Insurance Blog

Posted: 05/19/20234,720 Views

For international students studying in the USA, graduating from university is an exciting time. The long journey of earning the degree that could lead to your dream job is now complete, and you’re ready to start the next phase of your professional life.

However, if you’re a non-American who has recently graduated from a US college or university, or you’re getting ready to graduate, you need to make sure you continue to look after your health.

While you were enrolled in school, you were likely also enrolled in international student insurance to help pay for necessary medical treatment. You may have received this insurance coverage through the school as part of your tuition, or purchased it on your own. 

In either case, this insurance coverage ends when you stop being a student. You need to take the right steps to get coverage for the next part of your journey. And the right steps for you will depend on your plans after graduation.

If You Plan to Delay Your Departure From the US

Upon graduating, you will lose the F1 visa status that allowed you to stay in the USA for your education. You will be required to leave the US within 60 days of graduation. However, another way to look at it is that you have a full two months to enjoy the USA. You may decide to go sightseeing, visit friends, or let your hair down for a few weeks before returning to your home country. 

You may also decide to apply to change your visa status to a B2/tourist visa that will allow you to legally remain in the US even longer for tourism purposes.

If this is your plan, shop visitors medical insurance. A visitors insurance plan can cover you for new, unexpected medical conditions for anywhere from a few days up to one year or longer, all depending upon the plan you select. It is not full health insurance coverage, but it can prevent you from falling into major debt if you have a sudden injury or illness prior to returning home.

If You’re Enrolling in OPT

Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a popular path that gives foreign students the opportunity to further their education through temporary employment in their field of study, and can possibly lead to H1B sponsorship. Participants can take part in OPT for a total duration of 12-36 months, depending upon their field of study.

If you’re enrolling in post-completion OPT, you may still have the option to purchase health insurance through your school. However, this is not typical, and the plans are often prohibitively expensive. A better option may be to look into OPT medical insurance. However, not every OPT participant is eligible for this coverage. Be sure to check OPT insurance eligibility prior to shopping for plans.

Another option for OPT participants may be to look into temporary medical insurance

If You’re Being Sponsored For an H1B Visa

New graduates who are being sponsored for an H1B visa should receive employer-sponsored health insurance coverage once they begin their new position. However, if you find yourself in transition and need temporary coverage until the health insurance provided by your new employer begins, you can explore short-term health insurance.

Wrapping Up

The right insurance coverage for newly graduated international students will depend upon your situation. If you have any questions about the best insurance plan for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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