The College introduced a new type of health insurance plan for international students for the 2019-20 academic year.
The new initiative will provide better health insurance options for international students and prevent them from acquiring questionably low-priced plans that would not guarantee reasonable coverage in the case of an emergency, Controller Nathan Engle said.
The previous insurance option the school provided for international students could be waived if it was replaced with another form of health insurance. In many cases, international students were able to opt out of the College policy for a plan charging as little as $50 per month, which failed to properly cover students’ insurance needs.
“This policy was implemented for the long-term in order to help solve health insurance issues that international students were facing in previous years,” Engle said.
The current plan cannot be waived and will be directly charged to students’ tuition payments. The College will be the direct administering authority of this health insurance initiative, Engle said.
As of this year, domestic and international students are enjoying the advantages of the same insurance policy. However, the price of the policy for international students will continue to be lower than the price for domestic students.
The new health insurance plan will be renewed annually for the entirety of the students’ tenure at St. Olaf.
With this initiative, the College aims to provide a good health insurance option for international students, which they potentially might not be able to access on their own, Engle said.