The F1 Visa is issued for full time students enrolled in any University in the US, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or a language training program in the US. For any dependents like unmarried children under age 21 or the spouse who accompany F1 Visa holder will be issued F2 Visa during their stay here in the US. These visas are issued for the length of their education program. The F1 visa also allows visa holders a period of practical training know as Optional Practical training (OPT) when the F1 visa holder is not a full time student within the university but is a intern or a trainee.
Obama Care and F1/F2 Visa
Schools in the US offer health insurance plans for student on the F1 Visa. Although there is no set requirements for health insurance for F2 Visa, it is highly important for everyone in the US to have health insurance as medical expenses are extremely high in the US where you might end up spending all your savings and be wiped out with no money in case you come across any medical emergency. After the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) since 2014, Schools are offering student health insurance plans compliant with the Obamacare. These plans do not have policy maximum, pre-existing coverage exists along with coverage for maternity and preventive care.
Some schools make it mandatory for students on the F1 Visa to enroll to the school sponsored health insurance program where as some institutions allow them to purchase one of your own choice. But it is important to remember that regardless of the school requirements, health insurance plan that we buy must have adequate coverage for all necessities keeping in mind high medical bills.
Here are few popular student plans from our best insurance providers for F1 Visa holders. They are available for F2 Visa if they need to accompany the F1 Visa holder.
Student Health Advantage: This plan provides Inpatient/outpatient benefits along with mental health, prescription drugs and much more.
Patriot Exchange: This plan has a unique benefit where it offers coverage for F2 Visa holder even when the F1 is not on the same plan. This benefit is not available in any of the other student plans.
Study USA: This plan apart from the required benefits provides coverage for one wellness checkup for one Certificate period.
While it is not required by the federal Government for F2 Visa holders to satisfy any health insurance requirements, is it okay for F2 Visa holders not to have health insurance? No way. Everyone in the US should have a health insurance for the entire duration of their stay as medical expenses can be very expensive. Most of the times F2 Visa holders are women and have sometimes even have the need for maternity or pregnancy coverage. This means they need coverage for checkup, maternity, delivery and other related claims.
If the F2 Visa holder gets coverage through the school sponsored insurance program then the charge for maternity and delivery will be two or three times more than the premium for the F1. This becomes too expensive for F2 Visa holders. Many insurance plans provided by school will not cover the dependents. There are also plans that covers F2 only if they are on the same plan as F1. In our maternity and pregnancy insurance coverage page and click on the 'Student Plans' tab to see the plans that cover maternity and more details on the benefits:
If the school does not mandate that the F2 Insurance plan has to be complaint with the ACA, then there are a variety of insurance plans that opens up more options for the F2 holder to choose from. Here are some of those plans:
Atlas America: This is a visitor plan but an F1 can buy this plan if the concerned University is fine with the schedule of benefits. This plan has a unique and a popular benefit where every parent enrolled in the plan, a child under 10 years of age gets the plan for free. Plan will cover 80% for outside the network for the first $5,000 and will cover 100% after the deductible within the PPO network. This plan also provides coverage for complications in pregnancy for the first 26 weeks of gestation after which the plan treats pregnancy as pre-existing condition and does not cover it.
Patriot America and Patriot America Plus: Plan will cover 90% for the first $5000 within network and pays 100% after that. For outside the network, plan covers 80% for the first $5000.
Please contact our customer support for more details and questions at the toll free number 877-340-7910 or email us.