January 31st, 2014 by Victoria Troupe
Having medical insurance in the US is crucial to protect you from high expenses associated with healthcare in the US. Insurance pays a portion of your medical expenses for you. Contrary to popular belief, having medical insurance in the US does not mean that you won’t have to pay anything towards your medical expenses. The expenses that you will be expected to pay are called “out-of-pocket expenses.” Every medical insurance plan is different, but generally, you can use the following equation to figure out what you will be paying out of pocket.
Premium + Deductible + Co-insurance + Copayments = Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Each part of this equation is explained in full detail in our Insurance Explained article Understanding Out of Pocket Expenses, but here is a brief definition of each:
Premium – Your premium is the cost of buying your insurance policy.
Deductible – Your deductible is the amount that you are required to pay towards your medical expenses before the insurance company begins to pay towards your medical expenses.
Co-insurance – A co-insurance agreement stipulates the percentage of eligible medical expenses that the insurance company will pay versus the percentage that you will be required to pay.
Copayments – Your copay is an amount of money that you must pay to the doctor each time you seek medical treatment.
Luckily, most policies also include an out-of-pocket maximum limit. Once you’ve paid up to the out-of-pocket maximum limit, the insurance company begins paying 100% of your eligible medical expenses for the remainder of the year. This can protect you in case of a prolonged hospitalization or illness.
All of these things are important to know and understand when shopping for a good international student health insurance. Our Student Secure plans have been designed to offer a low premium, low deductibles, co-insurance 100% paid by the insurance (Select level, in-network), and no copays! Get a free quote and more information here.
January 24th, 2014 by Bryanna Davis
A subtle cough has been creeping in and although you haven’t been to the gym in a few days you feel very achy. It’s happened! You have gotten sick which means it’s time to go to the doctor. Luckily, you purchased international student health insurance at the beginning of the year, so now you only need to figure out what doctor to choose.
If you’ve heard that you should choose a doctor that’s an “in-network provider” then you’ve heard right, it’s always best to visit an in in-network provider when possible. Why are provider networks important? Here are just a few reasons:
It Saves You Money
When you visit an out of network provider you will typically pay more, or have to pay for your entire bill altogether, depending on your plan. Visiting an in-network provider can help you save money. For example, on the Student Secure plan if you visit an in-network provider you will only have to pay a $25 deductible, and not even worry about paying toward a co-insurance. However, if you choose not to visit an in-network provider you will have a $50 deductible then pay 20% of your remaining bill up to $5,000. Although it still cuts down your medical bill significantly, you’re paying more than necessary out of pocket.
In the Student Secure plan example, visiting an in-network provider would save you up to: $1,025!
Another way that you save money by visiting an in-network provider is that each of the in-network providers have agreed upon a set rate with your insurer. This helps keep the cost of your plan down and control your bills from going over the limit that your insurance plan allows for that certain benefit. More money saved!
They Will Bill the Insurance Company Directly
Medical bills are not cheap. Many international students don’t have enough in their bank account to cover what doctors or hospitals charge. Providers that are in-network have agreed to bill the insurance company directly. This means that you won’t have to pay the entire bill then wait for your refund.
If you’re still asking why are provider networks important, here is the quick answer: they will save you money and help ensure you don’t have to pay your entire medical fee bill of pocket then wait for a refund. You can also find more information on insurance provider networks here.
January 20th, 2014 by Jennifer Frankel
Studying in Portugal as an international student is a great find. With affordable tuition, a genuine European experience, and a chance to practice your Portuguese – you can’t go wrong! The health care in Portugal is also one of the finest in the world. Consider this. The Portuguese health care system was ranked #12 in the world by the World Health Organization (2000). That being said, Portugal was also ranked #27 as having the most expensive health care system in the world.
So you may be asking yourself, how do I deal with these costs? As an international student it’s important that you get health insurance for Portugal before you depart your home country. Why?
International Student Visa Requires Proof of Insurance
According to the Portuguese Embassy, individuals who need a student visa will be required to show proof of medical insurance valid for Portugal. This will be required as part of your overall application submitted to the nearest Consulate. Since the process can take between 2-4 weeks, it’s important to purchase beforehand and make sure that you have coverage for the entire period you’ll be studying (if you’ll be studying in Portugal beyond a year, you can typically purchase one year of coverage and renew it for the next year).
