Health Insurance

Heads up: that one is a pain! 

I will keep this short. Constant changes in the system as well as variations from school to school, state to state make it impossible to give a comprehensive general overview. 

I checked the health insurance plan and read through the coverage and exclusions and tried to get an understanding of all benefits included.
In the US medicare system you pay a premium in order to receive medical services. Further, you can only claim benefits if you pay deductibles.
Each of these are capped. Additionally, the maximum out of pocket payment for all benefits received within a year is $6.000 (subject to annual adaptions). 

Definitely check out all materials, especially the ones described on your school’s website and carefully read through them. I didn’t waive the automatic health insurance plan, so I can’t attest to that possibility. 

Consider the following: 

  • Be aware that all described benefits encompass services from so-called in-network or partner providers.
    If you go for a medical consultation to other healthcare facilities that will cost you, because those are typically not included in your coverage and you would have to pay at least 50% of the cost. To avoid such high expenses take a look at the in-network partners so you are prepared and know where to go when the time comes and you need medical services. 
  • Be sure to comply with vaccine and other screening requirements prior the deadlines. 
  • Optical/eye care and dental care oftentimes are voluntary benefits. You can opt into those services by paying the additional fee. 
  • You might want to keep your insurance in your home country while you are abroad.
    Most LLM students intend to return to their home-countries and they might face issues with their insurance providers if they didn’t continue pay ffor their health coverage throughout the year. Sometimes there are waiting periods in order to be reinstated in your national social security system.
    Besides, if serious injuries, usually with longterm consequences, occur US health care facilities will order your return transport to the country of origin.
    Thus, it would be smart to stay insured back home!