OPT Health Insurance: Best Medical Insurance for International Students in USA

OPT Health Insurance: Medical Insurance for International Students

Studying and working in the USA is the ultimate goal for many international students who eye for a better future in foreign countries. While in their student status, many of the students get their health insurance covered. OPT Students are not be eligible for the school’s insurance plan once their OPT start, you may apply for a new insurance with either employer sponsored or third party OPT health insurance.

After completing their education, they look forward to work under their respective work authorizations. The F-1 visa helps them get student health insurances to cover their health insurance. But once the students graduate, these insurances lose their validity.

While the student insurance does stop, there are many OPT insurances available. To maintain safe health, one must secure all the means available to get the best health insurance for OPT students.

This article is all about health insurance for international students on OPT.

Is it important to have OPT health insurance?

With the increasing issues of health globally, the usage of medication and connected services have increased exponentially. With this, there has been a corresponding increase in expenditure on medical bills. This is more so observable in the life of international students.

Many come from humble backgrounds. With their kind of spending money, it won’t take long to become a pauper if they keep spending on their medical needs. In such a situation, it is very important to realize the value of having health insurance. With one such insurance, you can keep your health expenses covered without much worry.

Why buy medical insurance for OPT?

Once students complete their graduation, they are no more eligible to get on with their student insurance. Now, once they start their OPT, they won’t be having the same medical cover. They will have to apply for new ones.

This is more so important for international students majoring in STEM subjects. This is because, with OPT STEM extension, they will have about 36 months of work permit in the USA as compared to 12 months for non-STEM students. Considering such a long time, it is quite possible to get sick or have health issues.

Now while there are the best health insurances available, OPT candidates can not apply and buy domestic insurance plans. The reason behind this is these plans are only available for US citizens or Green Card holders.

That being said, there are many Insurance companies that provide the best health insurance for international students on OPT. There are many out of them that are quite affordable and will cover almost all the needs.

Is it compulsory to have health insurance?

NO, there is no compulsion on the students to compulsorily buy health insurance when they are on their OPT period. But as a whole, the authorities recommend the students to buy it. This is because the expenses related to healthcare are very high in the USA.

The OPT health insurances comparatively have a lower cost against these expenses. By this train of thought, it is better to have OPT health insurance from the organization where the OPT candidates are working.

How much does a normal OPT health insurance plan cost?

Normally, the cost of an OPT health insurance plan depends primarily on the age of the OPT candidate and the time for which they need the health cover. Thus, with the increasing age of the concerned individual, the corresponding health insurance will have a higher cost.

Also, the time period of travel insurance affects the cost of the OPT health insurance. The longer the duration of travel insurance, accordingly higher will be the cost of health insurance for F1 students in OPT.

There are many sites that provide a comparative cost analysis between various health insurance for international students in OPT. Find the best ones that suit your need as per your finance and health requirement.


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Some of the best OPT health insurance plans are as follows:

  1. Atlas America Insurance

Under the umbrella of WorldTrips, this plan provides a comprehensive insurance cover. It provides global scope alongside the inclusion and exclusion of the US for visitors traveling abroad. This plan also covers you for COVID-19.

It is tailored keeping in mind, OPT candidates, Green Card holders as a short-term health insurance plan. This helps with the transition. It has an added advantage, that is, it doesn’t have any restriction of when you arrived in the USA.

  1. Patriot America Plus

Presented by IMGlobal, it is a plan that keeps in mind the US citizens staying abroad and the Non-US citizens coming over as tourists or for a limited period of time. This plan address the needs of a working F-1 candidate. Hence, it is quite suitable for an OPT candidate.

This plan also provides COVID-19 cover. With a renewal term of up to 2 years, it keeps a lookout and covers pre-existing conditions up to the age of 70. It also provides you a cover for adventurous sports alongside an optional rider.

  1. Safe Travel USA

This insurance scheme comes under Trawick International. It is a plan that focuses on non-immigrants visiting the USA. It does not include US citizens and Green Card holders. While it does provides a cover for COVID-19, it requires a test report stating the presence of the virus.

It must be purchased for a minimum duration of 30 days. It also provides one doctor visit. This must happen in 21 days once the plan gets enforced. It also gives up to $1000 for an acute onset of a pre-existing condition.

  1. Liaison Travel Plus Insurance

This insurance plan comes under Seven Corners. For those people who are outside their home country, this plan takes special care of them. Other than that, it specifically focuses on providing clever against COVID-19. It also provides a global cover and includes, excludes the US.

Inside the USA, the PPO provides a cover of about 90% of the cost excluding the deductible. For outside the USA, the PPO gives a protective cover of 80%. This is only for a cost of up to $5000. Also, For outside of the USA, this plan provides a cover of 100% for the co-insurance.

  1. Diplomat America Insurance

This is an insurance plan, by Global Underwriters, that was made available for non-US citizens dropping by in the USA. The plan provides cover against COVID-19. But it does NOT cover any condition that comes under the category of pre-existing ones.

This plan covers the US citizens who are abroad for business trips or for vacations while being away from their home country. For the first $5000, the plan covers up to 80%. It then covers 100% as coinsurance when the individual puts in a claim.

These are just some of the best health insurances available for international students on OPT. The list goes on. One must match and find the one matching one’s need and circumstances.

Wrapping Up

With COVID-19 painting a tough time in the lives of many international students, it is a relief that students get covered for this under their health insurance. It is wise to plan your OPT health insurance in advance. This way you can avoid any unnecessary points and find the most suitable plan for yourself.

As much as messed up, these times are. It has opened everyone’s eye, especially the eyes of international students, in understanding the importance of having well-covered medical insurance.

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