International Graduate Student Medical Insurance – Not Told Out-of-Network

I’m a graduate student at an R1 university in Texas. Another graduate student in my program broke his leg badly a few months ago trying to catch a football. After he healed from surgery, his surgeon recommended that he start seeing a physical therapist. The surgeon’s office recommended one PT which was about 30 minutes away from our university, so he asked for a closer in-network PT. The surgeon’s office sent him a recommendation, and he has now seen them 8 times. Unfortunately, the PT just emailed him today to tell him that the PT is out-of-nework. He offered to let my friend pay in their out-of-pocket program (~$80/visit), but it is still quite a bit more than what an in-network provider would have cost. We work on assistantships, and he’s already worked on paying for a costly surgery, so money is spread pretty thin.

He’s an international student, so he hasn’t dealt with American insurance that much. His insurance is through our university since we’re employees. I asked him to ask for a copy of any forms that he signed with his current PT. Should they have informed him sooner than 8 visits (he started seeing the PT at the end of August) that he was out-of-network? Is there anything he can do to try to lower the bill?

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