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International Student Health Insurance

International student health insurance is tailor-made to meet the needs of students studying outside of their home country, and this article will describe the key features, coverage and approximate costs of these plans.

Serving as the perfect combination of traditional medical and travel insurance, international student health plans have a unique combination of benefits like sports, mental health and emergency medical evacuation. These options also provide coverage for the entire duration of a study, allowing a student to retain one plan throughout their education.

Key Features Of International Student Health Plans

Specialized Benefits

In addition to providing standard healthcare benefits like hospitalizations and prescriptions, many student-focused plans include coverage for maternity expenses, mental health, pre-existing conditions and organized sports. These benefits will often be required by the student's school, but there are also core benefits like emergency medical evacuation and repatriation that students need while studying and traveling outside of their home country. Keep in mind that institutions may have their own insurance requests, so before purchasing a plan, be sure to check your school's insurance requirements to see if they have an affordable insurance plan in place or if you can choose your own.

Dependent and Family Coverage

Due to the specialized nature of these kinds of plans, most options are limited in their coverage for dependents, or they are offered at a much higher rate. Therefore, students who are traveling with a family will need to pay more for coverage or look for other options, like a travel medical plan.

Renewable for the Entire Study Period

These plans provide a monthly payment option and typically coverage can be renewed for up to four years, allowing students to purchase a single plan for their entire duration abroad. Some options, like our Student Secure plan offer incidental home country coverage, meaning for every 3 months of coverage students can visit their home country for up to 15 days and still receive care under their policy.

Younger Demographic, Therefore Lower Premiums

Since students tend to be young and healthy, their insurance plans are more affordable than conventional insurance. Premiums are determined by age and are often broken down into multiple levels of coverage, allowing students to stay within budget while remaining in control of their coverage.

Average Prices Including The United States In Coverage

While it is common knowledge that health insurance inside the U.S. is expensive, the price of international student plans tends to be much more affordable than traditional coverage. Under the age of 25 students can expect to spend about $50 a month, but the prices rise dramatically for older scholars. Since these plans are geared for traditional students, by the age of 40 individuals can expect to spend about $300 a month on these plans and would get more benefit out of a major medical or travel medical insurance plan.

Average Prices Excluding The United States In Coverage

In addition to age, oftentimes the prices of international student insurance plans are not determined by the exact country of study, but by one simple question: are you studying inside the United States, or not? For those choosing to study in other countries around the world, good news — your plan will most likely be cheaper. Individuals under the age of 25 can get great plans for about $41 per month, or as low as $27 for less comprehensive options. For reference, view the pricing options for our student health insurance plan, the Student Secure.

What International Student Health Insurance Plans Won't Cover

International student insurance plans are intended to cover new illness or injuries so wellness or preventative care, such as yearly checkups, mostly likely won't be covered. Depending on the plan, pre-existing conditions may be covered after a waiting period of 6 months to 1 year and typically vision and dental won't be covered at all. To debunk further assumptions, be sure to read our article on Student Insurance Myths and Realities.

Who These Options Work Best For

Full time students and scholars studying outside of their country of citizenship at traditional colleges, English as a Second Language (ESL) programs, or technical schools, including individuals on OPT. Oftentimes, dependents won't qualify for these options alone and require the student to be on the plan, even though it will be costlier.

Requirements To Be Aware Of

Depending on where a student chooses to study, they may have to purchase a plan that meets government requirements, like the United States. International students in the U.S. on an F1 visa don't have to follow the strict standards of the Affordable Care Act for the first five calendar years inside the country, but all J1 visa holders must meet government mandated standards.


For most, the Student Secure is one of the best international student health insurance plans available, offering worldwide coverage perfectly suited for an international student, but if you are still weighing your options, check out our Top 10 Student Insurance Buying Tips. As with any insurance product you are looking to purchase, we always recommend that you speak with an insurance agent about your needs and queries before purchasing, as there are always many options available and some may be more suited for you than others.

International Student Health Insurance


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