Being an international student is a very exciting time, it is a great opportunity to meet new people and for those that decide to study abroad, it is also a fantastic opportunity to travel. If you are preparing to make the move to study abroad, there are many things you will need to consider before you go.
One of the items you will need to consider as you prepare for your move will be international health insurance. When studying abroad, you will often be required by your new university and also by your new country to have an adequate level of health insurance.
Most international health insurance plans are designed to cover a person abroad for a year or more. So for example, if you are moving abroad for 1 year, you will need health care coverage for that entire time period. So be sure to remember this when you are considering which health insurance policy to go with, as there will be many options to choose from.
Travel medical insurance is not a great solution for overseas students
You may already have travel insurance in place, but remember that these policies are designed only for short stays and to cover only a medical emergency – these travel medical plans also often rely on you having medical coverage back home and only cover you outside your country of citizenship. So having an international health insurance plan may be a much more efficient healthcare option for your time abroad.
By taking out an international health insurance plan now, before you move abroad to study, you should be covered for the worst-case scenarios abroad. You don’t want to be left in another country without health cover, especially if it is an unfamiliar country where you do not speak the language.
Top six global health insurance considerations for overseas students
To help you make the most of your time studying abroad, we have prepared this article. Here are six top tips to help students to choose their international health insurance policy.
1- Do your research
The first point to remember is to do your research. Compare health plans and consider all of the costs involved and be sure to ask the right questions before making a decision on which plan to go with.
As a student, you will likely be looking for a budget-friendly global health insurance plan, so the price will be a big factor in your decision of which health insurance plan you choose. Remember to carry out research for what to expect in your new country of residence. You may also need cover in your home country along with your new country.
If you travel home frequently and plan to do so while you are studying abroad, this option could be very valuable for you so be sure to check to see if this will be included in your policy.
2 – Considerations for the University provided plan
Many overseas universities offer their foreign students health coverage. You may not even have a choice on whether you can opt out of this group health coverage – if not, then consider taking the university plan and supplementing it with an individual policy on your own. In some cases, taking the university-supplied plan may be your best bet, especially if the premiums are low and coverage is excellent. However, depending on where you are studying and the plan that the university or college is supplying, you should consider that the coverage may be sub-par for a variety of reasons:
- It may not cover pre-existing conditions or allow for the underwriting of medical conditions that you may have – note that individual expat plans also have medical underwriting and you might be declined, have a premium loading or an exclusion.
- It probably doesn’t cover you when you are back home for holidays
- It may not cover you outside the country where the university is located
- The university plan may be very basic
We recommend you examine the plan provided by your overseas university and consider the advantages of a customized global health plan that may cost a bit more, but will cover you where and when you need it.
3- Examine what the requirements will be in your new country
This is a very important tip to keep in mind. Especially nowadays, with more and more countries around the world enforcing strict rules for expat health insurance and there are some countries that require by law the purchase of a health insurance plan.
This means that some countries will not let you enter unless you have a health insurance plan already in place. You will need to be sure to search for what the rules are in the country you are planning to study in before you go.
If you do not get international health insurance and you face a medical emergency when you are studying abroad, you risk being left without an option to receive the treatment you need. So having a plan will allow you to have the cover you need in case you are ever in need of medical care while studying abroad.
4- Health insurance gives you additional flexibility
One of the other advantages of having an international health insurance plan is that you will receive the added benefit of having more freedom of choice.
With most major health insurers, you will be given the freedom to select which doctor or medical center you use and at times, you will also be given the option of selecting the time of your medical appointment.
This is a very helpful bonus that comes with having an international health insurance plan.
5- Consider what is covered by your plan
Another aspect to consider is having access to an emergency evacuation program. Many health insurers now offer some form of emergency evacuation program. With a student health insurance plan, you will be covered if the local facilities you are in do not have the capacity to give you the proper care that you require.
Having access to an emergency evacuation program allows you to be covered in medical treatment if it is not available locally. So if you are ill, you can be transported to the nearest medical facility that is suitable for you.
It is also important to remember that you may be required by your new university to have an international student health insurance plan in place for your time studying abroad. These requirements can vary depending on which university or college you are going to. So remember to check what the requirements are in your new country before you go.
6- Peace of mind for your studies abroad
With an international medical insurance plan, you can receive peace of mind for your time abroad, and knowing that your international healthcare needs are covered will give you one less thing to worry about abroad.
You will be covered if there is ever a medical emergency. You never know when you may need it and having a plan in place will help you be prepared for any medical treatments you may need. You will want to make the most of your experience studying abroad and having peace of mind will be a big plus for you.
Expat Financial – An Expat Health Insurance Resource for Global Students
Expat Financial offers international health insurance plans for global students as well as those who would like cover for their entire family.
Note that expat health plans for global students are subject to medical evidence and your premium and coverage is also subject to the insurance company’s underwriting approvals. Get a global health plan you can afford BEFORE you need it – that’s how insurance works.
Before you study abroad, download our overseas student health insurance brochure!
Expat Financial offers health plans from leading expat health insurance providers and our most popular global health coverage for students is the Cigna Global Health Options plan.
You can get a quote online today.