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International Student Insurance for Miami-Dade College

July 22nd, 2019 by Diana Nolasco

If you will be studying at Miami-Dade College (MDC) as an international student, you will be required to purchase health insurance for a full academic year. In order to meet their insurance requirements, your plan must be continuous meaning that the plan must be renewed each year with no break in coverage. Miami-Dade College will not allow an international student to register for classes until they show proof of insurance coverage.

You may be asking yourself, why do I need to have health insurance? The United States has the most expensive health care in the world, and going to the hospital can cost thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – of dollars. Because of this, many schools like Miami-Dade College – require that all international students have adequate medical coverage during their time in college. 

The Student Health plan comes in four different levels – all of which will exceed your school’s health insurance requirements. The plan provides comprehensive coverage that includes:

  • Doctor Visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Prescription Medication
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation
  • Repatriation
  • Mental Health

For an international student ages 18 and 24 years old, the cost for one year is:

  • Smart –  $345.80 per year
  • Budget – $513.24 per year 
  • Select – $1,066.52 per year
  • Elite – $1,961.96 per year

International students can purchase the plan right online, and they will receive a confirmation email instantly. Students can then contact the International Student Services Office to show proof of insurance coverage.

To learn more about the Student Health plan, visit our website or contact our customer service team by phone, chat, or email. For more information about Miami-Dade College’s health insurance requirements, visit the school’s insurance requirements page.

Health Insurance for International Students at Eastern Florida State College

July 19th, 2019 by Diana Nolasco

If you are an international student attending Eastern Florida State College, then you will be required to enroll in your school’s group insurance policy or purchase an individual health insurance plan instead.

If you are on a budget and are looking for an alternative to their group plan, look no farther than International Student Insurance. We have great options that will meet all of their requirements.

Eastern Florida State College requires that all students have minimum coverage that includes:

  • $100,000 per injury or illness or per policy year
  • Deductible no greater than $100 per occurrence
  • 80% in-network and 60% out-of-network for accident or illness 
  • Includes coverage for mental health (both inpatient and outpatient)
  • Maternity must also be covered 80% in-network and 60% out-of-network
  • Repatriation of remains must be covered up to $25,000
  • Medical Evacuation must be covered up to $50,000

For a complete list of their requirements for international students, you can check out your school’s waiver right online.  

To meet these requirements, our Student Secure Budget, Select and Elite levels will work well – and save you money. Your school’s plan has a $90 deductible and costs $660 for one year (depending on your age). The Budget plan, however, costs only $513.24 for a year (ages 18-24) – and has a $45 deductible (in-network) instead! This is a cost savings of almost $150!

If you are interested in learning more, check out our page on Eastern Florida State College. You can purchase coverage right online, and begin coverage as soon as the same day. Simply send us your waiver form and we would be happy to complete it and get it over to your school.

If you have any questions about our plans, feel free to contact us by phone, email or livechat! We’re just a quick click, or phone call away! 

6 Tips for a Healthy Travel Experience

July 17th, 2019 by Alexis Ponce


For all the travel addicts out there, it is almost that time of the year! With summer vacation here, you may be planning to take a trip internationally in the coming days and weeks! It is important that you think about your health before and during your trip, to make sure you are in tip-top shape so that you can make the most of your international experience!

At International Student Insurance, we care about you and your wellbeing. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy while traveling:

1. Pack extra medication

You don’t need to take the whole pharmacy with you, however having a little bag that contains very common over-the-counter medications can be useful. Some of the more common medications include pain relievers (such as Aspirin or Advil), anti-diarrhea medication, antihistamines (such as Benadryl), and of course, any medication you take on a regular basis. Make sure to put them in your carry-on as you never know when the airline will misplace your luggage!

