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INSUBUY® Insurance Blog

International College Graduates: The US Insurance You Need

Posted: 05/24/20221,616 Views

If you’re an international student in the USA who is about to graduate or has just graduated from university, you have some important decisions to make. If you plan to stay in the US, you’ll need to figure out your employment and visa situation, and you’ll need to get proper health insurance.

While enrolled in college, you likely had international student insurance either through your school or a private company. But once you graduate, that insurance will no longer be valid. Depending on your plans in the USA, you’ll need to arrange one of the following coverages, depending on your situation.

OPT Health Insurance

Once finishing your studies, you may decide to take part in Optional Practical Training (OPT); a work permit given to F-1 visa holders that allows them to put the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom to practical use in the professional world. OPT will allow you to stay up to 12 months in the US (extendable to 36 months for STEM graduates).

However, most schools do not offer insurance to OPT participants, as they are no longer full-time students. If they do offer it, the price can be unreasonably expensive. In addition, many domestic companies that hire OPT graduates do not offer them insurance coverage, as they are not US citizens or permanent residents.

To solve this quandary, consider purchasing OPT medical insurance. OPT insurance can be purchased for as little as five days, or up to two or three years. This allows you to get coverage for the exact duration you need, after which you can enroll in employer-sponsored insurance if allowed.

Short-Term Medical Insurance

Perhaps you’ve already found an employer willing to sponsor you for an H-1 visa. While this is wonderful news, many companies have mandatory waiting periods before new employees can enroll in employer-sponsored insurance. Similarly, ACA-compliant coverage may not be an option for you at this particular time.

Short-term health insurance is just what it sounds like. It is designed to bridge the gap until you can receive more permanent health insurance coverage. Because of this, it is offered in specific duration of 30 days to 12 months to meet the needs of those who require temporary coverage. Short-term health insurance can also be an option for OPT participants, so long as the coverage duration meets their needs.

In Conclusion

Due to the price of healthcare in the US, going without coverage for even a day just isn’t an option; especially when you already have a load of student debt to contend with. Using these temporary insurance options, you can protect your health and your bank account until you are able to qualify for a longer-term insurance solution.

Happy graduation, congratulations, and good luck!

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