International Student Health Insurance in America | FAQ’s

With any international student health insurance plan, there will most likely be questions about different aspects of the plan that you may have. Our frequently asked questions section provides you with the most common questions we receive on a daily basis so that you can find as much information for yourself about the plans. If you however have further questions or would simply like clarification – please do not hesitate to contact us for assistance and we will be more than happy to help you.

Underwriter

Who underwrites the Student Secure plan and what is their rating?

Lloyd’s of London is the underwriter of the Student Secure plan. They are rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company and A+ (Strong) by Standard and Poor’s, meeting all visa requirements for the USA and countries around the world.

Eligibility

Where will this plan cover me?

The Student Secure plan will cover you anywhere in the world, as long as you are outside of your home country.

 Am I eligible to apply for the Student Secure?
  • If you are a student in the USA on an F1 or J1 visa, you are automatically eligible for the Student Secure plan.
  • For those on other visa types, or those studying outside of the US, you will need to be a full-time student or scholar, or within 31 days of being a full-time student.

Will this plan work for me while on OPT/CPT?

Yes, students on OPT or CPT are eligible for the Student Secure, even while on post-completion OPT, as long as you maintain valid F1 status.

Does this plan work for scholars?

Yes, full-time scholars who are outside of their home country and affiliated with an educational institution and performing work or research for at least 30 hours per week are eligible for the Student Secure plan. These activities may include but are not limited to performing research in an area of specialty or teaching for a temporary period of time. This requirement is waived for participants in the US with a valid F1 or J1 visa.

Are my spouse and children eligible for the plan?

No, spouses and children are not eligible for the Student Secure plan, however if you need dependent coverage please see our other insurance options.

Application Help

When can I apply for the plan online?

Coverage can be purchased online from anywhere up to 6 months before your chosen start date, right up until the very same day you are traveling.

Will I get an ID card?

Yes, you will receive an electronic PDF version of your insurance ID card immediately by email, and you can also choose to receive a physical ID card in the mail by selecting the “Email and Regular Mail” option on the application.

When will I get my documents?

When applying online, you will receive all your insurance documents, including your ID card and receipt of purchase, immediately by email. These documents can be printed out as proof of coverage.

If you would like physical documents to be mailed, make sure you choose the “Email and Regular Mail” option on the online application. Physical delivery time will depend on the postal service, with delivery to a US address taking about one week and international addresses may take about 2-3 weeks. Express delivery is also available for an additional $20 if your address is in the US or an additional $30 if your address is outside the US. Please Note: There is no additional fee to mail your documents with the regular mail option.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept all major credit or debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. You are also welcome to use a friend or family member’s credit or debit card with their permission to purchase the plan. If you would prefer to pay using a check and wire transfer, please contact us for more information.

What is a Beneficiary?

The Student Secure Select and Elite plan has a death benefit that would be paid out to the beneficiary in case of death. The beneficiary is the name of the person who would receive this death benefit. Most students put the name of their mother, father, brother, sister, husband or wife – however you can put any name you wish, including your estate.

Renewability, Extensions and Cancellations

Can I extend or renew my insurance plan?

Yes. If you purchase your policy for less than 364 days, you can extend the plan up until you have a full 364 days of coverage. Once you have a full 364 days of coverage, you can then renew your plan for another year. If you continue to meet the eligibility requirements and don’t have any breaks in coverage, you can extend and renew your policy for up to a total of 4 years. Please note that there is an additional $5 fee per extension or renewal. All extensions and renewals can be done quickly and easily through your Student Zone account.

My plan has expired, how can I reinstate it?

Once a plan has expired or lapsed, it cannot be reinstated. You can instead purchase a new plan and begin coverage as soon as the same day. Please click here to apply online again.

Can I cancel my Student Secure plan?

To be eligible for a full refund, the request for cancellation must be received prior to the effective date of your policy.

Cancellation requests received after the effective date will be subject to the following conditions:

  1. A $25 cancellation fee will apply, if paid in full.
  2. Only premium for unused whole-months, if paying in monthly installments, or unused days, if paid in full, of the plan will be refunded.
  3. Only members who have no claims are eligible for premium refund.
  4. After 60 days, no refunds are granted.
  5. If you have only purchased 1 months coverage and cancel within that month, no refund will be due.

All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. No cancellation requests can be accepted over the phone. You can send this request through email on our contact page.

Understanding Your Coverage

Does this plan cover maternity?

Yes, the Student Secure Budget, Select and Elite do cover pregnancies if conception occurs after the policy effective date. Benefits include, but are not limited to, pre-natal, delivery, and post-natal care as well as expenses for miscarriage and complications of pregnancy. Routine nursery care of newborns is also covered.

Are sports covered under this policy?

