With students all over the country planning for their big graduation day, OPT health insurance is understandably not the top priority for most students. There is a festive and nostalgic atmosphere on most campuses and for international students, the feelings may be even more intense. After all, they are now entering the big bad world out there.

It is important for international students to understand that after graduation, international student health insurance will become invalid. The international graduate who is typically on the optional practical training period must look for appropriate insurance.

The first stop might be the college’s international services department. However, the rates of the college-sponsored insurance may be very high, and include coverage that is not necessary. Next, the recent graduate can look for OPT insurance online. Insurance plans may not be explicitly labeled “OPT insurance” and might just be called “short term health insurance.”

Online shopping will work well for students because they are typically net savvy, and also because they are more likely to make a better decision if they have all the information in hand, even if they eventually go through an agent. Remember that OPT insurance is for sudden medical expenses, and will not cover pre-existing conditions.