International student health insurance plan offered by the University is expensive. Do I really need to buy student health insurance coverage?
Student health insurance is expensive. For F1 students coming from foreign countries especially from India, paying $800 per semester for health insurance is no joke.
Unfortunately, you need to have health insurance coverage.
Health care costs in the US is expensive. You may be able to consult a Specialist in India by paying $2. Here visit a Primary Care Provider can be like $100 to see a doctor for a cold or a fever.
You should have read about $2500 Bill for Medical Emergency.
Buying Health Insurance Coverage
Students on F1 Visa essentially have the following options to buy medical health insurance:
- Health Insurance from University
- Health Insurance from private providers.
Health Insurance from The University
If it’s mandatory to buy health insurance provided by the university, then you don’t have a choice. You would have to pay what University is asking you to pay!
From my experience, students don’t explore and learn how Health Insurance works.
Private Health Insurance Providers
If there is an option to buy health coverage from private providers, then buy from them. It’s would be cheaper when compared to plans offered by the University.
After you buy the health insurance coverage from a private insurance provider, you will be required to by the university show proof that of health insurance coverage.
You have to show the confirmation page from the plan after purchase.
Beware: Buying Health Insurance from Private Party
Cost of the student health insurance plan depends on several options.
You get what you pay for.
Health Insurance offered through my employer costs about $18,000 per year for a family. 80% of the $18,000 is paid by the Company and I pay the remaining amount.
Don’t expect to pay $50 per month and expect a coverage offered by $18,000 plan!
Please understand how the health insurance plan work and what benefits you would receive under the plan you have signed-up or planning to buy.
Look out for the following options when shopping for the insurance.
- Are there deductibles to meet before the plan starts covering costs?
- After the deductible is met, what percentage of costs will be covered?
- 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 are your expected medical needs?
Cheapest plan might not be the best plan for you. Every person is unique with different medical requirements.
If you have decided to buy a plan from a private party, here are a couple of resources for you:
Students complain when they have a medical expense and complain that the plan is not covering an option.
As I said, you get what you pay for. So, understand the benefits and the coverage before you have a need, not after you get the bill!