Complete Guide to Buying OPT Student Insurance

Complete Guide To Buying an OPT Insurance

With a total health spending of over 17 percent of the country’s GDP, the rising cost of healthcare in the United States has become a matter of concern. Especially if you are a student on Optional Practical Training (aka OPT), graduating from US schools, taking care of your living costs along with the medical bills during your OPT period can bring turmoil.

After all, working and that too in an unknown country is not an easy task. But should that stop you from chasing your dreams? Absolutely not!

OPT Students Insurance takes care of sickness and accident uncertainties so that you can focus on your growth.

International students on OPT are not full-time students and most schools will not let them stay on the school insurance.

The optional practical training is an absolute must to obtain valuable practical US work experience in the field of your study. OPT engagement often comes without medical insurance, so it is the student’s responsibility to address risk arising from hospitalizations, sickness, and injuries. You worked hard to complete your degree, and now you’re ready to perform in the practical field. Don’t let all your efforts go in vain due to some unforeseen misfortunes.

How does OPT insurance work for international students?

OPT is a work permit given to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students studying in the US on an F1 visa. These students after completing their degree course are given the opportunity to work and gain practical knowledge and exposure in their field of study. The duration of this training period is about 12 months and can be increased up to 36 months without the need of obtaining an H1B visa.

Since OPT students are not full-time students, they are more often non-eligible for school insurance policies. This in turn makes the hunt for affordable health insurance plans a pain.

Students on OPT who might have already taken student loans are no longer required to spend tons on expensive health insurance plans. With the availability of relevant and affordable OPT student health insurance, students can focus on learning, bidding goodbye to all those financial stresses.

What can happen without OPT students’ insurance?

Often it is believed that young students are strong enough and do not need any extra care for health. Of Course, they are, but during this period of growth and development, they are most vulnerable to pressure. It is quite common that the study pressure and general anxiety can add to normal risks of illness and accidents.

Along with that, staying in a new place and adjusting to the changes is challenging too. Anything can happen during this phase and not having OPT student insurance can be a nightmare. After all, the world is a scary place!

Without an OPT student’s insurance, even a normal doctor visit can cost you dollars, rest aside other medical problems. Accidents, food poisoning, or even the common cold can create a hole in your pocket. Without insurance, the cost of treatment can range between $300 to $20,000. Isn’t that horrifying?

But, with OPT student health insurance, you don’t have to worry about all that!

Some benefits of OPT student health insurance include:

  1. Medical coverage- It provides coverage for any injury caused due to an unforeseen accident or any other illness.
  2. Pre-existing conditions coverage- Not all students need coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, this has been made available for those students who are in need. Your hunt for an acute on set of pre-existing conditions coverage ends here.
  3. Emergency evacuation coverage- OPT students’ insurance policies also arrange for emergency transportation services so that you can avail of medical aid at the right time.
  4. Coverage for preventative care- “Prevention is better than cure”. Some plans can cover the expenses for preventative care.

Things to look for while buying an OPT Student Insurance policy

Now that you know why purchasing OPT students’ insurance is important, let’s discuss what things you should look for while buying the insurance policy. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend your money on the wrong plan, right?

Before buying a policy, make sure you understand your requirements. Few things you should understand and look for include:

  • The difference between limited benefit plans and comprehensive plans.
  • The amount of coverage you need.
  • The deductibles offered by the plan.
  • If the coverage is extendable and for how long.
  • The amount of co-payment.
  • List of in-network providers offered by the plan.

Be thorough with the summary of benefits and coverage form that comes with the insurance plan before buying one. Also, not all international student health insurance plans on F1 visa are eligible to apply for OPT student insurance. Make sure-

  • You’re not already graduated from school.
  • You never had domestic insurance.
  • You’re not eligible to purchase insurance from your employer.

How to buy health insurance for OPT students

After selecting the OPT student insurance plan based on your requirements, the next step is to buy it. If not guided well, this process can be a headache!

To apply for OPT student health insurance, visit to obtain a quote and enrol online.

Some of the best insurance plans for OPT students that you can choose from are:

1. Student Secure Insurance

  • With medical providers available in over 130 countries
  • Covid-19 coverage

2. Student Health Advantage

  • Provides both standard and platinum level coverage
  • Both individuals and groups can seek coverage

3. Atlas America

  • Renewable up to 2 years
  • Comprehensive plan

4. Safe Travels USA

  • Comprehensive plan
  • Maximum lifetime of 1 year

To learn more about the different plans available, read through the different listings provided at Visitor Guard®

Set wings to your dreams and welcome the new opportunities. Focus on the OPT experience and protect yourself from unexpected medical expenses via OPT students’ insurance. Enjoy the OPT journey!