4 Tips on Getting Medical Insurance for International Students in the USA

Things to know about medical insurance for international students in the USA

1. Know why you need international student health insurance.

There are very real hazards that need to be considered before studying in the United States, regardless of how old you are, how well-traveled you are, or your relative health (future Olympian vs. hours-spent-watching-Sarabhai-versus-Sarabhai-on-couch-record-holder).

Yes, it’s crucial to remember to bring your favorite hair products or must-have tennis shoes, but your international student health insurance is much more important. In the United States, where health care is notoriously expensive, not having health insurance can have long-term ramifications for both your health and your pocketbook account.

2. Understand what health insurance for an international student typically covers.

There are a variety of companies willing to give you the type of coverage you require. Medical insurance for overseas students in the United States usually only covers new illnesses or injuries, thus wellness and preventative treatment are rarely covered. Additional coverage, such as dental or vision insurance, can typically be acquired separately or in addition to the basic coverage.

You may also have to pay a little extra if you want to be protected in the event of an emergency evacuation (natural catastrophes, political upheavals, etc.) or if you want your remains repatriated if you die while studying in the United States. Medical transport memberships are offered by some companies, like Medjet, to ensure that you may be taken to a hospital near your house in the event of an emergency.

These programs can also provide security benefits, such as a 24-hour crisis response line in the event of a security threat. However, as previously stated, you may have to pay a bit more for privileges like these. On the other hand, insurance that covers “Trip Interruptions,” such as the necessity to return home due to an emergency, is available.

3. Budget properly to cover the cost of health insurance for international students.

What is the typical cost of health insurance in the United States for overseas students? In general, foreign student health insurance plans are relatively reasonable (your young age and good health may play a role here!). You must budget additional resources in addition to your monthly premium to meet any unexpected out-of-pocket payments, like deductibles, co-insurance, or co-pays.

We recommend maintaining a $1500 emergency fund in your bank account for each year of study in the United States to cover any unanticipated medical expenditures. It’s extremely improbable that you’ll need to use these funds.

4. Double check your school’s requirements

Additional health insurance requirements, such as waivers, may be imposed by the institution where you are studying in the United States. Check with your campus adviser or guidance counselor to make sure no paperwork is missing! Some insurance companies will have specific eligibility requirements, such as requiring you to attend lessons for a certain amount of hours each week. Don’t pay for insurance if you won’t be able to follow through with these. It’s not going to work!


Now that you know how to get international student insurance in the United States, you’ll be able to pick a policy and coverage that meets your goals, wants, and wishes as a safety net throughout your time abroad. And once you’ve sorted out your medical insurance for international students in the United States, you can focus on the fun stuff, like making a killer rock n’ roll playlist on Spotify or purchasing your first pair of Uggs. The essentials, as it were.

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