Medical Insurance confusion!
July 15, 2011 8:02 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out study abroad medical and travel insurance! Thoroughly confused by all the insurance jargon

I'm Canadian student from Ontario studying abroad in Norway (yay!) and had some awesome help from you folks with previous questions (see this question). I'm currently looking at insurance, and have found emergency medical plans and travel insurance that cover emergency medical expenses, trip interruption, baggage damage/loss etc.

However, I have a number of pre-existing conditions (generalized anxiety disorder, back pain, previous shoulder injury, ongoing allergy issue) that will require ongoing and routine care and prescriptions. For the life of me, I cannot find a plan that will cover these! OHIP (my provincial insurance) will cover certain things like doctors visits, but I would like to continue my chiropractic, massage, my therapy due to past abuse, etc) that are not covered.

This one would be perfect but it does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Do insurance plans not cover this, and would I pay for these things out of pocket? Am I looking in the wrong place? What kind of plan should I be looking for if I want to cover routine medical, emergency health, and travel issues?

If they are not typically covered, I am ok with that, finacially it would be much easier if I could use insurance to pay for the routine things that have made my recovery much easier.

posted by snowysoul to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
It looks to me like you might qualify for regular Norwegian Health care, and don't need supplementary insurance. According to this:

When are you regarded as a student?
You are regarded as a student when you are staying in Norway
- to attend school or university
- and have no income from work

Students from countries outside the EEA
You will not become a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme automatically, but you can apply for voluntary membership if you
- attend school or university in Norway for less than one year, and
- Have a residence permit
Voluntary membership entitles you to have health services on an equal basis with other Norwegian residents.

What does it cost?
You do not have to pay national insurance contributions when
- You have no income from work
- You are not a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme

It looks like you qualify on all those counts (according to this, "All students who plan to stay in Norway for more than three months will need a student residence permit. Visas are only issued for stays up to 90 days"

The form to apply for insurance is here, and according to this page you also need the following documentation (though I would double check this list with NAV).

I don't speak Norwegian and I may be reading something wrong here... and if you already know this won't work then never mind, but I would start with Norwegian health care and work from there.
posted by brainmouse at 8:54 PM on July 15, 2011

Also, I very strongly recommend talking to the study abroad office at your home institution, they should be very helpful for things like foreign insurance, as virtually everyone has to deal with it.
posted by brainmouse at 8:56 PM on July 15, 2011

Also 2, your previous question said you're studying abroad for a year... I assume that means a 9-10 month school year, but if it DOES mean a 12-month year, you qualify automatically for Norwegian healthcare and there's no worries, poke around in the first link for details.
posted by brainmouse at 9:02 PM on July 15, 2011

Awesome! I took a look at that those links, as it turns out I'm elidgible for nearly free health care under the National insurance scheme. I also backed it up with an emergency health plan for crazy medical things and my OHIP (provincial healthcare) coverage. Should be good to go at this point. Thanks again brainmouse!
posted by snowysoul at 7:39 AM on July 20, 2011

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