Home Study in US [Tutorial] Student Medicover US medical insurance, how to save $1500 a year? Easy application 5 steps

[Tutorial] Student Medicover US medical insurance, how to save $1500 a year? Easy application 5 steps

by Jack
student medicover
Reading Time: 13 minutes

Last Modified 2021年12月1日

My own school insurance is very expensive, but there are many services that I actually don’t use. How do I look at the contents of the US medical insurance plan? What is Copay? Do not understand many keywords of medical insurance?

If the school medical insurance is too expensive, can I change it to another family? The answer is, look at your school. In my article, I have sorted out common schools that can be Waive, and I have helped friends to ask the customer service for schools that can’t be Waive!

I just sorted it out. The 4 steps can easily save USD1500 a year. If you have a two-year master’s degree, you can save USD3000 (you can eat 300 Chipotles?). If you have a bachelor’s four years, you can save USD6000? (What am I doing?)

In the United States, the use of medical resources is very expensive, so medical insurance cannot be absent. Fortunately, the US government stipulates that students must buy medical insurance compulsorily!

My friend gave birth to a child and was hospitalized for more than 20,000 US dollars (fortunately, there is medical insurance, and only a few hundred US dollars after the cover). My wife had a dental visit before, and it was also 100 US dollars a time. U.S. medical care is so expensive, you really can’t live without insurance QAQ

Extended reading: American study abroad insurance, 4 common insurance types, 5 cost keywords

Priorities to do when entering the U.S.:

“Visualization Overview” Guide to Study Abroad

  1. Buying air tickets : [U.S. Travel] How do I buy air tickets in the United States? 3 steps to buy cheap air tickets
  2. Report to school
  3. Looking for a long-term rental house :
  4. Open a bank account :
  5. Phone number
    • Temporary sim card : 14 to 30 days temporarily, you can report safety to your family after landing
      • [Recommendation] (people outside US) directly use e-sim card, open online before departure, and use the Internet directly when landing: Mint Telecom
  6. Apply for a credit card (start to accumulate credit records):
  7. My website for studying abroad
    1. [Study in the U.S.] 40 essential websites for studying in the U.S.
    2. [美国求职] #0 A collection of job hunting resources in the United States, 15 must-have websites, 2 books, and 4 PROJECTS
    3. [Money-saving teaching] Rakuten cash back, saving USD500 in teaching a year
  8. U.S. Medical Insurance :
    1. [Study in the US] US study abroad insurance, 4 common insurance types, 5 cost keywords
    2. [Apply for teaching] Student Medicover US medical insurance, how to save $1500 a year? Easy application 5 steps
  9. U.S. stock ETF investment account opening: [Account opening teaching] Firstrade, an American brokerage firm, a 5-minute easy account opening tutorial
  10. Changing your driver’s license: [Study in the US] Taiwan’s driver’s license is exempted from the test and the US driver’s license is easily changed in 33 states


Who is this article for?

  • F1 visa
  • J1 visa
  • OPT period

During OPT, some people have a window period before starting work, which is about 2-3 months. I still recommend buying medical insurance, especially when the epidemic broke out last year. If you suddenly need to use medical resources, you may go bankrupt. (I heard that a friend was hospitalized for 60 days. Before the insurance was covered, it would cost 600,000 US dollars… I don’t know if I heard it wrong… It turns out that hospitalization without insurance will really go bankrupt…)!

Introduction to U.S. Medical Insurance

Medical insurance is indispensable for international students. The school will automatically register school insurance for all students, and the premium is covered in the tuition fee.

Some schools allow students to purchase alternative medical insurance that meets the school’s requirements and give up the insurance plan (Insurance Waiver) provided by the school. Usually, they can buy a cost-effective plan, saving USD 500-1500.

Introduction to Student Medicover

How did I know about this insurance? It refers to the orientation meeting for new students, recommended by the senior sister, and then I can save USD1500 a year. I read the content of the summer plan for a while, and it meets my needs and can save money, so I bought it with my own hands.

