Faq’s About Health Insurance For Students Studying Abroad

Health insurance is the last thing on your mind when given the chance to study in a far-off land, immerse yourself in a whole new culture, and see a different and exciting corner of the globe? Lucky you! With the promise of welcomed adventure, novel experiences, and the formation of new friendships, you likely cannot believe your good fortune. But before launching into a celebratory routine of handsprings and cartwheels, you will still need to take care of that one small, but very important detail.

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Yes, before you step one Nike off American soil, you will need to make sure that you are covered in case you are injured or fall ill. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about international health insurance to get you started.

Why do I need health insurance?

Most national health insurance plans do not cover you while you are outside of the country, so you will want to check with your provider to see if this is the case. If your coverage does not include illness or injuries that occur overseas, you could face financially crippling medical bills. According to the Department of State’s “Students Abroad” website, a medical evacuation back to the United States could cost more than $50,000.

Furthermore, most University and College Study Abroad programs require participants to purchase international health insurance. Check with your educational institution to see what their insurance requirements are well in advance of your proposed trip.

How can I purchase an International Health Insurance Policy?

Your college or university may offer its students an international health insurance plan for the duration of their Study Abroad program. This is often a cost-effective alternative to purchasing a policy on your own.

If your school does not offer a plan, you can purchase one through an insurance provider. As “Health Insurance for Students” states, the internet is a quick and easy way to get a free quote on health insurance and comparison shop. If you’re not sure where to begin, “5 Things to Do Once You’ve Been Accepted to a Study Abroad Program” lists “Cultural Insurance Services International, World Nomads Insurance, ASA Inc., and International Student Protection” as reputable names in the international insurance business.

What features should I look for in an insurance policy?

It is important to select a plan that covers any pre-existing conditions. It is also a good idea to opt for a policy buy levitra sydney that covers emergency evacuation in the event of a natural disaster, political unrest, or a medical situation in which you need to be taken to a medical center with a higher level of care.

What should I do if I suffer from mental health issues?

Attitudes regarding mental health vary from one culture to another–meaning that the availability of mental health treatment depends very much on the country that you are visiting. The University of Chicago’s “Mental Health Abroad” advises students with psychological conditions to “give serious consideration to your personal circumstances when accepting a place in a program.” Discussing your travel plans with your mental health professional is highly recommended.

How can I improve my odds of staying healthy while traveling?

While it is impossible to avoid every pathogen and accidental mishap that may come your way, you can take measures to protect yourself from harm.

Practising good hygiene and wise eating habits will certainly help thwart disease. Try to avoid drinking from the local water supply as, in many cases, these are harbingers for harmful bacteria. Use bottled water–even to brush your teeth. Stay away from ice cubes. And avoid raw foods. Only eat fruits that you can peel yourself.

In countries known for insect-borne ailments, be sure to use insect repellent liberally and wear long sleeves and pants. Sleep with a mosquito net. And, don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

Before traveling, ensure that your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Also, check with your health care provider to see if your destination requires you to have any other immunizations.

How can I learn more about the place I will be visiting?

There are several websites that you can use to learn about health warnings, travel advisories and more.

The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travelers’ Health site, and the U.S. Department of State’s Travel.State.Gov. site are all helpful sources of valuable information. And don’t forget to register your trip through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. This enables the State Department to contact you in the case of an emergency in the area.

There. Now that you’ve taken care of your health insurance coverage you can return to doing cartwheels on the lawn. You are, after all, about to embark on the opportunity of a lifetime. Safe travels.

What health insurance advice can you offer someone who is embarking on a Study Abroad program?

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I am a freelance writer, avid blogger, illustrator, and aspiring novelist who thinks the world is a terribly funny place filled with bizarre things to observe--and, of course, comment on. You can follow her somewhat neurotic and OCD ramblings at The Embiggens Project and at Searching for Barry Weiss.

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