Health insurance. Many U.S. health plans offer little or no coverage when you are outside the U.S. or may impose time limits on coverage, so most formal study-abroad programs include a health plan. If your time abroad is more open-ended, you might need to purchase travel insurance or international medical coverage, which generally costs a young person a few hundred dollars.
Regardless of the health plan, look to see what is covered. Many plans exclude treatment for pre-existing conditions or mental-health issues or reimburse you only after treatment. If so, you will need to be ready to pay cash for your care. Many plans offer emergency medical evacuation, but might transport patients only to the closest “appropriate” hospital rather than bringing them home.
You also might want to see if nonmedical evacuations are covered, such as after an earthquake or amid political unrest. Last year, some insurers chartered planes to get students studying in Egypt out of the country after the uprising there. You can compare plans and terms at websites like Squaremouth.com or InsureMyTrip.com.
See the full article from the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304821304577436532491260006.html