F1 Visa Health Insurance For International Students In USA
F1 Visa Health Insurance – Living in the United States can be quite expensive, especially for F1 students, who often fund their studies through scholarships or loans. When it comes to the high cost of living in the US, even illness can be incapacitating if the necessary measures are not taken in time.
Students cannot afford to get sick or have an accident in the United States. However, things happen. Suddenly you find yourself in poor physical condition or seriously injured, away from home and family. Worrying about how to pay unbearable medical bills is the last thing you need.
Do International Students In The US Need Health Insurance?
International students in the US may require health insurance for university admission, but not necessarily for an F1 visa. Thus, having proper health insurance is required by the university and not by US law. Therefore, you should check with the university you will be applying to whether medical insurance is required for international students.
When Should F1 Visa Applicants Get Health Insurance?
You can get student health insurance anytime after you set foot in the US or even before you travel. Depending on the policy, your coverage may begin the day after you buy it.
Why can’t I just use my travel insurance?
Your US travel insurance is different from the international student insurance required for an F1 visa because it is short-term and does not have the same coverage. In a nutshell, travel insurance is designed to protect you and your property while traveling (for example, traveling from your home country to the United States), while student health insurance is designed to cover the medical expenses you may incur while living and studying in the United States. States. state.
How To Get Health Insurance For International Students In USA?
Here are the steps you should have to follow to get student health insurance in the US:
- Check if your US school/university/college has a mandatory group health insurance plan.
- If they do, you should ask if it’s included in your tuition bill or if you’ll have to pay extra for it, and then proceed with the payment.
- If they have a mandatory group health plan with an optional waiver, see if it’s right for you. If not, ask them to submit the opt-out form and complete steps 2, 3, and 4.
- If they don’t have an insurance plan, follow steps 2, 3, and 4.
- Find a company that offers health insurance to international students in the US, or a broker like Insubuy.
- Please list the benefits you feel are necessary for you (including the waiver form) and compare them to the plans offered by the companies you have considered. Be sure to check if your dependents can be added to the plan if you plan to bring someone with you to the US.
- Choose the plan that suits you best and go ahead and buy it.
Health Insurance Options for Foreign Students In The US
When looking at international student health insurance options in the US, you should also check the policies of the institution where you are enrolled to make sure there are any special requirements. Here we describe the main types you can select from:
Mandatory Group Plan
Some US schools/colleges/universities have their own mandatory plans that international students must purchase.
The main characteristics of the plan implemented by the school are the following:
- Often automatically added to your enrollment account
- Often cost more than individual plans
- Provide more comprehensive coverage, including:
- Maternity Insurance
- Existing condition with no waiting period
- Mental Health
- Preventive Care
Mandatory Group – With Waive Option
Some schools/colleges/universities have mandatory insurance plans with predefined coverage for all students, but still allow students to opt out of insurance. This is provided so that students who choose to purchase health insurance other than the one prescribed by the school purchase the appropriate plan.
Schools decide if an external plan is appropriate through a “waiver form.” This is a document of no more than two pages that lists the benefit requirements that your health insurance policy must meet or exceed. This requires your signature and the signature of the insurance company.
There are schools in the US that do not have a mandatory plan with default coverage, so students are free to choose any plan they want.
If your school allows you to buy any plan you like, never go with the cheapest option. One that offers more service, not less. Instead, take a look at some plans to choose the best US F1 student health insurance.
Health Insurance Requirements for US International Students
Specifically, schools with “exempt forms” require you to purchase insurance that meets the conditions listed below:
- Adequate Policy Maximum: Students are generally required to purchase a plan with a maximum policy of at least $50,000.
- Relatively Low Deductible: Schools often require a deductible limit for each policy term or term as part of their waiver requirements so students can keep deductible costs as low as possible.
- Mental Health Insurance: This requirement is included because universities want to ensure that their students are not only physically healthy, but also mentally.
- Maternity Insurance: Students need adequate maternity insurance with at least 80% coverage in the range of prenatal, delivery and postnatal care.
- Pre-existing Condition Coverage: If you already have a medical condition, such as diabetes, you must include it in your insurance plan.
