The basics
THE USA: Essentials - Must read

Essentials: Health and insurance in America

What health and possessions insurance do you need when you move to America? Read our guide to learn about America's healthcare system and you should be insured...

Healthcare and insurance in the US

Healthcare in America is quite a controversial topic which divides the nation depending on how much money you have. Unlike countries like the UK and Canada, healthcare is privatised and there is no free national service for individuals to rely on. Meanwhile as an international student moving to a new area with expensive belongings, you should have insurance to cover your possessions too.



Healthcare in the US

As mentioned above, healthcare in America is privatised. This means that you’ll receive a bill for any visits to a doctor or hospital treatment you receive. Therefore you need health insurance from an official provider like Medicare or ISO to pay any bills like these which may arise. If you’re studying in the States for at least 4 years, you’re likely to fall ill or suffer some sort of injury which will need medical attention. Health insurance will cover the cost of a wide range of medical procedures, from CAT scans and MRI tests to inoculations and operations.


While the American F1 student visa application doesn’t require students to have insurance, your university or school may do so. They will let you know the minimum cover you need and even suggest providers with information about how to arrange this. You will be expected to pay a monthly premium, the price of which will depend upon your level of insurance, state of health, lifestyle and other factors.


Make sure you read the terms of your insurance and what procedures and care it covers.


Read our interview with HCC Medical Insurance Services as they answer the most popular international student questions about healthcare in America.


You can also read our guide to health and sickness abroad, including what you need to pack before you leave and more.



Insurance in the US

You should also ensure that your possessions are covered by contents or possessions insurance. You’ll be moving to a new country with all your belongings, many of which will be expensive (tablets, laptops, phones) or of sentimental value; these can get damaged, lost or stolen in transit. Plus you’ll be living in a new accommodation with strangers too and you can’t account for someone leaving a door unlocked or breaking in (student premises can be a target for thieves).


Remember: you need your devices to stay in touch with family at home as well as to complete your academic work. Replacing or repairing these won’t just be troublesome (imagine something happening to your laptop the week before a deadline!) but expensive too.


Many banks like American Express offer possessions insurance to their customers which can make things simple if you are already a customer.



Start your journey to studying in America today - browse popular and highly ranked institutions, read guides and search for courses in the UK.



Read more:

‘The US higher education system... simplified’

‘Tuition fees in the USA’

‘Applying to study in the US’

‘Applying for a US student visa’

‘Student accommodation in the USA’

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About Author

Healthcare and insurance in the US

Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.


'Study in the USA' eBook

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