Best way to get Health Insurance for International Student on an F1 Visa
August 9, 2017 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Hi all, what's the best way to get Health Insurance for International Student on an F1 Visa? Private? Would she qualify for ACA? ANything else I'm not thinking of? NJ If it matters.
posted by pyro979 to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
If she's a college student, the university probably requires her to have insurance, which they will provide (at a cost) if she doesn't have it.
posted by cooker girl at 10:16 AM on August 9, 2017 [4 favorites]

She should definitely start with her college, because she needs to make sure that her insurance meets their requirements. As an F1 visa holder she is exempt from the ACA mandate, but she is eligible to buy coverage through the marketplace if that meets her school requirements.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 10:23 AM on August 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

My daughter was required to have insurance before leaving the country for Study Abroad last Spring. I'd be surprised if the student's school didn't have a similar requirement.
posted by COD at 10:38 AM on August 9, 2017

similar recent question
posted by AFABulous at 10:44 AM on August 9, 2017

Usually you'd get it through the school itself. It's not horribly expensive. When I was an F1 student at a large private university, I'd get it through the school health services, and so did everyone else that I knew who weren't married and were on student visas.
posted by Everydayville at 11:12 AM on August 9, 2017 [2 favorites]

Agree it should be available through the school, likely it will be called something like "student health insurance." Usually it's pretty inexpensive since the risk pool is almost all young, healthy college students. Often it will even be billed along with tuition, fees, and other costs, and there will be a student health center on campus. If you can't find it on the website, I would call admissions and ask them -- if nothing else they will be able to point you in the correct direction!
posted by rainbowbrite at 11:43 AM on August 9, 2017

Response by poster: Hey college used to provide insurance, but no longer does. Are third party student providers legit? I see some on Google, but hard to tell how good they are.
posted by pyro979 at 12:42 PM on August 9, 2017

What does the school suggest? It is hard for me to believe they offer literally no resources for students without health insurance through their parents, even if that resource is a referral to a set of trusted, affordable policies. If they really don't offer any assistance in this area, I would be skeptical about the school in general...
posted by rainbowbrite at 12:51 PM on August 9, 2017 [3 favorites]

I agree with rainbowbrite. I teach international students and every program I've ever heard of has at least had a suggested insurance plan they could refer students to. At the very least, there should be a counselor or other intake person with recommendations. Not offering suggestions makes me worry about the program and whether it's legit. I know that's not your question; just needed to note my concerns.

Here are some programs that reputable universities recommend to students. I don't have any personal experience with any of them, though.

Consolidated Health Plan

And I believe that international students can qualify for ACA plans.

Many (most? all?) programs have minimum requirements for the plans students buy, so again, if the student doesn't know who they're supposed to be getting information about this stuff from, they really need to find out.

(Another thing to watch out for: Students typically wind up buying a plan that provides less than they need since they often literally do not understand how expensive and bizarre US healthcare is.)
posted by wintersweet at 9:42 PM on August 9, 2017

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