What is the requirement of Obamacare for international students?

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Cheapest health insurance for international students and Obamacare for visitors

Are international students coming to study in US Universities expected to comply by the ACA rules? Hundreds of thousands of students come to the US every year to study in US Universities. International students are considered as Non Residents and therefore not required to comply with Obamacare. There is however a time limit for this. For the first five years of their stay in US as students they are exempt from ACA as they are categorized as Non Residents and after which they are supposed to undergo the process of categorization depending on their status and the number of years they live in the US and outside the US.

According to Obamacare students on J Visa such as teachers, Au pairs, trainees, work and travel visa holders, and high school students are not required to purchase ACA compliant health insurance for up to 2 years.

Since most international students are exempt from PPACA they can buy their own student health insurance from private insurance companies that satisfy their needs as students. At American Visitor Insurance, we offer international cheap student health insurance comparable to University plans in terms of coverage, but are much more affordable. International students must not enrol in an US University without good health insurance as it can be extremely harsh on international students to pay medical expenses in case of any unexpected illness and injury. This is the reason that most US Universities have a requirement for health insurance while enrolling a student in the University programs. There are many US student insurance plans which international students can buy for their health insurance coverage.

International Students insurance

American Visitor Insurance provides access to many student health insurance plans which do not satisfy Obamacare requirements, but are specifically designed to meet University requirements. Our company contracts with highly popular and best rated insurance companies in the US for student health insurance plans. Our website provides abundant information on the available plans and about the plan to help you select the plan suitable for your situation. Our student travel insurance resources page details all the available tools to get price quotes on the plans suitable to your residential status. We have 24/7 customer support available on phone at 877-340-7910 and contact us online to clarify any questions you might have on the Obamacare student plans and the information on our site.

International Student Health Insurance

Highlights of International student insurance coverage benefits

F1 visa Obama care for international students

Obamacare for international students

PPACA which stands for Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also popularly known as the Obamacare after President Barack Obama who introduced the PPACA to make health care accessible to all United States citizens and US residents. Obamacare is however not applicable to international tourists, overseas visitors or foreign students in the United States. It is therefore not mandatory for these non-immigrant visitors to the US. While Obamacare is not mandatory, many universities insist of health insurance that is PPACA compliant.

International Student health insurance it is very important for international students given the high cost of health care in the US. At American Visitor Insurance, students can find affordable international student insurance plans, which are cheaper than University health plans, while offering similar coverage. However these plans are not Obamacare compliant, which in any case is not required of international students.


Student health insurance

Is ACA compliant health insurance for international students required?

Affordable Care Act insurance is a type of health insurance that meets the standards and requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The ACA is a health care reform law that aims to make health insurance more accessible and affordable for US citizens and residents. However, the ACA does not apply to international students who are studying in the US on a student visa, such as F1 or J1. Therefore, international students are not eligible for ACA plans or plans available on each state’s insurance marketplace.

However, some schools or universities in the US may require US health insurance for international students that is compliant with the ACA standards or their own criteria. In that case, international students may need to purchase an ACA compliant plan or a plan that meets the schools or universities minimum requirements. Some of the benefits of an ACA compliant plan are:

  • It covers essential health benefits, such as preventive care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health, maternity, and more
  • It has no annual or lifetime limits on coverage.
  • It does not deny coverage or charge more based on pre-existing conditions or gender.
  • It offers subsidies or tax credits for eligible individuals or families to lower the cost of premiums.

Does student insurance cover covid19 illness?

There are some USA student insurance plans available for travel that cover covid19 as a new illness. International students can compare best Covid student insurance plans and buy it online. These insurance plans are available for students to the US, US citizens and US residents studying abroad as well as non US student studying outside their home country.

Is health insurance mandatory for F1 students?

Most US educational institutions require student to have health insurance coverage while they are attending. However, not all do and not all require the same type and amount of coverage. You should check with your institution and program to see what is required of you.

Are international students eligible for Obamacare?

