International Student health insurance FAQ and Answers

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Student medical insurance coverage

International student health insurance is a specially designed insurance medical coverage and financial protection to students studying abroad. It ensures that international students have access to necessary healthcare services and financial assistance in the event of illnesses, accidents, or emergencies while studying in a foreign country.

The FAQs related to international student medical insurance covers important aspects, such as the importance of having health insurance while studying abroad, its mandatory nature in many countries and educational institutions, what the insurance typically covers (including hospitalization, doctor visits, prescription medications, and emergency medical care), how to buy the best student medical insurance, its cost considerations, and coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

Students might ask about using their home country's health insurance abroad, the length of coverage, the option of extending coverage if their studies are prolonged, and what steps to take in case of needing medical assistance while abroad.

These FAQs aim to provide international students with crucial information about the necessity and benefits of health insurance coverage while studying abroad, helping them make an informed decision and to ensure their well-being during their education in a foreign country.

What does international student health insurance cover?

Doctor Visit

Covers doctor visits in case of sudden injury or sickness.

Sports Activities

Some plans cover high school sports activities.

Health care expenses

Hospital medical expenses for sickness or accidents during coverage.

Dental Coverage

Expenses from sudden dental pain and accidental dental injuries.

Maternity Coverage

Some plans offer coverage for pregnancy, maternity and new born.

Repat of remains

Repatriation of remains expenses to home country in case of death.

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Get answers to all your questions?

01. What are the eligibility requirements for buying International Student Health Insurance?

For foreign students coming to the USA Our plans are open to students who have a valid F1 or J1 visa and who are enrolled in a full-time academic/cultural program at an accredited school, college or university.

For US Citizens studying abroad Our plans are open to American students studying abroad, who are enrolled in a full-time academic/cultural program at an accredited school, college or university

02. Which are the best opt medical insurance plans?

Yes, as long as you remain eligible (see FAQ 1). To renew your policy online you may do so 24 hours before your policy lapses. If you wish to renew via fax or mail then please allow at least 10 business days for renewal.

Best health insurance for OPT students in USA, OPT student health insurance

Atlas America Insurance
Buy online
  • Comprehensive plan with worldwide coverage including and excluding the US for visitors traveling outside their home country.
  • Plan provides coverage for Covid-19
  • Plan is suitable for OPT holders, H1 Visa holders, Green Card holders as a temporary health insurance plan during transition.
  • No arrival time restriction with this plan to come to the US.


Student Secure Elite
Buy online
  • This plan provides coverage for Corona and provides a policy maximum of $500,000
  • This plan is available for full time students enrolled in a college or University
  • Full time scholar affiliated with an educational institution and performing research for at least 30 hours per week.
  • People holding an F1 Visa ,OPT or a J1 Visa are eligible to buy this plan.
  • Students must reside outside their home country for the purpose of pursuing international educational activities.

Safe Travel USA
Buy online
  • This is a comprehensive plan for visitors or Non US citizens visiting the USA.
  • This plan provides coverage for Covid-19 and needs precertification for getting tested for the virus.
  • This is not available for US citizens, residents and Green Card holders.
  • This plan provides coverage for one well doctor visit and this must occur within 21 days after the plan has become effective and the plan must be purchased for a minimum of 30 days.
  • This plan provides up to $1000 for acute onset of pre existing condition

Patriot Exchange Insurance
Buy online
  • This is a student insurance plan for international students and exchange scholars enrolled in full time University
  • This plan covers Covid-19 and covers the expense for illness.
  • This is very popular among F1 Visa and J1 Visa holders.
  • Unique feature of this plan is J2 and F2 visa holders can buy this plan without J1 and F1 Visa holders being on the plan.

Travel Medical Plus Insurance
Buy online
  • This plan provides coverage for individuals outside their home country.
  • This plan is specifically designed to cover Covid-19 illness and it provides coverage for Covid-19
  • This plan provides worldwide coverage including and excluding the US.
  • Within the US, the co insurance of this plan for in network PPO covers 90% of the expense after the deductible and for outside the PPO covers 80% of the expense up to $5000.
  • Outside the US the co insurance for the plan is covered for 100%

Diplomat America Insurance
Buy online
  • This plan is available for Non US citizens coming to the US
  • This plan covers Covid-19 as any new illness
  • This plan DOES NOT cover pre existing conditions
  • The plan also covers US citizens living abroad coming to the US on business trips or vacation while living outside their home country.
  • The covers 80% up to the first $5000 and then covers 100% coinsurance when a claim has been activated.

