The United States is one of the most expensive countries in the world when it comes to medical expenses, which is why it is important that any international student have and maintain health insurance for the time they are in the United States. There is no universal or national health care system so in the US international students are expected to either have an insurance plan to help cover the costs or they should expect to pay the cost out-of-pocket. Many international students would be surprised to see how expensive medical care is, and while it’s first class care, one hospitalization could easily break the bank.
This is why more and more schools are requiring that their international students have health insurance. Some schools may leave students on their own to select their own plan, but oftentimes students will look for the more affordable and oftentimes less comprehensive option. Other times, schools may be dealing with an administrative nightmare where they are trying to figure out who has health insurance, what coverage they have, do they have coverage for the right duration, etc.? With so many questions, some schools are rethinking how they administer their insurance and opting for a group health insurance plan for their international students.
In this blog, we are going to look at the advantages of having a group health insurance plan in place for all of their international students and why this can ease administration and provide you and your school comfort that you have the right level of coverage in place for all of your international students.
Knowing that all of your students are covered isn’t always easy, but on a group health insurance plan you and your office are the ones to handle enrollments. This means that your office is the one to enroll students for the correct period. No more chasing down students for their proof of insurance or going back and forth on the correct period of coverage they should have. Now, you are the ones in control of which insurance plan your students have, the period they are enrolled, and you also have access to their policy documents in case any questions come up.
On a group plan, your office is the one customizing the benefits on your international student health insurance group plan. Oftentimes on an individual plan, students may look for the cheapest and you may not be familiar with all the different plans your students find. Will they actually cover your students if they get hurt or sick? Will they pay directly to the provider they went to? Does the plan have decent coverage? Having a group plan that you have designed ensures that your policy has the benefits that you deem as important – and you know everyone has the same level of coverage.
Calling a 1-800 number can be extraordinarily frustrating when you are trying to navigate a phone tree during an emergency. Having a group plan oftentimes means you have an extra level of support for you and your students to go to directly. At ISI, for example, we have a team of dedicated account managers that are assigned to each school. These account managers are on hand to help with any issues that arise, including in true emergencies such as hospitalization, medical evacuation, repatriation of remains, and more. You have a person that knows you, and that is there to help.
Students Know Where to Go
Every insurance plan is different and not all provider networks are equal. When students are on different plans, they may have specific providers that they can and cannot go to. When you have a group plan, you have one network of doctors, hospitals and clinics that students can use. You know how the plan works inside and outside the network, and you can be sure that your student’s insurance plan will pay directly and work with the insurance company to ease any financial burden.
Ease in the Claims Process
The US healthcare system can be difficult to navigate, which is why knowing how your insurance plan works is key. After all, claims are the reason you have insurance, right? If your international students are on multiple health insurance plans, then being able to navigate each one can be a challenge. One group health insurance plan for international students simplifies the process by only having to know one claims process – and to know it will work. You can also get an idea of what is going on with your international student body by looking at the claims report.
Many of our international students are abroad for one purpose – to get an education. But like with life, things come up and happen. With the costly medical care in the US, having health insurance in place for international students allows students to focus on what really matters, their education, regardless of the medical attention they will need while they are studying.