Studying abroad is a great adventure for young people in search of learning a new language, culture and advancing their education standing. While most foreign universities, colleges and ESL schools will offer an international health plan, the coverage may be very basic and will often cease after your studies have finished. Also, that plan may not meet your unique coverage requirements – such as covering a pre-existing medical condition, covering you for travel to another country, allow for medical treatment in your home country or may simply have basic coverage.
If you are able to get your own international health coverage, it is critical that you look for an international student health insurance plan that will cover you for your entire education term and also when you leave the school to work or travel abroad. Another important requirement for some students is to cover medical treatment back in their home country – even the United States. Some plans will allow for global medical treatment including or excluding the USA. Of course, covering the United States will often mean a higher cost, but for Americans studying abroad this may be a key requirement. It may also be important if you are studying in or near the USA.
Some students may suffer from a pre-existing medical condition that may not be covered by the university plan, so it is important that he or she obtain a plan that can underwrite and potentially cover that pre-existing illness or injury. If a student is participating in hazardous sports, make sure the university or individual health plan covers that activity.
Of course, the premium charged is a major factor for students to consider, especially if they are on a tight budget. A larger deductible will help offset the premium, but also mean a higher out of pocket cost if you have a claim. Some students will just get a plan that covers in-patient hospital expenses with a medical evacuation rider and cover the out-patient expenses themselves. As you would expect, the premiums that most students pay will be reasonably small because most students are in their late teens or early twenties.
In some cases students are able to keep their domestic health coverage in place back home and will be abroad for less than a year. In that circumstance, some students will opt for a travel medial insurance plan that just covers emergency medical expenses outside the country of citizenship.
A quality global medical insurance plan can offer both the student and his or her parent’s peace of mind that if illness or injury strikes, a student expat health plan will be there to save the day. An independent expat insurance adviser should be able to discuss your unique international student insurance requirements and help you choose the right plan based on your needs.
About the Author
David Tompkins is an insurance consultant for Expat Financial, an insurance brokerage specializing in sourcing international insurance for expatriates. Expat Financial offers student international health insurance and travel medical insurance. Expat Financial works with individual students and expats in most parts of the globe. Expat Financial is a division of TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd. and can even source coverage for the expat staff an international university. David can be reached via 1-604-628-0426 or via the contact page of Expat Financial.