Insurance health

Top 10 Free Health Insurance Options for International Students

When you study abroad, you become an international student. This means that you are no longer a local resident of your home country and now live as a non-citizen in another country. You’re not a local resident, but rather a visitor or guest on a visa with limited rights and privileges. This presents unique challenges when it comes to financing your education abroad. Not only are tuition costs significantly higher than they would be if you were attending school at home, but the law does not always recognize international students as “residents” for the purposes of granting them access to affordable healthcare options as citizens or permanent residents. And each country has different requirements and ways in which students can get access to healthcare services at low cost or free of charge. Here is the list of top 10 free health insurance options for international students:

How to choose the best health insurance for students abroad?

A quick word on visa requirements

Most countries in the European Union grant international students access to their national healthcare systems. This is contingent on your visa. Make sure that your visa grants you the right to access healthcare or you run the risk of being charged an arm and a leg if you get sick or need to visit the doctor abroad. If you are covered by a national health plan, make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities as a patient and a member of a national health insurance system.

Healthcare options for international students

International students are often not eligible for state-sponsored social healthcare or national health insurance plans. And since most private health insurance policies do not cover international students, the costs associated with health care can escalate quickly. If you are covered by a national health insurance plan, you may have to wait for the enrollment period to begin to sign up for coverage. This could be a month or more after you arrive in the country. And most national health systems have a limited number of providers, which could affect your choice of doctor or hospital.

Singapore: Co-Sponsored Health Care Program for Students (CHCS)

In Singapore, the government offers a co-sponsored health care program for students. This means that you must sign up for coverage within a specific time period after you arrive in the country. After that, you become ineligible to sign up for coverage. There are a limited number of providers, but those are generally recognized as quality healthcare providers. The monthly premium is $25 SGD, and coverage is valid for a year.

Malaysia: MyKuali Live Smart Student Programme

In Malaysia, the MyKuali Live Smart Student Programme is a free health insurance program that offers coverage for both the treatment of chronic and acute conditions. The coverage is for inpatient and outpatient care, and there is also a cashless facility at public healthcare facilities. This program is open to all international students studying in Malaysia and takes no more than 15 days to sign up. There is a limit of $1,000 per each condition or a total of $2,000 per year of coverage.

Germany: International Students’ Health Insurance (ISHS)

In Germany, international students can sign up for the International Students’ Health Insurance (ISHS). Coverage begins on the first day of the semester or the first day of the Winter Semester (if you begin studies in the summer). The ISHS is not a public insurance program, rather it is offered by a private company that is approved to offer health insurance for international students in Germany. There are a limited number of providers, so you may need to change doctors if you don’t like the one you currently have.

The monthly premium is around €60-70, and coverage is valid for a year.

Netherlands: Nuffic Health Insurance Programme for International Students

In the Netherlands, the Nuffic Health Insurance Programme for International Students is a free health insurance program. Coverage begins from the day you arrive in the Netherlands. This program is available to all non-Dutch students who study at a degree granting institution in the Netherlands. The program covers inpatient and outpatient care and provides a cashless facility at public healthcare facilities. Students are allowed to switch health insurance companies once every year.

Switzerland: The Student Accident Insurance Program (STAA)

In Switzerland, the Student Accident Insurance Program is a student health insurance program that provides coverage for both the treatment of chronic and acute conditions. The coverage is for inpatient and outpatient care, and there is also a cashless facility at public healthcare facilities. The program is open to all international students studying in Switzerland and takes no more than two weeks to sign up. There is a limit of $1,500 per each condition or a total of $3,000 per year of coverage.

Denmark: Student Health Insurance Programme (SHIP)

In Denmark, the Student Health Insurance Programme (SHIP) is a public health insurance program for students. The SHIP is also open to exchange students, visiting doctoral students, and trainees. SHIP takes no more than two weeks to sign up, and coverage begins from the date of arrival in Denmark. The program covers inpatient and outpatient care, as well as some preventive care. There is a limit of $1,000 per each condition or a total of $3,000 per year of coverage.

Finland: University of Helsinki and Aalto University Student Health Services (EHAS)

In Finland, the University of Helsinki and Aalto University Student Health Services are public health insurance programs for international students. The programs are open to all non-Finnish students studying in Finland. The University of Helsinki SHS opens in September, and the Aalto University SHS opens in October every year. Both programs take no more than two weeks to sign up, and coverage begins from the first day of the semester. The programs cover inpatient and outpatient care, and there is a cashless facility at public healthcare facilities. There is a limit of $1,000 per each condition or a total of $3,000 per year of coverage.

Norway: Norwegian Organization for International Cooperation in Education (Norgesstudier)

In Norway, the Norwegian Organization for International Cooperation in Education is a public health insurance program for international students. The program is open to all non-Norwegian students studying in Norway. There are two parts to the program: The first part is an insurance that covers inpatient and outpatient care. The second part is a program that gives you access to the public healthcare system in Norway, including the public pharmacies and dental care. The program takes no more than two weeks to sign up, and coverage begins from the first day of the semester. There is a limit of $1,000 per each condition or a total of $3,000 per year of coverage.

## How to choose the best health insurance for students abroad?

When choosing a health insurance plan, you should keep in mind that you will be paying for it for a long time. You are probably going to be in school for at least four years, and many health insurance plans last for only one year. Make sure that you choose a plan that is within your budget, that has the right coverage, and that you can afford.

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