Health Insurance For International Students: Complete Guide

Updated: November 9, 2022
Health Insurance For International Students

When picking an insurance plan, many students wonder if they’re getting a decent value. Forms for health insurance for international students can be hard to understand because of the complicated language used.

Choosing a health insurance plan in a foreign country can be challenging, but fortunately, many colleges partner with specialized providers to ease this process. Companies like these can access unique packages developed specifically with students in mind. However, there are situations when students must independently secure health coverage. Knowing the factors to weigh before deciding is useful in either instance.

Learn how to choose the best international student health insurance by reading on.

Option 1: Student Health Advantage Insurance for International Students

Long-Term Health Coverage for International Students and Scholars

Participants in organized study abroad programs of five or more students are eligible for the Student Health Advantage program. Included in this strategy are some of the following

  • Services for mental health, organized sports, expecting mothers, and foreign emergency care.
  • The independence to select your physician and to receive care at any hospital you prefer.
  • The base plan and a more comprehensive Platinum plan are available to meet your budgetary and protection needs.

Option 2: The Patriot Exchange Program for International Student Insurance

Insurance for those participating in a cultural or educational exchange program.

Students traveling in groups of five or more for education or cultural exchange are the target audience for this program. As a general rule, the Patriot Exchange Program’s plan alternatives conform to the standards of the United States J1 and J2 visas.

Some highlights for foreign students in need of medical insurance are as follows:

  • Plans require a minimum purchase of one month of coverage before they can be renewed for up to 48 months.
  • Students, groups, and accompanying spouses and dependent children under 26 are covered.
  • High school, intramural, interscholastic, and club sports insurance as an add-on service.
  • The policy provides for compensation of up to $5 million throughout a lifetime, with a per-incident cap of $500,000.

Health Insurance for International Students in USA

You should get health insurance even if you don’t believe you need it; you’ll be pleased you did when an unexpected medical issue arises. Health insurance in the US is mandatory in the event of any serious illness or injury. Even if you don’t have insurance, you can still seek medical care in the U.S.Without insurance, the cost of medical care in the United States can be prohibitive for many people. Even something as little as an ambulance ride can set you back up to $2,500. It’s a fact of life in the United States that everyone needs medical coverage.

It’s up to you to choose an insurance provider and policy that works best for your needs. Also, Dental and vision insurance and disaster insurance for things like hurricanes and earthquakes are optional add-ons. In a medical emergency, many insurance policies cover the cost of returning students studying abroad to a facility in their home country.

Here are some aspects to consider as an international student in the U.S.

Visa Category

The U.S. State Department has established the following health insurance requirements for each visa type:

  • Non-immigrants on a J-1 visa, such as research students, professors, and exchange visitors, must carry comprehensive medical coverage for their stay.
  • J-2 visa holders must show proof of health insurance for themselves and their families for the duration of the J-1 visa holder’s exchange program.
  • F-1 visa holders are exempt from statutory American healthcare obligations.
  • International students are exempt from U.S. health insurance as long as they’re in an M-1 visa-eligible technical or vocational program.

Students on F-1 or M-1 visas are not required to have health insurance by the federal government, but many colleges do.

What are the prerequisites for obtaining insurance?

Even though F1 visa holders are exempt from insurance requirements, most U.S. colleges and universities have their students sign up for medical coverage. Some schools mandate that overseas students buy university-provided insurance, while others provide it at a steep discount or for free in exchange for on-campus work. Verify the specifics of what is expected of you and what your college provides.

U.S. law mandates that students studying in the country on a J1 visa carry medical coverage that meets the following standards set forth by the government:

  • Minimum accident/illness coverage of $100,000
  • Coverage for the repatriation of remains up to $25,000.
  • The sum of $50,000 is set aside for the exchange student’s emergency medical evacuation back to his or her native country.
  • The policyholder’s responsibility for an accident or illness is $500.

F1 Student Health Insurance

F1 Visas for students, and F2 Visas, for their families, are the most common ways for international students to enter the United States. Learn everything you need to know about your F1 student health insurance visa and how it pertains to health insurance right here.

