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International Student Insurance Requirements for New College of Florida

July 16th, 2019 by Jennifer Frankel

If you will be attending the New College of Florida as an international student, then you will be required to enroll in a health insurance plan during the entire time you are enrolled in classes. In fact, students with F and J visas will not be able to register for classes until they present proof of insurance to the Counseling and Wellness Center of New College. 

Our Student Health plan is available in four levels, the Smart, Budget, Select and Elite – and all four levels will meet your school’s health insurance requirements. Depending on your budget and benefit needs, your plan will cover you for accidents and illnesses, including doctor visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, medical evacuation, repatriation, mental health, and more!

For a student aged 18 to 24 years old, the prices are as follows:

  • Smart level – $29 for one month or $348 for one year
  • Budget level – $43 for one month or $516 for one year
  • Select level – $89 for one month or $1,068 for one year
  • Elite level – $164 for one month or $1,968 for one year

You can purchase the plan right online with same day coverage, and you will have your documents instantly to show proof of coverage to your school.

For more information about the plan levels and your school’s requirements, you can visit New College’s Edward thrown dining so he my around to for more information. 

Provider Network changes on the Student Secure and Atlas Travel plan

July 2nd, 2019 by Alexis Ponce

For students or travelers coming to the United States, the StudentSecure and Atlas Travel plans will be switching their PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) to the UnitedHealthCare Network for plans that are purchased as of July 1st, 2019! This update will apply in the following situations:

  • If your home country or country of citizenship isn’t within the European Union (EU), your plan will use the UnitedHealthcare network.
  • If your home country or country of citizenship is part of the European Union (EU), your plan will continue to use the First Health Network. 

If your home country and/or citizenship is listed below, your plan will continue to utilize the First Health Network. 

EU Countries

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

EU Territories

Azores, Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Madeira, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion, and Saint Martin.

EU Economic Area Countries

Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Norway.

Please note: Plans purchased prior to July 1st, 2019 will still use the First Health Network, no matter what your home country or citizenship is, even upon extension or renewal. 

If you have any questions about how to find a provider in your area, or if you are unsure which provider network your plan uses, please contact us and one of our licensed insurance agents will be happy to help. 

Vision Care in the US for International Students

June 25th, 2019 by Yessica Prato
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At International Student Insurance, we receive many calls every day from international travelers and students like you, asking us about health insurance plans for when they start their studies in another country. Many of them also inquire about vision coverage. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that approximately 1.3 billion people live with some form of visual impairment. In the era in which technology is part of our daily life, caring for your vision is very important. The artificial lights of the offices and the screens of our computers and cell phones are quite harmful to our eyes. That is why in this blog we will give you some options on how to take care of your vision when traveling or studying in the US.

Vision insurance plans

The first thing you should know when traveling to the US is that the healthcare system is very different from what you may be used to in your home country. Health insurance plans within the US do not cover everything 100%. In addition, medical insurance does not always include vision coverage. Many times, you should buy vision insurance separately. Some of the companies that offer vision insurance plans include:

  • VSP
  • EyeMed
  • United Healthcare
  • Humana

These insurers offer plans that cost between $12 to $60 per month depending on your age, how many people are covered under  the plan, if you consume tobacco, and the amount of benefits they offer. With an insurance plan, you usually have a copay between $10 and $25 for your eye exam. After this, depending on whether you are looking for glasses or contact lenses, you will have coverage up to a certain amount.

Emergency eye exams

During your trip, it is important to be prepared for any situation. In the event that your glasses or lenses are lost or damaged due to an accident and you require an eye exam to obtain a new pair, some plans cover the cost of an emergency eye exam. Here we give you two options that will cover your eligible medical expenses as well as an emergency eye exam:

Atlas Travel Plan

Patriot Travel Plan

– Maximum coverage $50,000 – $2,000,000
– Hospitalizations & doctor’s visits
– Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
– Extreme sports
– Emergency Eye Exam
– Standard or Platinum levels offer coverage up to $8.000.000
– Deductibles $0 – $25.000
– Hospitalization and doctor’s visits
– Medical Evacuation and Repatriation
– Emergency Eye Exam
Apply now – Atlas Travel
Apply now – Patriot Travel

What happens if you do not want a vision insurance plan?