Be sure to ask your insurance company for a visa letter that you can present detailing:
- Complete name as it appears on your passport
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Area of coverage
How Your Student Health Insurance Will Work In Portugal
It’s important to know about your health insurance and how it’ll work once you are there. Do you need to pay first and be reimbursed? Are you restricted to the providers you can go to? What if you travel to another country while you are in Portugal, will you be covered? Do you need to call in advance or are you automatically covered? These are all important questions to ask your insurance plan to be sure that you get the coverage you need.
Health Insurance for International Students in Portugal
If you are looking for a health insurance for Portugal, consider the Europe Travel Insurance which has been designed for students like you! Not only can you choose your currency – pounds, euros, or dollars – you will get comprehensive coverage for doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription medications, medical evacuation and repatriation. You can also choose your deductible/excess from as low as 0 (and you’ll have no excess if you have the EHIC card) and your coverage starting at €40,000. You will also get a letter that you can present for your Consulate plus you’ll have 24 hour travel assistance which includes language interpretation.
Want to learn more about Portugal international student insurance? Check out our Portugal section here or you can apply for the Europe Travel Insurance plan.
January 17th, 2014 by Ross Mason
No-one likes a surprise, and if you are fit and healthy – contemplating what will happen if you get sick or injured is probably furthest from your mind. That is why student health insurance is more important than ever as getting caught without coverage could put you in serious financial trouble.
This is clearly demonstrated in our overview video of the US healthcare system. Some procedures can cost upwards of $150,000 which you will be expected to pay if you do not have insurance!
The good news is that student health insurance is not expensive as you may think, and only starts at just $29/month and includes:
- Easy monthly payment options
- Up to $300,000 in coverage
- $25 deductible at the student health center
- Maternity and mental health benefits
- Quick waiver processing
Don’t get caught without insurance, and speak to one of our friendly insurance agents who will be happy to help you and guide you in the right direction. We are available during normal business hours so call, email, live chat, tweet or facebook us for service!
January 13th, 2014 by Ross Mason
Florida Student Health Insurance
As an International Student, Florida is a huge draw as a study destination. Not only does it have some of the best schools in the country, but the climate means that pretty much all year round it’s sunny and warm – and so you will not have to deal with the sub-zero temperatures of the North-East such as in Boston, New York or DC in wintertime.
Many international students are often surprised by the quality and cost of schools in Florida, as they often can cost much less than schools in other states. This excellent guide to the State of Florida for International Students, outlines some excellent reasons why students opt to study here. There is also a very comprehensive search tool of schools in Florida that accept international students, so if you are still looking we highly recommend that resources to you.
Once you have secure your place at a Florida school, obtaining Florida Student Health Insurance will be a requirement by most schools, and those requirements will vary from school-to-school. For example you have schools such as the University of Miami that requires all their international students to enroll in the school sponsored health insurance plan, there are no opportunities to waive out and purchase alternative coverage. However, many schools will allow you to purchase your own coverage – and this can sometimes be recommended if the school insurance plan is over $1,000 per year.
To view all school insurance requirements for the state of Florida, please visit our Florida page for more details.
In most cases the Student Secure plan will meet most school requirements and will provide international students with an excellent Florida Student Health Insurance plan for their time studying in the USA. It offers:
- Easy monthly payment options
- Up to $300,000 in coverage
- $25 deductible at the student health center
- Maternity and mental health benefits
- Quick waiver processing
- Coverage starting at $29/month
We hope you have fun in Florida!
January 10th, 2014 by Ross Mason
A recent guide published by the tourist authority Visit Britain outlined a number of cultural “Dos and Don’ts” when it comes to handling foreign guests in the UK. This list is interesting, and in some parts funny – a few highlights of the list:
Do: Understand that Indians are amiable but have a tendency to change their minds quite frequently.
Do: Ensure tourists from Russia – a “tall nation” – are housed in rooms with high ceilings and doorways.
Do: Realize that Australian people are being endearing when they make jokes about “Poms” [Aussie slang for British people].
Do: Anticipate all of the needs of a Japanese visitor – even if they haven’t told you what they are.
Do: Deal promptly with any complaint from German or Austrian tourists, who can be “straightforward and demanding” to the point of “seeming rude and aggressive.”
Don’t: Ask superstitious people from Hong Kong to sleep in a historic property or a four-poster bed, because they associate them with ghostly encounters.
Don’t: Exchange a smile or make eye contact with anyone from France who you do not know.
Don’t: Describe a visitor from Canada as “American.”
Don’t: Try to talk to Belgians about their country’s politics or language divisions.
Don’t: Say “no” in a direct way to a Japanese tourist – instead think of a “nicer alternative.”
