Medical insurance in the United States is not nationalized, and medical care is very expensive, so it is extremely important that you have adequate medical coverage. Although you may be covered by health insurance in your home country, many private doctors and hospitals in the U.S. will not accept foreign medical coverage. If this happens, you may have to pay the medical bills yourself and wait to be reimbursed by your insurance company. There is nothing worse than having huge medical bills without adequate coverage.
All international students are required to enroll in the International Student Health Insurance Plan offered by the State University of New York. Enrollment is automatic. You will have to pay a fee for it unless you can prove that you have comparable private insurance coverage. Waivers are only granted until the end of the Add/Drop period and must be requested each semester. Non-immigrants are not eligible for public assistance to meet medical payments.
More information at /Departments/HealthServices/