isoa health insurance review
Student Stories

ISOA Health Insurance Review for International Students – Cheap and Cost Effective

In the above video, I interviewed a team member from ISO Health Insurance. From our talk, you can learn about their plans and some valuable information on how health insurance works.

If you are planning to buy health insurance for the first time, watching this video will help you a lot.

  • Cheapest plan offered by ISOA Health Insurance is at $31 per month

You should be aware that medical costs are very expensive in the USA. And for personal security and health reasons, international students are strongly advised to have a Student Health Insurance coverage while pursuing their college or university studies in this country.

Normally, international students would be required by their university to buy the health insurance that they provide in-house. However, there are some universities and colleges that allow their students to buy insurance coverage from external providers that offer cheaper health insurance, such as those offered by ISOA.

It is a known fact that student health insurance coverage provided by colleges/universities is usually expensive. And this normally costs around $400 to $800 per semester.

  • Now, compare that with the $31 per month insurance for a 5-month period = $155

If your college or university gives you the option to get a waiver to buy medical insurance from external providers, then you must really consider buying one from ISOA.

Cheap International Students Health Insurance

There are so many health insurance providers in the US, but Happy Schools recommends ISOA Health Insurance for following reasons:

  • ISOA provides cheap insurance for foreign students
  • Great coverage options
  • Good customer service
  • Insurance Plans start at $31 per month.

ISOA Health Insurance Review

I personally know a number of students who purchased at ISOA Health Insurance. They were in F1 Visa attending school in Texas.

If you are 25 years old and below and your university allows purchasing health insurance from external providers, then you can opt to buy from ISOA Health Insurance for only $31 per month.

Let’s do the math for a 1 year insurance coverage by ISOA:

  • $31 x 12 = $372

vs. University Coverage:

  • $600 per semester x 2 – $1200

See below about coverage details and expectations that you can get from low cost plans.

Which ISOA Health Insurance Plans to Buy

Here’s a comparison of the insurance plans offered by ISOA.

isoa health insurance review

Compass Plan

  • Silver
  • Gold


  • Med 1
  • Med 2


  • Shield 500
  • Shield 2000

ISOA’s website provides a good comparison of all its insurance plans. If you are someone who expect to visit the hospital frequently based on your medical history, then you should buy a plan that provides the most suitable coverage for your medical needs.

How to Select an Insurance Plan

Every person’s medical needs vary from one individual to another, so you must buy your insurance based on your particular needs. ISOA offers some of the most price-friendly health insurance plans for international students.


Warning:  Read the plan description and summary, benefits. The biggest issue I have seen people when shopping for insurance is that they pay for the lowest plan and expect the coverage of a plan that’s much better and expensive. So, please read the plan description.

Each plan should include a Plan Document and Policy. Here’s a screenshot from COMPASS plan Summary document taken as of Nov/2016

iso compass insurance plan summary

First time insurance buyers would have to educate yourself  of various terms and conditions, then buy a plan that suits your need.

First time insurance buyers probably will not understand some of the terms listed in the benefits. Just because you have an insurance coverage doesn’t mean you completely covered. Every plan is different and people often complain when they have to file a claim and come to realize that their expectations are different from the reality.

I have medical insurance through my employer. I pay about $150 per paycheck and my employer pays about $800. So, you know the type of coverage you can expect from an insurance that costs $950 per month with versus $31 per month insurance. So, please learn about the insurance and pick a plan that best fits your need.

Click here to check out ISOA Student Health Insurance Plans.


Full Disclosure: HSB is an affiliate partner with ISA. If you buy health insurance in ISO using the link, we will get a referral fee.

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  1. The worst ever and scammy insurance.

    Follow me on Twitter #scammy_ISOA @nosrati_mehrdad

    I would definitely not recommend my friends to get this so called insurance. This is a scam company. I am going to sue them. I am willing to release all the information and documents that prove my claim. The HealthSmart Insurance handles all the claims and will deny any bills. They have the most irreverent and uneducated Customer service. They won’t pay for anything. If you already have got any bill the only way to get your rights is to hire an advocate and fight them at a court as I am doing so.

    Follow me on Twitter #scammy_ISOA @nosrati_mehrdad

  2. This insurance is a scam, awful service, you are basically buying NOTHING.

    Let me elaborate on this. PPACA. This insurance is not administered with PPACA, what does that mean to you? It means, if any way if you have pre-existing condition in the past, the insurance can deny your claim and not paying for your coverage. Lets say before you are buying this insurance, you better make sure the sickness you are having in future has not been occurred in the past OR ELSE be ready to get denied.

