International Student Health Insurance
International student health insurance is the perfect combination between normal medical insurance and travel insurance; there student insurance plans cover club sports, medical evacuation, repatriation and other benefits such as mental health. These plans include options to be covered on a semester basis, annual basis, or for the length of your university studies. These options give the student the ability to either change plan every semester or retain the same plan throughout the time they spend at a university.
Key Aspects of an International Student Plan:
- Dependent and Family Coverage: Normally the student health insurance plans are so specialized for students, that when you want to add a dependent or family member the options are limited, and will most likely will cost a lot more than a regular plan would. None the less, it is possible to get coverage for your family members, or you can look for other alternatives on the side of your coverage.
- Specialized Benefits: Not only do these student plans offer coverage for standard health care benefits like hospitalization, but most also include benefits for maternity, mental health, club sports and pre-existing conditions. Normally, the school you will attend a list of the minimum requirements needed to be able to waive the school plan and purchase one on the outside. Such benefits include the ones mentioned above, and may also include medical evacuation and repatriation for an international student. So keep in mind that the school you will be attending will provide you with requirements you need to fulfil; so double check the plan and the requirements with your school before you purchase anything!
- Younger people = cheaper: Since college students are normally young and health people their insurance premium is lower than a normal insurance. The monthly premium is determined by age and are often broken down into several budgets, to be able to stay within the student’s budget.
- You can renew throughout your college career: Normally the insurance plans for international students are paid for in a monthly basis, and can be renewed for up to four years; meaning the student can keep the same plan trough out their stay in the US.
Prices for Coverage
It is a given fact that medical attention in the US is extremely expensive, which is why it is recommended to get an insurance. The monthly premium for the insurance plan depends greatly on age and places of coverage.
If you purchase insurance that covers the United States and you are a student under the age of 25, then you can expect a monthly premium of around $50, but as you grow and become an older scholar the prices dramatically rise. When you get to the age of 40 and above and are still a scholar the monthly premium will be around $300. In this case it is better to switch to a major medical or travel insurance plan. If you purchase an insurance that excludes coverage in the US, meaning you will not come to the US to study, then your monthly premium could be lower; anywhere from $27 to $41.
So some of the international student health insurance plans will not cover some things. For example, they are not required to cover pre-existing conditions; the coverage for such conditions could have a waiting period of 6 to 12 months. Depending on your school’s requirements and the plan you purchase, you will be able to know exactly what is not covered.
Some Things to be Aware of
Each school, each visa type will have specific requirements. All J1 Visa holders are required to purchase an insurance that is compliant with the State Department/ be compliant with the government requirements. F1 Visa holders do not have to follow these requirements but are highly encourage to. Another thing to keep in mind, is that depending on which state you go to school in they may or may not require your plan to be ACA compliant.
International Travel Medical Insurance
Travel Insurance plans are usually meant to provide coverage for two years or less, some people use it as their medical insurance and other as a supplement to their major medical insurance plan. When used as a secondary insurance they are used to cover out of pocket expenses or add additional benefits.
Features of a Travel Medical Insurance
- Coverage in the whole world: These insurances are meant to provide coverage anywhere you go in the world except in your home country. This is extremely appealing to many people.
- Travel benefits and assistance: benefits are one of the largest differences between the regular health insurance and a travel insurance. Travel insurance cover hospitalization too, but they also have evacuation, repatriation, trip interruption; some plans may even include coverage for lost luggage, among others.
There are also a large amount of services that are available to you through a travel insurance plan, such as translation service, concierge service, money transfers, etc.
- More coverage for less money: Typically, the plans as travel insurance offer high policy maximums, and you have a variety of deductibles to choose from. Price for these plans are calculated through the age of the person, the length of the trip and the places being visited. Given that trips are normally short, the insurance companies risk is minor and thus they can offer a great premium for great benefits.
- Yes, to family coverage: most travel plans offer you the option to provide insurance to your family at the same rate that is given to you; in some special plans if both parents are insured then the kid is insured for free.
