What to Consider When Choosing International Student Health Insurance
Canada is increasingly becoming a popular destination for international students. In 2016 alone, Canada welcomed 414,000 international students, a 20% increase from those received in the previous year. For schools to successfully attract and retain international students, it is important to provide them with the right tools to be successful with their new lives in Canada. One of the most important things schools can provide is the right insurance plan.
With so many options available, it can be a daunting task to select the best insurance coverage for your international students. As a result, it can be easy to rely on price when choosing which solution to go with. However, there are many other factors at play besides price. Here are the four key considerations to make when selecting an international student insurance provider, which will help you choose the right solution for your students.
1. What Do Your Students Need?
As international students have travelled thousands of miles to come to your school, they need to be covered against unexpected medical emergencies that would disrupt their education. You want to ensure that the policy you choose will provide protection in the most likely events that can occur, so that you can give the students – and their parents – peace of mind. Knowing that their insurance provider will always be there to help, every step of the way, can be a real weight off their shoulders as they deal with the stress of arriving in a new country.
2. Is Your Provider Culturally Sensitive?
As your students are coming from all corners of the globe, you need to partner with a provider that is culturally sensitive and will pay attention to the nuances that come with dealing with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Some of your students may have grown up speaking different languages at home, so it is important to be able to provide them with support in a language that they are comfortable with. Having a provider that is experienced working with different cultures is important as your international students will have differing needs from your domestic students. A provider that is culturally sensitive and knowledgeable on the various countries, languages, and cultures your students originate from will help to ensure the well-being of your students in any event.
3: How is the Service?
It can be difficult to know exactly how insurance works if you have not had much experience using it in the past. For this reason, it is key to educate your students on the services that are available to them. An insurance provider that can deliver orientation sessions to your students will help them understand what they are entitled to under their policy, as well as all the services provided in case they need them.
As it can be a daunting experience to move miles away from home, it is crucial for you to choose an insurance provider who is able to offer information to your students when they need it, and to reassure them that they are not alone if they get ill or are faced with a medical emergency. To help you weigh your options correctly, you will need to ask potential insurance providers some key questions including:
- Do they run training/orientation sessions for both students and staff?
- Is there an on-site representative who can jump in if the need arises?
- How responsive are they in the case of an emergency?
4. What is the Company’s Reputation?
Do your homework when you are choosing a health insurance provider for your international students. You want a partner who is in it for the long-haul and will go above and beyond to ensure that you and your students are well taken care of if anything happens. If an emergency occurs, you want a partner that has a proven track record of taking care of issues effectively and discreetly so that you can protect your school’s reputation and keep your international students happy.
Look Beyond Price When Choosing an International Student Health Insurance Provider
Sure, price is the easiest differentiator when comparing insurance providers. And choosing the lowest priced option can feel like the safest choice. But look deeper and you’ll find that not all insurance companies offer the same level of coverage, service, or support. When your reputation and brand are on the line, it’s important to look beyond price and go with the provider who is the best fit for you and your students.
Sean Segal is the Marketing Coordinator at guard.me