care in the United States is extraordinarily, sometimes unbelievably,
expensive. Only foolish or impoverished people fail to
buy health insurance to help protect themselves and their dependents
from large medical bills. And even if you buy insurance, you
should be sure have enough savings to pay for some medical
bills. Many insurance companies require you to pay the bill
first, then request a reimbursement from them. Reimbursement
checks sometimes take several weeks to arrive, and sometimes
do not cover the total amount you spent.
You should buy traveler’s insurance
to cover you during your trip and the early part of your
stay in the United States,
unless you already have insurance that will cover you outside
Many American higher-education institutions require foreign
students (and sometimes all students) to buy health insurance.
Federal immigration regulations require students and dependents
in J status to have health insurance that meets specified standards.
Your school should inform you about those standards if you
will be in J status (that is, you use Form DS-2019 to obtain
Your International Student Office will provide information
to you about health-insurance policies that are available to
you at the school you will attend.
information about health insurance appears in the chapter about health and safety.