As an international student, it is normal to worry about your finances while you are abroad. Maybe having a vision insurance plan is not one of your priorities. If you do not have vision insurance, you can get eye exams at chain stores like Walmart or Target for around $50 USD. Or if you need a specialist, you can go to an optometrist for around $250 per consultation.

After having your eye exam you will get prescription for glasses or contact lenses. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can now buy almost everything directly online and your prescription will arrive at your home in a few days or weeks. Including glasses and contact lenses! Vendors such as Zenni Optical or GlassesUSA offer glasses from $6.95 plus shipping. You simply send them a photo of your prescription and choose the glasses you want.

More options

If you are one of those people who do not like to order things online and wait anxiously for weeks to arrive, you are not alone! Many people prefer to buy their glasses or contact lenses the same day they have their eye exam. Some specialized retailers like America’s Best offer promotions where they give you a free eye exam if you commit to buying two pairs of glasses for around $69.95 USD.

As you can see inside the US, vision care is of great importance just like anywhere in the world. There are many options so you can get the care you need according to your budget.

Health Insurance for students on OPT

June 21st, 2019 by Alexis Ponce

If you are going to be an international student on Optional Practical Training, or OPT, you may no longer be eligible for your school’s health insurance plan. Depending on your employer, you may get health insurance through your company, or you may need to purchase your own individual health insurance policy. It’s important to remember that the US is one of the most expensive countries for health care services, and an emergency visit can add up to thousands of dollars. To make sure you are not paying thousands of dollars in medical bills, your new insurance plan should begin when your university policy ends.

At International Student Insurance, we offer different health insurance options for students on OPT. These plans are flexible, allowing you to purchase as little as 5 days (which can be especially important if your employer’s insurance plan will not start for a few months), and we offer different levels of coverage to suit your individual needs.

The Student Secure plan is available in  four levels: Smart, Budget, Select and Elite, offering coverage including:

Student Secure

– Inpatient and outpatient services

– Prescription medications

– Mental health

– Pre-existing conditions (acute onset only with the Smart level)

– Emergency medical evacuation/ repatriation

– Maternity and Sports Coverage (Budget, Select and Elite plan only)

– Personal Liability (Elite plan only)

The Student Secure plan can be purchased from as little as 15 days up to one year, with the option to renew up to four years. Plans are flexible allowing you to extend coverage as you need it, and you can also pay monthly as well.  This plan starts at as little as $29 per month!

*Quote provided for ages 18-24.

Atlas Travel

The Atlas Travel plan is an excellent option while on OPT and allows you to choose your deductible ($0 to $5,000) and policy maximum (from $50,000 to $2,000,000). You can have coverage for as little as 5 days up to one year, and benefits include:

– Inpatient and outpatient services

– Prescription medications

– Emergency medical evacuation and repatriation

– Extreme sports

– Personal liability and more!

If you want to know more about these plans or would like us to guide you towards the best plan option for you, please contact us!  Any of our representatives will be happy to assist you and address any insurance questions you may have.

Extreme Sports: what are they and does my insurance plan cover them?

May 16th, 2019 by Leah Hammond

Do you enjoy the adrenaline of jumping from an airplane, with just a parachute attached to your back? What about the feeling of zip lining from tree to tree with the views of the jungle surrounding you? If you like to live life on the edge, then extreme sports are for you. Extreme sports are all about exhilaration, thrill, and the element of danger and are often a great activity to partake in while on vacation. With the excitement of planning your upcoming trip, you may not think about the importance of making sure you have health insurance in place that includes coverage for these high-risk activities.

What are Extreme Sports?

While there is not a set definition of what makes a sport extreme, these sports are typically described as high-risk, athletic activities that are perceived as dangerous and get your adrenaline pumping.

Activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, whitewater rafting and kayaking, cave diving, zip lining, and paragliding are all considered to be extreme sports.

These sports are a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and to try something that you may have never dreamed of doing! The most basic extreme sports are normally supervised by a professional and may not be considered as dangerous as some other extreme sports, so it’s always important to remember your limitations and stick with what you’re comfortable with.

