Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care and health system expenses, among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is available to pay for the health care benefits specified in the insurance agreement.
Imagine this scenario: Your 22-year-old daughter is traveling to the U.S. to pursue a degree in Earth and Environmental Science Journalism, and you choose not to opt for a domestic insurance and rather decide to take one from the U.S. Would that be a sensible move by you?
The most important thing to remember here is that each student traveling abroad, especially to popular destinations like Australia, US, or Canada, requires a health insurance.
However, let us make a comparison here to learn the difference in expenses if you opt for a domestic insurance instead of the one offered by the university.
A domestic health insurance can provide you coverage worth $500,000 at an approximate annual premium of Rs 47,000, whereas a basic health insurance at a US university worth $300,000 will cost you almost thrice the amount.
Why is it sensible to choose a domestic health insurance?
Medical care is an expensive affair, especially if you are overseas. In the US, medical bills can run very high and inadequate health insurance coverage can burn a hole in your pocket. When you conduct a research into the insurance offered by the foreign universities, you will see that not only is the coverage expensive, but also can be inadequate.
Should you buy insurance even if it is not mandatory in universities abroad?
There are several universities in the UK and universities closer home like those in Singapore and Malaysia where insurance is not compulsory. However, is not a wise decision to send your child abroad without a health or travel insurance just to ensure that your child stays protected in case of emergencies.
What if the university does not accept policies taken from the home country?
There are several foreign universities that do not provide you with the option to carry a domestic insurance. Then, you have to take the policy they are offering to you. In that case, before sending your child to the university, explore the coverage offered by the selected university, and then buy a domestic insurance policy to cover the areas this does not cover, like travel insurance, third-party liabilities, and sponsor protection.
Factors you should keep in mind before choosing the right policy
When you have the option to buy health insurance from your home country, the insurance policy should be such that it covers possibilities of all medical costs and emergencies during the entire period of your stay. Check the list of hospitals your insurer covers and their proximity to the campus where your child will be staying. Also, consider checking other important aspects like insuring personal liability, accidents, the loss of baggage, which would be automatically included if you purchased a comprehensive health insurance plan.
Many insurers are now providing facilities within their insurance policies that takes into account the damage done to the student’s property, in cases of racial discrimination or felony, and assault, compassionate visit of a family member, in case of hospitalization of the student, and reimbursement of the tuition fees in case the student is unable to complete the course for medical reasons.
Taking the leap
After you have made an assessment of all the aspects you need covered in the policy for your child, make sure you study the terms and conditions associated with it carefully. Often you may find that an insurer is charging high premiums while selling you the policy, but in reality, you may encounter several problems when you need to make a claim.
Make sure the policy you choose is efficient, comprehensive, and flexible in order to avoid any hassle in the future.