Study Abroad

Do International Students Need to Buy Health Insurance for Studying Abroad?

Do International Students Need to Buy Health Insurance for Studying Abroad?

Studying abroad is a thrilling experience, but it comes with unique challenges, especially regarding healthcare.

If you are an international student planning to study outside the United States, or if you’re from another country studying outside the US, it’s crucial to understand the importance of health insurance.

This blog will explore whether international students need health insurance, what options are available, and how to find the best and most affordable plans.

What Is International Student Health Insurance?

International student health insurance is a policy designed specifically for students studying abroad. It covers a variety of medical services, including doctor’s visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions.

International student health insurance ensures that students have access to healthcare services when they need them, no matter where they are studying.

Why Do International Students Need Health Insurance?

Healthcare costs can be high, especially for international students who may not be familiar with the healthcare system in their host country.

Health insurance for international students ensures you have access to necessary medical services without financial strain. A reliable health insurance plan protects you from unexpected medical expenses and provides peace of mind during your studies.

Who Qualifies for Student Health Insurance?

Most international students qualify for student health insurance. Whether you are a student from the US studying abroad or from another country studying outside the US, there are plans available to meet your needs.

Make sure you take a quick second to use the VisitorsCoverage instant quotes tool to see the options available in your destination country.

Is Health Insurance Required to Study Abroad?

Many countries require international students to have health insurance. The requirements can vary widely, so it’s essential to check the specific regulations of your host country.

Here are some examples of countries that typically require health insurance for international students:

  • France: Health insurance is mandatory for all students. You can either subscribe to the French Social Security system or have private health insurance.
  • The UK: International students staying for more than six months must pay an Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of their visa application.
  • Germany: Health insurance is compulsory for international students. You can choose between statutory health insurance (public) or private health insurance.
  • Australia: Health insurance is mandatory for international students through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) program.
  • Spain: Students must have health insurance, either through a private policy or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if they are from the EU.
  • Italy: International students are required to have health insurance. EU students can use an EHIC, while non-EU students must have private insurance.
  • Canada: Requirements vary by province, but many provinces require international students to have health insurance.

Even if your host country does not require health insurance, it’s still a wise investment to protect yourself against high medical costs.

Public vs. Private Student Insurance: Key Differences

While public insurance might be tempting to automatically opt for due to its seeming convenience and lower price tag, understanding the differences between public and private insurance may help you save money in the long run. 

Public Insurance:

  • Pros:
    • Often lower cost
    • May be integrated with the country’s healthcare system
  • Cons:
    • Limited coverage
    • Longer wait times for treatments
    • Restricted to specific healthcare providers

Private Insurance:

  • Pros:
  • Cons:
    • Higher cost compared to public insurance

For the most comprehensive safety net, private health insurance is often the better choice. It provides more extensive coverage and flexibility, ensuring that you receive the best possible care.

Why Choose VisitorsCoverage for Student Health Insurance?

At VisitorsCoverage, we offer a variety of international student insurance plans that are often more affordable and comprehensive than other options. Here’s why you should consider our plans:

  • Cost-Effective: Our plans can be more affordable, with some policies costing as little as $1 a day.
  • Extensive Coverage: Our policies cover a wide range of medical situations and providers.
  • Ease of Use: Our insurance plans come with an easy-to-use plan card, making it simple to submit proof of insurance to your university.

How to Find the Best Health Insurance for International Students

Finding the best health insurance for international students is easy with VisitorsCoverage. Our comparison tool allows you to:

  • Customize Your Search: Filter plans based on your specific needs and budget.
  • Compare Policies: View and compare different plans side-by-side.
  • Select the Best Plan: Choose the most suitable and affordable option for you.

Our tool helps you find the best health insurance for international students, ensuring you get the coverage you need without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What is the best health insurance for college students studying abroad?

The best health insurance for college students studying abroad offers comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. VisitorsCoverage provides a range of plans that meet these criteria.


How much does international student health insurance cost?

The cost varies depending on the coverage and the country, but plans from VisitorsCoverage can start as low as $1 a day.


Are students from the United States required to have health insurance in other countries?

Yes, many countries and universities require international students to have health insurance, but your domestic health insurance plan likely won’t cover you abroad, unfortunately. It’s important to check the specific requirements of your destination.


Are international students required to have health insurance in countries like France, the UK, Germany, and Australia?

Yes, many of these countries require international students to have health insurance, either through public systems or private plans.


Is health insurance for graduate students different?

Graduate students also need health insurance, and plans from VisitorsCoverage cater to both undergraduate and graduate students.


What does international student health insurance cover?

Coverage typically includes doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency services, and sometimes preventive care, depending on the plan.


How do I find the best health insurance plan for studying abroad?

Use the VisitorsCoverage quote tool to customize your search, compare different policies, and select the best plan for your needs.


Can I use public health insurance when studying abroad?

Yes, you can opt for a country’s public health insurance, but it might have limitations on both the coverage it provides and the network that accepts it. Private insurance often provides more comprehensive coverage and flexibility.


Should I choose private health insurance or public health insurance?

Private health insurance generally offers more comprehensive coverage, quicker access to services, and a broader choice of healthcare providers, while public health insurance is slightly cheaper.

VisitorsCoverage Is Here To Help! 

If you still have questions or need further assistance, our award-winning Customer Success Team is here to help. We are dedicated to providing extensive customer education so you can make the most informed decision before purchasing a policy.