Do you dream of studying in the UK? Did you know that it is necessary to present health insurance to enroll in most educational institutions there? With that in mind, in this article we are going to show you the best options for you who are taking a short or long term course!!
Many people do not even imagine that they need a health insurance service as a student, but it is necessary and important so that you can be sure that you will have a headache-free stay or emergencies in the country of your exchange. Also, I’m pretty sure you’ll need proof of medical coverage to enroll in your desired course!
It was with this in mind that we separated the best insurance options for students in the United Kingdom, in addition to some important information that can help you in this initial exchange process…
Why should international students in UK have health insurance?
In addition to health insurance being essential for you to stay well in case you need medical attention or any other kind of emergency in the destination country, international students going to the UK need to have private health insurance coverage. or public.
Most international students are eligible for universal health cover in the UK. However, this depends on some factors such as country of origin, duration of the course and age.
But beyond that, I’ll explain a few more things I think are relevant.
The ideal international student insurance plan for your needs will depend on how long you will be spending in the UK, whether you will need a visa, whether you will be eligible for UK NHS and other individual choices.
This brings us to another point…
What student health insurance is required for a student visa in UK?
If you still have doubts, remember that health insurance is mandatory if you are going to study in the UK.
Exchange students living in the UK can apply for health benefits in two ways: Universal Health Insurance and private health insurance.
If you want to know more about the best colleges and required visas, keep reading the article after the list of best international health insurance for international students in UK.
As I always recommend, it is crucial that you get a quick quote online with all the companies listed in the article. It will take a little more time, but it will save you a lot of money in the end!
The 5 Best and Cheapest Health Insurance for International Students in Germany
IMG has several types of insurance plans for students (or for expatriates in general).
They have three different plans that are specific to students. One of them is specific to students studying in the United States (The Patriot Exchange Program), so we’ll just talk about the other two of them here.
Plan #1: Student Health Advantage
This program will likely be sufficient to meet your course’s coverage requirements (but it’s always good to certify the minimum coverage required!).
The plan covers many things that some others do not, such as mental health disorders, maternity and pre-existing health conditions such as any illness or injury that are subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. In addition, it also covers COVID-19 costs.
Plan #2: Student Health Advantage Platinum
This plan is exactly like the previous one, but it offers twice the maximum coverage: $1,000,000
What I like about IMG’s International Student Insurance:
- Made specifically for students
- Covers students of all nationalities
- They have over 17,000 healthcare professionals around the world.
- Customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Covers COVID-19 and telemedicine consultations
What I don’t like about IMG’s International Student Insurance:
- In some of the plans offered, there is a one-year grace period for coverage of pre-existing conditions.
Cigna is one of the world’s largest health insurers, offering plans for travelers, expats and international students.
They have three main plans: Silver, Gold and Platinum, which cover your needs not only in the UK, but worldwide! If you have plans to visit the US during your UK stay, you can choose to be covered there as well (although this will make your policy a little more expensive, so it might be better to just get short travel insurance for your visit. to the USA).
Here’s a table that compares your plan options:
Cigna’s plans are flexible and allow you to add whatever you need (which includes things like dental and eye care or international evacuation and crisis assistance).
The company also has a flexible payment policy that offers different options like annual, monthly and quarterly payments.
What I like about international health insurance for Cigna Global Students:
- Quick response to complaints (according to the company, 95% of refund requests are received within 10 days)
- An online help center providing access to a list of over 3,000 hospitals plus information guides
- Cigna has partnerships with more than 1.65 million hospitals, doctors, clinics and specialists around the world, which gives a range of options to the customer who needs medical care.
- 24/7 assistance to answer any of your questions
What I don’t like about Cigna Global’s International Student Health Insurance:
- The most basic plan does not cover prenatal and postnatal care
- They do not include coverage for outpatient consultations with specialists and doctors.
