A close look on the international student health insurance policy

Nimotallahi Quadri
Guest Writer

Students like me who came from countries that do not have insurance as one of its societal core values tend to misunderstand the importance of paying for something that doesn’t seem like we are using. It is like buying books that we would never read.

I remember a phone call with my dad during my sophomore year. I was letting him know how much I had to pay for insurance for the new school year and he had so many questions, “Why has the price increased? Why can’t you pay it in installments? Why is it blocking you from class registration?” All these questions that I had no explainable answers for. I believe other international students and their parents also have similar questions running in their minds. This is the reason I decided to talk to a few international students to find out what their thoughts are about the health insurance required for international students.

The first person serves as the voice of international students at MNSU is Avishek Pradhan, the president of International Student Association. He expatiated that the insurance covers most emergency cases, and is useful when needed. He has been paying since he started college in August 2016 and he feels student should be given the freedom to choose what kind of insurance they want. It should still be required to have insurance at the beginning of every school year because it is essential in case of emergencies, but we should still be able to choose from a variety of plans that considers different individual’s pockets.

A graduate student from Sri Lanka, majoring in Computer Information Technology complained that she doesn’t understand why the fee increases by at least $100 each year. There has been no informed reason why it increases. “The price is exorbitant for international student to afford”, she added. She went on to comment on the fact that the insurance plan does not cover dental or eye medical checkup. The insurance covers several medication students can get from the Student Health Services. From this student’s comments, I was able to understand that the insurance plan does have its petals and thorns. However, I believe that no insurance policy covers everything you want.

Dominik Drabent, a student from Germany studying Aviation Management and minoring in Business Administration and Gender & Women Studies, said, “In my opinion, the health insurance is a pretty good deal for an insurance.”

Other countries might have insurance relatively cheaper. Hence, one of the reasons international students might not see the value of paying that amount of money for health insurance. He explained that some of his American friends have to pay much more to receive the same coverage as our insurance offers. He is convinced that the insurance plan fairly offers a lot of different things for a relatively small price. However, why do we need to pay for the insurance during the summer before school starts in August? Most international students travel back home during the summer. Dominik thinks the payment deadline for insurance should be scheduled at a time when most or all the students are back in Mankato. An insurance office on campus could be a useful accessibility tool for the students. Both international and domestic students could go in and ask questions related to their insurance plan. 

All these thoughts collected from students from various parts of the world unveils that everyone has different view of the insurance policy. Still, everyone has unanswered questions about what we are paying for.

To get more information about your international student health insurance plan, Kearney Center fir International Student Services has a page on the MNSU website, containing information and resources about the insurance. You should be able to print your insurance card online, and reach out to United healthcare directly using the contact information on their website,

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.

One thought on “A close look on the international student health insurance policy

  • Daniel Sebold

    The Speaker Of The House, the supposed Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, will not stand for a national health care program, socialized medicine, despite the fact that the great majority of Democrats and Republicans want it. Ms Pelosi is worth over two hundred million dollars in Big Pharma bribes, so we will just have to put up with yet another four years of her blocking single payer health care. Over thirty million Americans have no health care and we are killing fifty thousand Americans a year for not having it. That’s murder, but then so is what we are doing in Venezuela, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

    But this is what Americans deserve: they think nothing of supporting a government that devastates the third the world with endless wars and economic sanctions against otherwise socialist countries. This is what Americans deserve as well as the international students who dare to have anything to do with the American economic and educational system. Celebrate diversity: go ahead and sit in your business classes that preach the commodification of every aspect of your life: “Capitalism is the best system. Nothing like spending an evening watching homeless people sleep on the subway grates in Washington DC. It makes me feel like a genius. I just don’t understand why Einstein wasn’t like Jeff Besos”

    So the next time you go to your next diversity rally and you are feeling like a groovy, liberal multicultural college student, what with the ROTC people, American militarism, all integrated into the program, carrying their flags–enjoy the Orwellian madness of a gun mad country preaching multicultural freedom and tolerance while your corrupt medical system bleeds you into bankruptcy and both political parties support endless wars. I lived in Saudi Arabia for four years and they don’t treat their people that way. They don’t treat their poor women that way. Everyone has free health care there, so, too, in Iran As the Greek philosopher. Thucycides. one said: “Athens is now doing to its own people what it used to do to others.”

    Thank Buddha I live in Bangkok where I have affordable health care.

    Daniel Sebold
    MSU Alumnus
    Retired US Navy Arabic linguist and Gulf War veteran


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