How to Get the Right Insurance for Your Study Abroad? Tips to Keep in Minds
Preparations for going to study abroad can take months. From getting prospectuses to filling up forms, applying for scholarships, writing exams, calculating expenses and booking air tickets - it is a massive task which needs meticulous planning. In the middle of all this, one not-so-minor detail is often overlooked - an appropriate insurance cover. Studying abroad can be a real adventure. Make sure to stay safe by having a good study abroad insurance.
Medical insurance is a must in universities in the Schengen area and USA, however it is optional in the UK, Singapore and Malaysia. The Australian government demands that students who apply for a student visa to Australia with a few exceptions sign up for OSHC, Overseas Student Health Cover which provides a basic medical and hospital insurance in Australia. You should not arrive in Australia before your OSHC is valid.
In UK, while you will come under the National Health Service or NHS that makes your medical expenses free of cost if you have a student visa in the UK, you might consider insurance for covering your belongings, important documents or any third-party personal liability, to make your stay protected.
In general, if you are a student with a student visa and your school/university isn’t taking care of insurance for you, you’ll need international student health insurance.
International Health Insurance is used by students, scholars, and faculty moving abroad for a long period of time and is often cheaper than regular health insurance. This insurance will cover your medical needs just like your insurance would back home. Even if the university or the country does not insist on your child having insurance, it is advisable to have one, as medical costs in developed countries are much more than in India. Here are few pointers to choose the right international health insurance plan:
- Check if the insurance coverage meets the minimum requirements of your school.
- Check the convivence of the care options provided under the insurance. Find out if you can visit a doctor, hospital or clinic under their coverage.
- Read the reviews of the insurance.
- Understand if the plan consists of pre-existing health conditions.
- Know beforehand if the plan covers any specific medications you need to take.
- Make sure that the plan meets your student visa requirements, this point being the most important factor in choosing an appropriate insurance.
Ideally, a good student insurance should cover medical situations, evacuation, personal liability and accident, tuition fee, sponsor protection and travel.
Choice of an ideal plan should depend on the parameters of – flexibility and size of the cover (sum insured), settlement of claim process and track record, tie-ups with nearby hospitals (in or around the campus) and other added benefits. Also, while choosing a plan, do not forget to read the details, especially the deductibles and sub-limits section. For instance, the Indian insurer may have a deductible of $100 while a plan provided by your college may have a deductible of $500.
This means if your hospital bill is $1,600, while the Indian insurer will reimburse $1,500, the college plan will get you only $1,100. If converted into rupees (at Rs 50/$) the difference is Rs 20,000. The best solution is to pick a plan that provides extensive coverage within your budget and complies with the university guidelines.