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Here is some good news for students going abroad. Medical insurance comes cheaper in
The coverage is also similar. Under the policy of Unicare, $200,000 can be used for common illness, injuries, maternity benefits, mental health care and also a minimum of $25,000 for the patient to transported back to
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Additionally, ICICI Lombard offers cover for sports related injury in their Plus plan, an extension of the Gold and Bronze plans. Tata AIG offers two other services, relocation support (only for students covered for the entire year) where they help the student to open bank account in the new place and even give cover against terror attack or natural calamity.
Also, domestic policies cover a large number of additional things like a two-way visit by a person the student chooses, in case of emergency that foreign policies do not. If the sponsor expires, some policies even cover for the completing education (some universities even specify this condition) and financial claims against the insured, if there is no criminal case.
However, the Indian policies do not cover pre-existing diseases. ICICI Lombard's product only insures pre-existing life saving diseases. On the other hand, foreign insurance companies cover pre-existing disease after an initial period of between six and 12 months.
So despite similarity in tenets, the main reason for the cost difference, according to Indian insurance companies is because the cost of operations abroad is higher. "Foreign insurance companies have high costs of operation compared because of higher manpower and other costs leading to higher premiums," says Sudhir Menon, head, travel insurance at ICICI Lombard.
The claim ratio in medical insurance in the US is 100 per cent whereas in
However, some universities do not allow this. According to Khim Lok, office manager, international programmes and services at
Some students even see the sense in buying insurance from abroad. Ashwni Warke, a post doctoral student with
In countries besides the US, such as the
Since it takes about a month or two to kick-in, it is better if one buys a policy for that time period. "Students should need to take a bridge policy till they avail the cover from the country's health department," said Shreeraj Deshpande, AVP, Health Insurance, Bajaj Allianz.
And if a student is in medical trouble abroad, there is a toll free number that one has to call that will connect him to the International SOS organisation (when a policy is bought, the student is given a card that has the number of International SOS). Members from this organisation represent the Indian insurer. They visit the student to assess the requirements and also, make the final settlement.In final assessment, Indian policies do come much cheaper, but check if your university allows it.
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