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Health Care Options for International Students

Getting sick or injured is never anyone’s idea of a good time. But when you’re living in a foreign country, trying to figure out how to get medical help, and trying to figure out health care insurance, can be difficult.

The U.S. government does not require holders of the F-1 visa to have health care. Many universities, however, will require foreign study students to have proof of health care insurance for admittance to the school.

Foreign students studying in the United States do have health care coverage options available.

First, look at what coverage your university offers for students. Because universities often have large numbers of students and staff enrolled in their coverage plans, your school might provide the cheapest option available. If for some reason your university doesn’t have a health care plan available, many private health insurance companies cater to international students studying in the United States.

Health care insurance not only provides financial assistance for bills related to illness or injury, but also can provide prescription coverage as well. Before traveling to the United States, ask your doctor about the prescriptions you take, and if they are available in the United States. If they are, you’ll have to visit a doctor once you arrive in the United States to get a new prescription created. Ask your home doctor to prepare a letter with your medical history information to present to your new doctor.

If the medications you take are not available in the United States, discuss with your doctor a plan you can follow to be certain you stay healthy while spending time in the United States.


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