Now Health International has positioned itself as a frontrunner in the international insurance market, striving to meet the demands of its clients by offering efficient and affordable plans.
A key advantage of this company is its state-of-the-art customer service, which provides fast and practical information to customers.
All Now Health plans are carefully designed to cater to the specific challenges experienced by individuals residing in a foreign country, including international students and exchange students worldwide.
Furthermore, these plans can be fully customized to perfectly suit your needs and preferences.
What I like about Now Health International Student Plans:
- Clear information and 24/7 customer service
- Coverage in over 190 countries and territories
- Various international insurance options and customizable plans
- Some plans offer coverage for maternity routines
What I don’t like about Now Health International Student Plans:
- In some procedures, Now Health works with a reimbursement system
- For plans with routine maternity coverage, you must wait a 12-month waiting period to access this benefit
Whatever you need, Foyer Global Health will have a plan for you. Its packages range from basic or premium, short or long term and individual or family.
They have three different plans. Here’s a quick rundown of what each of these plans includes:
- Consultations, surgery and anesthetics
- Therapeutic devices (such as cardiac pacemakers) if needed as a rescue measure
- Congenital diseases (up to a maximum of €100,000 per life)
- Does not cover maternity and childbirth
- Consultations, surgery and anesthetics
- Auxiliaries and therapeutic devices (such as artificial limbs and prostheses) up to €2,000
- Congenital diseases up to a maximum of €150,000 per life
- Maternity and childbirth care (up to €5,000 with a waiting period of 10 months)
- Consultations, surgery and anesthetics
- Unlimited therapeutic devices
- Congenital diseases up to a maximum of €200,000 per life
- Maternity care, childbirth care and midwifery or nursing services at the hospital (up to €20,000 with a 10 month waiting period)
What I like about Foyer Global Health plans:
- Plans include consultations, surgeries and basic dental treatments
- 24/7 customer service by phone or email with experienced consultants, doctors and specialists
- They offer evacuation and repatriation service
- They offer medical support and pre-trip advice (vaccinations, preparation of a first aid kit)
What I don’t like about Foyer Global Health plans:
- Your most basic plan does not include prenatal and postnatal care
These are the 4 levels of student health insurance coverage they offer (they all work great for Germany!):
- Offers the lowest deductibles and the highest maximum coverage
- Six-month wait for pre-existing conditions to be covered
- Sports coverage for club/intercollegiate activities
- Covers personal liability
- Six-month waiting period before a pre-existing condition can be covered
- Optional Crisis Response pilot for rescue, your personal belongings and crisis fees
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions starts 12 months after purchasing the insurance
- Mid-tier benefits and higher deductible (for a lower monthly fee overall)
- Lowest cost plan (with the lowest corresponding benefits)
- Highest deductibles of all plans
- Does not cover club sports
- Can only cover a pre-existing condition in its acute onset
Here is a comparison of the 4 HCC StudentSecure plans (click to see the full chart):
What I like about HCCMIS StudentSecure plans:
- Emergency dental care (in the event of an accident) up to a maximum of US$250 per tooth and a maximum of US$500 during the certification period
- Savings plan if you pay the full amount before
- One of the cheapest plans on this list
What I don’t like about HCCMIS StudentSecure plans:
- Does not have coverage for pre-existing conditions in the Smart plan
- There is a six-month waiting period for coverage of pre-existing conditions (even if you subscribe to the Elite plan)
- Only in the Elite plan is there coverage for vaccines
- There is no maternity and nursery coverage for newborns on the Smart plan
- Your low-cost plans may have high deductibles
3 International Health Insurance Companies that can also be used by International Students in UK!
The two companies mentioned below do not offer specific health insurance for exchange students. Instead, they offer international health insurance that may be accepted by your school or university as proof of coverage.
I advise you to get a quote from these two companies and compare them to the quote you got from the companies listed above. If you find that one of these two companies is more worthwhile than the other options, check with your UK school or university to see if they accept this type of policy.