Later, I studied Student Medicover. It is the largest medical and health platform and insurance company in the American international student market. It provides services in Chinese, English, and Korean. It is a student-friendly company!

Insurance services include:

  • Insurance plan including Vision (Elite & Prime)
  • Including first aid services such as ambulances and emergency rooms
  • Free online consultation & psychological consultation service
  • 100% pays for school entrance vaccines, HPV (under 46 years old), flu vaccines and other preventive vaccines
  • Including COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccine

Insurance plan comparison table

US medical insurance
Refer to the medical insurance lecture at the 2017 Freshman Orientation Meeting

You can refer to the above table, but the cost of the current official website is still the main one. The annual plan will be slightly different due to age, school, and state! Be sure to look carefully at the content to see if it meets your needs. I am a person with low demand for medical use, so I bought the cheapest Prime!

Purchase process: 5 steps to purchase easily

Step 1: Confirm that your school can be Waive (very important!!)

This step is very important. Not every school or state can buy an outside insurance to come to Waive School’s on-campus insurance! The schools in Texas that I know are hardly good at Waive, and my friend’s University of Michigan!

I helped my friend call the customer service, ask a little bit, the school that is okay, if your school is not in the list I listed, directly

Ask your school if it can be Waive!

Currently known to be able to Waive list (continuously adding)

This is the last time I helped my friend call the customer service to ask if his school can be Waive. By the way, I asked some other lists. If your school is not in it, it doesn’t matter. This is not a complete list. Just ask the customer service to be the most accurate !

As far as I know, Waive has schools in New York State and California:

New York state

  • New York University
  • University of Rochester
  • Pratt Institute
  • The New School
  • Fashion Institute of Technology
  • Skidmore College
  • Pace University
  • Adelphi University
  • Clarkson University
  • Baruch College


  • UC series all schools
  • University of San Diego
  • California Institute of Technology
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Pepperdine University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Nevada- Las Vegas

Step 2: Fill in the basic information

US medical insurance
US medical insurance

Enter your birthday, enter the school name in School/Organization, select your identity type, and select the start and end time of the Coverage according to the school requirements, and then click Next. SM insurance is purchased on a daily basis, and a single purchase is at least 90 days or more.

1. Enter the school name in Organization;

2. Choose F1 International for Student Category

3. Enter the insurance coverage date specified by the school in the coverage field. If you are not sure, you can consult customer service. (Usually it is the time when you study in school, I myself have a one-year program, so I buy a one-year program)

Step 3: Choose Elite or Prime or Choice plan

US medical insurance

SM Insurance provides 3 plans: Choice/ Prime/ Elite

Prime and Elite plans 100% compensation for preventive treatment, and a series of vaccines, such as HPV, flu, MMR, etc., can be vaccinated for free, and the protections will be better.

Note: You can use “Compare” to compare these three plans to see which one fits your health needs!

In this step, compare the insurance premiums on your tuition bill!

Jack, a New York engineer who saves money

Step 4: Create an account and fill in personal information

US medical insurance

Please select your nationality in Country of Origin.

Intimate tips:

  • If you already have a school student ID, it is recommended to select Yes and fill it in.
  • If you do not have a US address, you can choose I don’t have a US-based address.
  • If you do not have a US number, please fill in the school phone number in the Mobile Number field.

Step 5: Confirm personal information

US medical insurance

Confirm your

  • name
  • Birthday
  • telephone
  • type of visa
  • School
  • cover date (must be confirmed, in line with school regulations, usually one or two years)

Step 6: Payment

US medical insurance

Finally, after the purchase is successful, you can log in to your personal account and download the Confirmation Letter.

You can go to UnitedHealthcare official website to create a My Account and download the insurance card after 2-3 working days after the purchase (the opening season for insurance purchases will be slightly longer).

I wrote carefully later, how to download the insurance card, because we use the insurance card to see the doctor, similar to the health insurance card in Taiwan!