No. International students are not eligible for Obamacare plans or plans available on each state's insurance marketplace. The only way for an international student to get a domestic plan is to purchase a plan offered by their institution or through an employer. Typically international students have to buy the University medical insurance, or student insurance that we offer if they find the coverage adequate for their needs.

F1 visa obamacare student insurance information

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Best international student health insurance in USA

  • Which is the best student insurance in USA?

    Health insurance for F1 students in USA, Medical insurance for international students

    • IMG's Patriot Exchange insurance is designed for International students or Cultural Exchange scholars.
    • It is a very affordable plan and meets J visa requirements and F Visa for international students.
    • Covers pre-existing condition after 12 months of continuous coverage $500 per period of coverage; $1,500 lifetime maximum.
    • The student can buy this plan with a sports rider to cover activities such as downhill skiing.
    • Patriot Exchange Insurance can be renewed online up to 48 months.
    • Provides coverage for international student medical insurance to students and scholars pursuing their education outside their home country.
    • Student Health Advantage Platinum covers Maternity Newborn Care.
    • Standard plan covers pre-existing condition after 12 months of a waiting period.
    • Platinum plan covers pre-existing condition after 6 months of a waiting period.
    • This plan can be renewed for up to five years.
    • Student Secure provides excellent insurance cover to international students and scholars outside their home country.
    • Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to $25k lifetime maximum for eligible expenses.
    • This plan is ideal for J1 and F1 and OPT students.
    • Sports activities, leisure, recreational,entertainment or fitness is covered upto overall maximum limit.
    • This plan can be renewed for up to four years.
    • Study USA Health Insurance provides affordable student travel insurance for students studying in USA and to US registered students studying abroad.
    • Covers Sports & Activities - Leisure, Recreational, Entertainment, or Fitness.
    • Study USA standard, preferred and platinum covers maternity care for a covered pregnancy.
    • Study USA Standard and Preferred plans have 12 months waiting period for pre-existing conditions and platinum covered after 6 months waiting period.
    • This plan can be renewed for up to four years.
    • Offers worldwide coverage for international students and faculty outside their home country.
    • Offers Unlimited annual and lifetime medical maximum.
    • Pre-existing conditions exclusion can be waived with proof of prior creditable coverage.
    • Coinsurance is waived for care outside the U.S.
    • Sports, terrorist and alcohol-related injuries are covered.
    • Exceeds J-1 visa requirements.
    • No waiting period associated with any preventive services.
    • Available for International students and exchange program participants.
    • Excellent plan for international students who are on the OPT status.
    • Covers acute onset of pre-existing conditions up to the age of 79 years.
    • Available for Non-US Citizens traveling outside their home country.
    • Covers treatment of complications of pregnancy during the first 26 weeks of pregnancy.
    • Offers coverage for Students or teachers going abroad for a semester.
    • Covers pre-existing conditions for medical services and medical evacuation, for individuals with a current U.S. health plan.
    • Access to doctors and hospitals in 190 countries.
    • Applicant's home country must be the US.
    • Requires a primary health plan.
    • This plan is ideal for students, study abroad and international exchange students.
    • Covers pre-existing conditions after 24 months waiting period.
    • Available for Non Us citizens and Non US residents visiting the US.
    • Covers athletic & hazardous sports activities.
    • This plan can be available from 15 days to 365 days.
    • Offers coverage for Students or teachers going abroad for a semester.
    • Pre-existing conditions are covered with a 180-day exclusion.
    • Access to doctors and hospitals in 190 countries.
    • Applicant's home country must be the US.
    • Does not require a primary health plan.
    • Offers coverage for students.
    • Worldmed is international health insurance for people traveling outside their home country and is available to both US and Non US citizens.
    • Acute onset of pre-existing conditions is covered up to $200k up to age 60 and for age 60-64 it is $20k.
    • Intercollegiate sports activities, recreational activities and hazardous activities are optional add on benefits on the plan.
    • Available from 5 days to 364 days.
    • This plan is ideal for study abroad, work study programs and international exchange students.
    • Available for Non US Residents while visiting the US.
    • Covers Unexpected Recurrence of a Pre-existing Condition(US Citizens only)
    • Offers optional Athletic and Hazardous Activity Rider.
    • Covers optional war risk coverage.
    • This plan is ideal for students, study abroad and international exchange students.
    • Available for people traveling outside their home Country excluding USA.
    • Covers Unexpected Recurrence of a Pre-existing Condition(US Citizens only)
    • Offers optional Athletic and Hazardous Activity Rider.
    • Covers optional war risk coverage.
    • Designed for Study abroad student seeking supplemental Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage to meet school or visa requirements.
    • Offers coverage to international students and visitors traveling to the U.S.
    • Available for people age above 14 days and below 50 years.
    • Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage is available for up to $50k.
    • This plan can be available from 5 days to 365 days.
    • Repatriation of remains coverage is available for up to $25k.
    • Offers coverage for International students or scholars.
    • Medical Evacuation and Repatriation provides annual coverage that meets J Visa and other visa requirements.
    • Any non US citizen and non US resident who is travelling to the United States and Participating in full-time educational activities can buy this plan. You are not required to have a visa.
    • Available from 5 days to 364 days.
    • Available for people age above 14 days and below 65 years.