If they do, this is a great chance to save money before venturing into your new home!
– Diplomat Long Term and Diplomat International of Global Underwriters
Global Underwriters offers international health insurance to many types of travelers, including exchange students and international students.
When it comes to GU plans, I recommend Diplomat Long Term and Diplomat International for international students in Germany.
What I like about Global Underwriters plans:
- Have coverage for medical evacuations, emergency dentistry and repatriation of mortal remains
- The Diplomat Long Term and Diplomat International plans provide coverage of up to $1,000,000
- In addition to medical coverage, the plans offer assistance in the event of lost luggage and travel interruption.
- 24/7 customer service
What I don’t like about Global Underwriters plans:
- Diplomat International plan does not cover Covid-19
- The Diplomat Long Term plan does not cater for students residing in Australia and Iran, as well as New York, Maryland, South Dakota (but this is not an issue if you are going to Germany!)
- Plans can be a little more expensive than others on this list.
Geoblue is another great option if you are looking for health insurance to cover you while studying in Germany.
What I like about Geoblue’s international health insurance:
- Very adaptable and flexible plans based on your individual needs
- 24/7 customer service
- Some of their plans cover extras like evacuation, preventative medical appointments, and maternity care.
- It is possible to add ophthalmology and dentistry services
- The Xplorer plan has no maximum medical coverage, covers extreme sports, does not charge deductibles for standard services, and has no cancellation fees
What I don’t like about Geoblue’s international health insurance:
- They do not serve residents of New York and Washington (although this is not a problem if you are going to Germany)
- You need to speak to an insurance broker in person to get an accurate quote (which is very annoying)
Aetna is a recognized company in the field of health insurance.
A good advantage of Aetna is that their plans are quite flexible (you can customize based on all your needs), and they have very good customer service (as far as insurers go).
What I like about Aetna’s international health insurance:
- They’ve been in the health insurance industry for 50 years
- Flexible and customized plans
- Expert service every day, seven days a week
- Coverage for emergency evacuations, cancer treatments, repatriation and hospitalizations
- They have already won awards such as “Health Insurer of the Year” and “Best International Private Health Insurance Provider”
- Application that helps customers maintain healthier habits with a points and rewards incentive system
What I don’t like about Aetna’s international health insurance:
- Their website is not very clear about the exact coverage of some of their plans.
- They don’t offer any kind of travel insurance plan.
Table comparison of the 7 best health insurance plans for international/exchange students in Germany
|Medical Maximum||Unlimited (for the Platinum plan)||$5,000,000||There are no limits independent of the plan||US$1,000,000 per year||$1,000,000|
|Mental Health Benefit||Unspecified||Unlimited for up to 90 days||Included in all plans with a 10-month waiting period||Outpatient: $50 per day max up to $500 in total||Yes|
|Inpatient Prescription Drugs||80% coverage out-of-network, 100% in the USA and internationally||Unspecified||Coverage available||Name-brand drugs: 50% coinsurance
Generic drugs: 100% coinsurance
Special drugs: no coverage
|Outpatient Prescription Drugs||50% of actual costs, 90 days maximum per dispensation||Unspecified||Unspecified||coinsurance
Generic drugs: 100% coinsurance
Special drugs: no coverage
|Mental Health Benefit||Inpatient and Outpatient: $5,000 lifetime maximum to paid in full depending on the plan||Inpatient and Outpatient: $50,000 lifetime maximum||None||Inpatient and Outpatient: limit not specified||Inpatient, outpatient, and therapy: limit not specific|
|Outpatient Prescription Drugs||None, unless you buy the International Outpatient Option||Up to $8,000,000||Full reimbursement||Yes||Yes|
|Repatriation of Remains||$25,000 maximum or $5,000 for cremation||Optional||Optional||$50,000 maximum or $5,000 for cremation||$13,500 maximum|
|Hospital room coverage||Offered up to the average semi-private room rate||Private room||Private Room||Usual||Usual|
|Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD & D)||Principal sum of $25,000 that is not subject to deduction||$25,000 for main policy holder, $10,000 for spouse on the plan, $5,000 for child on the plan
Total limit of $250,000
|Optional||$25,000 for main policy holder, $10,000 for spouse on the plan, $5,000 for child on the plan
Total limit of $250,000
|There is coverage|
|Emergency Dental||$500 per injury for the coverage period||Optional||Optional||$2,500||Yes|
|Maternity Care||Only covered in Platinum plan||$14,000/€11,000/£9,000 in the Platinum plan||Only available in the Special and Exclusive plans||Within the US: up to 80% coverage with a $25,000 limit within the PPO network/Outside PPO: up to 50% coverage with a $25,000 limit
Outside the United States:
Up to 80% coverage with a $25,000 limit. Benefits reduced by 25% if pregnancy is not reported within the first 90 days.