After purchase: 4 steps, easy Waive school medical insurance

Refer to the briefing I attended the NYU TSA medical insurance seminar in 2017

Step 1: Go to the school’s official website to download the Waive form

Go to the school’s official website to download the Waive form of medical insurance. After filling it out, go to step 2

Step 2: Fill out the form and send it to [email protected]

About 3 working days, the completed Waive form will be received from SM

Step 3: Upload the completed form to the Waive system of the school

Every school will have a place where you can waive, just fill in the form and upload it!

Step 4: After a few days, confirm that the tuition insurance fee is exempted

Finally, in a few days, you go back and look at the insurance column in your tuition bill. It should be zero!

Save USD1000 – 1500 easily!

Download insurance card, register online account

What is a medical insurance card?

After the insurance purchase is completed, just bring the insurance card and go to the medical institution in the network, you can easily see a doctor. It is recommended to carry it with you in case of emergency.

The insurance card is the most practical proof of medical insurance in the United States. It contains your personal insurance information, insurance company information, bill delivery information, etc.

Medical institutions on the network usually use the billing information on the insurance card to send the bills, simplify the steps of claim reimbursement, and see the doctor much easier.

Step 1: Go to the UnitedHealthcare website

Part of the information, refer to the SM official website.

Step 2: Enter your name, birthday, and registered SM email

US medical insurance
Reference from SM official website.
Note that if the website displays “unable to verify your information”, please check whether the above information is filled in correctly. 
The system will ask you if you have purchased other insurances, just choose Certify No Insurance .

Step 3: Log in to the system, download the ID card and print it out

Reference from SM official website
Once the insurance card is printed, you can take it with you (put it in your wallet). 
If you need a physical card, you can submit a request on the website and let United Healthcare send it to you. 

I will put the physical card in my wallet myself!

5 common medical insurance payment keywords

  • Premium : Premium paid regularly. (But usually the insurance for international students is bought for a whole year.)
  • Deductible : Deductible. For example, your Deductible is USD1500. After USD1500 is exceeded, the insurance company will share proportionately. Generally, the higher the deductible, the cheaper the premium.
  • Coinsurance : Share the ratio with the insurance company, usually %. After exceeding Deductible (deductible), the share of the share.
    • For example: the medical bill is USD 1600, Deductible USD 1500, Coinsurance: 30%
      • Deductible: You will pay USD 1500 first
      • More than Deductible is USD 100: Medical bill USD 1600 – Deductible USD 1500
      • Coinsurance: The insured must pay USD 30, and the insurance company will cover USD 70
  • Co-Payment : Similar to the registration fee, the money to be paid every time you go to a clinic or specialty. It usually falls at USD10-30, and the charges vary according to different hospitals and specialties.
  • Out-of-pocket Maximum : After exceeding the upper limit of your total payment, the insurance company will pay in full.
    • For example: Medical bill USD 25,000, Out-of-pocket Maximum is USD 10,000
      • You only need to bear USD 10,000, and the remaining USD 15,000 will be borne by the insurance company

7 common medical services in the U.S.

Part of the information, refer to the SM official website.

Primary Care

Applicable conditions: general diseases, physical examinations, vaccines

The most common way to see a doctor in the United States is to contact a general practitioner. Doctors in the United States have passed strict audits, are licensed, and are professional and reliable. A general practitioner can not only help you see a doctor, but also refer you to a specialist (cardiologist, dermatologist, etc.).

SM Insurance can also appoint a doctor you trust to be the attending doctor, who will take care of your health. Depending on the doctor, the cost of using SM insurance to see a doctor is between $40-$90.

Special Care

Applicable situation: specialist diseases (such as heart disease, skin disease)

If you encounter specific diseases, you can find doctors in specific subjects on the United Healthcare official website: skin diseases, heart diseases, etc. However, it is recommended that people who do not know their medical conditions first see a general practitioner.

