For students who are puzzled by the high costs of international student insurance plans, a recent report titled, ‘Student Health Program Baseline Report’ released in Massachusetts might offer some light. The report, released by the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, states that Student Health Programs (SHPs) offered by colleges and universities in Massachusetts have a higher profit margin for their student plans than for plans for the regular public.

The report has predictably caused a stir within the student community, as the school-sponsored plans are largely seen as being the top insurance choice, especially for international students. The administrative costs for insurance plans covering state universities and colleges are higher at 45 cents for every dollar.

The report states that the insurance companies use up 30 cents of every dollar of a student insurance plan toward profits and administrative costs, compared to 12 cents for general insurance. The study was only conducted in Massachusetts, but could reflect national trends as well.

While most colleges offer options for students to waive the sponsored plan by proving comparable international student health insurance, many international students are unaware of that. It is a good idea to check out other plans before committing to a college-sponsored insurance plan.