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5 Best & Cheapest Health Insurances for International Students & Studying Abroad

5 Best & Cheapest Health Insurances for International Students & Studying Abroad

The 5 best and cheapest international health insurance plans for students, teachers and researchers. Whether you are studying abroad, pursuing an exchange study program, or graduating from a university or school abroad, you will need to have health insurance. The options listed work for J1, F1 or Schengen visas.

These days, it is becoming easier for students to study abroad and complete (or part) their degree entirely at a school or university abroad.

But of course, the anxiety about moving, settling in, and adjusting to a different lifestyle and culture than yours can be a huge thing ... and there are all kinds of little details that you need to pay attention to.

And one of those details that you want to make sure to prioritize? health insurance.

It's not fun, it's not sexy ... but it does matter. Mainly because many international universities or study abroad programs require you to obtain student health insurance.

But also because different countries have different health insurance policies. And what applies in your home country may not work in your new home (in fact, you don't want to be left without insurance in a foreign country!).

Although most universities and colleges have associated insurance that they offer to their international students, I have found these costs to be quite high. Which means that it is often best to seek your own private insurance.

But while looking for international student health insurance coverage, keep in mind that some colleges and universities will not accept all insurance plans. Therefore, before purchasing an insurance plan, we recommend that you ask your school or university about its minimum requirements in terms of deductions, coverage amounts, and what they do and do not cover.

What I recommend is that if you choose a specific medical insurance for students, you should ask your university or school if they accept that specific insurance. And only once you confirm them, you need to buy!

What is international student health insurance?

Just like at home, accidents and illnesses can also happen when you are a student abroad.

And since home insurance probably won't work in your new country of residence, international student health insurance will guarantee coverage no matter what.

Additionally, obtaining international student insurance is a requirement for studying abroad in many countries.

How do I know if I need international student health insurance while studying abroad?

If you have a scholarship or have completed a specific study abroad program, most of the time your school will take care of the insurance on your behalf.

But really, the best thing to do is ask your school and see if this is a requirement or if they provide it.

In some cases, you may only be able to buy travel insurance.

What is the difference between international student health insurance, expat insurance and travel insurance? Which one do I need?

Generally speaking, if you are a student on a student visa and your school doesn't take care of your insurance, you will need international student health insurance. Fortunately, this type of insurance is usually the cheapest of the five options.

If you will be studying at a school / program for 3 months or less and you do not need a student visa (which means you are there on a tourist visa or you do not need a visa) then you can often only use travel insurance.

Quick summary of medical insurance for international students:

  • Used by students, academics, and professors who are moving abroad for an extended period of time (and often cheaper than regular expat health insurance)
  • It covers your medical needs as well as your home insurance.

How do I choose the right international student health insurance plan?

Obviously, this will depend on many things that are related to you personally. But here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Does the insurance coverage meet the minimum requirements of your school? (Call and ask before buying a plan if you are not sure)
  • How appropriate are the care options? Can you visit any covered doctor, hospital or clinic? Or is it restricted to your network?
  • Are the reviews mostly positive or negative?
  • Does the plan cover pre-existing conditions?
  • Do you cover emergencies like terrorist incidents and emergency evacuations?
  • If you have dependents (such as children or spouse), does the insurance cover them too?
  • Does it cover any specific medications I need to take?
  • Does the plan meet the J1 or J2 visa requirements (if you study in the United States)?
  • Is the insurance plan acceptable in the Schengen area in Europe?
  • Does the plan meet the requirements of my student visa (if you are studying anywhere else in the world)?

The 5 best and cheapest medical insurance for international students

1. International Student Health Insurance by IMGIMG Logo 

IMGlobal offers a variety of insurance plans for students (as well as insurance plans for expats and crew members).

These are the three plans they offer:

  • Plan n. 1: The Patriot Exchange Program (Great for Students Studying Abroad in the US!)

This program is specifically designed to meet all US visa requirements for international students (especially for J1 and J2 visa holders). It also includes spouses (husband or wife) and children.

You can choose plans for up to $ 50,000, $ 100,000, $ 250,000, or $ 500,000 for injury / illness.

One thing to keep in mind: If you are a woman, some schools will require that your insurance cover maternity care. This does not cover it. If this is a requirement for your school, consider the two plans below.

  • Plan n. 2: Student Health Benefit (great for students studying in Europe / with a Schengen visa!)

This program meets the visa requirements (for most countries) for international students in a sponsored study abroad program. You can get plans for individuals and groups.

Covers mental health disorders, maternity care, and pre-existing conditions (not covered by many other plans).

  • Plan n. 3: Platinum Student Health Benefit

This plan is like the previous one but offers double the maximum coverage: $ 1,000,000

2. International Health Insurance for Cigna Global StudentsMelhores Seguros Internacionais

Internacionais students

Cigna Global, one of the world's largest health insurers, has an excellent reputation in the healthcare industry. It offers plans for travelers, expats, and of course, international students.

Master Plans, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The plans cover the entire world, with the option of including the United States or not.

 3. Foyer Global Health

Foyer Global Health offers international health insurance tailored to your needs. Basic or special? Short or long stay? Alone or with family? Regardless of their needs, there is a plan that works for them.

4- StudentSecure Insurance by HCCMIS

Tokio Marine Group HCCMIS offers insurance for full-time students and researchers studying away from home (along with regular travel insurance offers).

5 - Liaison Student Series by Seven Corners

Like others, Seven Corners offers health insurance to a wide range of travelers, including a variety of plans for international students.

They present the following plans to students: the economics of student communication, the selection of communication students, and the elite of communication students. You can cover it worldwide with the option to include or exclude the United States.