The short answer? You don't have to, but you should. International students on an F1 visa do not have any government mandated health insurance requirements to meet when studying in the USA. However, with this in mind, schools often have their own requirements and may require you to join their plan or purchase your own.
Of course, everyone should have health insurance, so we would suggest you check out an off-exchange insurance plan (your visa would not qualify you for a subsidy) at www.ihealthagents.com.
If you don't want full comprehensive coverage, you can purchase a short-term insurance plan for up to 6 months that will cover you in the event of catastrophic care.
Use our live chat or schedule a phone appointment with an agent today.