2. Be careful where and what you eat!

When you travel to a foreign country, you are in an environment with new bacteria and viruses. Make sure that if you are eating meat, it is in a place with good refrigeration (and not know for electrical outages!). Whether you eat in a nice restaurant or a street food stall in a local market (the best food is usually found there!), you’ll want to check the sanitation, make sure that the food is freshly cooked (and watching the preparation of your food can be almost as fun as eating it!), and that the water is filtered. Be especially careful with raw fruits and vegetables, and if you need something fresh – try an orange or banana, something with a peel!  

3. Stay hydrated

Particularly if you are traveling during summer, it’s likely that you are going to be working on your tan no matter where you go! Staying hydrated is particularly important, especially if you’re not used to the hot weather. But how can you tell if you’re actually dehydrated? Your skin and mouth will feel very dry, you may experience headaches, dizziness, confusion and will feel a lack of energy. Luckily for us, there’s an easy way to avoid dehydration, and yes, you guessed it! Drink enough liquids! We recommend that you drink bottled water – and make sure the seal is broken when you open the bottle. Another option is a drink with electrolytes, such as Gatorade, which can l help you replace all the good minerals that you lose while sweating profusely. 

4. Avoid unnecessary risks

Sometimes when we go on vacation, we feel invincible. We want to do everything, see everything there’s out there to see and take the perfect pictures for Instagram but sometimes we don’t think about how certain activities can impact our bodies and our health. Certain travel destinations are popular because of activities they promote, such as diving, skiing or hiking. If your body is fit enough but you have no experience in adventure sports, please choose an experienced instructor to guide you or accompany you through the whole process to ensure that you minimize the risks.

5. Get enough sleep

Sleeping is very important for your overall health and concentration. When you’re sleep deprived, you can’t focus, are irritable and your immune system is weakened, making you a target for viruses in the environment. While you’re traveling, make sure you get enough sleep! Doing this will ensure that you enjoy your trip to the fullest. 

6. Buy travel insurance

Even when you take all the precautions, unexpected accidents and illnesses can still happen. That is why purchasing travel insurance  can make a big difference in the case of an unfortunate situation. 

These simple precautions can make all the difference when it comes to making your travel experience memorable. While we can’t always predict when we might get sick or have an accident, these tips will make sure you are prepared when the unexpected happens!

International Student Insurance Requirements for New College of Florida

July 16th, 2019 by Jennifer Frankel

If you will be attending the New College of Florida as an international student, then you will be required to enroll in a health insurance plan during the entire time you are enrolled in classes. In fact, students with F and J visas will not be able to register for classes until they present proof of insurance to the Counseling and Wellness Center of New College. 

Our Student Health plan is available in four levels, the Smart, Budget, Select and Elite – and all four levels will meet your school’s health insurance requirements. Depending on your budget and benefit needs, your plan will cover you for accidents and illnesses, including doctor visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, medical evacuation, repatriation, mental health, and more!

For a student aged 18 to 24 years old, the prices are as follows:

  • Smart level – $29 for one month or $348 for one year
  • Budget level – $43 for one month or $516 for one year
  • Select level – $89 for one month or $1,068 for one year
  • Elite level – $164 for one month or $1,968 for one year

You can purchase the plan right online with same day coverage, and you will have your documents instantly to show proof of coverage to your school.

For more information about the plan levels and your school’s requirements, you can visit New College’s School Insurance Requirements for more information. 

Provider Network changes on the Student Secure and Atlas Travel plan

July 2nd, 2019 by Alexis Ponce

For students or travelers coming to the United States, the StudentSecure and Atlas Travel plans will be switching their PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) to the UnitedHealthCare Network for plans that are purchased as of July 1st, 2019! This update will apply in the following situations:

  • If your home country or country of citizenship isn’t within the European Union (EU), your plan will use the UnitedHealthcare network.
  • If your home country or country of citizenship is part of the European Union (EU), your plan will continue to use the First Health Network. 

If your home country and/or citizenship is listed below, your plan will continue to utilize the First Health Network. 

