To ensure that all students are adequately protected against unforeseen health concerns during their study period, universities and educational institutions require that international students arrive with appropriate health insurance coverage.
As an international student planning to study in the US, you need to show proof of international health insurance coverage as part of your university admission process. Insurance coverage must meet certain minimum levels in most universities and colleges, so it would be advisable to ascertain these details before taking a decision on the health insurance provider and policy.
In Canada, the healthcare system is administered by the provinces. As a consequence, the requirements for international students to access healthcare may differ across universities and provinces. Yet, irrespective of the exact university guidelines in each case, health insurance must be arranged before your arrival in Canada. This could, however, be as simple as registering yourself in the provincial insurance coverage or a compulsory enrolment in your university's health plan. Make sure you check the guidelines in the admission process of your university to ensure that you follow the process correctly.
International students from the European Economic Area (EEA), or countries with which the UK has a reciprocal health agreement, can avail the facilities of the UK?s state funded national health service, the National Health Service (NHS) for free. To see a list of these countries, please visit the NHS webpage. However, other international students, such as those from India, are best advised to take a suitable health insurance from their home country for the entire duration of their stay in the UK, since private health treatment can be very expensive.
In Germany, health insurance is mandatory for registering for classes. International students have three choices:
- State Health Insurance: Run by the German government, the State Health Insurance is usually mandatory for everyone, be it international students or German citizens. Check with the International Office of the University you are applying at, to know whether you have a choice between State and Private health insurance. The former usually costs less than 50 Euros per month.
- Private Health Insurance from Germany: Private health insurance provides more flexibility, choice and extensive cover. However, it is important to read the fine print and make the final decision only after thorough research, because one cannot easily revert to state health insurance after opting out of it once already.
- Private Health Insurance from India: Some German universities accept health insurance coverage taken in one?s home country. You will have to supply sufficient proof that the insurance will cover the duration of your entire stay and all expenses incurred in Germany. However, please check with the office of international affairs in your university to confirm your choices.
For more information, please visit the DAAD webpage on health insurance. Another helpful website is http://www.justlanded.com/english/Germany/Germany-Guide/Health/Health-insurance.
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