Students in USA

Best Health Insurance for Students in USA


For a student, regardless of which part of the world they belong to, getting admission into an American university is no less than a dream come true. And, US universities have been more welcoming of international students in recent times, where Florida Institute of Technology saw 33% of its students at the bachelor’s level from countries other than the US in 2015-2016, while University of California, San Diego, gave admission to 22.8% students from abroad.

An article published by US News in September 2017 stated that to combat the biggest issue of money among many prospective international and domestic students, many universities are offering financial aid. The article went on to say that 425 schools in 2016-2017 awarded financial aid to more than 40% of their international students.

Related: Best Health Insurance for Visitors to USA

Why Students Need a Good Health Insurance Plan

In order to study in the USA, international students need to obtain an F1 visa, issued by the US Department of State. Students can apply for the F1 visa once they have been accepted at an academic institution in America.

Although there is no government-related health insurance requirement for the F1 visa, given the number of international students seeking medical help every year, international health insurance is made mandatory by academic institutions. A student cannot register for a class without showing proof of a valid health insurance plan.

So, what are the options for such insurance? Here are a few plans that students can choose from to cover themselves against the high cost of healthcare in the US.


If you’re traveling this year, I recommend getting a travel insurance plan, so you can avoid expenses during an unfortunate event. I suggest Atlas America.

4 Best Health Insurance Plans for Students

Let’s take a look at the best insurance for students in the USA.

Patriot Exchange Program

Underwritten by Sirius International, the Patriot Exchange Program is a comprehensive medical coverage plan that pays for any medical emergency, injury or accident that might occur during a student’s stay outside their home country.

The plan also covers the cost of prescription drugs and dental emergencies up to $350. Just like a travel insurance plan, this health plan also covers for the loss of checked luggage.

Student Secure

Underwritten by Lloyds, Student Secure is an international student health insurance that offers coverage from one month to 1,456 days. It allows you to choose from four levels of coverage, Elite, Select, Budget, and Smart.

This is a great product, where each plan covers medical expenses, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation of remains to the home country. The Elite and Select plans also offer optional coverage for kidnap/ransom crisis, along with accidental death & dismemberment benefit.

Atlas Exchange

This is a comprehensive plan designed for F and J visa holders entering the US for study purposes, research, and participation in a cultural exchange program. The plan covers any newly emerging medical condition, accident or injury.

However, the policy does not cover any kind of daycare, check-ups, immunization or maternity issues. You can choose coverage of $100,000, $250,000 or $500,000, depending on your needs. Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll be covered for a pre-existing condition to a maximum of $500, after 6 to 12 months from the date the plan becomes effective.

Student Health Advantage

An excellent medical insurance plan, Student Health Advantage allows you to choose from two variants, Standard and Platinum, where both offer benefits of health insurance. However, they also offer coverage for mental & nervous disorders and substance abuse. The Platinum plan also offers maternity coverage. The plans provide cover for groups of five or more individuals and their dependents.

Check out all the best plans here.


If you’re traveling in 2021, I recommend checking out the updated travel rules for USA.

What is included in student health insurance?

Most of the popular health insurance plans for international students include the following features.

Trip interruption – In case you have to return to your home country during your study years, provided the reasons are covered by the policy, your additional expenses will be covered by the insurance company.
Reasons usually include the death of a parent, accidents at the house, flood, etc. (Depends on each plan, please check with the provider).

PPO Network access – If you get sick or have to visit a hospital/doctor, most student health insurance plans have several hospitals under it’s PPO network that you can use. (Depends on each plan, please check with the provider)

Emergency expenses – If you fall seriously sick or met with an accident during your study years and need hospitalization, student insurance plans will cover your transportation charges and expenses. (Depends on each plan, please check with the provider)

There you have it. Four best insurance plans for students in USA. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.


Having lived in 3+ countries, worked for companies small and big in the USA, Middle East & India, I have a lot of experience to share about international travel, immigration and living as an NRI in the US. Add me on WhatsApp if you have any queries (+1-408-489-4785)