EU Countries

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

EU Territories

Azores, Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Madeira, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, and Saint Martin.

EU Economic Area Countries

Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway.

Please note: Plans purchased prior to July 1st, 2019 will still use the First Health Network, no matter what your home country or citizenship is, even upon extension or renewal. 

If you have any questions about how to find a provider in your area, or if you are unsure which provider network your plan uses, please contact us and one of our licensed insurance agents will be happy to help. 

Health Insurance for students on OPT

June 21st, 2019 by Alexis Ponce

If you are going to be an international student on Optional Practical Training, or OPT, you may no longer be eligible for your school’s health insurance plan. Depending on your employer, you may get health insurance through your company, or you may need to purchase your own individual health insurance policy. It’s important to remember that the US is one of the most expensive countries for health care services, and an emergency visit can add up to thousands of dollars. To make sure you are not paying thousands of dollars in medical bills, your new insurance plan should begin when your university policy ends.

At International Student Insurance, we offer different health insurance options for students on OPT. These plans are flexible, allowing you to purchase as little as 5 days (which can be especially important if your employer’s insurance plan will not start for a few months), and we offer different levels of coverage to suit your individual needs.

The Student Secure plan is available in  four levels: Smart, Budget, Select and Elite, offering coverage including:

Student Secure

– Inpatient and outpatient services

– Prescription medications

– Mental health

– Pre-existing conditions (acute onset only with the Smart level)

– Emergency medical evacuation/ repatriation

– Maternity and Sports Coverage (Budget, Select and Elite plan only)

– Personal Liability (Elite plan only)

The Student Secure plan can be purchased from as little as 15 days up to one year, with the option to renew up to four years. Plans are flexible allowing you to extend coverage as you need it, and you can also pay monthly as well.  This plan starts at as little as $29 per month!

*Quote provided for ages 18-24.

Atlas Travel

The Atlas Travel plan is an excellent option while on OPT and allows you to choose your deductible ($0 to $5,000) and policy maximum (from $50,000 to $2,000,000). You can have coverage for as little as 5 days up to one year, and benefits include:

– Inpatient and outpatient services

– Prescription medications

– Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation

– Extreme sports

– Personal liability and more!

If you want to know more about these plans or would like us to guide you towards the best plan option for you, please contact us!  Any of our representatives will be happy to assist you and address any insurance questions you may have.

Extreme Sports: what are they and does my insurance plan cover them?

May 16th, 2019 by Leah Hammond

Do you enjoy the adrenaline of jumping from an airplane, with just a parachute attached to your back? What about the feeling of zip lining from tree to tree with the views of the jungle surrounding you? If you like to live life on the edge, then extreme sports are for you. Extreme sports are all about exhilaration, thrill, and the element of danger and are often a great activity to partake in while on vacation. With the excitement of planning your upcoming trip, you may not think about the importance of making sure you have health insurance in place that includes coverage for these high-risk activities.

What are Extreme Sports?

While there is not a set definition of what makes a sport extreme, these sports are typically described as high-risk, athletic activities that are perceived as dangerous and get your adrenaline pumping.

Activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, whitewater rafting and kayaking, cave diving, zip lining, and paragliding are all considered to be extreme sports.

These sports are a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to try something that you may have never dreamed of doing! The most basic extreme sports are normally supervised by a professional and may not be considered as dangerous as some other extreme sports, so it’s always important to remember your limitations and stick with what you’re comfortable with.

Does My Health Insurance Cover Extreme Sports?

Generally speaking, most extreme sports are likely not covered under your standard travel insurance. For the daredevils out there, you’ll want to make sure that you purchase a health insurance plan that includes coverage for these types of activities so you’re protected in case of an unexpected accident or injury. But how can you tell if your health insurance plan will cover these activities? Before purchasing a plan, you should review the policy information to confirm the coverage details or contact the company directly to discuss the benefits and find out what your options are. If you already have a plan but are not sure what’s included, it’s best to call the number on the back of your insurance ID card to verify your benefits before you leave for your trip.