Specialists referred by school hospitals or general practitioners are not necessarily in the network. It is recommended to first confirm whether the doctor is a doctor in the network. If not, you can find a doctor of the same category yourself. With SM insurance, you can make appointments with specialists without referrals.

Urgent Care

Applicable situation: Sudden illness (such as fever, trauma, etc.)

The biggest advantage of Urgent Care is that you don’t need to make an appointment, and you can see the doctor directly. Part of Urgent Care is open 24 hours a day, which is simply the conscience of the industry.

As Urgent Care only deals with emergency situations (fever, stomachache, scratches, etc.), it is recommended that people with serious illnesses should contact a doctor or call an emergency department first.

Urgent Care in the United States can be regarded as a general outpatient clinic that works overtime. It opens for a long time and does not need to make an appointment in advance. You can walk in directly to deal with sudden minor emergencies, colds, fevers, allergies, fractures, etc.

Using SM insurance to see a doctor at Urgent Care is very affordable. But if you want a lower price for medical treatment, it is recommended to go to Convenience Clinic or find a doctor to make an appointment.


Applicable situation: major life-threatening accidents (for example: serious injury, heart attack)

If life is in danger (serious injury, car accident, etc.), it is recommended to call 911. Emergency medical treatment is expensive and will give priority to some life-critical issues. If the condition is not urgent, I recommend going to Urgent Care, which can save a lot of money and time.

With SM insurance, the total cost of ambulance and emergency services is generally around $1700-$3000.


Applicable situation: major diseases (for example: surgery, hospitalization)

American hospitals are mainly responsible for handling major diseases, surgical operations, and hospitalizations. There is an Emergency Room (emergency room) with complete equipment and medical staff. Generally, births and surgery and hospitalization are carried out in large hospitals.

Hospitalization in the United States is expensive, but SM Insurance’s Elite and Prime plans have a maximum out -of-pocket Maximum ( Out-of-pocket Maximum ). If the out-of-pocket maximum is reached within a year, the insurance company will pay 100%. Don’t worry if you encounter major diseases.

Free online medical treatment

Applicable conditions: minor illnesses (for example: sore throat, minor infection)

In fact, 70% of emergency, emergency care and doctor outpatient services can be handled safely by phone.

Doctor appointments can sometimes take days or even weeks of waiting time. However, if it is a mild illness such as common fever and cold, you can use HealthiestYou to connect to a certified physician within 15 minutes. The doctor can also prescribe drugs for you, which can save you a lot of trouble.

HealthiestYou is free for all SM insurance policyholders. Download the mobile application and register with the SM insurance account information.

Free online psychological consultation HealthiestYou

Application situation: mental health (for example: depression, bipolar disorder, etc.)

HealthiestYou is an online professional consultation system that allows you to conduct psychological consultation/treatment online anywhere, even when traveling internationally. As long as you provide basic information online, you can find a suitable psychological counselor within 24 hours to conduct psychological counseling via telephone, online video, etc.

Thanks to the cooperation between the platform and UHCSR, all SM insurance plans are 100% covered by HealthiestYou’s online consultation. Student Medicover insurance users can download the HealthiestYou software, complete the registration, and use it for free.

In the United States, especially after studying or graduating, looking for a job, mental health is very important, if you need to seek support, you can find resources! 😀

Seeing a doctor: 6 steps to see a doctor easily

Step 1: Go to SM Insurance official website

Click: ” www.smcovered.com “

Choose: “Visit A ​​Doctor” >> “Find an In-network Doctor”

Student Medicover U.S. Medical Insurance
US medical insurance

Step 2: Choose Find Care

Student Medicover U.S. Medical Insurance
U.S. Medical Insurance

Step 3: Enter the Zip code to search for nearby doctors

Student Medicover U.S. Medical Insurance
US medical insurance

There are two ways to query a doctor:

