International student medical insurance

Due to the high cost of healthcare services and medications, having a proper health insurance is imperative for international students who come to study in the U.S. It is required by the universities in the US that international students with F1 visa, their spouses and children (F2 dependents) have proper medical insurance cover. Though this is the reality, there are a high percentage of the students who don't have a reasonable health care policy, and they depend entirely upon the health care clinics provided by the respective universities which hardly cover their medical needs when it comes to facing a real health problem, particularly if you are a medical student where you will be constantly exposed to infectious diseases like TB.


In addition to this, it is also required that you should have a student health plan if you wish to do a sub-internship outside your medical school. The USIA (United States Information Agency) has set some minimum standards which should be met by the health insurance program that the international students go for. According to that, the maximum deductible for an accident or illness is $500, the medical benefits for which should be at least $50,000. The policy should provide at least $7,500 as repatriation benefits and $1,000 as medical evacuation benefits. Also it is to be noted that the co-insurance should not exceed 25% of the amount of medical expenses covered. There are a wide range of plans available to cover various needs of the students from which you have to select the right one which addresses your needs the best.


The following information will help you in your search.


Services covered by the plans: Though there may be variations in the details of plans provided by different companies, most of them cover for the following medical services to their customers.


1. Expenses for hospital stay, ICU care, lab tests, IP and OP charges for treatment of injuries caused during the trip.


2. Though only a few of them provide emergency dental coverage, most of the providers offer cover for accidental dental coverage ( related to damage of teeth in an accident)


3. Coverage for organ transplant.


4. Coverage for mental health.


5. Prescription drugs are included in the list of emergency medical expenses by most providers and is therefore provided coverage for.


6. Expenses related to pregnancy and child birth are provided cover by some providers, though this benefit will be available to those who are covered by the plan for a certain period.


7. In the event that the examining doctor decides that the patient should be taken to another place to provide the needed treatment which is not available in the current hospital, the charges for transfer to the nearest place where such treatment is available will be borne by the provider.


8. If it is necessary that a family member should accompany the patient, the expenses thus caused will be covered.


9. In the event of an injury resulting in losing limbs, eyes etc. or death of the insurer, the company will pay the pre-determined amount. (AD&D, or accidental death & dismemberment). If the insurer faces a flight accident and gets injured and lose his/her limbs, eyes etc. or dies, he will be compensated for a prefixed amount. ( common carrier accidental death & dismemberment)


Eligibility: All students from another country studying in the U.S. who are under 55 years of age and who possess a valid visa in the U.S. and are registered with and pursuing studies or any activity related with academics at a recognized school, college or university in U.S., are eligible for an international student health insurance. Also, students under 55 years of age, registered with U.S. and who pursue academic related activities abroad, are eligible for the international students insurance.


Costs of plans: Though the cost of a plan depends on the person, his medical history and also the state where they intend to do his/her studies, generally it ranges between $50 and $200 monthly, depending on the insurance type and the deductible. Costs of international students plans will be high if high premium packages like elite' or gold' are chosen which will cover for more expenses.


Facts to consider before buying a plan: Doing an in depth analysis is the first and foremost thing to do when you go choosing your plan. The following points may be included in it.


Affordability: Going for expensive plans may give you more cover but can affect your monthly budget if the premium is too high for you to afford.


Flexibility: You should have the provision to upgrade, cancel or go for another policy according to the agreement with your provider.


Medical examinations: You should be certain of the frequency of medical examinations that you need to undergo and the minimum health requirements before the policy comes into existence.


Travel assistance services


Maternity benefits


Low deductibles: You should look for the right one for you among the various deductible options available.


How to avail a student health care plan?


On the internet, it is easily possible to avail affordable international students' healthcare plans and also via LANs in the state you study. You may contact your university office who will be able to get you informed of the plans that suit your pocket and are particularly intended for the international students. These plans in addition to being cheaper than those available outside, will provide enough coverage as well.


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