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Health Information (Insurance, vaccines, and concerns)

Healthcare in the U.S. is very expensive. IUP strongly recommends that you purchase health insurance in case you have an emergency or need medical care while studying here.

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 U.S. does not cover all medical benefits like prescriptions or dental or vision.

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.

22 C.F.R. § 62.14 Insurance

  1. Sponsors shall require each exchange visitor to have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor for sickness or accident during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor’s exchange visitor program. Minimum coverage shall provide:
    1. Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness;
    2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500;
    3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000; and
    4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  2. An insurance policy secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:
    1. May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions which is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
    2. May include provision for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25 percent of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
    3. Shall not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.
  3. Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:
    1. Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of ‘‘A–’’ or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd., (ISI) rating of ‘‘A– i’’ or above, a Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying Ability rating of ‘‘A–’’ or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above, or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
    2. Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country; or
    3. Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees

Short-Term Health Insurance Plans for International Students in the U.S.

Some of the most commonly purchased insurance plans for international students studying in the United States are listed below. If you have insurance from your home country, verify that it covers your medical expenses in the United States and make sure to bring the insurance card and contact information when you travel.

Students can purchase insurance 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 U.S.A., and international students are responsible for any costs associated with their physical or mental health and, in extreme cases, repatriation to their home country.

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 webpage. This fee is not insurance. Students must also purchase a separate health insurance policy.

Immunization Records are Required

IUP requires documentation from all new freshman and transfer students of all immunization dates. This includes the following vaccines:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus-toxoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Polio

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.

Concerns

Have concerns about Ebola? Information is available at this Center for Health and Well-Being webpage.

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