What are My Insurance Options?

Here at International Student Insurance, we offer two great plan options that allow you to add additional coverage for select adventure sports.

The Patriot Plan is a travel medical plan that allows you to add an optional add-on rider to cover you while you are traveling anywhere outside of your Country of Residence. This is a great option for short term coverage while on vacation when you know you’ll want to experience the thrill of extreme sports.

The Student Health Advantage plan is a great option for students who are traveling outside of your Country of Residence. The plan allows you to add an optional add-on rider to cover select adventure sports and would be a great option if you are a full-time student and know you may want to participate in different extreme sports during your time abroad.

Before you embark on your next adventure, make sure that you have a health insurance plan in place to cover you for the unexpected. If you need help choosing the best option for you or have any questions about what adventure sports are covered under our plans, please contact our friendly customer service representatives.

Student Secure Plan Updates 2019

May 15th, 2019 by Leah Hammond

As of May 15th, 2019, our popular Student Secure health insurance plan will offer more comprehensive coverage on select benefits. The main highlights of the plan updates include:

  • The Budget level of the plan now includes higher coverage for mental health with a 30 day maximum for inpatient treatment and a 30 day visit maximum for outpatient treatment.
  • The Repatriation of Remains benefit has been increased on the Select level from $25,000 to $50,000 in coverage.
  • The Elite level now offers a $5,000,000 policy maximum.
  • All four levels of the plan now offer coverage for self-inflicted injury and suicide, meeting many different school requirements around the country.

About the Student Secure plan

The Student Secure plan provides student health insurance to both international and study abroad students who are studying outside of their home country either in the USA or around the world. This comprehensive student health insurance plan comes in four different levels – Smart, Budget, Select, and Elite – and offers coverage on a monthly basis that will meet and exceed many school and government requirements. The plan is a perfect option for students on a J1 or F1 visa in the United States, and can even be purchased by OPT students.

For a full list of the newly updated benefits of the Student Secure plan, please visit our benefits section.

If you would like to receive a free quote:

If you have any questions about the Student Secure plan, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team.


Patriot Travel Plan Updates 2019

May 1st, 2019 by Yessica Prato

Beginning on May 1st, 2019, the Patriot Travel Standard and Platinum plans offer more comprehensive coverage at better rates.

For our Patriot Travel plan – Standard and Platinum levels, the plan now includes the following coverage:

  • Coverage for Bedside Visit, Emergency Eye Examination, Pet Return, Small Pet Common Carrier Accidental Death, and Natural Disaster Evacuation has been added
  • Coverage for Emergency Reunion, Political Evacuation and Repatriation, and Return of Minor Children has been increased to $100,000
  • Personal Liability coverage has been increased to $25,000
  • Coverage for Lost Checked Luggage has been increased to $500
  • The Patriot Standard plan now offers policy maximum options ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000, while the Patriot Platinum plan offers policy maximum options ranging from $2,000,000 to $8,000,000
  • The option to add additional coverage for Adventure Sports, Enhanced Evacuation, and Enhanced Accidental Death and Dismemberment is available

New PPO Network in the United States

Of these changes, the most notable is that the plan now uses the UnitedHealthcare Network as the preferred provider organization when seeking treatment in the United States!

The UnitedHealthcare Network offers excellent plan recognition with over 7,700,000 contracted healthcare professionals and 6,600 hospitals! By going in-network, providers are typically able to direct bill the insurance company, meaning no upfront payments at the time of treatment.

You can find providers in your area that accept this network here:
https://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/network/img/uhc.php

About the Patriot Travel Plan

The Patriot Travel Medical plan is a great option for individuals and families who are traveling abroad and is designed to provide coverage for illnesses and injuries that happen unexpectedly. Both the Standard and Platinum levels of the plan now offer coverage for anyone who is traveling outside of their Country of Residence – no matter what their Country of Citizenship is!

