a student medical health insurance is necessary, with the number one objective, of course, being to have recourse to inexpensive treatment. Other reasons being mental and financial satisfaction for you and your family members, non-payment of upfront medical fees etc.

Some universities give the option to international students for opting out of university insurance with a more affordable external student health insurance plan. These external plans must fulfill certain conditions prescribed by the university. Fulfillment of these conditions would lead to waving of the university insurance. Some of the common criteria are as follows: –

  • Comprehensive health coverage for the full period of study which can be either all semesters or one semester.
  • The inclusion of primary and preventive, emergency services and surgical services.
  • Have a certain amount of maximum deductible, co-pay, co-insurance and Out of pocket maximum.
  • Cover pre-existing diseases
  • US based plan

Hence, students must be smart enough to realize first of all, that it is not always mandatory to buy a high-priced health insurance from the university. Secondly, when international students get the option of waiving the university health insurance then they must closely look for those options and choose the best insurance plan which fulfills waiver university criteria and your personal medical requirements as well.

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