Learn everything you need to know about your F1 student health insurance visa and how it pertains to health insurance right here.

What is an F1 Visa?

Most international students who want to study in the U.S. are awarded an F1 non-immigrant visa. The U.S. Department of State issues student visas to private elementary, secondary, college, seminary, conservatory, ESL, or academic institutions.

Students with valid visas can enter the U.S. 30 days before the commencement of their program, stay for the duration of their studies, and then leave within 60 days. In addition to programs like OPT, students can modify their status to remain in the U.S. for longer.

Visa Requirements for Health Insurance for F1 Student

Students with an F1 student health insurance visa do not have to meet any government health insurance requirements when they come to the USA to study. This is why F1 visa holders and their dependents must adhere to their respective schools’ health insurance requirements.

While some schools mandate that all overseas students purchase their insurance, others give students the option to select a policy from any provider they like. Remember that the best way to safeguard yourself from unforeseen medical expenditures is to purchase suitable insurance, regardless of the health insurance for f1 students regulations your school may have.

J1 Student Health Insurance Visa

Students accepted into an official U.S. exchange program are issued a J-1 visa.

(For those who choose to become au pairs in the United States, the J-1 visa health insurance is the right choice.)

You need an appointment at the American consulate closest to you to apply for a visa. Moreover, to proceed with this appointment, please bring the following documents (usually given to you by your exchange agency).

With a J-2 visa, your family members can travel with you to Japan.

And as I mentioned up top, J visa holders (and their families) are expected to have health coverage during their time in the United States.

Best Health Insurance For International Students USA

Let’s dive into the best health insurance for international students in USA.

1. IMGlobal

There are three pricing tiers available to students on IMGlobal:

  1. Patriot Exchange Program
  2. Student Health Advantage
  3. Platinum Health Advantage

Patrior Exchange Program

The visa mentioned above is eligible for coverage under this health insurance plan. Coverage for your dependents is an option under this plan (if they are on an J-2, M-2, or F-2 visa).

The highest amount of coverage you may get ranges from $50,000 to $500,000 per incident. The potential costs associated with COVID-19 and non-emergency telemedicine are planned for.

The Student Health Advantage

There are two primary benefits to this strategy. The first is the availability of both individual and group plans; second, the coverage extends to overseas students studying in Europe.

Second, unlike many of its competitors, IMG’s Student Health Advantage does cover mental health issues, childbirth, telemedicine, COVID-19 costs, and preexisting diseases.

Platinum Health Advantage

The Platinum Plan for Student Health Insurance is an improvement over the Gold Plan. All the benefits already described are included, plus a million dollars more in protection.

2. Cigna Global

Cigna Global is a major player in the international health insurance market. Although they don’t provide student-specific plans, students with a F-1, M-1, or J-1 visa can still utilize them for comprehensive medical care.

Another perk is that this plan can be used for international and domestic medical coverage. During your time as an exchange student in the United States, you will have medical coverage with your Cigna plan regardless of where you travel.

3. Allianz Worldwide Care

Another well-known insurance provider is the German-based Allianz. Although they don’t provide student-specific plans, J-1 visa holders in the United States still have access to a wide variety of affordable healthcare coverage options (and plans that cover the other types of American visas).

Allianz offers three plans: Allianz Care, Allianz Care Pro, and Allianz Care Plus.

4. Foyer Global Health

Foyer Global Health is another major player in the global health insurance market.

In my perspective, the ability to set specific coverage restrictions per category sets Foyer apart from the competition.

Foyer, like Cigna, does not provide student-specific plans, but any of their plans will still insure you if you are a student. They provide three customizable base plans (essential, special, and exclusive).


HCCMIS is a second important player in the insurance industry.

All international students studying in the US can benefit from their “StudentSecure” plan, which comes in four tiers of coverage (StudentSecure Budget, StudentSecure Elite, StudentSecure Smart, and StudentSecure Select).

There are several subtle distinctions between the four options, like the covering of preexisting conditions and the availability of maternity care.

