- Students and their dependents traveling on a J1 visa must meet insurance regulations as set by the government
- An emergency budget of about $1,500 is ideal for all international students
- Insurance coverage does not typically cover preventative care.
If you’re enrolled in an American college on a J1 student visa, you may not be allowed to attend classes without medical insurance. Hence, this is almost as necessary as the visa itself. Read on to know more about health insurance for international students in the USA.
In 2018, the number of international students enrolled in educational institutions in the USA exceeded 1 million for the third consecutive year.
Studying abroad is associated with high costs but if you have the right insurance you could save some money in the long run. This is because healthcare in America is a lot more expensive than it is in other countries.
Do International Students Need Health Insurance In The USA?
Insurance is mandatory for all international students enrolled in educational institutions in the USA. Without proof of proper health insurance, international students will not be allowed to attend classes even if they have fulfilled all the other requirements.
While there are certain government standards to be met by students traveling on a J1 visa, students with an F1 visa have less stringent health insurance requirements.
Health Insurance For International Students In The USA – Requirements
The amount of insurance required by international full-time students varies according to the type of visa they are issued.
Students with a J1 visa must have:
- Medical benefits amounting to a minimum of $100,000 per illness or accident
- A deductible of no more than $500 per illness or accident
- Expenses of at least $50,000 for emergency medical evacuation to the student’s home country
- Return of coverage remains of at least $25,000
- The insurance policy must be from a firm that is rated ‘A-‘ or above
In the case of students traveling with a J1 visa, any dependents who accompany them must also have adequate medical insurance.
Students with an F1 visa do not need to meet any insurance norms set by the government but will need to follow policies set by the educational institution he/she is enrolled in.
International Student Health Insurance USA – Pointers To Keep In Mind
Students enrolled in educational institutions in the USA can get health insurance from any recognized health insurance firms or from the college/university.
The insurance provided by colleges/universities is often limited and may have higher premiums than other insurance policies. Here are a few tips to help you get the right medical insurance:
Know The Terms
Before you set about getting insurance, you should have a fair understanding of the different terms associated with medical insurance. Some of the important terms include:
- Claim – This is the document that must be filed to recover expenses for an illness/accident
- Premium -This refers to the amount that must be paid every month/quarter6-months/year to maintain the policy
- Deductible – This is the amount that must be paid before the insurance policy begins if you have a pre-existing condition
Understand The Coverage Promised
Typically, medical insurance for international students covers treatment for new illnesses and accidents but does not cover preventative or wellness care. Thus, routine checkups may not be covered but emergency surgeries and lab tests may be covered.
Additional coverage such as eye or dental insurance can be bought at an additional premium or separately. Some policies may also offer protection against emergency evacuation at an added premium.
If you have a pre-existing condition, your medical insurance should cover prescription medicines and other potential medical needs.
Budget For Medical Emergencies
Before you get to choose between health insurance policies, you must set a budget for your medical needs. Keep in mind any medication you need to take on a regular basis, the premium you can afford to pay, deductibles and additional savings to account for unexpected expenses.
Ideally, you should have about $1,500 set aside to cover unplanned medical expenses.
Review The Policy With An Expert
Insurance policies are peppered with jargon that can be hard for laymen to understand. To keep from getting caught on the wrong foot, always go over the details of the policy with someone knowledgeable about insurance.
You may not be eligible for all insurance policies. For example, some policies may require you to attend a specific number of classes each week. Thus, before you finalize the policy, ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements.
Choose An Insurance Provider You Trust
It isn’t always a good idea to go for the policy with the cheapest premium. When it comes to insurance, your provider should be reliable and trustworthy. Look for insurance companies that provide multi-lingual support, comprehensive benefits, etc.
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