03. Are dependents of student's (F2 visa) eligible for coverage?

Yes. Dependents (spouse and/or child under age 18) of enrolled students may apply for F2 visa insurance with the student, or within 31 days of birth, legal adoption, marriage or arrival in country of study. If your dependents are not eligible for Student insurance, they may enroll in one of our other plans for people outside their home country.

Also Patriot Exchange insurance F2 visa insurance by IMG is an excellent health insurance for F1 & F2 visa holders. It is ideal because Patriot Exchange can be purchased by the F2 dependent visa holder even if the F1 student is not part of the same Patriot exchange plan, as long as he or she is covered by another plan offered by the school or educational institution

04. Can I buy student medical insurance if I am already outside my home country?

Yes. You may purchase Student insurance regardless of how long you have been studying outside your home country, as long as you fulfill the eligibility requirements described earlier.

05. Can I get student insurance during my OPT period?

International Students in the USA with the F1 (Students) visa are eligible to get internship on a work permit for 12 months. Since these students will no longer be taking courses in the university, many schools do not provide student insurance. These students on Optional Practical Training (OPT) will not be eligible for international student insurance as eligibility for these insurance plans require full time enrollment in the school.

International students also cannot avail of domestic insurance plans as they are not US citizens or permanent residents (Green card holders). However, we offer medical insurance for OPT students which are both affordable and comprehensive in their coverage.

Patriot Exchange insurance is available for F1 and F2 Visa holders too. It is one of the few plans that allows F2 and J2 visa holders to buy the plan when the F1 and J1 visa holder is not enrolled in the Patriot Exchange plan as a result it is highlighted in the policy brochure.

06. Do you have an insurance plan that offers coverage more than $500,000?

Yes, Navigator for Students offers unlimited annual and lifetime medical maximum.

07. I am a fulltime student on F1 Visa. Am I and my family eligible for Atlas plan?

Yes. So long as you are a full-time student you will be eligible for the period of time that you are enrolled in the university/school.

08. I am F1 student trying to purchase Atlas plan. Can I pay by check or money order for purchasing this plan? Should I pay once in full amount?

If you wish to make the purchase online you will need to pay by credit card only. If you wish to mail in an application form then you may pay by certified check or Money Order.

Due to the way in which the plan is structured you will need to make a one-time payment for the full period of coverage.

To fill in the application online here is the link to the application form: Buy Atlas America Insurance Online

To print out an application form for mailing please go to the following link for the correct form. You will see a plan brochure and at the very end is the application form: Atlas America Paper Application

09. I intend to buy a plan for my wife and son who are F2 dependents. As I understand pediatric problems of my son though not free will still be covered under the Atlas plan right?

As long as the paediatric visits are for any new sickness or injury, they are covered but routine checkups, vaccinations/immunizations are not covered.

10. I read the brochure of the Patriot Exchange plan and found that only J1 and J2 Visa holders are eligible to buy it. Please correct me if I am wrong? I will be on F1 Visa and my dependents will be on F2 Visa.

Patriot Exchange plan is available for F1 and F2 Visa holders too. It is one of the few plans that allows J2 visa holders to buy the plan when the J1 visa holder is not enrolled in the Patriot Exchange plan as a result it is highlighted in the policy brochure.

11. My school requires an Insurance compliance form or a Waiver form to be completed as proof of my insurance. Can you do this for me? What should I do?

In order to get a compliance form signed we must first ensure that you select a plan that matches with the compliance form requirements and that the plan provider is able to sign off on it.

To do this what we suggest is that you first send us the compliance form by Email. We will check to see which of our plans match the compliance form and then check with the plan administrator to see if they agree to sign it. Once we have their approval we will inform you. Then you should purchase the international student Insurance. After your purchase (enrollment) is complete, simply fax your school's Compliance Form to us and we will ensure that it is completed and faxed back to your school.

12. I put my information to get a quote and then buy an insurance, however, it shows that J1 Visa requirements. I am international student, so I have F1 Visa but I am not J1 Visa holder. Which means I cannot buy a medical insurance from your company

As a F1 visa international student, you can definitely buy the plans that we offer on our website. The J1 visa requirements are specific requirements which some of our F1 visa plans also satisfy as required by the US consulates. To reiterate, as a F1 visa holder, you can buy the plans on American Visitor Insurance.

13. I am thinking to buy the one $100,000 coverage, $0 deductible plan for F1 and F2 Visa holder. Are there plans below $500,000 for F1 Visa holders?

