The US is a dream country for many international students. Its well-built infrastructure, research facilities, and prestigious academic institutions welcome many global learners yearly. Opting for a US-based program is an excellent way to find employment in companies such as Tesla, Microsoft, Bloomberg, etc. But packing bags, taking a student loan, and landing here will not pay for medical emergencies.
Many students entering US universities and colleges have a misconception that their home country’s insurance or travel insurance will apply here. However, that’s not the case. Your health insurance depends on the type of health coverage you select here.
Health Insurance Advantages for International Students in the US
Health insurance plans in the US are mandatory for all students, whether they are residents or not. Government and educational authorities consider it necessary because medical costs for even regular checkups and treatments are sky-high, making it problematic for young learners to avail of quality health services when needed. To increase the affordability of these services, purchasing local health insurance is the first step in getting comprehensive coverage for various medical needs.
Plus, international students get multiple benefits with local health insurance, such as:
- Access to regular healthcare services, including doctor visits, checkups, and emergency care.
- Increases affordability and safety of students in a foreign country.
- Ensures compliance with university rules and regulations.
Undoubtedly, choosing health insurance works in favor of students from others countries. However, as mentioned in the next section, there are a few know-how to help you select the coverage that supports you during your academic tenure in America.
Types of Health Insurance Plans Available for International Students
International students are eligible to obtain a short-term health insurance plan such as:
- Short Term Health Insurance
Short-term health insurance allows you to choose the duration of your plan for a short period. With this insurance, you can choose to have coverage from 1 month to 12 months, depending on the state of residence. Suppose you plan to study in Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, or Utah. In that case, you can apply for a Short-term health insurance plan.
With this insurance, you have coverage from the first day, guaranteeing ambulance services, emergency care, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, cancer treatment expenses, ambulatory surgeries, prostheses, and prescription drugs. You can also access United HealthCare’s Nationwide Network of quality care from 1.5 million physicians and health professionals and 7,000 hospitals and medical institutions.
The requirements for an international student to access a Short-term health insurance plan only need to be between 18 and 64 years old, have a bank account in the United States to debit your payment month by month, not have pre-existing medical conditions and not be pregnant at the time of purchasing the insurance.
- University Sponsored Plans
Many universities in the US provide healthcare coverage at lower costs for their students. As these are specifically designed for international students, there’s no need to worry about the institute’s compliance and affordability.
- Private Health Insurance Plans
Another best option for international students is a private healthcare plan with flexible coverage options. You can also take the help of a reliable healthcare insurance agent who is an expert in the required field and can inform you about the prospective long and short-term healthcare plans suitable for international students, non-residents, etc.
- Government-Sponsored Health Plans
In a few cases, international students can avail of government-sponsored healthcare plans such as Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You must check the eligibility criteria to apply for these programs, including income, country of residence, universities, etc.
Before selecting an insurance plan, international students must consult their university’s international student office or a licensed insurance agent to find a plan that suits their interests. It is a crucial step that must comply with the university’s regulations and other visa requirements.
Non-residents and international students must obtain suitable health insurance from various options as it saves them from any unforeseen medical expenses. While residents can benefit from health insurance Obamacare (safe doctor obamacare), US authorities collaborate with multiple agencies, countries, and universities to increase healthcare plans’ affordability for every student studying abroad.
Thus, a healthcare plan is necessary, regardless of your academic term, income scale, or resident status.