It is a common knowledge that living in the USA can be very expensive especially those who take care of their education through the help of scholarships or loans. Even getting sick is not exempted from the items of services that are quite costly to get in the USA especially when does not have the appropriate measures in place to ameliorate these costs. One of the measures to lower these costs is through purchase of insurance policies. The main focus of this article is on USA foreign student health insurance.

The benefit of this topic to be explicit on the imperativeness of health insurance for foreign students in the USA because falling sick or getting into an accident in the United States is not something a student can easily afford the cost implications. When you have this health insurance policy in place and things happen all of a sudden, say, you get into poor physical health or sustain injuries in an accident in the USA as a student, you will need not worry about how to pay for the medical bills which are usually unaffordable.


It is a requirement for foreign students in the United States to have health insurance policy even before enrolling in school.  This is the requirement that has been set by virtually all the universities in the United States of America. This is notwithstanding that some universities may not make it compulsory. Therefore you have to necessarily check if the university you want to enroll makes health insurance for foreign students compulsory. Moreover, you can buy USA students health insurance anytime after entering in the United States, or even before travelling.

It is worthy of note that your United States of America travel insurance policy is not the same as foreign students insurance. In essence, while travel insurance is to serve the purpose of protecting you and your belongings while on your journey, USA foreign students health insurance policy is for the purpose of giving you insurance coverage for any medical costs which you may have while living and studying in the USA.


We have here set out the steps that you need to go through in getting health insurance coverage as a foreign student studying in USA


You have to find out if your university or your school requires a compulsory group health insurance scheme. In the event they do, you will also need to find out if the premiums for the policy is inclusive of your tuition and in the event that it is not inclusive of your tuition, you will need to pay them and enjoy the coverage.


In some cases where your university does not make group health insurance compulsory, there may be need to find out what quotes health insurance companies offer. And when you have done this, compare what your school is offering and with the plans the companies you have inquired from have offered you. Doing these checks will help you make an informed decision including if your dependents will enjoy coverage.

 Choose your most suitable plan, and pay.

Having made your due diligence checks, it is time to make a choice of the plan you consider most suitable for you and proceed to purchasing same. In doing this, make sure you read through the terms of the policy properly to be sure that it covers all you need.


Below are some of the health insurance options for foreign students in the USA;


Compulsory Group insurance Plan

Most school in the United States make health insurance for foreign students compulsory. This is a situation where these schools/Universities in the US provide a mandatory health insurance plans which foreign students have to buy. The core features of this policy are that it most times come together with their tuition fee, usually cost more than individual policies but provide more comprehensive coverage including maternity coverage, mental and dental care and even pre existing conditions etc.

Compulsory group insurance plan with the Option of Waiver

Some schools in the US despite the fact that they have compulsory group health insurance plan still grant their students option of opting out of the compulsory scheme. However, this is most time on the condition that such student who wants an individual plan purchases one with adequate and comprehensive coverage as that of the school.

To make sure that such students purchase a comprehensive plan, the Schools usually hand the students with the “waiver form”. This is a document that contains a list of the benefits requirements that your health insurance policy needs. And it requires the signature of the student and that of the Insurer.

Optional Plan

This is the circumstance where the school does not have compulsory health insurance policy for student but makes it free for students to select whatever plan they like from anywhere. If your school grants you this freedom, always make sure that you go for the plan that are comprehensive enough to cover all your health insurance needs and not for the cheap plans.

Choosing USA Health Insurance Plan for Foreign Students

In making the choice of what your best health insurance plan is, you have to keep in mind the following core factors:

Limit of your health insurance plan (Insurable limit)

 As the name suggests, this accounts for the highest sum for which your insurance policy will be able to pay out for a specific medical treatment and or for hospitalization. It decides how much of the medical bill your insurance company will pay and the one you have to pay out of your own pocket.

Jurisdiction to buy your health insurance 

This is where you purchase your health insurance plan. Although some foreign students may want to purchase a health insurance plans from a company in their home country sometimes, however, purchasing your health insurance in the US is the easier for you. This is because it is easier to process your claims in the US.

 The school’s requirements

This is the representation of hat your school wants with respect to your student health insurance plan. These may include the requirements as well as the insurable limit and others.


USA Health Insurance for foreign Students on OPT

OPT is an acronym for Optional Practical Training. In the USA, students under an optional practical training are no longer eligible for insurance coverage under their school’s insurance plan. It therefore means that you will need an OPT health insurance plan. In essence, you will find a private health insurance company which will offer coverage for students on an OPT in an addition to your school’s mandatory policy.


As you have seen, we have taken you through USA health insurance for foreign students and the primary things you need to know. This includes the fact that some schools include health insurance for your dependents as their student although with a higher cost.

It goes to say that if your school offers compulsory health insurance without an option to waiver, you will have no choice but to subscribe to your school health insurance plan.


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