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3 tips on how to choose the right health insurance plan before studying abroad

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The preparation process before flying off to study overseas can be both exciting and tedious … There are a lot of details you’ll need to see to! But among the many bits and bolts, you mustn’t overlook getting insurance.

During your studies, you’ll essentially be far away from home and if anything should happen – *knocks on wood* – then at least it’s good to have an insurance plan to fall back on.

There are different types of insurance available to students, but in this article, we’ll be focusing on health insurance for international students.

1. Check the requirements

Insurance requirements will vary between countries and universities, so be sure to check or ask about it if it’s not been made clear to you. Many host countries or institutions will require students to be covered by an insurance plan before they commence their studies. Requirements may also differ depending on the type of visa you’re issued.

2. Do your research and compare plans

Once you have a clear idea of what kind of insurance you’ll need, you can check out your options. It’s not always a case of opting for the plan with the cheapest premium, so be sure to have a look around first and compare plans.

Some important things to consider will be what are the benefits covered and what it is excluded from the plan, as well as the maximum amount that will go towards a benefit. Some of the benefits usually covered in an international student insurance plan include visits to the doctor, hospitalization, prescriptions, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation. If you’re not sure and need some advice, you can seek help from a licensed insurance agent.

3. Read the fine print

As with anything involving contracts, you should always read the fine print before you sign anything. Health insurance plans often have exclusions (what is not covered in the plan), hidden limits (any limits or sub-limits on coverage), and waiting periods (the amount of time that must pass before a benefit will be covered) for different benefits, so be sure to read your policy carefully. You should also understand how the claims are processed and what they require so that you won’t be confused should you have to do it.

Image via Shutterstock

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