• zInternationalStudents Blog

  • Saturday, January 19, 2019

  • Insurance OPTions for International Students

    Filed Under: Health Insurance
Often, purchasing OPT insurance is the first area that an international student comes face-to-face with the complex world of the U.S. healthcare system. Most student insurance plans do not cover students under optional practical training, the period where a student must hone the skills learned in college with employment. International students must turn elsewhere for healthcare coverage.

One of the options is to check and see if the student’s current international student health insurance plan will be valid. Most times, it is not. However, if the student opts for OPT before graduating, it is possible that the insurance plan covers the OPT period. It is best to specifically ask the question before deciding on further coverage.

The next step is to ask if the employer will provide insurance, or negotiate insurance with the employer. Companies that are typically not used to hiring international students may not even consider insurance, assuming that the student is covered elsewhere.

If the employer does not provide insurance, or a student on OPT status is unable to find employment, it is imperative to purchase insurance elsewhere. Several OPT insurance specifically designed for students are available, with periods ranging from 5 days to 3 years. However, being short-term insurance plans, most plans only cover medical emergencies and illnesses, and not routine care.
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