Written by: Martha Lynn Turner, Associate Director
As anyone who has received medical care in the U.S. knows, it can be very expensive. Even with good medical insurance, the patient usually has to pay for some of the bill.
At Washington University in St. Louis all F-1 and J-1 students are charged a $5 per semester, which goes towards the International Student Assistance Fund. This fund allows OISS to assist students with significant medical bills. After the health insurance company has paid their part of the bill, the International Student Assistance Fund can help with some of a student’s medical expenses if a student is required to pay more than $500 of their own money, known as “out of pocket” expenses. Before you pay your part of the bill contact, Martha Turner to obtain assistance from the fund.
One requirement to receive financial assistance is that the health insurance must have paid on the claim. The fund can only assist with the “co-pay”, the portion that the patient has to pay after the health insurance pays their part of the claim.
It is important to remember that the insurance company must receive the bill from the medical care provider within 90 days after the medical care has been provided. If the bill is received later, the health insurance company is not required to pay any part of the bill. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that you have given your health insurance information to the doctor or hospital when you receive treatment or as soon as possible after that.
The U.S. health system and medical insurance process is very different from most countries. For more information, see Health Care and Insurance for International Students.