Does My Health Insurance Cover Extreme Sports?

Generally speaking, most extreme sports are likely not covered under your standard travel insurance. For the daredevils out there, you’ll want to make sure that you purchase a health insurance plan that includes coverage for these types of activities so you’re protected in case of an unexpected accident or injury. But how can you tell if your health insurance plan will cover these activities? Before purchasing a plan, you should review the policy information to confirm the coverage details or contact the company directly to discuss the benefits and find out what your options are. If you already have a plan but are not sure what’s included, it’s best to call the number on the back of your insurance ID card to verify your benefits before you leave for your trip.

What are My Insurance Options?

Here at International Student Insurance, we offer two great plan options that allow you to add additional coverage for select adventure sports.

The Patriot Plan is a travel medical plan that allows you to add an optional add-on rider to cover you while you are traveling anywhere outside of your Country of Residence. This is a great option for short term coverage while on vacation when you know you’ll want to experience the thrill of extreme sports.

The Student Health Advantage plan is a great option for students who are traveling outside of your Country of Residence. The plan allows you to add an optional add-on rider to cover select adventure sports and would be a great option if you are a full-time student and know you may want to participate in different extreme sports during your time abroad.

Before you embark on your next adventure, make sure that you have a health insurance plan in place to cover you for the unexpected. If you need help choosing the best option for you or have any questions about what adventure sports are covered under our plans, please contact our friendly customer service representatives.

Student Secure Plan Updates 2019

May 15th, 2019 by Leah Hammond

As of May 15th, 2019, our popular Student Secure health insurance plan will offer more comprehensive coverage on select benefits. The main highlights of the plan updates include:

  • The Budget level of the plan now includes higher coverage for mental health with a 30 day maximum for inpatient treatment and a 30 day visit maximum for outpatient treatment.
  • The Repatriation of Remains benefit has been increased on the Select level from $25,000 to $50,000 in coverage.
  • The Elite level now offers a $5,000,000 policy maximum.
  • All four levels of the plan now offer coverage for self-inflicted injury and suicide, meeting many different school requirements around the country.

About the Student Secure plan

The Student Secure plan provides student health insurance to both international and study abroad students who are studying outside of their home country either in the USA or around the world. This comprehensive student health insurance plan comes in four different levels – Smart, Budget, Select, and Elite – and offers coverage on a monthly basis that will meet and exceed many school and government requirements. The plan is a perfect option for students on a J1 or F1 visa in the United States, and can even be purchased by OPT students.

For a full list of the newly updated benefits of the Student Secure plan, please visit our benefits section.

If you would like to receive a free quote:

If you have any questions about the Student Secure plan, please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team.

Patriot Travel Plan Updates 2019

May 1st, 2019 by Yessica Prato

Beginning on May 1st, 2019, the Patriot Travel Standard and Platinum plans offer more comprehensive coverage at better rates.

For our Patriot Travel plan – Standard and Platinum levels, the plan now includes the following coverage:

  • Coverage for Bedside Visit, Emergency Eye Examination, Pet Return, Small Pet Common Carrier Accidental Death, and Natural Disaster Evacuation has been added
  • Coverage for Emergency Reunion, Political Evacuation and Repatriation, and Return of Minor Children has been increased to $100,000
  • Personal Liability coverage has been increased to $25,000
  • Coverage for Lost Checked Luggage has been increased to $500
  • The Patriot Standard plan now offers policy maximum options ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000, while the Patriot Platinum plan offers policy maximum options ranging from $2,000,000 to $8,000,000
  • The option to add additional coverage for Adventure Sports, Enhanced Evacuation, and Enhanced Accidental Death and Dismemberment is available

New PPO Network in the United States

Of these changes, the most notable is that the plan now uses the UnitedHealthcare Network as the preferred provider organization when seeking treatment in the United States!

The UnitedHealthcare Network offers excellent plan recognition with over 7,700,000 contracted healthcare professionals and 6,600 hospitals! By going in-network, providers are typically able to direct bill the insurance company, meaning no upfront payments at the time of treatment.