The Student Secure Budget, Select and Elite levels all cover medical expenses for injuries and illnesses that result from participation in intercollegiate, interscholastic, intramural, or club sports up to a maximum of $5,000 per Injury or Illness with the Select and Elite levels and $3,000 per injury or Illness with the Budget level.

Does this plan have vision or dental coverage?

The Student Secure plan does not provide any coverage for vision.

Accidental dental is covered if you suffer an accident to your teeth and need to have dental surgery with coverage of $250 per tooth up to a maximum of $500 on the Budget, Select and Elite plans only. Regular dental check-ups or visits are not covered – however if you do have unexpected dental pain the plan will pay $100 towards expenses for treatment for this pain if you are on the Budget, Select or Elite plans. The Smart level does not provide any dental coverage. If you require a more comprehensive dental insurance plan, please see our dental plans.

What does Usual Reasonable and Customary (URC) mean?

Usual Reasonable and Customary (URC) is a term that insurance companies use to describe a limitation on their responsibility to pay for eligible medical expenses. Basically, URC refers to the fee typically charged by a provider for a specific procedure in a specific geographic area. So if a particular procedure typically costs $5,000 in the New York City area, and most providers customarily charge about $5,000 for that procedure, the insurance company will not pay your provider in New York City $10,000 for the same exact procedure. Instead, they will limit their payment amount to “Usual Reasonable and Customary” – in this example, $5,000.

What is the difference between the Smart, Budget, Select and Elite plans?

The Student Secure plan comes in four plan options; Smart, Budget, Select and Elite. The main differences between the four plans falls into two main areas 1) Differences in benefit levels and 2) Out of Pocket expenses you will need to pay.

The main benefit differences are as listed in our benefits table, where the Elite typically has higher coverage levels for each benefit, and then the Smart, Budget and Select plans are more restricted or may not cover all benefits. For the out of pocket differences, please see the Frequently Asked Questions listed below as they deal with the deductible and coinsurance differences on each plan level.

What is the copay or out of pocket cost on this plan?

The Student Secure plan does not have a copay but the plan does have two out of pocket expenses: the deductible and the coinsurance.

What is a deductible?

The deductible is the amount you are required to pay to the doctor or hospital before the insurance company will pay toward your eligible expenses. On the Student Secure plan, it is paid once for every new illness or injury – not per visit. If you became ill or injured and went to the doctor you would pay the deductible, but if you went for a follow-up visit on that same condition you would not need to pay the deductible again since you’ve already paid it for that condition.

The deductible on the Student Secure is represented in the table below:

Treatment Received: Inside the PPO Network in the USA, or Outside the USA, or At a Student Health Center Outside the PPO Network in the USA
Smart Plan $50 $100
Budget Plan $45 $90
Select Plan $25 $50
Elite Plan $25 $50

What is coinsurance?

After the deductible, coinsurance applies to your benefits, and this is the cost sharing between you and the insurance plan. This is typically referred to as a percentage that the plan will pay, for example if there is 80% coverage – the insurance plan will pay 80% and you will need to pay the remaining 20%.

The coinsurance on the Student Secure plan is as follows:

  • Smart plan is 80% coverage
  • Budget plan is 80% coverage for the first $25,000 of your medical cost, then 100% after
  • Select plan is 80% coverage for the first $5,000 for your medical cost, then 100% after.
  • Elite plan is 100% coverage*

* When seeking treatment inside the PPO network or at Student Health Center.

Will I get home country coverage?

The Student Secure will cover you up to 15 days for medical expenses ONLY if you return back to your home country for an incidental visit. To receive the benefit, once you have arrived home, you must return abroad within 15 days – either to the host country or another country en route to your host country. Please also note that the return to your home country cannot be taken for the purpose of receiving medical treatment for an injury or illness that began when you were abroad.

Seeking Treatment

Which doctors or hospitals can I go to?

You are free to visit any doctor or hospital (known as providers) that you wish to seek treatment from. However we do suggest you visit these providers as they are typically better placed to treat you:

Student Health CenterMost schools offer a student health center which should be your first option in seeking treatmentFirst HealthProvider NetworkThe First Health Network will accept the Student Secure Insurance plan

How are claims paid?

Claims are paid depending on where you are located and where you seek treatment:

In-networkwhile inside the USA
When you visit a provider that is part of the First Health Network your insurance bill is typically paid directly. You will need to complete a claim form and email this to service@hccmis.com for processing.
Out-of-networkwhile inside the USA
When you visit a provider that is outside the network, you will need to pay for all services up front and then submit your bills and receipts, along with a claim form for reimbursement.
Outside the USA
When visiting a provider around the world, please pay for the services up front and then submit a claim form for reimbursement.

If you are hospitalized for an emergency or planned hospitalization you will need to call the 24 hour emergency assistance number located on the back of your insurance ID card and they will assist you further with settling the hospital bills.