Student health insurance: Should you get extras?

Are you about to study abroad? If you’re ready to start a new adventure in your educational journey, here’s an important question: Do you have health insurance?

Health insurance for study abroad students is important, yet many do not realize it. It ensures that you get the best medical care without paying a lot of medical bills.

Healthcare, especially in some countries, can be very expensive. Many uninsured students don’t realize this – and it has resulted in them being forced to pay higher medical bills.

Although obtaining health insurance is usually part of your visa requirements, should you obtain additional coverage while abroad?

Most would not think so for several reasons: to save money, they consider it unnecessary, or their universities do not want it, to name a few.

F1 students in the US are not required to have health insurance. Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Supplemental health insurance for students: Is it really necessary?

Here is one reason why you should get health insurance: drug safety. It is difficult to predict what will happen outside – you can get injured and need medical attention.

That’s not all – many countries require their international students to have health insurance to enter the country. This includes the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, China, Japan and others.

Having said that, the official health insurance may not always be enough because it provides limited medical coverage, depending on the health insurance plan.

The UK National Health Service (NHS) cover, for example, only provides free support for the following:

  • Consult your GP
  • Medical assistance in an accident or emergency services
  • Medical treatment prescribed by your doctor
  • Women’s work
  • Parental services

Students must still pay for prescribed medications, travel vaccinations, dental and vision care, and special care.

Currently, those studying in the UK for less than six months are not covered by the NHS – they are only encouraged to get health insurance.

On the other hand, the US does not require F-1 visa holders to obtain health insurance, although many American universities have it as a requirement for enrollment.

Therefore, if you are registered for insurance under the National Healthcare scheme, read this policy to ensure that you are receiving adequate medical care.

Student health insurance: Is my existing insurance not enough?

Unfortunately, most local insurers only offer coverage in your country. This means that anything that may happen to you outside of your country may not be covered by the existing insurance.

It is good to do so check with your insurance provider if your policy covers you while you study abroad. Many insurance providers – local and international – offer health insurance for students at discount rates.

NYU student Reginald Williams works on his laptop at the newly constructed pedestrian mall with the Empire State Building in the background. Source: Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

Do I need additional medical treatment?

Now Health encourages international students in the UK to apply for health insurance, even if they already have NHS coverage.

This is because the additional cover allows you to receive proper care during your stay. They provide access to private health care providers and provide specialized medical and dental care.

In addition, in some countries, their medical systems may not be the best – some may have long waiting times, and the quality of their health care and hospitals may or may not be up to par.

Before applying for health insurance, check what your current plan covers. This way, you will have a clear idea of ​​the support you will need for your private insurance.

Finally, student health insurance is essential. Having one with good information will give you a peace of mind. Most importantly, it may seem like you’re burning a hole in your wallet, but what many international students have learned the hard way is that it’s better to be safe than sorry!