What Is Student Insurance?

Since the United States doesn’t have a nationalized healthcare system, students have to either purchase private health insurance on their own or pay for the treatment out of pocket. Student insurance, however, can help students cover the majority of medical costs at a discounted price through a network of doctors.

Student insurance may be required for obtaining:

  • J-1 Visa: students have to buy the coverage that meets the requirements of the U.S. government.
  • F-1 Visa: students have to buy the coverage that meets the requirements of their school (individual or group insurance coverage).

What Does It Cover?

The first step is to figure out the type of student insurance plan you need while taking into account your budget. The typical coverage plans would include doctor visits, prescriptions, hospitalization, emergency medical evacuation, etc., but you should also consider:

  • Exclusions: most insurance plans contain exclusions that will not be covered.
  • Capped benefits: there’s usually a capped amount of money that you can get in every particular situation.
  • Parental care: parental care is never covered by standard plans.
  • Mental health: since studying abroad is always stressful, you might want to include mental care as a part of your student insurance coverage.

Last but not least, pre-existing illnesses and injuries (pre-existing conditions) are also excluded by most standard student insurance plans.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of student insurance depends on many factors, among which the main is the age of the insured. The average cost of insurance for students under the age of 25 is about $80 a month, but it may be significantly higher for older scholars.