Change and evolution is a part of any industry, and its how you adapt, develop and react to these changes that are key. This is especially true when it comes to the international insurance industry, while not the most fast-paced industry in terms of change, over the last few years we have seen developments that have impacted most in the international education sector.
Most notably we have been dealing with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, and how this has affected international students and schools. Coupled with this, we then had the changing insurance requirements for the J1 Visa, one of the few visas to include minimum insurance requirements. In both cases, there was lots of confusion and misinformation swirling around the international education community (and there still is), as schools were trying to understand and work out how these changes impacted them.
More recently, the major movements in the industry are appearing not from direct changes or regulation adjustments, but rather as a knock-on effect. As we highlighted in our predictions for 2016, we envisage a decline in the popularity of ACA plans along with lack of insurance options for dependents.
With all these changes going on, either from direct policy/requirement changes or the more subtle indirect changes, it can be confusing for international educators to keep up-to-date and their finger on the pulse. This is especially true when a field such as international insurance is so important to educators and their students, but is often a secondary field that many may not have the opportunity or time to research and stay abreast of all the changes.
As experts in the field, that is where we step in and work constantly to provide information and resources to the industry that is both insightful and helpful, but also keep our colleagues updated on all the latest developments and trends. While our yearly trends and insights are a great way to do this, over the course of the last 6 months we have been developing our best practices guide for the industry, titled “Selecting and Managing International Student Health Insurance”.
The guide is designed to be a complete overview of all aspects of international insurance as it relates to the international education industry. Starting with the healthcare system in the USA and how it interacts with international insurance coverage, to legally mandated insurance requirements, what you need to consider when looking for international student coverage and all the way through different plan setup, options and benefit requirements.
We will be updating the guide a few times during the year, making sure we include new trends, changes and adjustments within the market. It will therefore not only be an excellent guide for someone new to the industry, but also for seasoned professionals who are looking to find out the very latest news and developments when it comes to insurance.
The guide is part of a long list of resources and benefits that we are building for the international education industry, more of which you can see on our school resources page.