|Pre-existing condition exclusion period||Maximum limit of $1,500 with a 12-month waiting period||$14,000/€11,000/£9,000 in the Platinum plan||Coverage available||Limited of $250,000 per plan||Unspecified|
|Intensive Care Unit (ICU)||100% coverage after the deductible has been met||Full coverage with the Platinum plan||Coverage available||Up to $50,000||Not specified|
|Vaccines||Unspecified||Optional||Only in the Special and Exclusive plans||$200||Yes, but must be paid as a separate plan|
|Routine care for newborns||Unspecified||Optional||Only in the Special and Exclusive plans||Up to $750||Yes, but must be paid as a separate plan|
|Pre-existing annual maximum once covered||Unlimited depending on the plan||Up to $8,000,000||Full reimbursement||Unlimited depending on the plan||Depends on the plan|
|Pre-existing lifetime maximum once covered||Unlimited depending on the plan||Up to $8,000,000||Full reimbursement||Unlimited depending on the plan||Depends on the plan|
Worldwide Medical Insurance / Comparison Chart*
Part of the table courtesy of Tokio Marine HCC
*Note: this table is just for informational purposes and subject to change. It was accurate as of the time we wrote it here, but please check each company’s individual website for updated info.
Why study in UK and how does the Educational System work?
The advantages and positive sides of studying in one of the four UK countries are countless. In addition to the country having extremely educated people, a rich and well-known and appreciated culture, both in music, cuisine, football and others, the United Kingdom is known worldwide for hosting the most renowned and quality universities.
As mentioned above, the United Kingdom is made up of four countries, even though many people associate the name only with England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are also part of the union. Or, also known as the Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The education system between these countries may vary slightly, even though they have many similarities. Because of this, I will talk a little about each country.
1. England: In England, teaching before going to university is divided into five stages, or Key Stages, as they are called there. The first is the reception that goes from four to five years, then the first and second year, from the third to the sixth, from the seventh to the ninth and from the tenth to the eleventh year. It is estimated that the student completes these steps by age 16.
After completing all these internships, the student needs to take a proof of completion called the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), often required to work in the country. So, you can choose whether you want to continue studying or not. If the person chooses yes, a test is taken to guarantee a place in higher education.
Everyone between the ages of 5 and 16 has the right to free public education in the country. In higher education, education is not free and fees and tuition will depend on the university and the desired course.
2. Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland is a country that, like others in the United Kingdom, places great value on education. They have three renowned universities.
As for the educational system, it is very similar to that of England and Wales, differing more from Scotland.
3. Scotland: In this country, teaching starts at age five and pupils spend seven years in primary education and, at around age 11 or 12, they enter secondary education, where the first four years are compulsory and the subsequent two years are at the student’s choice.
A final exam is required regardless of choice. After that, they can do two more years of advanced education if they wish.
The disciplines are few and the education system chooses to focus on going deeper into the contents rather than offering several different ones. Because of this, higher education in Scotland can last up to a year longer than usual for the rest of the UK.
