Can international students get Obamacare?
Wondering if international students can get Obamacare while studying in the United States? First, it’s important to familiarize yourself with is your student visa requirements. If you are a J-1 visa holder, the U.S. government will require you to have health insurance coverage while you are here studying. You do not need to have health insurance if you are on an F-1 visa.
Need health insurance while studying in the U.S.? Afraid of giant medical bills during your time doing so? Don’t worry. You have several choices.
Shopping the Marketplace
Your first choice is purchasing your own individual coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Get our free step-by-step guide to enrolling in Marketplace health insurance here. As a student visa holder, you are eligible to enroll in a Marketplace plan. You also can access subsidies based on your income. All plans offered through the Marketplace cover essential health benefits and have pre-existing condition protections. You should know that in the United States, coverage for dental and vision care is usually not included in a health insurance plan. You will need to buy this kind of coverage separately should you want it. You can call a HealthSherpa Consumer Advocate at (872) 228-2549 to learn more, or you can compare plans and see what kinds of subsidies you qualify for here. You can also put in your zip code below to see available plans.
Student health plans
You may also be able to enroll in a student health insurance plan offered by your college or university. Some schools will require students to purchase the school-administered student health plan. Other schools will require students to enroll in some kind of health insurance plan. This might be their plan or another privately purchased one. And then other schools will allow students to opt-out of holding health coverage while enrolled through a waiver. Again, be sure to check with your institution to understand your individual requirements and options.
Some companies offer individual health insurance plans specifically created for international students. It’s important to know that these plans may not have the same protections as plans offered through the Marketplace. Because there plans are not ACA-compliant, they don’t include ACA protections. That means no guarantees of an annual limit on your out of pocket costs, or coverage for essential health benefits. Make sure to check the details of these plans in terms of their coverage before enrolling.