    Second, the customer service is literally non-exist at all. The quality of the call is so poor that you can barely hearing anything, its like you are ordering pizza over the phone in the underground tunnel. Customer service… there’s ONE or TWO agent talking calls, i once waited 25 minutes. And agent hung up my call before i even finished my claims.

    Third, this insurance covers very very limited coverage, like what? if you are playing soccer one day, and you got spanked. Sorry under ISO terms and regulation, you are not covered.

    This is an insurance that covers on top of your insurance, if you are looking alternative option for avoiding paying your international student insurance coverage ranging from 600 to 1400… i advice you, better stay with the school recommended coverage.

    Sorry for bad english.

  3. This health insurance is actually awful. If you need care for an actual medical event, you could find yourself in a world of trouble especially when dealing with the actual mangers of the plan (Healthsmart). Please do not get this health insurance. I had ISOMed 1 and still had horrible coverage.

    1. Since you mentioned coverage, I’m sure you know what you are getting into. Plan declining the benefits vs lack of coverage are two different things. If you are complaining about coverage, then you should have done the research, checked for coverage options before buying.

  4. So, what happened to the discussion on NYU? I am from India and will be joining NYU in Fall 2015. Is ISOA good for NYU’s requirements? Has anyone faced any problems?

    1. Do NOT get ISO insurance. First they are not an insurance company they are a marketing company only. If you get sick and need help they will not help you. They with send you to and this company will make sure you only get the lowest care possible. ISO is not even an American company. It is owned by Israelis and all the money goes to Israel. They have a call centre in New York only to sell insurance. They will not help you. Be careful and buy a real plan somewhere else.

  5. ISO insurance SUCKS. This insurance might be cheap but useless when you need it. What purpose does it serve. I had this insurance while I’m a student. I’ve paid a couple of out-patient visits to my university hospital (In network hostipal). I’ve not even got 15% benefit on my bills, that too after more than 30 phone calls to the customer service over a period of 5 months. The phone calls and time wasn’t worth the 15% benefit I’ve received.

    1. Raj – did the plan cover the expenses or services when you purchased the policy? For example my health insurance is one of the best that a company can offer and its costs like $20,000 per year. As a student when you pay $50 or $100 per month you get the coverage for what you pay. Could you provide more info about the issue? So others can decide if they want to buy this. Thanks.

  6. Asking u this a year late…but can u share what kind of routine check up this was? And which ISO plan u had?

  7. I just graduated from college and working under OPT. No insurance from college as well as company. This ISO is really cheap but right the first time I wanted to use it, I ended up paying more than $500 for my routine check-up because it is not covered under ISO plan. The problem is that I didnt know it wasnt covered until I was done with all the check-up 🙁 So make sure you read and understand thoroughly the coverage of the plan.

  8. hi
    the problem with ISOA is that its packages many a time donot meet the waiver requirements of several universities…for example UPENN?
    PSI has a special plan and it meets most stringent of requirements…slightly expensive but works

  9. Hi HSB…….
    I’m planning to take ICICI Lombard health insurance from india….
    shall i take it or better go for Insurance from US only?
    What do u suggest?

    1. It very tough to get claim from them. If you are staying in US as student, then get it from the US company (checkout the company listed above) They provide good service.

      1. I heard that Lombard is also the largest Insurance company in US…
        so i’m in a dilemma whether to take it here or there..

        1. You are in India and I’m in US and you don’t know the practical difficulties of dealing with insurance. I don’t recommend ICICI. Its upto you, but when you have p[problem then don’t feel bad you selected ICICI.

          1. sorry for delay in reply,

            I would say no to ICICI Lombard it will not work in USA.
            there are many Health Insurances…….. just check it out.

  10. I asked ISOA abt the insurance plan via mails…as per them NYU will not accept any external plans…but NYU has given me the option to waive off.ISOA says they have some benefits and reductions which NYU doesnt agree to.What should I do nw,,??

    1. 1) You NEED to have insurance. Don’t skip that.
      2) What is the cost of NYU plan?
      3) Confirm again – you waive their plan, are you free to get any other plan.
      4) If answer is yes to 3, then buy the plan from ISOA which is suitable for your needs.

      1. NYU is abt 5000$ for two years…and yes they have the option of plan waive off..but ISOA is refusing to provide me with any plan.As per them NYU has strict rules and they cant abide by those rules.

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