Health Insurance for International Students in the USA

As an international student in the USA, it is important to make sure you are adequately covered in case of any medical emergencies. Health insurance is essential to stay safe and healthy while studying abroad. Healthcare is expensive in the US – without health insurance, even a routine visit to a doctor can cost you a lot. And if god forbid, you get an unexpected health scare or have to visit the emergency room, it can lead to debt and financial misery.

This is why being prepared is the best possible option you have. Luckily, most universities in the states provide straightforward and easy-to-enrol insurance programs for international students.

Visa Category

Below you will see some of the specific health insurance requirements by visa that is determined by the U.S State Department:

J-1 Visa J-2 Visa F-1 Visa M-1 Visa
Research Scholars, professors or exchange visitors on this non-immigrant visa are required to have health insurance for the duration of their program The spouses and dependents of J-1 exchange visitors are also required to be covered by health insurance for the duration of the program. International students who are holders of Fi-visa are not required by the US government to have health insurance. International students who are enrolled in the technical or vocational program are also not required to have health insurance.


Even though for international students (holders of F-1 and M-1 visas) the US government does not have health insurance requirements, many universities have their own insurance guidelines that students are required to fulfil in order to get into those institutions.

School-Sponsored/ Mandated Insurance Plans

As mentioned above, international students on an F-1 visa may require to follow the insurance guideline set by their institution. The student may be required to enrol into the school insurance plan or they may have an option of choosing their health coverage provider, it largely depends on the institute they are enrolled into.

There are three popular insurance situations you may find yourself in:

Mandatory Group Plan Mandatory Group, with the option to Waive No Set Plan
Some schools have a requirement that all international students enrol and pay for an insurance plan that the school have. International students have the option of either enrolling in the school’s insurance plan or they can enrol in the plan of their own choice – given they meet a list of requirements set out by the school. While not a popular option, some institutions have no set requirements for insurance for their international students. International students can, therefore, choose any insurance plan they want.

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Cost of Insurance For International Students in the USA

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of health insurance for international students who wants to pursue higher education in the USA. Factors such as:

  • The length of your course
  • The kind of coverage you are looking for

On average, it can cost up to $1500 to $2500 per year.

This was all that you needed to know about Health Insurance for international students in the United States of America. If you are a student looking for advice related to courses, universities and visa applications, we at Edvise Hub can provide you with perfect assistance. Reach out to us and book an online or offline session with our mentors to take one step closer to your study abroad dreams.