Healthcare in the United States is very expensive. All F and J visa holders need to purchase health insurance for themselves and their dependents in case you have an emergency or need medical care while studying here. Students will be required to submit proof of health insurance coverage (in English) to the Office of International Education during orientation. Immigration status cannot be validated until this requirement is met.
If you do not have insurance, bills can be as high as $5,000 for a simple emergency room visit, or $100 for a regular doctor’s visit. Minimal coverage requirements are listed below—this is what you can look for in an insurance policy. The Office of International Education is not able to advise you or assist you with purchasing health insurance. Please note that even basic health insurance in the United States does not cover all medical benefits like prescriptions or dental or vision.
Short-Term Health Insurance Plans for International Students in the United States
This is a listing of the most commonly purchased Insurance Plans for international students in the United States. Students must purchase insurance from a company in the U.S. online with a credit card or request a brochure and mail a check or money order. Keep proof of insurance in your wallet in case of emergency.
Remember, healthcare is expensive in the USA, and international students are responsible for any costs associated with their physical or mental health.
Immunization Records are Required
IUP requires documentation from all new freshman and transfer students of all immunization dates. This includes the following vaccines:
Bring copies of your health and immunization history. You will be asked to complete an electronic record of your health and immunization history after you arrive and are registered for classes.
Additionally, IUP requires that all students, prior to moving into university-owned residence halls, must receive the vaccination for meningococcal meningitis or sign a document stating that the student has chosen to be exempt from receiving the vaccination.
IUP Health and Wellness Fee
All students will be billed for a health service fee. This fee allows you to visit IUP's on-campus clinic to obtain basic medicine for colds, visit a doctor, and receive referrals to other doctors. For a more complete list for service offered, see Center for Health and Well-Being. This fee is not insurance. Students must also purchase a separate health insurance policy.
United States Federal Guidelines for Health Insurance Minimums for J-Visa Visitors
Those holding J-Visas are required by federal regulations to have insurance plus insurance for all J-2 dependents. Exchange visitors must select an insurance policy that is in compliance with the stated requirements below and turn in proof of insurance to their J-1 advisor.
In October 2014, the US Department of State issued a final rule that the requirements of J-1 insurance coverage were changed to:
These new levels of coverage will come into effect on May 15, 2015, so students and scholars arriving after this date will need to meet these new requirements.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued a travel alert to highlight countries where Zika virus is prevalent. For more information, visit the Health Service page about Zika.