Most schools and universities require international students to have international student insurance. Even if that is not the case for your college, you should always purchase student medical insurance because the cost of healthcare is extremely high in the United States.
Many international students are of a very young age, and some are quite unknowledgeable about the cost of healthcare in the U.S. Some may even think that due to their youthfulness they will not become sick or injured, so they do not make it a priority to purchase student health insurance. There are many myths about international student insurance that are simply misconceptions that we aim to dispel.
Myth: I am young. I am not going to do anything foolish, so nothing is going to happen to me and there is no way that I will get sick.
Truth: Anyone can get sick or injured at any time. There are no guarantees in life. A perfectly healthy young person can get into a car accident or even have a heart attack. Anything is possible, which means good and bad things can and do happen to people all the time. It is always a good idea to have proper international student insurance. Most schools and universities recognize this and mandate all of their students to have proper medical coverage.
Myth: Instant online purchase is available; I can wait until I need it to buy it.
Truth: If you wait until it is needed, then it is already too late at that point. You can't start digging a well when you are thirsty. No insurance company can afford to cover the people who are already sick or injured and need medical attention. Insurance is for future, unforeseen and unexpected sicknesses or injuries that occur after the effective date of the policy.
Myth: I can just buy the cheapest plan to meet the requirements as all the plans are the same anyway.
Truth: Each insurance plan is different. It is important to read the certificate wording of any plan you are interested in to understand the benefits and exclusions so you can make sure that you are making an educated decision. Be sure to read about out of pocket expenses for medical insurance.
Additionally, are you planning to participate in any hazardous sports activities? Will your insurance plan cover that?
Are you planning to start a family and need maternity coverage? Make sure that your insurance covers that as the cost of delivery in the US can be very high.
Are you mandated to have emergency medical evacuation and repatriation coverage but your school insurance does not cover it? Make sure to purchase standalone insurance, which is designed exactly for this situation.
Myth: My school will automatically provide me with insurance so, I do not need to worry about buying it myself.
Truth: While it is true that many schools and universities automatically enroll all international students into their group health insurance plan, not all of them offer such a plan. Some schools ask you to buy any student insurance of your choice. Others allow you to buy alternative insurance that meets their minimum requirements. Whatever your situation, make sure you understand the specific requirements of your school to make sure that you are properly covered.
Myth: Once I buy student insurance, I will automatically be covered for everything.
Truth: That is not true. International student insurance plans are limited duration plans and do not provide the minimum essential coverage, meaning they are not ACA compliant. They do not cover everything. Make sure to read the details of the international student insurance plan to understand what is covered and what is excluded.
Myth: I can buy the insurance, get the waiver form completed and then cancel the insurance right after that.
Truth: That is considered fraud. You may actually be removed from your school and could incur other penalties, such as being deported from the United States. Please do not attempt this.