Bonus International Student Health Insurance for the US: 

Here are some other bonuses and the best insurance for international students.

Foreign students studying in the United States have the option of purchasing health insurance through Geoblue, which is a reputable company. Geoblue is unmatched in quality and is considered one of the best in the region.

Global Underwriters

Another excellent option is Global Underwriters, which offers medical coverage for ex-pats worldwide. Among GU’s many benefits is a selection of programs to suit various vacationers’ needs.

The Diplomat America plan is a great option for international students and exchange visitors in the United States. The plan caters to everyone from digital nomads and missionaries to international students and exchange visitors.

Now Health International

Now Health International is another excellent choice; it is one of the global insurance market leaders and strives to deliver a service that is both gratifying and easy to use.

Now Health International’s exceptional customer service is a perk of their plans.

Now Health understands that each individual’s everyday life as an international student presents unique obstacles and needs. As a result, all of its programs can be tailored to match those specific requirements.

Guidelines for Purchasing International Student Health Insurance

When shopping for international health insurance, there are several factors to consider. Some examples are as follows:

  1. Purchasing your health insurance through an authorized source.
  2. Maintain your insurance coverage throughout your whole year of study abroad.
  3. Check that your insurance covers the following:
  • Availability of prosthetic devices
  • Pharmaceutical Advantages
  • Facilities for day surgery
  • Coverage for an ambulance
  1. Before finalizing your coverage, you should ensure it provides the protections you need in a medical emergency.

Bottom Line

Always verify with your school’s international student office your visa restrictions and anything else that can affect your choice of health insurance before making a final decision.

You may have very particular requirements for a health insurance plan. There’s a chance you won’t even need to apply for one yourself. Possible resources can be found through employers, exchange programs, and educational institutions.

Reach out Today at NewHealthInsurance, and get your international student health insurance quotes now!


What is international health insurance for students?

International student health insurance is a must-have for those who are studying abroad for an extended period or just a semester. In some cases, a US citizen may not be completely covered by their domestic health insurance policy when traveling outside the country.

You should also be aware that certain international programs necessitate that their participants carry a particular level of health insurance coverage throughout their time abroad. Fortunately, NewHealthInsurance has made it simple to compare and locate insurance for international students that is ideal for you and your condition.

Can international students buy health insurance?

Yes, it is possible and recommended that international students obtain adequate international student health insurance. NewHealthInsurance partners with top-tier insurance companies in the United States to offer comprehensive medical coverage to international and domestic students abroad.

Our website allows international students to shop for the best student insurance plan by comparing several options. Once the online payment is processed, the student will receive an email with a copy of their insurance policy.

Why do international students need to compare health insurance?

At first glance, most health insurance international student US options for overseas students appear comparable. While most student insurance policies offer similar coverage for a comparable rate, there may be subtle differences in coverage, exclusions, or requirements.

To choose the best plan based on the needs of the student and to receive enough coverage from the international student insurance plan, it is vital to compare the various elements of the student health insurance plan.

When comparing different student health insurance options, consider the following:

  • The policy maximum is the highest sum paid out under the policy. According to the insurance terms, this is the most money that might be paid out in the event of a catastrophic event.
  • The deductible for each plan is separate and might be anywhere from $50 to $5000. Increases in deductibles result in cheaper premiums and vice versa. You should choose a comprehensive plan with a high deductible and a reasonable premium because most of these policies have a low deductible that is paid all at once.
  • Insuring consumers with pre-existing conditions is crucial, as many clients rely on such protections. Under the student’s insurance, existing ailments are not covered for at least six months.
  • Most educational institutions stipulate that their students must have mental health and substance abuse covered by their health insurance.
  • Concerning plan cancellation and renewal, each option has its specific guidelines. If there is any room for interpretation when you are originally arranging insurance, this is where it should be.
  • Some initiatives include sports protection at the collegiate and high school levels.

In light of these considerations, NewHealthInsurance offers a great comparative student medical insurance facility for getting rates to meet the needs of individual students. After filling out the form with the necessary information, a summary of the most sought-after student insurance plans is provided for evaluation.

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