Insurance during OPT

Insurance during the graduation internship (OPT): International students with an F-1 visa can obtain an Optional Practical Training (OPT) work placement permit for about 12 months after graduation from American schools (also known as 美国留学). Although there is no mandatory medical insurance requirement during OPT, you are advised to prepare an insurance policy in view of the expensive medical expenses in the United States. Some schools allow graduated students to continue to participate in the school’s student health insurance plan (approximately a year), and you can contact the school to extend insurance before you graduate. Some internship units may provide you with medical insurance. If you are not able to get insurance from a school or an internship, you can purchase the relevant health insurance (also known as美国医疗保险) through a commercial insurance company, for example Huhu insurance (also known as 虎虎保险)

Many companies offer insurance plans designed for OPT, ranging from days to years. To choose this type of insurance, you will need to submit an Employment Permit (EAD) issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There are three important things you need to pay attention when you purchase health insurance by yourself.

(1) It is very different from the domestic ones. The health insurance in the United States is not always ready to buy! Only at the end of January of the year in November of the year can be insured. However, if the school insurance is interrupted, you will enjoy a special 60-day insurance qualification; once you miss 60 days after the school insurance is interrupted, you can only wait until the opening of the insurance period in November to join! Also, normally the health insurance does not include dental (also known as 美国 看牙) and vision. If you need these two, you will have to buy them separately.

(2) Is there an SSN (US Social Security Number)? There have been rumors that it seems that OPT students without SSN cannot purchase personal health insurance. Wrong! Regardless of whether you have an SSN or not, it is no problem to start the action within 60 days of the break.

(3) Some people will go further and apply for an h1b visa (美国h1b签证) to stay in the US. If you have already started working for a salary, no health insurance may be fined when you file your tax return! Do you have to buy insurance yourself during h1b? If you don’t use the company’s insurance, will it affect the h1b application? You could always consult a professional h1b lawyer regarding the h1b lottery ( h1b抽签) and green card processing time (移民排期).