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Health Insurance

batbat 213 replies42 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
edited July 2009 in Parents Forum
I tried starting a thread about this in another section but didnt get much of a response, and here's to hoping that the knowledgeable parents can give me some advice...

I'm an international student who has no experience with Health Insurance in the States.
I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania this fall and they have an insurance plan which costs around $2500. I don't know if its just me, but the figure seems quite high.

I was looking around the internet and found other insurance companies providing services starting from $600 per year and climbing to that $2500 figure.

I don't know which plan is adequate for a college student - i want something affordable but don't want to get into something that looks cheap but regret it, if the time to make a claim arises.

Do you parents know of any good insurance plans for college students which are both both affordable and provide adequate coverage.

Thanks in advance,

-Bat
edited July 2009
33 replies
Post edited by bat on
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Replies to: Health Insurance

  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida 4637 replies153 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,790 Senior Member
    This is a reputable company selling health insurance for college students, and has specific policies for international students. http://www.nssihealth.com/international.php We have an NSSI policy for our student for personal property.
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  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad 8506 replies67 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    Whatever you end up with make sure it meets the requirements of the university. Some universities will force you to purchase their health insurance plan unless you have one that meets their requirements regarding coverage limits, out of pocket expenses, location of doctors/hospital that'll accept the coverage, etc. It seems that this info would be on the U's website.
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  • nysmilenysmile 5753 replies97 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    You should probably stick with the insurance that the school is offering. The price isn't bad for one year of medical insurance and you'll have an easier time finding area physicians that will accept the plan.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 38241 replies463 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 38,704 Senior Member
    $2500 is more than my D's college charges for theirs, but is still very cheap by the US standards.

    If you want to find another plan to get a waiver, read your school's policy about waivers first - at my D's college, international students must buy the plan offered by the college and cannot get a waiver under any circumstances.
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  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 22635 replies127 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    $2,500 is high compared to what our kids' colleges charge but rates vary by a lot of different factors. A good family policy runs around $13,000 but college students are generally a healthy lot and it makes sense that their rates are a lot lower than what you get on the outside.
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  • LongPrimeLongPrime 5106 replies102 discussions- Posts: 5,208 Senior Member
    This is very high. I did a quick look at Independence Blue Cross, and they have a student insurance program that is more reasonable.

    Try contacting the foreign student union or your country's student association.

    Skype an insurance broker. Their fee is paid by the insurance company.

    Remember that the school has a student health clinic for shots, and common illnesses.
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  • percussiondadpercussiondad 472 replies31 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 503 Member
    You did not mention what country you are coming from. My D is headed from Canada to SUNY Potsdam and since we have our provincial health insurance all it is costing us is $85.00 per year.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    universities usually have two health insurance plans. The first is mandatory and covers emergencies and basic services such as flu shots. We had to pay for it even though S was attending college within walking distance of his own GP!
    For non-emergency issues such as check-ups, students are expected to enroll in another health plan unless they are already on their parents' plan and are able to have a waiver. We just went through the paper work for S who will be attending grad school in another state. He is on our family plan until 24. The university's health insurance office verified that our health plan covered medical care up to a certain amount and allowed for that care to be delivered in the new state.
    So, I think the $2500 must refer to both plans. If you want to sign up for a different plan than the one offered by your university, check with the insurance office that it will be acceptable.
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  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 22635 replies127 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    The mandatory plan is typically pretty inexpensive. I think that it was $75 for our daughter on the bill she sent me today. This is for one semester.
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  • nysmilenysmile 5753 replies97 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,850 Senior Member
    ^The $75 is probably the Health Services fee and not a medical insurance plan.

    We pay twice that for the Health Services fee at the colleges that our 2 kids attend.

    The OP needs to purchase Health Insurance. IMO, he should purchase the insurance offered by the college. $2500 for one full year of medical insurance is reasonable.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    Not at Harvard! If I remember correctly is was in the high 100s.
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  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 22635 replies127 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    Sorry - mixed them up. The insurance plan was $800+ and I'm not sure if that was for one semester or two. Son's uni insurance is over a thousand but I don't remember how much more.
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  • maritemarite 21343 replies243 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    I don't consider $2500 for one year's insurance reasonable considering that our family plan costs $4000. I'm pretty sure foreigners don't consider this reasonable.
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  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 22635 replies127 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    Is that family plan with an employer? Employers often pay a portion, sometimes a very hefty portion of health insurance for employees. Our health insurance probably costs around $13,000 but I pay a very small amount (maybe a few hundred a year) as my portion of the cost.
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  • HImomHImom 33856 replies387 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 34,243 Senior Member
    My kids' health insurance is about $400+ for fall semester & $600+ for spring + summer. It's considered reasonable & I'd agree that the first & best place to start is with the school you will be attending. Often they offer good terms and can guide you to be sure you have questions answered & forms completed properly. Different policies have different coverage & it's important to read & understand so you know what IS and IS NOT covered under the policy. If you buy a policy that is different from the one offered by your U, you have to be SURE it meets the requirements of the U or you will have to buy the U's insurance AS WELL as any other policy, which rather defeats the purpose.

    Good luck!
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