Why Do International Students Need Health Insurance?

network175623582If you are an international student studying in the United States, you may be required to have health insurance coverage for the entire time you are abroad. Even if your visa does not require you to have health insurance, chances are your college or university will. The majority of colleges and universities require international students to provide proof of adequate health insurance coverage before enrollment. So why do international students need health insurance?

No National Healthcare

International students need to purchase a health insurance plan since there is very limited government-funded healthcare in the US, most of which is not accessible to international students. The cost for health care in the United States is extremely high and increases annually – so if you do not have an insurance plan, you may be stuck footing the bill. When you have a health insurance plan, this private insurance company will pay toward your eligible costs – leaving you with a much smaller out of pocket bill.

Less Out of Pocket Expenses

Even if you have an insurance plan you should expect to pay something out of pocket, since most plans have deductibles, copays, or coinsurance – but the amount you’ll pay is just a fraction of what you would spend if you didn’t have insurance. Especially in the event of an emergency situation, the costs can add up. A surgical procedure can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, uninsured hospitalization for a single day can cost several thousand dollars, an ambulance or a CT scan can cost around $2,000-$3,000, and an IV injection can cost around $200.

Network Discount Advantage

Sometimes doctors charge up to seven times as much to an uninsured patient as they do for the insured because health insurance companies are able to negotiate drastic discounts for their patients. Health insurance companies pay the majority or even all of the costs, thereby drastically reducing the cost to you, even after paying $200-$4,300 a month in premiums.

For this reason, it is imperative that you have health insurance coverage. Even if you are healthy, you never know when you are going to become seriously ill or injured. If you do need medical care, having a student health insurance in the USA will prevent you from becoming financially crippled by medical bills.

Posted by Jennifer Frankel

Jennifer is the International Director at International Student Insurance. Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Florida where she holds a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. She has lived and worked abroad in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica and England, and traveled extensively in South America, Europe and Asia.

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