When you’re an international student coming to the United States to study, it’s true that the process – from applying to the program of your choice, to getting your visa processed, to finally getting international student health insurance after you decide which program you’re going to go with – can be a tedious one.
But, what if you’re married and/or have children?
It seems like coming to the United States to study as a man or woman with a family can be even more of an excruciating process. After all, as a single student you’re only responsible for yourself. You only need to worry about getting one visa approval, and you only need to be concerned with finding a source of international student health insurance for one person.
However, if you’re a married student, and/or have children, you’ve got two or more people you need to worry about. Whether you’re a student who has a spouse and children back home that you’re trying to bring over here, or you’re trying to come to the United States along with your family, one thing is certain: you want to ensure your family can get access to medical coverage whether it’s through your international student health insurance or otherwise.
How is this possible?
No worries! There are, in fact, quite a few avenues you can take advantage of in order to ensure your family gets medical coverage just like you. Here are a few of them:
Your own international student health insurance policy
Now, undoubtedly, this is the most obvious option. Some colleges and universities offer group health insurance plans for their international students. Much like a traditional insurance policy you get as part of your benefits package at work, you can add dependents to it.
This would be compatible for anyone that holds a J2 or F2 visa, who are generally children and spouses of students. However, it may be possible that your school does not allow you to have dependents on your policy. If this is the case, jump to the next option.
This may seem kind of strange. After all, your family isn’t just visiting you, and why would they need travel insurance? We’re talking about needing medical coverage, not traveling, right? But that’s the thing; travel insurance for non-U.S. citizens coming to the United States is a source of medical coverage. Anyone covered under a visitor’s travel insurance policy typically can get medical coverage if they are staying in the United States from 5 to 364 days.
This would work out perfectly if you’re a visiting scholar at a certain university for only a semester or two and want to bring your family along with you. Yes, you would have to dish out some money of your own for these policies, but they can be quite affordable, depending on the carrier and type of plan you choose.
This is a type of insurance that is pretty flexible in who it can be applicable to, but likewise, it offers a plethora of benefits which are not restrictive. This type of policy is generally purchased by travelers who are going to be traveling outside of their home country, and 1) traveling for an extended period of time, such as an adventurous retired couple perhaps, or 2) by people who are anticipating living abroad for an extended period of time of up to one or even two years. And you can renew the policy if your time’s almost up.
This type of policy would be a great choice for you to purchase for your family if you know you’re likely going to have to stay in the U.S. for an extended period of time. As with visitor’s travel insurance, you would also have to pay out-of-pocket for this policy. But again, it can be affordable depending on the policy you choose and who you work with.
We hope we’ve given you some options with regards to ensuring your family access to health insurance just like yourself. Coming to a new country not knowing how you’ll deal with a medical situation, or if you’ll even have the money for it is a scary thought. So stay well-informed, and look into all your options so you and your family can have a pleasant stay in the United States!