- Repatriation of Remains Coverage: In the event of death, the Repatriation Insurance offers financial assistance to your family to return your remains to your country of origin.
What Determines The Cost Of My F1 Visa Health Insurance?
The price of insurance for an F1 visa health insurance depends on numerous factors that may involve the city or state you live in, your age and coverage etc.
- Where do you live: The price depends on the state or district where you live.
- Your Age: The price is higher the older the person.
- Coverage: Term (how many months the plan needs), as well as the level of coverage (what you want the policy to include/cover).
Best Health Insurance Plans for International Students in the USA
These are the best health plans for international students in the US:
- Study USA
- Patriot America
- Student Secure
- Navigator Student
- Patriot Exchange Program
- Student Health Advantage
How to choose the best health insurance plan for F1 students?
When choosing the best medical plan, the following factors should be considered:
- The sub-limit of your Health Insurance: Basically, this is the maximum amount the plan will cover for a particular treatment and hospital stay. This is expressed as a percentage or price cap and determines the amount of medical bills the healthcare provider will cover and the amount you will have to pay.
- Where you purchase your Health Insurance: International students sometimes want to purchase health insurance from a company in their home country. However, while it may be more tempting, buying health insurance in the US is an easier option simply because claims are easier to process there: hospitals can bill your provider directly for the cost of your care.
- If you buy health insurance from a foreign company, you can pay the cost of treatment first and then apply for a refund. This may not be happen always.
- School’s Requirements: Look at things like coverage, policy maximums, etc.
Health Insurance Options For International Students After Graduation
If you intend to stay in the United States after graduation, the type of health insurance you need will depend on your residency status.
If you change your status to an H-1B work visa, you will need H-1B compliant health insurance. This means that you will initially have a short-term insurance plan and will be able to switch to a long-term plan after at least six months of residence on the H-1B visa. In most cases, US employers provide health insurance for their employees.
If you are eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT), you will need to continue using your current plan. This cannot be done if you subscribe to an insurance plan offered by your school.
Health Insurance for International Students On OPT
Students enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT) are no longer eligible for coverage under the school’s insurance plan. Therefore, you need an OPT health insurance plan, which is no different than regular insurance for international students. Such as:
- If you have a mandatory group health plan offered by your school, you will now need to find a private health insurance company that offers OPT coverage for students.
- If you have a supplemental health plan, you can continue to use that plan even during your OPT. You should contact your health insurance company for advice on how to proceed.
- As a last resort, your employer may include you in company group health insurance, which means a different type of coverage. Detailed information about this type of insurance must be provided by your employer.
How to Get Dental Insurance for International Students in USA?
Not all international student health plans offer dental coverage. Therefore, you may need to purchase an additional dental insurance plan, which can be an add-on to your existing plan (meaning you’ll have to pay a bit more in monthly premium) or even as a stand-alone plan.
Taken as a stand-alone plan, it works like regular health insurance in that you pay a monthly premium and the insurer helps cover any costs that may arise.
Depending on the plan, dental coverage includes coverage for routine exams, emergency services, and services like fillings, extractions, or cleanings. For more complex services like root canals, there is less coverage, usually 50% of the cost.
Does international student insurance cover medication, eye exams, and glasses?
Yes, most international student health insurance covers prescription drugs. If you are not sure, read the policy description or contact your insurance company. What often happens with prescription drugs is that you pay upfront for the drug and then file a claim with your insurance company.
In addition, there are some over-the-counter medications that do not require a prescription (such as cold remedies) and are available in US pharmacies at relatively reasonable prices.
Like dental insurance, basic plans may not cover eye exams, prescription glasses, or contact lenses. Depending on your insurer, you may choose to cover by paying a little more than your monthly premium.
Is there a dependent health plan?
Yes, some schools also include health insurance for the dependents (spouses and children) of their students. However, in this case, the cost will be much higher than for individual students.
If your school offers mandatory non-repudiation insurance, you have no choice but to choose a school-provided insurance plan, regardless of price.
On the other hand, if you can choose your own coverage, you can opt for the Visa F2 health plan, which gives you more flexibility in the coverage your dependents receive.