The Factors That Raise International Student Health Insurance Rates

Despite the high cost of living, the United States is still home to the largest population of international students. One of the things that make college education even more expensive in the country for foreign visitors is health insurance.

As with rates of other financial products, the international student health insurance premiums in America vary too. Below are the main factors that affect their price.


Insurers adjust the price of their products based on the age of the insured. Normally, the older a student is, the more expensive the health insurance costs.

There are many schools of thought explaining why older international students are charged more for health insurance in the United States. Susceptibility to mental illnesses is one of them. A 2006 study revealed that three-fourths of lifetime cases of mental health problems start when a person reaches 24 years old.

Furthermore, the coverage of family health insurance plans tends to end when a dependent becomes 26 years old. Older international students in the United States usually need to rely on their own health insurance to cover their medical bills while in the country.

Coverage Comprehensiveness

American schools like to scrutinize the level of coverage a foreign student has. Even if the policy is considered comprehensive in the insured’s home country, a college or university may still deem it inadequate. As a result, an international student with existing health insurance may still need to buy an additional policy for more coverage.

Coverage Length

Student health insurance premiums are usually paid on installment. Of course, prices go up when the coverage has to be kept for more months. Moreover, there are monthly rates international students have to contend with, so they must be considered when shopping for insurance products.

Deductible Size

Like other insurance policies, student health insurance comes as a deductible. This charge is the minimum amount the insured needs to pay before the policy comes into effect. You have many deductible amount options to choose from, and each can affect your monthly premiums significantly. Naturally, agreeing to pay a higher deductible makes the cost of your insurance cheaper because the insurer takes a less financial risk to accept you as a customer.

Visa Type

Some U.S. student visas have more demanding health insurance requirements. For instance, you must have a minimum of $100,000 worth of medical benefits per illness or accident to qualify for a J1 visa. In addition, your insurance must be able to pay $25,000 to cover repatriation remains.

You can’t just choose any insurer too. Your international health insurance provider must be a legitimate company in the eyes of the U.S. authorities. Otherwise, your visa application will be denied.

School Restriction

If your prospective education institution considers your existing health insurance inadequate, you may have limited choices to supplement it. Many colleges and universities in America offer their own plan. If you do not want to buy the insurance your chosen school offers, you will not be admitted.

The worst part about international health insurance is that you need it. Unless you do not mind paying thousands of dollars more just to study in the United States, you need to do a lot of research to find an acceptable insurance product at the least price.

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