Best health insurance for international students in usa reddit


Fellow international student here. Firstly, let me clarify that staying in the US under F1 visa without a qualifying insurance plan is a civil offence with very high penalties. The basic idea is that you’ll be provided with all sorts of emergency healthcare options irrespective of your citizenship/immigration status, economic status and your medical insurance status.

In simpler words, if you need emergency medical attention, you’ll be provided with one, with the bill being sent to you after you have received the services. If you’re an international student, without a decent health insurance plan, you will most certainly be unable to pay for the bill, and the bill will be footed by the taxpayers. In order to avoid this situation, USCIS requires that you are covered with a health insurance plan for your entire duration of stay as mentioned in the I-20.

international students office is responsible ….

Now, coming to your question: your international students office is responsible to make sure that you are covered under a qualifying health insurance plan (aka a plan that you are financially capable of paying monthly payments and maximum copays, if necessary) for the entire duration of your F1 status. Generally during OPT time, the company you work for provides you with a decent healthcare plan that satisfies this criterion. On the off chance that you’re not working for a large or mid-sized company, say a tiny startup, you may have to buy your own instance out of pocket. In such a case, you have plenty of options. The easiest option would be to buy the insurance from your school itself (you’ll have to pay the full, unsubsidized version – this may cost you $2000-$5000, depending on where your school is situated). Hence, the easiest option is to talk to your international students office. They can provide you with a list of insurance options from the school as well as from third parties.

There’s a ton of misinformation going around with respect to repeal of mandatory insurance, but that does not apply to international students. We need to be covered during our entire duration of stay. Just curious, have you already started your OPT? If that’s the case, did your international students office not check your insurance status before you graduated?