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Student Health Insurance Plans

The type of student health insurance required varies from school to school but almost all colleges and universities require some sort of mandatory health insurance. Student health insurance offered by your college can often be waived if you currently have health insurance coverage through a family plan, or as a dependent of a covered parent or guardian.

Student health insurance plans often cover checkups, prescription drugs, visits to the student clinic, and sometimes visits to specialists. Emergency room visits may or may not be covered, and may also require a copayment or deductible. Students who are not covered, but want to have a more flexible policy can purchase their own insurance and waive the mandatory fees levied by their college or university.

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Mandatory Student Insurance

Most schools require that each student has health insurance. Student health insurance is often known as SHIP, and the premium is often attached to your student tuition and fees. Student health insurance plans sometimes require that you visit the school's health center for the lowest copayments and deductibles.

Voluntary Student Health Insurance

In addition to your student health insurance plan (SHIP) you may wish for more expansive coverage options. Many schools, colleges, and universities also offer additional “voluntary” student health insurance. The voluntary health insurance may allow you to go outside of your network or student health center for treatment, receive care from specialists, or provide for vision, dental, or additional prescription drug benefits.

Health Requirements Prior to Attending School

Prior to attending school, you will require a number of vaccinations and medical checkups. It may be prudent to obtain student health insurance prior to attending. Even though your school will often provide you with a basic student health insurance plan, which is paid with your tuition and fees, you may also opt for more comprehensive insurance coverage, including a family health insurance plan for students with dependents or spouses.

International Student Health Insurance

The U.S. Department of State requires international students with a J-1 exchange visitor visas to have student health insurance. Students with F-1 and M-1 immigrant visas are not required by the Department of State to have student health insurance, The coverage you choose should include health and accident, repatriation of remains, and medical evaluation insurance.

International students attending school should plan on obtaining student health insurance. Often, mandatory health insurance from your school will cover basic medical care and prescription drugs, but if you’d like more comprehensive student health insurance coverage, then you might wish to look into other plans.

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