You can find providers in your area that accept this network here:

About the Patriot Travel Plan

The Patriot Travel Medical plan is a great option for individuals and families who are traveling abroad and is designed to provide coverage for illnesses and injuries that happen unexpectedly. Both the Standard and Platinum levels of the plan now offer coverage for anyone who is traveling outside of their Country of Residence – no matter what their Country of Citizenship is!

The plan also includes travel benefits such as Emergency Evacuation, Repatriation of Remains, Identity Theft, Trip Interruption and more.

For a full list of the newly updated benefits of the Patriot Travel plan, please visit our benefits section.

If you would like to receive a free quote, click here:

If you have any questions about either plan, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

How to get free or low priced prescription drugs

April 15th, 2019 by Ross Mason

You will often hear that healthcare is expensive in the USA, and until you actually experience it, it may be hard for you to really understand how expensive it can actually be. One aspect of this is prescription medications, and in this blog post we are going to focus on this and how you can obtain free or low-priced versions.

What is a Prescription Medication?

You may not be familiar with this term, but we are pretty sure you will all have taken prescription medications at some point in your life. Prescription medications are any drugs that your doctor recommends you should take. If you are sick or injured, your doctor will give you a special document (the prescription) that you will need to hand over to a pharmacy so they can provide you with the medications. These medications are usually only available with a prescription from a doctor, they cannot be purchased or taken without one.

Over-the-Counter Medications

You should not confuse a prescription medication with an over-the-counter medication. The difference between the two is that an over-the-counter medication is one that can be purchased without the need for a prescription from a doctor. In many cases your insurance plan will not cover the cost of an over the counter medication, but only for specifically prescribed medications, so it’s important to know the distinction.

Medications and Your Insurance Plan

Insurance plans vary in what they will cover, and this is also true when it comes to prescription medication coverage. Some plans will only cover certain drugs, others will cover all drugs but only a fixed percentage, some plans will cover all inpatient drugs but only a portion of outpatient drugs, so you will need to review your insurance coverage to find out what your plan specifically covers.

For nearly all international insurance plans, the way you get reimbursed for your prescribed medications is usually always the same. Some plans may have a special drug card, but this it not that common, so that means you will have to pay for all your medications upfront and then submit your receipts with a claim form to be reimbursed. Oftentimes some drugs can be hundreds of dollars (depending on the drug) so this can be a hard pill to swallow!

Free or Discounted Drugs

The good news is that there are some good free or discounts drug options that are available to students. It could be dependent on your location in the USA, but with a little bit of research (and our handy blog post here) you might be able to save yourself some money!

Here is a list of some of the programs that are available:

  • ShopRite – this grocery store chain, that has in-house pharmacies, offers a free diabetes medication program. You can learn more about this on their website.
  • Publix – another grocery store chain, that also has in-house pharmacies, offers a free medication program for selected medications as long as they are prescribed by your doctor. They also have a discounted list of drugs that will only cost you $7.50.
  • Walmart – everybody knows Walmart and they have locations all over the USA. Take your prescription to their pharmacy, and as long as its generic form of the drug, it will only cost you $4!
  • PriceChopper – another grocery store in the USA that offers free diabetes medication and discounted generic drugs that starts from just $3.99!

Discount Drug Cards

The other way to get discounted prescription drugs is through a discount drug card, which are becoming more popular in many international student insurance plans. These drug cards work by giving you a discount on popular medications, and while they are not a direct insurance benefit, they do give you instant savings. To use your discount drug card, you will just need to show the card to the pharmacy and they will automatically apply the discount. You might need to register your card beforehand and the cards are oftentimes only accepted at certain pharmacies, so be sure to check ahead of time.

Online Pharmacies, Great Savings?

While the idea might sound nice, and you could be lured into great savings and discounts, we typically do not recommend that you use online pharmacies to fill your prescriptions. There has been a sharp rise in online, fake pharmacies that have scammed customers out of their money or provided the incorrect medications. With all the options listed here in the blog post, you should hopefully have a few options to lower your prescription medication costs.

Hopefully this has provided you with all the details you need about pharmacies, prescription drugs and how to get cheap or low-cost drugs! Please contact us if you have any questions, or would like to know how our plans work with prescription drugs.