4. Wales: From the age of three, children are eligible for ten hours of public education a week, where they will learn things essential for their development.
The compulsory education in Wales starts from the age of five, where there is primary, secondary and, finally, continuing education, which is optional in case the student does not want to continue in school after the age of 16.
At the age of 18, it is possible to enter higher education, which is not free, but the country offers scholarships and financial aid to less privileged students.
How to study in UK
To study throughout the United Kingdom, i.e. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, it is necessary to fill in the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) application, as this service takes care of applications for English universities. .
The maximum number of applications is five courses per student and several things are evaluated, such as school transcripts, English proficiency certificate (IELTS), high school leaving certificate, letter of motivation, extracurricular activities performed, teacher recommendation and letter motivational.
It is worth mentioning that some universities in specific countries may allow the application directly on the college website, i.e. UCAS will not be required. Because of this, it is important that the student knows which university he wants to facilitate the process of finding out how to apply.
With that in mind, we have separated some great university options in the United Kingdom, but first, let’s talk a little about student visas.
Types of visa for foreign students in UK
If the course lasts longer than six months, it is necessary to apply for a visa to study in the UK. Student visas are divided into three types:
- General Student Visa: Ideal for students who are going to take a course of more than eleven months.
- Short-Term Study Visa: For students who are going to take an English course that lasts between six and 11 months.
- Child Student Visa: Designed for students between the ages of four and 17 who are going to study at a school in the UK.
It is possible to apply for a visa on the British Government website and the documents you must provide must be in a sworn translation, they are:
- Request form;
- Valid passport;
- Bank statements to prove financial resources to bank in the destination country;
- Acceptance letter from school or university;
- English proficiency exam, depending on the course;
- Parental authorization if the student is a minor.
The fees for applying for a British visa vary between 186 and 348 euros.
The 4 best British Universities
British universities are recognized and prestigious worldwide. Anyone who wants to take a higher education course must, at least once, have dreamed of having some of these institutions on their curriculum.
Here, I will give some tips on universities besides the famous Oxford and Cambridge for those who intend to study in the United Kingdom, but do not know of other options besides these.
1. Durham University: It was founded in 1832 in England and about 20% of its students are foreigners. In 2022, it was considered the sixth best university in the United Kingdom and its structure is all in a castle format.
At Durham University there are courses in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Health and Social Sciences.
2. University of Edinburgh: Located in Scotland, this is one of the most prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, ranking 30th among the best worldwide.
Formed in 1583, almost half of its students are foreigners. In addition, the University of Edinburgh offers courses in the arts, engineering, medicine, sciences, social sciences, humanities and veterinary medicine.
3. University of South Wales: With several campuses spread across South Wales, the University of South Wales is one of the largest in the UK.
Teaching is focused on a more applied approach and courses are in the areas of science, engineering, computing and education.
4. Ulster University: Ulster University is a university in Northern Ireland founded in 1968. It is considered the largest university in the country, with some campuses scattered around the Irish northern territory.
Because it has many campuses, four in total, in addition to two branches, the courses offered vary in different areas of knowledge, from humanities and arts, to biology and medicine.
To find information such as application deadlines, you can access the university’s official website, which contains all the bureaucratic explanations.
Once again, these are the 5 best and cheapest travel insurance policies for international students in Germany:
- Student Health Advantage from IMG
- International health insurance for Cigna Global students
- Now Health International
- Foyer Global Health
- Insurance StudentSecure da HCCMIS
- Diplomat Long Term and Diplomat International from Global Underwriters
Finally… As you prepare for your time as an international student in the UK, don’t forget to take out health insurance that fits your needs!
After all, most universities require you to hire one to complete your application… And you don’t want to be stuck paying out-of-pocket medical expenses!
If you still have any questions about these UK student travel insurance options (or moving abroad in general), leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help!!
Planning your next trip?