Very often international students in USA are invited for OPT before their graduation. OPT means optional professional training.
It is always a good idea, because you can use your theoretical knowledge in practice. But you should get another health care insurance policy, because your insurance for students is not suitable already.
What is health insurance for OPT Students?
Health insurance for OPT students is the plan for students from another countries, when they stop their study in the college or university for some period and start working. Although their work is just the practical part of their education, they can’t use their student insurance policy.
This policy is given for people, who study the full day and visit their class regularly. If you have started your working career, you don’t spend the most part of your day in the college, so the policy becomes invalid.
Some students prefer to stay uninsured during their OPT period. They think, they are young and healthy enough and don’t need the coverage for medical care. But you are not allowed to stay uninsured. First of all, it is forbidden in USA. And then it is dangerous, because the OPT period is not short. It lasts from 6 months to a year – and even more, it depends on your occupation. No one can be sure, that during a year or even more he will stay healthy and won’t visit a doctor.
Unfortunately, you can’t be included in the health care insurance plan, that your employer have purchased for the workers in his office. You are a foreigner. You can’t be included in any kind of domestic insurance plans.
Why is it problematic to get health insurance for OPT Students?
Sometimes it is quite problematic for a student to get OPT health care insurance. There’s some dilemma in this deal. The school or college, where you study, is responsible for you and that’s why they won’t exclude you from their group insurance plan. They have invited you to study in their school and it was their idea to give you an opportunity to gain some practical experience in your profession. They won’t exclude you, but the insurance service provider will, because you don’t suit their demands already. You are working. You are getting the salary. So the student rates are not for you!
Thus you can get in a trouble, if you need some medical care and visit your physician. You are still included in your school insurance plan, but the insurer won’t cover you. To avoid this situation, you should care about your health insurance for OPT students in advance. Your school insurance provider may have plans for OPT students. In this case you can get the policy from them and apply for the discount. In any case, if you are OPT student, don’t forget to reconsider your health care insurance, otherwise you can have great problems.
How does the plan for OPT students look like?
If you sign the new insurance deal, the main question you have, is about the rates and the coverage. Don’t be afraid, as OPT insurance is still supposed for students, so the rates won’t be extremely high.
The monthly premiums and deductible can be various. It depends on your age, on the period of validity of your policy (professional training may last from one week to several years), on the amount of extra services. The policies of this kind are offered by various insurance providers and they have their own details of the deal and the rates may be slightly different as well.
But we tell about an average plan for OPT students for you to understand, what rates and coverage you should expect.
So, the average monthly premiums are about $45. The average amount of the deductible is $250. It is paid once during the whole period of validity of the policy.
If you apply for medical care and get the bill for less than $10,000, the insurance provider will cover 80% of the policy and you are to pay the rest. If your bill is more than $10,000 then the whole amount is covered by insurance company.
In this policy such options are included:
- Payments for unexpected illness or trauma
- Emergency evacuation
- Expenses in case of sudden death
If you plan to travel around USA or abroad during your training period, you may include travelling option in your policy. It will cost you some extra dollars, but the protection you will get during your travelling is worth them.
You can buy your OPT insurance plan online, if you have no extra time to call to the office of your insurer and pay a visit there.
What is not covered by health insurance for OPT Students?
There are some health care problems that are not covered by this insurance plan. You will pay for them out of pocket, if you meet them.
- Dental care
If you have any cavity problems, your visit to a dentist won’t be covered with health insurance for OPT students. Be ready to pay for it.
- Vision care
If your eyesight became wrong during your studying in USA and professional training, you will need eye-glasses. It isn’t covered by your insurer.
- Pre-existing health conditions
If you have had some chronic disease or disability before you have started your professional training, the medical care you will need in case of exacerbation will be paid by you. The insurance policy is supposed for unexpected injuries or illnesses, that couldn’t be predicted, when you had signed your insurance deal. All the other health conditions are not covered.
If you become pregnant during your professional training period, it will demand some extra cost from you. Regular visits to a doctor, medical exams and the expenses for childbirth are costly enough. They won’t be covered by the insurer, you should know it.
As you see, any problem has its solution. It is not an easy task to find the appropriate insurance plan for OPT students, but try your best and you will succeed!