From which U.S. companies can an international student on an F-1 visa in the U.S. buy a legit health insurance? I
September 10, 2012 11:29 PM   Subscribe

From which U.S. companies can an international student on an F-1 visa in the U.S. buy a legit health insurance? I can't use my school's because I will be reducing my course load from full-time to part-time :/
posted by MiuMiu to Education (4 answers total)
Can you buy insurance from a company in a country where you have citizenship? I've heard of travelers to the US buying insurance before visiting; perhaps there's something for longer term.
posted by sbutler at 11:35 PM on September 10, 2012

Er, are you sure you can be a part-time student on an F-1 visa? My understanding is that you need to be a full-time student for your F-1 visa to remain valid. It is, of course, possible that you have a exception worked out with the International Students Office, but I'd want to be sure that the school's insurance won't cover you if you're taking less than a full course with special permission for medical or other reasons. I know a lot of colleges require international students to purchase the school's health insurance because the federal government requires that colleges insure that their foreign students have adequate health insurance. I don't believe that your college can legally allow you to be enrolled on a F-1 visa without proof of insurance that meets the federal guidelines.

I'd immediately put your question to the International Students Office at your school. They should be able to confirm the immigration consequences first of all, and will likely have recommendations based on other students in similar situations. Best of luck to you.
posted by zachlipton at 12:20 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

What zachlipton said. It may have changed since the early 2000s but I think F-1 was full time only back then.
posted by cromagnon at 12:23 AM on September 11, 2012

F-1 is full time only without an exemption. J-1 is required by the feds to have health insurance that meets specific guidelines. Health insurance purchased in the US varies state-to-state so we can't help answer this question without knowing where you are studying. Your international student office can probably recommend a provider or tell you what other students purchase.
posted by ChrisHartley at 7:04 AM on September 11, 2012

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