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Indian student medical insurance policies for overseas college education – An overview

Indian student medical insurance policies for overseas college education – An overview

Indian students registered in foreign universities should buy the student travel medical insurance commonly known as student health insurance while studying in a foreign university. Student health insurance is mandatory in most international universities, however even if it is not mandatory, student health insurance is very strongly recommended while studying abroad given the high costs of healthcare overseas.

Many universities have their own student health insurance plans that are offered along with other education expenses. However, the cost of these university plans is very high when compared to the Indian student insurance plans which are priced in Indian rupees. Some international universities do accept Indian student health insurance plans. The usual procedure is that the student is given "insurance waiver form" which the student is required to have completed by the Indian insurance provider. He/She should then submit the completed waiver form to the university. Once the student submits the waiver form, the university will verify this with their requirements and approve the Indian student health insurance as an alternative to the university plan. In case the university rejects the waiver form for non-fulfillment of eligible criteria, then the student can cancel his / her insurance purchased from the Indian insurance provider by providing the university rejection letter and he/she will get the pro-rata (refund for unused policy period) refund.

If the student is unsure whether the university will accept the Indian insurance plans, he/she can buy the student travel medical insurance for a short duration say just for one month and after getting approval from the university for using the Indian student plan, extend the policy for the duration of his/her education in the college.

The eligibility requirements to satisfy wavier from the university insurance varies from one university to another. There are a few common policy benefits like policy maximum for medical expenses, medical evacuation, medical repatriation, deductible, cover for pre-existing diseases, doctor visits …. Some of the other benefits might be cover for maternity, alcohol and drug abuse, HIV, mental and nervous disorder coverage, emergency dental pain, cover for sports. Indian student health insurance plans are designed to cover the above-listed coverage benefits.

Advantages of Indian student insurance plans when compared to international student options.

The biggest advantage of an Indian student medical insurance plan is that it is significantly cheaper than most international university student insurance plans. For example, US university plans cost close to USD $2000 for annual coverage, while the Indian student plans range from USD $ 300 to USD $500. Indian student medical insurance while covering healthcare also benefits like study interruption, sponsor protection, bail bond, compassionate visit, baggage loss, baggage delay, loss of passport, etc which will not be available in typical international university plans. Students do have the option of buying these plans as an additional plan along with the university insurance.
Duration of Indian student insurance plans
Indian students can buy the Indian insurance student health insurance either for 1 month, 1 year or 2 years as per his / her requirements. There are few companies which offer insurance for 2 years at one stretch while other companies allow for one year and successfully renew the policy for next year.

Indian student health insurance destination options
The following are the main destinations considered in Indian student insurance plans. The price of the insurance plan varies based on the destination.
Student traveling to USA & Canada:

Student traveling to USA or Canada has to buy the worldwide coverage policy. He/she can buy the policy as per his/her requirements.
Student traveling outside USA & Canada:

Student traveling to outside USA and Canada should buy the worldwide excluding USA & Canada policy. Students going for UK, Australia, Singapore and Schengen countries for studies buy this plan.
Student traveling to Asian countries:

Very few Indian insurance providers offer student health insurance plans for Asian countries. They are usually cheaper than the other two above plans. Students traveling to Asian countries for studies can buy these plans. It is advisable that the student get in touch with the insurance advisor before buying this plan as some countries like Japan are not covered under the Asian insurance plans.
Is health insurance mandatory for F1 students?
Most of the colleges and universities in the US insist that international students have adequate student health insurance. It is advisable to buy the best student health insurance while studying in an US university. Most universities require that the network of hospital must be close to the campus, coverage for out patient expenses, ambulance charges, maternity, mental illness and sports injuries. The Indian student insurance plans are much cheaper when compared to US university insurance options, while providing comparable coverage.

How much does health insurance cost for students?
International student health insurance cost depends on different factors. The important factors are the age of the student, study destination, the maximum medical coverage, the deductible, coinsurance as well as coverage for optional requirements like maternity, sports, pre-existing condition. Typically the cost of student insurance coverage in the US is most expensive followed by Europe and Asia.

Do international students need health insurance?
Yes International students need to buy health insurance to cover emergency medical expenses, study interruption, sponsor protection, mental health, passport loss, baggage loss, compassionate visit. In a foreign country like the US where health care is sophisticated but the cost of medical treatment is very high, being forced to go to an US hospital can be financially catastrophic.

What is international student health insurance?
International student health insurance covers medical expenses for students pursuing their studies in a foreign country. In case the student suddenly falls sick or sustain injuries due to accident and gets admitted to the hospital. The health insurance will pay the hospital bills, ambulance charges, doctor and physician visits as per the policy terms and conditions. This will protect the student from paying huge medical bills which can be traumatic. Indian student insurance plans also provide benefits like sponsor protection and compassionate travel for family members which are not available in international student insurance plans.

Is there health insurance for college students?
Yes, international student health insurance is available for all Indian students provided they are enrolled as a full time student in foreign university and satisfy the age requirements indicated on the insurance terms and conditions.

Does college offer health insurance?
Yes most of the colleges and universities offer international student health insurance when a student enrols as a full time student. However these health insurance plans are more expensive. Indian companies offer university comparable student insurance coverage with competitive benefits for Indian students going overseas.
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