When it comes to health coverage, it is important to choose the right insurance when you are a student abroad.
Depending on the country where you are going to study and the duration of your stay, different solutions are available to you, but international health student abroad insurance is often the best option.
Find the answers to all your questions here.
Does Social Security Cover a Student Abroad?
During a stay abroad, social security only cover sudden and unforeseeable illnesses.
For a stay of a certain duration, it is therefore better to take out a specific insurance policy, as routine care is not covered.
Moreover, it is difficult to know in advance which illnesses are considered “sudden and unforeseeable”, and therefore if you will be reimbursed or not.
Is There a European Social Security System for Students Studying Abroad?
For citizens of the European Union who are going to study in another European country than their country of origin, there is a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
This card is valid for one year in all European Union countries, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Iceland. It must be requested at least 15 days before departure.
Thanks to this card, an expatriate student benefits from the same health insurance as the inhabitants of the country. No other steps are necessary.
There is even an application dedicated to the EHIC, which allows you to easily find out about the social security coverage of each country and the healthcare system.
If the health insurance of the student’s host country does not offer satisfactory coverage, it is preferable to take out local complementary insurance or private international insurance.
What Is the Best Insurance for a Student Studying Abroad Outside of Europe?
When it comes to health insurance, a student abroad (and outside of Europe) has generally 3 options:
- Social Security with a supplement
- A first euro insurance
- A local insurance.
Social Security With a Supplementary Insurance
Social Security is an easy option, as you probably already have a Social Security number, but the coverage abroad is not very exhaustive.
The reimbursements are calculated according to your home country’s rates for some services (such as consultations), and repatriation services are rarely covered.
To benefit from extended coverage and more interesting reimbursements, it is necessary to take out supplementary insurance with another company.
This means an additional fee. And additional paperwork.
There are many reasons why it is not considered to be the best insurance for students studying abroad, yet it is a good option for those suffering from medical pre-existing conditions, such as chronicle diseases.
First Euro Student Abroad Insurance
Many private companies offer “first euro” insurance for students. These health insurances cover health expenses from the first euro spent.
Generally, these insurances are the most recommended for a student studying abroad outside of Europe, as the reimbursements are adapted to the cost of care in the country of expatriation.
Local Health Insurance
Another solution is to subscribe to a local insurance. However, in this case, it is necessary to take care of it as soon as you arrive (it is not possible to subscribe before leaving).
It is better to master the local language and understand the health system of the country of residence.
This solution can be interesting in some cases, but also risky and complicated.