Popular countries among international Students

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FAQ’s on Obamacare for international students

01. What is Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is an US healthcare reform law signed by President Barack Obama in March 2010. It aims to improve the accessibility and affordability of health insurance for Americans.

02. What are the key provisions of Obamacare?

Key provisions of Obamacare include:

  • Expansion of Medicaid to cover more low-income individuals and families.
  • Creation of health insurance marketplaces (also known as exchanges) where individuals and families can compare and purchase health insurance plans.
  • Establishment of essential health benefits that all plans must cover, including preventive services without cost-sharing.
  • Prohibition of insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
  • Requirement for most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty (individual mandate, which was later repealed).
  • Provision of subsidies to help lower-income individuals and families afford health insurance through the marketplaces.
03. Is Obamacare still in effect?

As of my last update in September 2021, some aspects of Obamacare were still in effect, but certain provisions have been modified or repealed over the years. It is important to check the most current information regarding the status of the ACA. Obamacare is not needed for international student insurance, though many Universities insist on it.

04. Can I get health insurance through Obamacare?

International students cannot student insurance through Obamacare, however if you are a U.S. citizen or a legal resident, you can explore health insurance options through the health insurance marketplaces created by Obamacare. Depending on your income and eligibility criteria, you may qualify for subsidies to help lower the cost of your insurance premiums. Obamacare is not however not applicable for international students on the F1 visa.

05. Can I keep my current health insurance under Obamacare?

If you have health insurance through your employer or a private plan that meets certain requirements, you may be able to keep it. Obamacare introduced minimum essential coverage standards, and plans that meet these standards are considered ACA-compliant. However Obamacare is not applicable for international students on the F1 visa.

06. Are there penalties for not having health insurance under Obamacare?

The individual mandate, which required most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty, was effectively repealed in 2019. As of my last update, there were no federal penalties for not having health insurance. However, some states may have their individual mandates or penalties. Again, Obamacare is not relevant for international students.

07. Can children stay on their parents' health insurance under Obamacare?

Yes, Obamacare allows children to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they turn 26 years old, regardless of their marital or student status. However, this is not applicable for international students.

08. Does Obamacare cover pre-existing medical conditions?

Yes, Obamacare prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions. This provision ensures that US citizens or US legal residents with pre-existing health conditions can access affordable health insurance. This is however not applicable for international students.

09. Does the ACA apply to international students?

If a student is holding an F, J, M, or Q visa in the U.S., they are considered a non-resident alien for tax purposes for the first 5 years and are exempt from the ACA mandate. There is no insurance requirement for F1 students, and it is up to the school to determine what the requirements are.