Are there any top travel etiquette tips that you can share with us about certain nationalities? We look forward to your comments!
January 8th, 2014 by Victoria Troupe
Carlos Albizu University International Student Insurance
Carlos Albizu University, located in Miami, Florida, is a popular destination for international students in the US. Like many other schools in the US, students at this school are required to show proof of insurance. The Carlos Albizu University international student insurance requirements include proof of insurance coverage for a period of 52 consecutive weeks or the complete time the insured will be attending Carlos Albizu University. The insurance must provide basic benefits as set forth by the Department of State J-1 visa requirements. Those benefits are:
- Medical benefits with at least $50,000 per illness or injury
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per illness or injury
- Repatriation coverage of $7,500 or more
- Medical Evacuation coverage of $10,000 or more
- Must meet a minimum rating of at least A- by AM Best or other financial rating systems
Students at Carlos Albizu do not have a school-offered insurance policy and therefore need to search for an individual plan. Search no further! Our Student Secure plan will meet all of these requirements. The Student Secure offers three different levels of coverage to choose from so that you can choose a policy that fits your needs and your budget. Our plans start as low as $29 per month! Start here for a free quote and for more information.
Students at Carlos Albizu University are exempt from these insurance requirements only if they are covered by an approved sponsorship or embassy, or if their spouse’s employer’s insurance covers the student for the benefits listed above.
After you purchase your insurance plan, you can email or fax us your Carlos Albizu University Compliance Form. We are happy to complete this form and either fax it or email it to you or directly to your school. Keep in mind that your compliance form is due BEFORE the first day of school starts for the new semester, so be sure to purchase your policy and have your compliance form completed as soon as possible.
For more information regarding Carlos Albizu’s insurance requirements and international admission information, check our Carlos Albizu School Requirements page.
January 6th, 2014 by International-Student-Insurance
January 2014 Travel Warnings
The January 2014 travel warnings are a listing of any warnings that have been posted by the US Department of State in the month of December, warning travelers who plan to visit those countries.
Countries listed through the month of December 2013 include:
Honduras – December 24th, 2013
Due to the very high levels of crime and violence still present in Honduras, and the fact that the local government lacks the resources to combat it, the Department of State continues to warn travelers to this region. Honduras currently has the highest murder rate in the world, and international travelers could be specifically targeted so all travel to Honduras should be avoided.
Republic of South Sudan – December 17th, 2013
Due to the ongoing political and social unrest in the Republic of South Sudan, the Department of State has suspended their Embassy services there until further notice. They therefore recommend that all travel to the Republic of South Sudan be avoided.
Libya – December 12th, 2013
The Libyan government is still working to rebuild its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution. The security situation remains unpredictable and unstable. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. For this reason, the Department of State warns of the risks of traveling to Libya and strongly advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli.
While traveling, please keep these travel warnings in mind and remember to exercise extra care if you are visiting these countries, and check with your travel insurance provider to make sure you still have coverage in place – sometimes some benefits can be excluded for countries under a travel warning. Travelers are also advised to enroll through the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to stay up to date on travel security information.
January 3rd, 2014 by Bryanna Davis
University of Alabama Student Insurance
The new year is here! This is great news for students who are ready for change and excited for new classes to start. For international students at the University of Alabama- it also means your deadline to purchase international student health insurance is almost here!
January 16th is the deadline for international students at the University of Alabama to find adequate international health insurance. If you’re not sure where to even start when it comes to looking for a plan, it’s important to first know that your school offers a plan that you can purchase. However, the University of Alabama also allows international students to explore other insurance options first. This means you can choose to purchase an alternate plan that will meet your school’s insurance requirements.
One option when it comes to international student health insurance for the University of Alabama is the Student Secure Essential plan.
When purchasing health insurance it’s important to choose a plan that not only has the coverage your school requires you to have, but that will also meet your needs and budget as an international student. Start by checking out the prices of each plan under consideration.
University of Alabama plan: $1200 annually
Student Secure Essential: $1,051.96* annually
Annual savings: Almost $150
Along with saving you money, the Student Secure Essential plan will provide you coverage for doctor’s visits, hospitalization, maternity, mental health and wellness. It also includes emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains- two benefits that international students need.
Explore other insurance options and get more information on international student health insurance for the University of Alabama here! If you choose the Student Secure Essential plan, after your purchase you are able to send us your waiver form to be completed!
Contact us for more information on how to buy international student health insurance for the University of Alabama.
*The Student Secure Essential rates are based upon those who are aged 25 years and younger.