The plan also includes travel benefits such as Emergency Evacuation, Repatriation of Remains, Identity Theft, Trip Interruption and more.

For a full list of the newly updated benefits of the Patriot Travel plan, please visit our benefits section.

If you would like to receive a free quote, click here:

If you have any questions about either plan, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

How to get free or low priced prescription drugs

April 15th, 2019 by Ross Mason

You will often hear that healthcare is expensive in the USA, and until you actually experience it, it may be hard for you to really understand how expensive it can actually be. One aspect of this is prescription medications, and in this blog post we are going to focus on this and how you can obtain free or low-priced versions.

What is a Prescription Medication?

You may not be familiar with this term, but we are pretty sure you will all have taken prescription medications at some point in your life. Prescription medications are any drugs that your doctor recommends you should take. If you are sick or injured, your doctor will give you a special document (the prescription) that you will need to hand over to a pharmacy so they can provide you with the medications. These medications are usually only available with a prescription from a doctor, they cannot be purchased or taken without one.

Over-the-Counter Medications

You should not confuse a prescription medication with an over-the-counter medication. The difference between the two is that an over-the-counter medication is one that can be purchased without the need for a prescription from a doctor. In many cases your insurance plan will not cover the cost of an over the counter medication, but only for specifically prescribed medications, so it’s important to know the distinction.

Medications and Your Insurance Plan

Insurance plans vary in what they will cover, and this is also true when it comes to prescription medication coverage. Some plans will only cover certain drugs, others will cover all drugs but only a fixed percentage, some plans will cover all inpatient drugs but only a portion of outpatient drugs, so you will need to review your insurance coverage to find out what your plan specifically covers.

For nearly all international insurance plans, the way you get reimbursed for your prescribed medications is usually always the same. Some plans may have a special drug card, but this it not that common, so that means you will have to pay for all your medications upfront and then submit your receipts with a claim form to be reimbursed. Oftentimes some drugs can be hundreds of dollars (depending on the drug) so this can be a hard pill to swallow!

Free or Discounted Drugs

The good news is that there are some good free or discounts drug options that are available to students. It could be dependent on your location in the USA, but with a little bit of research (and our handy blog post here) you might be able to save yourself some money!

Here is a list of some of the programs that are available:

  • ShopRite – this grocery store chain, that has in-house pharmacies, offers a free diabetes medication program. You can learn more about this on their website.
  • Publix – another grocery store chain, that also has in-house pharmacies, offers a free medication program for selected medications as long as they are prescribed by your doctor. They also have a discounted list of drugs that will only cost you $7.50.
  • Walmart – everybody knows Walmart and they have locations all over the USA. Take your prescription to their pharmacy, and as long as its generic form of the drug, it will only cost you $4!
  • PriceChopper – another grocery store in the USA that offers free diabetes medication and discounted generic drugs that starts from just $3.99!

Discount Drug Cards

The other way to get discounted prescription drugs is through a discount drug card, which are becoming more popular in many international student insurance plans. These drug cards work by giving you a discount on popular medications, and while they are not a direct insurance benefit, they do give you instant savings. To use your discount drug card, you will just need to show the card to the pharmacy and they will automatically apply the discount. You might need to register your card beforehand and the cards are oftentimes only accepted at certain pharmacies, so be sure to check ahead of time.

Online Pharmacies, Great Savings?

While the idea might sound nice, and you could be lured into great savings and discounts, we typically do not recommend that you use online pharmacies to fill your prescriptions. There has been a sharp rise in online, fake pharmacies that have scammed customers out of their money or provided the incorrect medications. With all the options listed here in the blog post, you should hopefully have a few options to lower your prescription medication costs.

Hopefully this has provided you with all the details you need about pharmacies, prescription drugs and how to get cheap or low-cost drugs! Please contact us if you have any questions, or would like to know how our plans work with prescription drugs.

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