F-1 Student Visa Health Insurance Requirements

By Published On: July 11th, 2018

Written by Eric Chambers from our Las Vegas, NV location. Call us today if you need any guidance with this process.

Fax: 702-586-3232
2785 E. Desert Inn Rd. Suite #100
Las Vegas, NV 89121

There are no government or state mandated requirements for foreign nationals residing in the United States on an F-1 Visa to have medical health insurance. This said, being able to cover the costs of any health conditions, illnesses or injuries that may arise during your stay in the United States is of utmost importance.

The school or educational institution where you will be studying may also have requirements for medical coverage. These requirements may take a number of different forms:

1. Mandatory Health Insurance

The school may provide mandatory group health insurance to all it’s foreign students to which they will automatically be accepted on as part of their terms and conditions to study at the educational facility or institution. There are not options available as to the level or type of cover that will be provided which means that this is often a very expensive option.

However, it does provide comprehensive benefits which should cover any and all medical eventualities that may arise for the duration of your stay on the F-1 Visa. The cost is commonly factored into the tuition fees so you don’t have to be concerned about paying additional costs to receive the mandatory medical insurance benefits.

2. Mandatory Insurance With Waiver

This option is the same as explained above – mandatory insurance for foreign students that provides comprehensive cover and where the cost of the insurance forms part of the tuition fee. However, students do have the option to waive out of this insurance.

This does not mean that the student will be allowed to attend the school without medical insurance cover and they will need to prove that they have alternative medical insurance in order to waive the mandatory school group health insurance cover. Their personal or private health insurance should also provide similar benefits or cover as the school mandated insurance policy.

For some students, opting to have their own medical insurance can save them money at the end of the day. Personal insurance is often less costly than group insurance. It is however important to research the different health insurance options available in order to ensure comprehensive benefits at a competitive price.

3. Optional Health Insurance

A school may offer different types of health insurance options for their foreign students to choose from. These options are not mandatory and the student can choose to take out a private insurance policy.

The school may insist that the student have medical insurance in order to enroll in the school and begin their studies. Alternatively, having health insurance may not be compulsory at the school. The school may also provide for the cost of selecting one of their recommended health insurance policies to be worked into the fee structure.

It is however important to stress that having health insurance is a priority and that it is highly recommended to do some research into the best cover for foreign students.

4. No Medical Insurance

A few schools may not offer any type of medical health insurance options and may not require that their international students are insured to attend the school. This leaves the choice of health insurance entirely in the hands of the student. Once again, it is highly recommended to ensure that you insured against all types of health related eventualities that may arise.

If an injury or illness does occur while staying in the United States, the medical expenses can far outweigh the cost of medical insurance for the duration of your stay. Over and above this, it provides you with the benefit of receiving day-to-day health care cover to ensure that you remain healthy and are able to complete your studies to the best of your abilities.

Even a short, mild illness (like the flu) can mean days away from your course or program meaning that you could fall behind and lose out on important work. Your health and general well being is of utmost importance while studying.

It is also a good idea to research the different health insurance options available to foreign nationals in the United State on a F-1 student visa as well as the companies that provide these policies. Compare benefits and rates from at least 3 providers in order to ensure that you are receiving comprehensive cover at a fair cost.


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