Student insurance is one of the most important stages of applying for a student visa and successfully enrolling in a foreign university.
An applicant may be surprised that in many universities insurance is a mandatory admission document. It might seem like a pure formality that only serves as an additional money drain. However, there are several reasons why you should purchase health insurance even if the university does not require it:
- In case of an emergency, a student without insurance will not receive the necessary treatment in another country;
- If you have insurance, medical treatment will be several times cheaper or completely free. For example, in Australia, a doctor’s appointment will cost at least 40 USD for a foreigner, but for a person with insurance, this service will be absolutely free;
- The presence of health insurance increases the chances of obtaining a visa significantly, and in some countries, it is a mandatory requirement for entry.
The cost of medical insurance for foreign students in popular countries
|Country||Min/monthUniversity insurance or state insurance||Max/monthdepends on services and coverage||Min coverage||Recommended coverage|
|US||30 USDuniversity insurance||700 USDprivate insurance company||50,000 USD||100,000 USD|
|Canada||64 USDVisitors to Canada Medical Insurance||159 USDStudents can apply for Health Card 3 months after the insurance application date, the period may vary depending on the province||19,900 USD||79,602 USD|
|UK||28 USDMandatory medical insurance fee — 207 USD per year from NHS, only applicable for Tier 4 visa holders||138 USDor 1,655 USD per year, the older the applicant the more in the insurance will cost||55,153 USD||137,883 USD|
|Australia||32 USDunder the mandatory OHSC incurance||883 USDthe absolute maximum cost, average prices depend on the insurance company and range from 110-294 USD||36,799 USD||73,597 USD|
|Germany||59 USDpublic health insurance Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung||130 USDHealth insurance from private companies||35,389 USD||58,981-117,963 USD|
|France||Freethrough mandatory French social security for domestic and international students. Covers 80-100 percent of medical expenses||118 USDin addition to mandatory social security, done through private organizations||35,389 USD||58,981-117,963 USD|
|Italy||9 USD116 USD per year, Generali Italia S.p.A insurance only covers urgent medical assistance||15 USDor 177 USD for Servizio Sanitario Nazionale from the National healthcare service of Italy; private insurance is much more expensive||35,389 USD||58,981-117,963 USD|
|Czech Republic||25 USDcomplex insurance||60 USD720 USD per year, covers almost all medical services||68,000 USD||100,000 USD|
|Austria||60 USD Selbstversicherung für Studierende program, a student receives an e-card||566 USDprivate insurance company||34,000 USD||58,981-117,963 USD|
*The table shows approximate prices, for more detailed information you can contact UniPage consultants.
Student health insurance
Health insurance provides the student with the necessary medical care in another country. The list of medical services covered by insurance usually includes:
- Medical examination by a doctor;
- Necessary diagnostics;
- Drugs prescribed by a doctor;
- Hospitalization and treatment in a hospital.
Depending on the student’s health status, insurance may include other services, but its cost will be higher.
Many standard insurance policies do not cover dentists, optometrists and physiotherapists.
Where is student insurance required?
Student insurance may be required or recommended depending on the country. Insurance is required in all countries of the Schengen area, Australia, Iceland, Canada, Turkey and South Korea. Many universities in the USA also require health insurance, although about 20% of American students study without health insurance.
Student insurance options
There are a number of large companies that insure tourists and students — they provide services for representatives of the majority of world countries:
- International Student Insurance;
- Aon Student Insurance;
- Allianz World;
- Tokio Marine HCC.
In addition to international companies, almost every country has a range of local insurance companies willing to offer students health insurance. The university itself can provide insurance services — this practice is especially common in American universities. Some companies also offer students to insure their personal items, such as smartphones, laptops, or even luggage.
Can I cancel student insurance?
Most of the insurances can be canceled if you:
- Left the country of study earlier than expected,
- Switched insurance provider,
- Did not arrive in the country of destination,
- Completed studies prematurely.
To cancel the insurance you will need to provide documents that confirm your situation. In case of a visa denial — a copy of the passport page with the denial. Documents are usually submitted online to an insurance company or universityif the student was insured by the university, and the amount of the insurance premium is refunded to the specified bank account.
Are deductibles included in student health plans?
Deductiblesa set amount of the medical or other costs a student needs to cover by himself before the insurance company covers the rest are very common in many insurance plans in the United States, where there is no compulsory health insurance — it can range from 250 USD to 5,000 USD. In European countries, deductibles in student policies are less common.
In principle deductibles are in place in order to make a person somewhat financially liable. For example, if you insure a car, damage it, and the cost of repairs is 7,000 USD, you will have to cover a set amount, say, 2,000 USD yourself and the rest will be covered by the insurance company. This system is in place to prevent abuse of the insurance policy. You are less likely to purposely damage your property if you have to pay for repairs alongside with the insurance company.