There are several plans such as Patriot Exchange from IMG, Study USA from Travel Insure. If you need a plan from WorldTrips, then you can go for Atlas America which is a comprehensive plan and suitable for F1 Visa holder unless the University has any specifications.

14. Do international students need health insurance?

Without doubt, all students should have health insurance while they are in the US. The US health care costs are the highest in the world and a minor injury or accident could set you back tens of thousands of dollars.

Being healthy and taking care of yourself is, of course, highly recommended, but accidents happen to us all and when we least expect. Students should have proper international student insurance before anything emergency situation arises so that you do not find yourself in serious debt.

15. Why should international students compare health insurance?

Most international student health insurance plans seem similar on first impressions. However, while they have many benefits in common and the premium is also similar, different student insurance plans do have some additional benefits or perhaps some specific constraints.

In order to choose the best plan based on the students requirements and to get sufficient coverage from the international student insurance plan, it is important to compare different features available in the student health insurance plan.

The following are important factors for comparing student health insurance plans:

Policy Maximum: This is the maximum amount on the insurance plan which normally ranges from $50,000 up to $1,000,000. This is the maximum a policy can cover in case of an extreme emergency as per the policy guidelines and conditions mentioned in the policy.

Deductible: The deductible options can range anywhere from $50 up to $5000 between the plans. A larger deductible means lower premium price and vice versa. Picking a large deductible thus low premium by choosing a comprehensive plan is usually recommended, as most of the comprehensive plans have an one time deductible and is cost effective.

Pre existing condition coverage: This is very important benefit factor as many students need this benefit. The student insurance for acute onset of pre-existing conditions have a minimum 6 month waiting period.

Student health insurance for mental illness and drug abuse: This coverage is required by most of the universities.

Cancellation and Renewability: Each plan have their unique cancellation and renew-ability policies. It is important to pay attention to it if there is any ambiguity while booking insurance initially.

Sports and other unique activities: Some international student insurance offer student intercollegiate sports insurance for intercollegiate and interscholastic sports.

Based on these factors, American Visitor Insurance provides an excellent compare student medical insurance facility where getting quotes as per students’ requirements. Once the required information is entered in the form, a summary of popular student insurance plans are displayed which can be compared.

16. Does international student insurance cover covid19?

At American Visitor Insurance, we offer several international student health insurance with Covid19 coverage. The Covid-19 cover provides coverage just like any other illness irrespective of the variant Earlier international students in the US had to buy affordable care act, ACA (Obamacare) compliant medical insurance, however recent changes have removed this requirement.

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Factors for health insurance cost in USA for international students

Student’s age

The student’s age determines the cost of US student medical insurance. The prices for f1 visa US student insurance increases with the age of the student.

The length of coverage

The price of student health insurance in the US can be either monthly or on a daily basis. The price increases with the duration of coverage required.

Maximum medical coverage

Student health insurance USA cost is directly dependent on the medical maximum coverage required. The cost of F1 student medical insurance is less for lower medical maximum and increases with higher medical maximum coverage.

j1 visa

Not on a F1 visa? Please review these other visa categories

J1 visa holders

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F2 dependents

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US Student Abroad

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J2 dependents

Insurance for J2 visa dependants satisfying visa requirements.

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OPT Status within F1 visa

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M1 visa holders

Medical insurance for students on vocational training.

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Steps to buy F1 visa international student insurance in the USA

The steps for buying the best student health insurance for international students in the US are:

  • Find out from your University / School / College if they a health insurance policy for international students.
  • If they offer a plan, is it mandatory to buy that University plan, or do they allow other student insurance plans.
  • If you are allowed to buy outside student insurance, then compare student insurance plans offered on American Visitor Insurance.
  • Compare the international student insurance here with the University plan based on price as well as coverage benefits.
  • You can also buy health insurance for F2 visa holders and medical insurance for J2 visa holders if required.
  • Select the international student health insurance plan that best fits your budget and needs.
  • On buying the US student insurance plan online, you will receive all the relevant documents by email.

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AmericanVisitorInsurance and/or its associates have tried to answer these frequently asked questions to the best of our knowledge. However we make no guarantee regarding the accuracy of our answers. The exact answers for some of the questions can change periodically as insurance companies change their plans/policies. AmericanVisitorInsurance is not liable for any problem resulting from the content on this FAQ. If you do not agree with the terms of this disclaimer, please do not use any information in this FAQ..
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