Because these are plans designed for short trips (less than two years) they typically do not offer coverage for maternity, preventive care and/or pre-existing conditions.
Keeping this in mind, these plans are best for people taking short business or leisure trips. Also, they serve as an insurance for your dependents if they do not have insurance.
Prices for Coverage
As mentioned before, the price is determined based on age, duration of trip and places visited. If you need coverage in the US and you are under 30 years of age, the premium will be around $38 or $1.30 per day. Above 30 years of age, the prices for insurance plans tend to rise dramatically. Keep in mind that there are ways to lower your monthly premium, for example if you rise your deductible.
If you do not need coverage with in the US, then it ends up being way cheaper. For the same traveler under the age of the 30, they would pay less than $1 a day. As it has been stated throughout, the older you get the more expensive the premium gets.
International Major Medical Insurance
This type of insurance is meant to be bought by people who will be out of their country for at least a year or an expatriate. This type of plan will most likely be their only option for coverage, both for them and their dependents.
Features for Major Medical Insurance
- Destination based price: Some plans offer coverage anywhere in the world except your home country, but there is also a cheaper alternative, where you only get coverage in the country you are visiting.
- Coverage for a long time: These plans are meant to be renewed annually but over a long period of time. Many of them offer lifetime guarantees, which means that if you stay with the same plan for a number of years before you turn 65 years of age, you can keep the same plan for life. This is a great option for many because it means that any new conditions that appear will be treated as any other illness not as a pre-existing condition.
- High/Unlimited policy max’s: Because these plans are meant to be renewed for years at a time, they offer policies with a $5,000,000 max. Which means they will cover that amount in medical bills.
- Pre-existing conditions: Major medical insurance plans offer to cover pre-existing conditions that were disclosed in the application, with either no waiting period or a short waiting period. However, there may be certain conditions that are not covered what so ever.
- Babies covered: If you mention that you are pregnant in your application or want, these plans will cover such expense and the baby’s health for a period of time.
- Variety of choices: These plans give you the option to hand pick the benefits you and your family need. There are a variety of options from the most basic plan that just cover hospitalization to other plans that include dental and vision coverage.
- Questions for medical underwriting: Since the plan is supposed to be renewed for a long time, you will be expected to answer a wide variety of questions about your health and your family’s health history.
Major medical insurance premiums are determined by your age, citizenship, and coverage. Depending on the country where you want coverage the premium pricing may be higher or lower.
In the United States, a family of four, one around 40, other in the early 30s, and two children below 10 would expect a premium of around $275 monthly.
Outside the United States, the same family of four could expect to pay around $200 monthly.
It is pretty much impossible for a plan to cover everything, not even a major medical insurance plan will. You will have to carefully read your policy to see what is not covered. Some policies do not cover maternity, dental or vision if you have not added them as additional benefits.
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Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance
Medical evacuation and repatriation plans are perfect supplemental plans because they have four essential benefits. These benefits are necessary when you travel outside of your home country and also many school require international students to have medical evacuation and repatriation. It is also a requirement for some different visas, such as the J1.
Four Core Benefits:
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Return of mortal remains/ Repatriation of remains
- Travel services
- Emergency reunion
But what exactly do these four core benefits mean?
Emergency medical evacuation gives you the service of getting transportation services in the case you need to be moved to the nearest qualified medical facility (it does not have to be your home country.) Be sure to double check your specific plan details, some may give you the option to get transported back home after such incident.
Return of mortal remains/ Repatriation of remains is solely to cover the costs of returning your body back home, to your home country, if you were to pass away.
Travel services, these include monetary services and assistance services. Some plans give coverage for translation services, prescription replacement, lost luggage or documentation and others. Be sure to check exactly what your plan will cover.
Emergency reunion cover the air fare, accommodation and living expensive for a family member or friend to come be by your bedside if you need to be medically evacuated.
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