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International Student Insurance Explained

As a general concept, insurance is not hard to understand; however, the intricacies of individual insurance plans, and trying to understand all the different definitions, benefits and exclusions, can be overwhelming for many students — especially if English is not your first language!

The International Student Insurance “Insurance Explained” section is here to help — with information available in video and article format to help you dissect and understand the world of insurance!

Each set of articles below explains a different topic, starting with the different types of health insurance plans available to an international student, and then moving on to other core areas such as J1 and F1 insurance coverage.

Video Resources

Learn more about our company, the various types of health and travel insurance for international students, plus mental health, sexual assault awareness and more.

International Insurance Types

Learn more about the various types of international insurance — student health, travel medical, trip cancellation or interruption, dental, etc. — that are available to you as a student. These articles will help you understand the different coverages they each offer:

Understanding Insurance

Learning about how you can understand your insurance plan and the process and systems can help de-mystify a lot of the questions you may have. In this series, we delve into the specifics of the US Healthcare system and how you can make the most of your insurance coverage:

  • The US Healthcare System

    To all international students studying in the United States, the US health care system might seem impossibly complicated and confusing. This is because the US health care system is impossibly complicated and confusing; most US citizens don't even fully understand it. The following is a short guide to help you to better understand the US health care system, so you will be fully prepared for your stay in the United States... read article

  • Impact of the ACA on International Students
  • How Student Insurance is Regulated in the USA

    Health insurance regulation in the United States is very complex, with many layers of regulation and required filings from federal and state authorities. However, for most international students, the analysis is pretty straight-forward and a full understanding of the daunting world of US health insurance regulation is unnecessary... read article

  • Student Health Insurance in the US

    Use this article to help determine what your health insurance requirements as an international student may be and how to effectively evaluate your options... read article

  • Understanding Out of Pocket Expenses

    While health insurance in the United States can help pay most of your medical bills, there will still be a portion that must be paid out of pocket. Use this article as a guide to help you better understand these costs and to give you a better idea of what to look for while shopping for health insurance... read article

  • How To Submit An Insurance Claim

    “Straight, simple and to the point – five easy steps to help you efficiently file a health insurance claim.”... read article

  • Insurance Provider Networks

    While shopping for health insurance it's important to know what a provider network is and how it affects the price you pay for health care. This article explains in detail the advantages of going in-network and exactly what that means... read article

Plan Research

Making sure you thoroughly research your insurance plan before you purchase your coverage can help you find the best option available to you and will avoid any surprises later. In the following articles, we detail the important insurance terms and benefits you should be aware of as well as some vital tips and pitfalls to watch out for:

Comparing Coverage Types

Some types of insurance can seem very similar at first glance, making it difficult to choose the correct coverage type. Learn how to compare the different types of insurance coverage that are available to most international students, and work out which option is a better plan for you and your needs:

F1 Visa Insurance

One of the more popular student visa's, the F1 visa is used by many students and so knowing about the visa and all its requirements is an important aspect for any student:

  • F1 Insurance Overview

    International Students studying in the USA are most typically entering on an F1 Visa, or F2 for dependents. Here are all the details you need to know about your visa, and how it relates to health insurance... read article

  • What is an F1 Visa?

    This article was designed to help international students and their families understand all the details about the F1 visa, the application process and how to qualify for it... read article

  • Health Insurance Requirements for the F1 Visa

    The F1 Visa is one of the most popular visas for international students choosing to continue their education in the USA. This article will outline the insurance requirements of the F1 visa and the most common situations you will experience as an international student, with regards to health insurance coverage... read article

J1 Visa Insurance

The J1 visa is also very popular for students, especially scholars, and this visa does have specific insurance requirements that need to be met, so our J1 section will provide all this information:

  • J1 Insurance Overview

    International scholars and exchange students visiting the US for a short duration are typically on a J1 Visa. Here you will learn more about the visa, its federal insurance requirements and appropriate health insurance options... read article

  • What is a J1 Visa?

