ISO Health Insurance and the Blue Cross Blue Shield are one of the leading health insurance services that a student temporarily visiting the U.S. can purchase. Unlike the F1 or M1 visas, the J1 visa requires a health insurance. However, considering the expensive healthcare in U.S., almost every college and university make it necessary for students to have a health insurance. Students are offered to purchase it themselves or a one offered by the institution.
ISO Health Insurance
- J1 visa: Buyers can purchase this insurance if they are a participant of ISO International Student Organization, who is also studying in the U.S. while temporarily living away from their permanent residence; have a current passport/visa and is a non-U.S. citizen. The medical expense benefit is $125,000 with $400 deductible per injury or sickness. The monthly rate ranges from $39 to $96 as per the age of the policyholder.
- F1/M1 visa: ISO Health Insurance provides an ‘OPTima Plans’ insurance for students holding this visa and have a current visa or passport. The probable policyholder is required to be a participant of ISO International Student Organization who is temporarily living away from home. The applicant must be a non-U.S. citizen who holds a valid Employment Authorization Document. The medical expense benefit is $125,000 with $400 deductible per injury or sickness. The monthly rate ranges from $39 to $119 as per the age of the policyholder.
The aforementioned information is of course, a brief summary and requirements of the different policies available for international students. A detailed PDF file is available in the ISO website.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS)
Blue Cross Blue Shield gives access to its insurances for international students through GeoBlue. GeoBlue provides customer service and medical assistants who can speak in foreign languages in order to communicate with their members.
It is eligible for international students living in the U.S. They have an app that can be used to help navigate treatment locations and translate medical terms. To find out more, visit their website.
Overall, the ISO Health Insurance website had a very detailed and to the point information compared to Blue Cross Blue Shield-GeoBlue website, which made it easy to understand.
All the information was on the table. This encourages prospective student policyholders to purchase the respective plans. Students are highly recommended to know which insurance company they trust and make the decision by knowing what they are going for.