I will try my best to make this topic “health insurance for international students in the USA” as clear and simple as possible. Watch this Video with ISO Team and learn about Health Insurance for International Students. Niraj explains some of the basic Health Insurance Concepts and how to buy Health Insurance.
Even those who have lived in the US much longer than new foreign students or temporary visa workers, find it tough to understand health insurance terms. This guide is aimed at international students.
Which Student Health Insurance plan?
- Option 1: If it’s mandatory to buy health insurance provided by the university, then buy the plans offered by your school.
- Option 2: If there is an option to buy health coverage from 3rd party providers, then consider ISO Student Health Insurance.
Comparing Health Insurance Plan
Students on F1 visa tend to look at cost of the plan over the benefits. Most of them (including I) thought paying hundreds of dollars on Health Insurance plan was waste of money.
Until, I had an emergency Surgery in the U.S. while I was studying Masters Degree. I walked out of the hospital with couple of hundred dollars in co-insurance and health insurance plan paid thousands of dollars in medical bill.
The cost of the plan depends on plan options and coverage. When it comes to Health Insurance, coverage depends on how much you are paying in Premium. More you pay, better the plan is going to be.
- Are there deductibles to meet before the plan starts covering costs?
- After the deductible is met, what percentage of costs will the plan cover and pay?
- Are there co-payments and how much?
- What is the cost of seeing a doctor outside the network?
- Are there any limits on what the plan will pay?
- What is your medical needs?
- What are the requirements that your university wants the plan to have?
Buying health insurance plans from India or your home country could be cheap, but claim process is complicated and several horrible experience have been posted by members in several forums about poor customer service based in India.
You can decide where to buy the insurance, but I don’t recommend buying health insurance from Indian companies for foreign students in USA.
There are several US-based insurance companies that provide international students health insurance and I recommend the following ISOA Health Insurance (details below).
ISO Health Insurance Plans
Here is a simple definition of co-insurance from Investopedia.com
For example, an 80/20 co-insurance plan with a $300 deductible requires the insured to pay 20% of the covered costs after the deductible as been paid, while the company will be liable for the remaining 80%. Today, with the growing cost of prescription drugs and medical expenses, more and more employers have switched from co-pay plans to co-insurance plans to reduce employee-benefit costs.
In Compass Gold Plan, co-insurance is 100% after the deductible of $90 (or $45) is paid.
Example 1: Emergency Treatment
If you go on a trip to nearby town and sprained your leg. You to nearby emergency hospital for treatment.
Your will pay $90 and other expenses after that will be paid by insurance company. After getting your treatment, you go back to your university and get treatment from nearby hospital. So, deductible is per event.
Example 2: Cold and Fever
You catch cold and fever while recovering from leg injury. That will be counted as a new event. If you go to student health center, you will pay the deductible of $45.
Refer to the plan details for accurate information. Above two examples are given for the sake of comparison.
Details provided in the above comparison are self-explanatory. Above comparison was taken from ISOA students health insurance (specialized in providing health insurance for international students). Your health needs will be different. So, understand your needs and buy insurance accordingly.