  • Method 1: Enter Primary Care Physician, Hospitals, Urgent Care Center, etc. directly
  • Method 2: Select the medical service you need at the icon above, the commonly used ones are
    • Specialist: People>Specialty Care>Select the type of disease
    • Vaccination: Services and Treatments> Vaccines>Adult Vaccines>Select the type of vaccine

Step 4: Make an appointment to see a doctor

  • Choose a time: usually 10am-2pm is a busy time period, which can be avoided. It is usually easier to make an appointment on Monday.
  • Choose a doctor: When choosing a doctor, you need to compare the price budget, evaluation and availability.
  • Explain the situation: If the situation is more urgent, you can explain it to the nurse. But since the nurses are very experienced, it is absolutely inevitable to jump in the queue pretending to be an emergency.
  • Inquiry about fees: Before seeing a doctor, it is recommended to ask the medical staff about the charges when making an appointment to avoid some administrative expenses other than medical services, such as new patient fee.

Step 5: Go to the doctor

  • Insurance card: Show your UHC insurance card when you see a doctor, and the clinic staff will send the bill to the insurance company for you. You don’t need to settle the claim yourself, which is very convenient.
  • Translation assistance: American hospitals provide free translation services for patients whose native language is not English. To see a doctor in the hospital, you can first ask the doctor if there is any Chinese service.
  • Provide medical history: Just like in Taiwan, you need a medical record before you see a doctor. When you see a doctor in the United States, you also need to provide the doctor with your past medical history, allergies, and medications you have taken.
  • Communicating the condition: You can better understand the condition by consulting a doctor when you see a doctor.
  • Consultation to prescribe drugs: SM insurance prescription drugs are paid according to the type of drug (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3), and consultation with the doctor to prescribe equivalent generic drugs can slightly reduce the cost.
  • Make an appointment for review: If necessary, you can make an appointment for the review when you see the doctor.

Step 6: Get the medicine at the pharmacy

After getting the doctor’s prescription, you can pick up the medicine from the pharmacy. The pharmacies in most school hospitals are small in scale and are not part of the UHC medical network. You need to go to the pharmacies in the network to get medicines, such as CVS or Walgreens. SM Insurance’s Preferred, Prime and Elite plans all cover prescription drugs, and go to the pharmacy in the network to pick up the drugs, just pay for copay.

In the United States, there are separate hospitals and pharmacies, and doctors have to go to the pharmacy to buy medicines after they prescribe. Common drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc., can buy prescription, non-prescription, and health foods.

When taking the medicine, if any medical staff cannot find out the insurance coverage benefit, please ask the medical staff to contact the for provider number on the back of the insurance card, or dial 888-224-4875 for inquiries.

Frequently Asked Questions for Readers

Q1: I have an F1 visa and want to change to Student Medicover insurance. What should I do?

1. Confirm that the school is eligible for Waive

2. Purchase Student Medicare medical insurance

3. Fill in the school Waive form

4. The medical insurance premium in the tuition fee is exempted

Q2: Can every school be able to Waive and purchase off-campus medical insurance?

Not necessarily! 
It depends on school policy!

It is recommended that before buying off-campus insurance, you can read the school regulations or ask the insurance company you want to buy!
Take Student Medicare as an example:

The schools in Texas that I know are hardly Waive, and my friend’s University of Michigan!
Most of New York State and California can. You can refer to the List I have collected so far. It doesn’t matter if you don’t see your school. You can directly ask the insurance company!

Q3: I just graduated and I have been in OPT for 90 days, during the transition period before going to work, do I need to buy insurance?

Of course, it is strongly recommended, otherwise, during these 90 days, medical resources are needed. Without insurance, it will be a sky-high price!

Q4: If the school medical insurance is too expensive and I want to change to off-campus insurance, is there a recommendation?

I myself was at the freshman briefing. The 
Student Medicover insurance recommended by the 
senior sister was very good.
It can be covered during the F1 visa period and OPT, which is USD1200-1500 cheaper than the school.
I have used Student Medicare insurance myself, and I am also welcome to leave a message and recommend insurance that you think is good!

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