Why Separate International Students from Domestic Students on Your School’s Health Insurance Plan?

Eric Edwards | 1-18-2017

International students bring a unique perspective and voice to your campus that can’t be replicated. They have experiences, ideas, and opinions that bring a level of diversity to classroom discussion. When considering the globalized world we live in, the majority of schools have recognized the advantages of encouraging students from different cultures to attend their institution. A diverse student body can help your institution stand out and attract a multitude of new students from across the globe.


An international student’s stay at your school should be safe and comfortable. Many schools offer various services to support students from abroad, including English language centers and counselors. In addition to these services, health insurance should be mandatory in order to keep your international students covered in the event of an injury or illness.


Health insurance is not a one-size-fits-all system. Students from overseas have different needs and require different coverage than your domestic students. Services such as medical evacuation and repatriation aren’t covered on a typical medical insurance plan but are necessary for international students who are thousands of miles from their home country. Therefore, it is to your advantage to separate your coverage for international students from your coverage for domestic students. Why? Here are a few reasons.

International Students Have Different Risks

Living in a different country poses different risks. Anyone who spends the majority of their life in one area is acclimated to the weather, temperature, plants, animals, and other environmental factors. When that person moves abroad to study, the change creates risks that would otherwise be uncommon in that person’s home environment.


International students also face increased stress levels, which opens them up to other various complications, such as mental health issues and decreased immune systems. Because the risks of insuring international students and domestic students are quite different, it makes sense to separate your insurance student insurance plans.

Some Coverage Is Only Useful for International Students

Along the same lines, international students require different types of support and medical coverage from an insurance provider. Some benefits that are useful for students from other countries will be of no use to your domestic students and some benefits that are valuable to your domestic students have no place in a plan for an international student.


Take the service of medical repatriation for example, medical repatriation is the service provided when a student needs to return to their home country in order to recover from a significant illness or injury. Offering this service is necessary for a student coming from abroad, but a domestic student has no need for this benefit.


Strategic insurance choices help you to provide the right protection for the students who need them. Don’t provide useless benefits to a group that doesn’t need them.

It Makes Your Insurance Policies More Clear and Transparent

It’s not only important to separate health insurance for international and domestic students administratively, but also on your website and other student resources. Rather than overcomplicating things, keep it simple by having these different demographics use different types of insurance. It may even make your recruitment easier by having a clear explanation of what an international student can expect for medical coverage.


A lot is involved in attracting students from across the world to your campus. Hopefully, you have already made insurance a smooth and seamless part of your institution’s enrollment. Providing separate polices for domestic and international students can help the recruitment process be more straightforward. If you haven’t elected to include health insurance for your international students, you can contact LewerMark for more information.

How to Evaluate International Student Health Insurance Options

Author: Eric Edwards