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Health Insurance


Replies to: Health Insurance

  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member

    Yes, my family plan is with an employer. I consider it very bad that individuals have to pay as much as a family for the same coverage. Universities ought to be able to negotiate much lower rates for their students, considering that they are the healthiest group in the population.
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  • nysmilenysmile 5753 replies97 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    Marite: You are extremely lucky to only have to pay out $4000/yr for medical insurance through your employer. To tell the OP that $2500/yr is too expensive based on your cost (which is through an employer) may be very misleading to him.

    We are self employed. The medical insurance for our family of 4 costs about $17,000/yr OUT OF POCKET. Yes, we have to pay $17,000/yr for us to maintain our current coverage. So, for this student to have decent medical insurance for $2500/yr. in the northeast, IMO is a reasonable cost.
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  • shellfellshellfell 3231 replies11 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,242 Senior Member
    I agree, nysmile. We are also self-employed & pay close to $19000 out of pocket (had a large increase from last year's premium). We considered switching our son to his school's policy so we could drop family coverage through the business, but the school's policy has a $100,000 limit which we all know could be easily used up should S get sick or hurt, so we've kept our current family policy.
    OP should check on the limit of the school's policy......for $2500 I would hope that it's at least $1M.
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  • nysmilenysmile 5753 replies97 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    shellfell, sounds like we lead parallel lives.

    We also pay for medical insurance for our one full time year round employee--that's an additional $500+/month on top of the approx. $17,000/yr for our family.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    I don't see the relevance of your situation. Penn is a very very large organization, not a small business with little or no clout with health insurance companies. There just simply is no comparison.
    If I remember correctly, Harvard did not charge as much for our S's health insurance coverage nor did S1's LAC, which was much much smaller than Penn.

    I just checked the Harvard website. for the coming year, the health insurance fee is $1196, not $2,500.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 38240 replies463 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 38,703 Senior Member
    This discussion is going off its track. Back to the OP's questions:

    1. Check your school's policies if international students are allowed to waive this $2500 charge - some schools don't;
    2. If you are allowed to submit a waiver, and you found a comparable plan, check the deadline for submitting a waiver form - some schools have a deadline of August 1st.

    $2500 may be the going rate for INTERNATIONAL students. Domestic students may be charged a different $$. Some schools do that.

    My D's college insurance is through Gallagher-Koster (which we waive since we both have PPOs); they do have plans for internationals:

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  • kayfkayf 4088 replies73 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,161 Senior Member
    Bunsen, I would only add if OP comes from a country that has National Health Insurance, he should see if that qualifies to avoid Penn policy -- or reduced. Your idea of shopping around is excellent.

    My D's school policy is about 1100 per year, but is frankly, as the school says, the KIA of plans, not the Cadillac.
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  • nysmilenysmile 5753 replies97 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    Student Health : SHS Insurance FAQ

    Here is the link to "questions and answers" regarding the required health insurance plan/and waiver.

    I would suggest calling the Health Service's and speak to someone directly regarding the requirements for International students.
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  • nysmilenysmile 5753 replies97 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    As a comparison, here is a link to the Harvard student health insurance. Basic plus supplemental is about $2840/yr.

    Harvard University Health Services | Insurance | Students | Dates, Rates, and Deadlines
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  • LongPrimeLongPrime 5106 replies102 discussions- Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    OP, if you are still here,

    If you look at competing health programs, Independence Blue Cross, student insurance, most expensive policy (HMO), that their cost is half the cost of UPenn-Aetna's Insurance, and has very similar benefits and features. I would hazard a guess that even a privately purchased Aetna Student Health Policy would be cheaper than what is being offered by UPenn.

    Consult an Insurance broker (or have one contact you), local foreign student associations within UPenn and without.

    The wonderful part about America's current Health Insurance System is that we have Choices, abet too many choices, to which most people do not understand the benefits and features, and to which most will not bother to investigate because of the complications in the application process.

    UPenn-Aetna Student Health insurance *may be* more expensive because they probably cannot deny you the insurance for pre-existing or higher propensity of certain risks. However, a Policy bought outside UPenn-Aetna, can deny your application for insurance for pre-existing conditions or have the Right of Rescission.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    Thanks for checking, nysmile. I only looked up the cost of attendance. The total cost seems to have gone up quite a bit over last year. We had a waiver, however.
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  • arabrabarabrab 5884 replies77 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,961 Senior Member
    Unless the rules have changed (which is certainly possible) the school cannot authorize your student visa without ensuring that you have coverage that meets the minimum requirements established by the state department -- and the state department's minimum requirements were substantially higher than many of the school medical plans offered to US students. I believe that the requirements included a fairly low deductible, and did not allow the low kind of maximums found in many school policies. It may have required medical evacuation or repatriation coverage, though I don't remember that. There may have been an exemption for Canadians.

    I'd be sure to speak to someone at the international students' office at your school before making any decisions about this -- your choices may be more constrained than you realize.
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  • CrewDadCrewDad 1697 replies24 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,721 Senior Member
    F 1 student visas don't require insurance. It's a state or individual college requirement.
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  • lje62lje62 5517 replies101 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,618 Senior Member
    depending on what state you wil be attending college in , the prices will vary. We opt out of the college health insurance plans because our plan ( which we have to pay for out of pocket ) is comparable, if not better than what the schools offer and meet the state requirements
    Welcome to the USA
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  • percussiondadpercussiondad 472 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 503 Member
    CrewDad you are right that insurance is not needed for an F1 but the college would not accept our D unless we either took theirs or proved we had equal which in essence means no F1. We do have equal through my employer as an emergency medical plan with evacuation but my policy states that a student is only covered if they come home one weekend every 60 days and we must be able to provide proof of that. It was a whole lot less complicated to just take the college policy for the little it is costing us. We feel extremely lucky after reading some of these posts and seeing the cost medical insurance is for you.
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