    This article provides a general overview of the J1 visa, including how to obtain the visa and an outline of the application process. Also included are brief descriptions of the most popular program categories and information on both studying and working in the US on the J visa... read article

  • Health Insurance Requirements for the J1 Visa

    If you are traveling to the US on a J1 or J2 visa, you will be required to carry medical health insurance for the full duration of your program. Many sponsor programs provide both their students and dependents with health insurance, or you will be required to enroll in a private health insurance plan. Either way, the US Department of State has minimum J1 health insurance requirements that your insurance plan must meet (which applies to J2 visa holders as well)... read article

OPT (Optional Practical Training)

An option for international students is to undertake optional practical training after their studies, allowing them to work in the USA for a certain length of time:

  • OPT Health Insurance Overview

    International Student Insurance plans for Students on OPT... read article

  • What is OPT?

    Although there are several visa categories for international students in the United States (including J and M categories), the majority of international students enrolled in US colleges or graduate schools are under the F1 visa program. Under the F1 Visa, students are allowed to work under OPT... read article

  • How to apply for OPT

    Applying for OPT is a technical process, one in which you will need to be aware of all deadlines, solicit the help of your international student center and otherwise be on top of the requirements. It's easy to mess it up! And if you do, your chances of finding a job in the US will certainly be reduced... read article

  • Health Insurance While on OPT

H-1B Visa Insurance

If you will be working for a US employer, you will likely have an H1B visa that will allow you to work in the US for a certain period of time. Students who work during their OPT period may be asked to stay on with a company for an extended period of time, and switch to this non-immigrant visa:

Health and Safety Abroad

Learn about top tips and tricks for when you are abroad to stay fit and healthy and avoid falling into traps that can make you sick and ruin your experience abroad:

Mental Health

Mental health is a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It has an effect on every part of a person’s life, including how they think, feel, and act.

  • What is Mental Health

    Mental health is a person's emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It has an effect on every part of a person's life, including how they think, feel, and act. It also affects how a person handles stress, the choices that they make, and how they relate to others. Mental health is important throughout a person's lifetime, but because problems often manifest in a person's early twenties, it is especially important for college-aged individuals to be aware of their mental health. In fact, 74% of all mental illness begins by age 24... read article

  • Managing Your Mental Health

    It is definitely possible to lead a happy life with mental health problems, though it may require discipline, self-reliance, perseverance, and a remarkable amount of support from friends and family. Everyone is different, and while some may manage their mental health problems with ease, others may have more difficulty, and may require more support. Remember that there is no shame in asking for help... read article

  • Myths About Mental Illness

    There's a lot of misinformation about mental health floating around. Educating yourself and others about some of these common myths can help to challenge much of the stigma surrounding mental health... read article

  • Common Issues

    There are a number of signs that could indicate mental health issues. While having one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have a mental illness, if you notice that you are experiencing a number of the following symptoms, it is best to seek out a mental health professional, especially if they are interfering with your ability to study, work, or socialize... read article

  • Preparing Yourself Mentally

    While college can be a challenging time for any student, students coming to the US from other countries and cultures very often face specific challenges that US-born students do not. These challenges may include adjusting to a new academic and social environment, culture shock or language barriers, finding companions of one's own religion, language, or culture, homesickness, or encounters with prejudice. International students may also experience pressure to succeed from family members, as well as stress from issues related to navigating the paperwork and requirements necessary for studying in the US. Additionally, international students have often lost immediate access to their primary support system, since they have physically moved away from their primary support... read article

  • Seeking Treatment

    Sometimes mental health issues are more than we can handle on our own. If your symptoms are severe, or if they last for more than a few weeks, then it's important that you seek out professional help. If you are experiencing a number of common signs of mental health issues, especially if they are impacting your ability to function or people around you have expressed concern, it is time to seek treatment. This can be very scary, but your mental health is very important... read article

  • Mental Health and Insurance

    Dealing with health insurance can be extremely challenging, especially if you are already dealing with stress and worry concerning your mental health. Healthcare in the US can be very expensive, so choosing the right insurance plan is very important. Because some insurance plans don't cover mental health care, it's vital to confirm what your plan will cover if you seek mental health attention... read article