“I am beginning a study abroad program in the fall. This is new to me and I am unsure of what I need to do to prepare. I know that I need some sort of health insurance in order to be able to register for classes, but I am unsure as to what my international student insurance options are.”
This is a very common refrain heard from first time study abroad participants. You see, while the experience of being an international student can be exciting and rewarding, it can also be confusing, especially during the preparation stages.
Most universities will offer a medical insurance plan. This is a very convenient option, as it allows you to have your insurance added into your tuition bill and it gives you access to medical care at student health clinics and hospitals. Unfortunately these plans are typically quite restrictive, as those student facilities may be the only places you can go. so if you are not comfortable getting care there, you may want a different option.
A good alternative is to purchase an international health insurance plan from an insurance provider who specializes in these types of policies. These plans may be less expensive, and they will generally be much less restrictive. You can usually pick the provider of your choice under these plans. This makes many students feel more comfortable, as everyone appreciates the chance to select his or her own doctor or hospital.