Studying abroad is the ultimate dream for every student. Not everyone is given that opportunity but, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones, then congratulations! You are in for exciting years ahead. However, aside from the new friends and experiences that you will make, whole new sets of responsibilities are also to be expected. One of these will certainly be managing yourself and your health.
While you may never have thought about it before, personal medical insurance is needed not just for the well-being of the student, but also for their finances. Health insurance for citizens in the US does not come cheap. This is one of the reasons why a lot of families are not covered. But, paying medical fees out-of-pocket might be very expensive. If you’re operating off of a student’s relatively limited budget, medical expenses could be the difference between keeping the fridge well-stocked, and having the power cut.
But, before getting overwhelmed with thoughts of skyrocketing expenses, here are some facts about health insurance for international students that are worth looking into.
Facts about medical insurance for international students
- It is mandatory
Having health insurance is a must. Your visa might require you to have it for the whole duration of your stay in the country. However, if your visa does not require you to do so, your university would. This coverage is needed for you to be officially enrolled in the university, and not having it would might keep you from being able to enroll.
- Know its extent
There are different kinds of health insurance for international students. It is important to choose coverage based on your health and your needs. Note, however, that most insurance policies cover new illnesses or injuries. This means if you need to have emergency surgery because you fell down the stairs in your school, then your insurance will cover it. However, if you need consultation, treatments or medication for pre-existing conditions (i.e. diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis etc.) then you might have to purchase additional coverage to avail of treatment. Thus, it is important to understand the coverage of your health insurance before purchasing. Asking for packages will also be helpful in having you covered in case of an emergency.
- Know where to get it
In most cases, your university can offer you university-based medical insurance for international students, when in the US . In some cases, however, the school can recommend to you a third party insurance provider. Doing a background check on your insurance provider before purchasing is a must.
- Set a budget
Prioritize setting a budget for your insurance policy and making sure that you pay it on time. The last thing you want is regret over not being covered right when you need it most, just because you did not fulfill your payments.
Insurance coverage is an investment that you ought to have and will give you peace of mind while studying in the US. Making sure that you are covered is something you should prioritize even before your arrival in the country.