International Student Health Insurance

International student health insurance is medical coverage designed specifically to meet the various needs of students studying abroad. Not only is insurance an important part of the student visa application process, but it also can help reduce out-of-pocket costs for unforeseen medical expenses.

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Who Needs International Student Health Insurance?

Anyone who’s planning on studying abroad should consider investing in a student health insurance policy that extends outside of his or her home country. Traditional, domestic insurance plans may offer limited or no international coverage, so it’s important to have a plan that can cover you abroad.

Why Do I Need International Student Health Insurance?

If you’re planning to study abroad, there are three key reasons why you’ll need an international student health insurance plan:

  • Visa/Proof of Subsistence: Most countries require incoming international students to possess a visa while studying abroad. Several of these countries, such as the United States, ask for proof of subsistence for things like food and medical expenses incurred while traveling.
  • Study Abroad Program: Many study abroad programs require students to either register for a predetermined plan or provide their own student medical insurance.
  • Unexpected Medical Costs: A plan can help mitigate spending resulting from unexpected medical costs. Students studying abroad, especially on a budget, should consider investing in a health insurance plan.

Is International Student Health Insurance Required for My Visa?

Every destination is different, so be sure to research your destination country’s visa requirements in order to know if you’ll need medical insurance. In the meantime, here are two frequently-sought visas that require insurance:

  • Student Schengen Visa: Non-European citizens who plan to study in Europe must apply for a student Schengen visa. The Schengen visa not only allows you to study in Europe, it also allows you to travel to other European countries that are part of the Schengen area. Learn more about student Schengen visas.

  • J-1 Visa: These visas are issued for international visitors enrolled in a short-term, work-and-study based exchange programs in the United States. The J-1 visa is perfect for anyone looking to:

    • – Gain work experience in the U.S.

    • – Learn and exchange ideas with American counterparts

    • – Plan to return to your home country upon completing your work program

Additional J-1 visa requirements exist for the type of medical insurance you possess. Both StudentSecure® plans and Atlas Travel® plans meet the J-1 visa insurance requirements:

J-1 Visa Insurance Requirements Atlas Travel StudentSecure
Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness

✔ Up to $2,000,000 in maximum coverage for those under age 70

✔ Coverage options begin at $200,000 per accident/illness and go up to $1,000,000

Repatriation of remains in the amount of at least $25,000

✔ Coverage is included in the overall maximum limit and begins at $50,000

✔ Plans cover repatriation of remains from $25,000 to $50,000

Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of at least $50,000

✔ $1,000,000 lifetime maximum for emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate facility. Costs for air or ground transportation ticket home are also provided.

✔ Plans offer coverage of $50,000 to $500,000 for emergency medical evacuation to the nearest appropriate facility. Costs for air or ground transportation ticket home are also provided.

A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

✔ Deductible options start at $0

✔ Deductibles range from $25 to $100

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Need a J-1 visa? Here’s a 5-Step J-1 Application Guide to help you get started!


What Type of International Student Health Insurance Should I Get?

The plan you should purchase depends on the amount of coverage you want as well as your budget. StudentSecure offers four medical plans to help align with your study abroad expectations.

Each plan meets the requirements for J-1 visas in the United States (including OPT). Anyone acquiring a visa for travel outside the United States will need to research the requirements specific to their destination country.

StudentSecure Plans


StudentSecure Elite:

This plan provides the highest overall maximum medical benefit of $1,000,000, as well as the lowest deductible amount compared to the other StudentSecure products.

For claims incurred inside the PPO network within the U.S. or claims incurred outside the U.S.: Elite covers 100% of eligible expenses after the deductible and up to the overall maximum limit.

For claims incurred outside the PPO network within the U.S.: Elite covers usual, reasonable, and customary charges.


StudentSecure Select:

This plan provides a $600,000 overall maximum per certificate period and a $300,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation Benefit.

For claims incurred inside the PPO network within the U.S.: Select covers 80% of the next $5,000 of eligible expenses after the deductible, then 100% to the overall maximum limit.

For claims incurred outside the PPO network within the U.S.: Select covers usual, reasonable, and customary charges.

For claims incurred outside the U.S.: Select covers 100% of eligible expenses after the deductible and up to the certificate period maximum.


StudentSecure Budget:

This budget-friendly plan includes a $500,000 overall maximum coverage limit and a $250,000 Emergency Medical Evaluation benefit.

For claims incurred inside the PPO network within the U.S.: Budget covers 80% of the next $25,000 of eligible expenses after the deductible, then 100% to the overall maximum limit.

For claims incurred outside the PPO network within the U.S.: Budget covers usual, reasonable, and customary charges.

For claims incurred outside the U.S.: Budget covers 100% of eligible expenses after the deductible and up to the certificate period maximum.


StudentSecure Smart:

This plan is designed for students searching for a more budget-friendly medical insurance plan. It provides a $200,000 overall maximum coverage limit and a $25,000 Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit.

For claims incurred inside the PPO network within the U.S.: Smart covers 80% of eligible expenses after the deductible, then 100% to the overall maximum limit.

For claims incurred outside the PPO network within the U.S.: Smart covers usual, reasonable, and customary charges.

For claims incurred outside the U.S.: Smart covers 100% of eligible expenses after the deductible and up to the certificate period maximum.

Who is Eligible for Coverage?

You must be a full-time student pursuing an education in a country in which you do not reside. If you’re planning to study in the United States and you hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa, the full-time student requirements can be waived. However, a copy of your I-20 or DS2019 may be requested to verify your visa.   

Check out more information about StudentSecure here.

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Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group international insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd’s, London. Tokio Marine HCC - Medical Insurance Services Group (MIS Group) is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies. Tokio Marine HCC - MIS Group has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd’s underwriting members of Lloyd’s Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency Ltd.