5 Advantages of Mandating Medical Coverage for International Students

Eric Edwards | 1-20-2017

One of the most important decisions you can make for your school is whether or not to mandate health insurance for your international students. At LewerMark, we highly recommend making health insurance mandatory. Why? Because mandatory student health insurance is a form of risk mitigation for both your students and your school. To put it simply, it’s a safer choice for your institution and the people studying on your campus.


Mandating health insurance acts as protection both legally and financially. Further, it will make the recruitment process more transparent when students are estimating their costs. Here are five advantages as to why you should mandate medical coverage at your school.

1. Group Policies Ensure Everyone Is Covered

Whether you operate a large school or a small school, there is always room for error when it comes to covering all your bases. If every student is left to pursue his or her own personal medical coverage, some students will fall through the cracks and end up uninsured. This sort of mistake could be a liability to your school.


Mandating a group policy will assure you that everyone is covered and no one is left behind. This will protect you from the complications of having an uninsured student in case of a medical emergency.

2. Mandatory Coverage Keeps Things Simple for Everyone

Even if you have lived in the U.S. your whole life, you likely still have a difficult time understanding all the nuances of health insurance. Can you imagine how much more difficult it must be for those coming from another country? Even more so if you don’t speak the language fluently.


Mandating medical coverage for international students avoids the issue of putting the responsibility on students to find insurance, and therefore makes the recruitment process more straightforward.

3. Every Student Will Have the Right Insurance

Does your international student program have several dozen students, several hundred students, or several thousand? Is your school rural and isolated, or busy and urban? Insurance plans are affected by a variety of factors, and you don’t want to put the responsibility on your students to know all of this detailed information.


You know your institution and environment best. If your school mandates coverage, then you ensure that you have worked with your company to find an appropriate level of coverage based on your international students’ needs.

4. There Will Be Fewer Surprises

No one plans on getting injured or sick. But if it does happen, the costs may be higher than expected for a person coming from a country with different types of government provided medical coverage. Don’t put your students in a situation where they may have a bill that they can’t afford. Mandatory health insurance will take this sort of unpleasant charge out of the equation for most situations.

5. Your Plan Protects You from High Costs

Local medical providers work with your insurer to protect your students from medical bills that they cannot pay. This allows medical providers to run smoothly and provide the best possible care for the students living in your community. However, if your students did not have insurance, their costs could be unpredictable and potentially much higher than expected. In the big picture, insurance can save your students money when compared to going uninsured if an emergency were to occur.


In a world with limitless options for personalization, it may be tempting to allow international students to pursue their own plan for medical coverage. However, it will be in your institution’s interest to make a health insurance plan mandatory to keep things simple, safe, and secure. You and your students will already be busy with their education—leave the insurance to the experts.

How to Evaluate International Student Health Insurance Options

Author: Eric Edwards