International Travel Medical Insurance Changes for 2019

April 1st, 2019 by Leah Hammond

The 2019 Atlas Travel Medical plan changes were rolled out as of April 1st, 2019 and there are some notable benefit updates.

The Atlas Travel plan is a great option for those needing coverage outside of their home country for as little as 5 days up to one year. Whether you need insurance for a quick vacation or a long-term study abroad trip, the Atlas Travel plan will provide you with the peace of mind to know you are covered in case something unexpected happens.

The plan updates for 2019 include:

  • New benefit for a lost or stolen passport or travel visa, up to a $100 maximum
  • Lost checked luggage coverage increased from $500 to $1,000
  • Personal liability coverage increased from $10,000 to $25,000
  • Accidental death and dismemberment decreased from $50,000 to $25,000
  • Emergency dental for an acute onset of pain increased from $250 to $300
  • 100% coverage on eligible medical expenses, after the deductible, up to the plan’s policy maximum, no matter where you seek treatment!

Please note that children under the age of 9 were previously free on the plan when purchased with an adult, however, this is no longer available.

You can view a more detailed summary of benefits for the Atlas Travel plan on the benefits page.

The plan also works well for dependents or traveling companions, it will meet the J visa requirements, as well as the Schengen Visa requirements, and can be used during your OPT period!

To generate a quote or to purchase the plan right online, please click below:

Our insurance experts are on hand to help you with your insurance purchase, or to answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the Atlas Travel plan!

Filing a Claim with the Student Health Advantage or Patriot Plans

February 20th, 2019 by Jennifer Frankel

If you get sick or have an accident while covered on the Student Health Advantage or Patriot plans, then you will need to file a claim with International Medical Group (or, IMG). This blog will walk you through the steps of filing a claim, which we hope you find quick and easy!

Step 1. Go In-Network

Both the Student Health Advantage and Patriot Plans use the First Health network. Bring your ID card when you go to the doctor, hospital, or clinic so that they have your insurance information. If you don’t have your card, be sure to contact the provider and give them your insurance information. You will likely only need to pay for the deductible when you go for treatment as long as you go inside the network.

Precertification: Please note that pre-certification is required for all hospitalizations, surgeries, CAT scans, MRI’s, maternities, treatment in an extended care facility, home nursing care, prosthesis, and durable medical equipment. This requires that you call the number on your ID card as soon as possible, or prior if possible. You can also pre-certify online through your MyIMG portal.

Step 2. Submit A Claim Form

Every new condition will require a claim form to be submitted directly to [email protected]. If you had an accident, you will need to submit BOTH the claim form and the accident claim form. Prescription medication also requires you to submit the initial prescription from the doctor along with the pharmacy receipt as this is only paid via reimbursement.

A new claim form is needed for every new accident or illness, but you do not need to submit another claim form if it’s for a follow up visit. You will have 90 days to submit this, and you can send this along with any bills or receipts you received when seeking treatment.

IMG will accept claims in any language or currency.

Tip: If you paid out of pocket, ask your medical provider for an itemized bill and your medical records at the time of treatment in case this is requested.

Step 3. Wait for the Claim to Be Processed

Claims typically take 30 business days on average once all of the necessary documentation is received to be processed. After about a week, you can check the status of your claim in the MyIMG portal, emailing [email protected], or by calling the number on the back of your insurance ID card to see if they are missing any additional information.

Step 4. Receive Explanation of Benefit and Reimbursement/Payment

Once a claim is processed, you will receive an explanation of benefit (EOB) in the mail detailing what was and wasn’t covered, and why. If you went in the network and provided your insurance information, the insurance company will pay the provider directly. If you went outside the network, or paid out of pocket, then the money will be reimbursed to you either by check or wire transfer (you would indicate your preferred method on the claim form). The EOB will also be available for download through your MyIMG portal.

Step 5. Pay Your Provider

If you had any out of pocket deductibles, copays, coinsurance, or if there were uncovered benefits, you will be responsible for paying this directly to the provider. To know how much to pay, refer back to the Explanation of Benefits.  

If you have any questions about your claim, please email [email protected] or call +1 (800) 628-4664 (in the US or Canada)/+1 (317) 655-4500 (internationally).

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