10. What are some countries that offer free health insurance for international students?

In the United States, there is no free health insurance for international students, and it is the responsibility to get the best US health insurance for international students. At American Visitor Insurance, we offer several options which include the cheapest health insurance for international students. However in Canada, international students are eligible for free basic health coverage through the province’s Medical Care Plan (MCP) as long as the students are enrolled in full-time studies for at least 12 months. In the UK , European Union students are entitled to free NHS treatment using the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

11. Can F1 students get medicaid? Can international students apply for medicaid?

Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance program for low-income US citizens. Eligibility for Medicaid is not within the ambit of immigration law and it is a violation of immigration law for non-immigrants including F-1, F-2 students and dependents to accept public assistance. International students on F-1 visas are therefore not eligible for Medicaid.

12. Can international students get Medicare?

Medicare is a US government program only available to US citizens or US permanent residents who have paid into the US system. International students are not eligible for Medicare.

13. Can I get Obamacare if I live overseas?

U.S. citizens who live abroad for at least 330 days within a 12-month period do not have to comply with the Obamacare insurance mandate, which requires most Americans to have health insurance. However, if you are a U.S. citizen living abroad for more than 3 months but less than 330 days, you may be required to have Obamacare compliant medical insurance.

14. Can you get Obamacare with tourist visa?

Foreign visitors to the USA and non-immigrants are not eligible for Obamacare, officially known as Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or Affordable Care Act (ACA).

US student F1 visa medical insurance FAQs

Steps to compare and buy
Best International student insurance

Step 1: Finding the available best health insurance for international plans

Complete the student insurance quotes request form by providing details of the student and insurance requirements.

Step 2: Compare the different medical insurance options

Compare the price and the benefits of the different travel insurance options to identify what fits your needs best.

Step 3: Buy the student health insurance that you like best

Purchase the plan that fits your requirements and budget best by using a credit card and completing the online application.

Step 4: Review the students medical insurance plan documents received by email

Review the travel insurance policy documents received by email closely for coverage details and relevant contact numbers.

Step by step travel insurance

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.

Student health insurance for top US colleges and universities

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International student insurance for Covid

F1 visa student insurance

At American Visitor Insurance, we are committed to getting you the best international student health insurance in USA for Covid

Earlier students had to buy affordable care act, ACA (Obamacare) compliant medical insurance. However recent changes by the US government has removed this requirement and international students can buy affordable health insurance for international students studying in the USA offered here without violating any US government requirements. There are few Covid19 international student health insurance USA plans:

IMG health insurance for international students in the US:

The International Medical Group offers affordable student health insurance coverage for Covid. Their popular Covid19 International student health insurance plans that offer coverage for medical expenses from Covid are

Students can compare cheap health insurance for international students in the USA with Covid coverage that fit their needs.

There are also many F1 Visa international students currently stranded in the US who are not enrolled in any classes. In this situation international students are not limited to buying USA student health insurance and can buy short term US visitors medical insurance. The visitors health insurance plans are cheaper and ideal for international students in the US while they are not enrolled in classes. International students can review and visitors insurance USA and find student travel insurance USA with Covid coverage that fit your needs.

Please know we are here to help you make the best, informed decision to get international students insurance plans! Let us know how we can assist you. Feel free to contact us by email or phone at any time.

TravelInsure insurance for F1 students

TravelInsure Covid19 student health insurance by Study USA (Plus, Preferred and Platinum plans ONLY) offers international health insurance with coronavirus coverage for students outside their home country.

GeoBlue insurance for F1 students

GeoBlue student health insurance by Navigator for Student covers medically necessary COVID testing and treatment.

International students can compare student insurance plans to most appropriate plan that suits their specific needs.

There are some F1 visa students on the OPT status who are not enrolled in any classes. In this situation students are not limited to buying US student health insurance and can buy short term US visitors medical insurance. The visitors insurance plans are cheaper and work well for international students while they are not enrolled in classes. International students can review US visitors medical insurance plans that fit your needs.

Please know we are here to help you make an informed decision to get international students insurance! Let us know how we can assist you. Feel free to contact us by email or phone at any time.

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