Health Insurance Requirements
All non-immigrant F-1 and J-1 student visa holders who are enrolled in any amount of credit hours are required to have basic medical/hospitalization health insurance coverage either through the University-endorsed plan or by providing evidence of their own acceptable insurance.
Students are given the option to apply for a health insurance waiver before the start date listed on their immigration document, as long as the students and their plan meet the UH System Health Insurance Waiver Criteria (see below). If students fail to submit the waiver or wish to receive the insurance plan endorsed by the University, the UHV Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) will be automatically charged to your account. You do not need to purchase the SHIP plan separately. The insurance cost for the Fall semester is $1,350 (returning students $1,112), and the cost for both Spring and Summer combined is $2,109, Summer only $777.
F-1/J-1 Mandatory Insurance Definitions and Coverage (UH System Health Insurance Waiver Criteria):
Repatriation coverage - a benefit which provides payment in the event of death for preparation and transportation of the remains to the student's home country
Medical Evacuation coverage - a benefit which provides for transportation to the student's home country in the event of serious medical illness which requires extensive medical care
Minimum Plan Benefit coverage - a package of health insurance benefits, subject to reasonable deductible amounts and co-pays:
- Medical evacuation coverage amount must be no less than $50,000.
- Repatriation coverage amount must be no less than $25,000.
- Medical/preventative care benefits must be equivalent to the UHS-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan with no annual limits.
- Coverage must contain no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
- Coverage imposes no provisions for co-insurance that exceed 25% of the covered benefits.
International students that are subject to this policy must have health and medical evacuation/repatriation coverage that meet or exceed the following SHIP coverage period:
- Fall: August 1st - December 31st
- Spring/Summer: January 1st - August 31st
- Summer Only: June 1st - August 31st
International J Student Visa Holders must have a policy whose deductible does not exceed $500 annually.
International F Student Visa Holders must have a policy whose deductible does not exceed $1,500 (individual)/$3,000 (family) annually.
Individual plans, travel plans, or plans that require individuals to pay for treatment before being reimbursed will NOT be accepted for waiver approval.
Health Insurance Waiver Criteria, Instructions, and Deadlines
Students may submit the health insurance waiver if their plan meets the above coverage requirements and/or if the students meet the following criteria:
The student is sponsored by the U.S. government. The government of the student's home country is recognized by the U.S. or by certain international, government-sponsored, or non-governmental organizations. If the student's government sponsor has provided a plan equivalent to the UHV Student Health Insurance Plan or a letter guaranteeing payment of all health care expenses, the student may apply for the health insurance waiver.
- The student is enrolled in an employer-provided group health plan which is equivalent to the UHV Student Health Insurance Plan.
If your alternate coverage meets the above minimum requirements, use the link below to submit electronic copies of the following documents with your online waiver request:
- A scanned copy of the front and back of your health insurance ID card indicating the student as a covered member.
- A scanned copy of your complete policy, including coverage amounts, exclusions, and limitations in English using US dollars.
- A scanned copy of your medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.
Submittal of the health insurance waiver will not automatically grant you the waiver. It must be approved in order to be granted. Insurance waiver is reviewed and approved by the SHIP insurance organization. UHV and UH-System will not have any control over the waiver process.
Fall 2022 Waiver Period Ends: August 20th, 2022.
Notification of acceptance or rejection of this request will be sent to your University email within seven business days. Late submissions will not be accepted.
UHV Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
The cost of the UHV Student Health Insurance Plan for the current semester is posted on the International Student Expenses web page. Health insurance endorsed by the university is activated on the first day of class beginning each Fall and Spring semester and ends on the day before the next Fall or Spring term begins. The purpose of this requirement is to provide reasonable assurance that international students will have the financial means to reside within the U.S. during their course of study in the event of an unexpected illness or accident.
Students need to have someone in the United States (or outside the country who speaks English) to contact in case of emergency situations. This contact information must be provided by students at the orientation session and scanned into the student's file upon enrollment. It is also import for students to make sure their dependents have adequate health insurance coverage. Dependents are not included in the student health care plans offered by UHV.
Health Insurance for Athletes
All F-1 and J-1 international athletes must have the recommended health insurance plan through www.gallagherstudent.com/iss Student athletes must have insurance from August 1st, 2022 to May 31st, 2023. Once you visit the above website make sure you enter your 1. Date of Birth 2. Select University of Houston Victoria 3. Select International Student Athlete 4. Coverage from Aug 1 2022 to May 31 2023. International Athletes will need to purchase the ISS Sports Plus plan either ($100 deductible or $500 deductible). Higher deductible means the athlete will have to cover more out of pocket. Example: Students under the age of 23, $100 deducible plan for 10 months is $2009.44), $500 deductible plan for 10 months is $1821. If a student is over the age of 23, the $100 deductible plan for 10 months is $2940, $500 deductible plan for 10 months is $2676. If a student plans to remain in the U.S. beyond the May 31st 2022 then student must plan accordingly at the time of the insurance purchase. International Athltes must provide evidence of health insurance by sending a copy of the purchased insurance/ insurance card to firstname.lastname@example.org along with their UHV ID with a subject line: Athlete Health Insurance Confirmation (UHV ID).
If you are an F-1 or J-1 student departing the U.S. after the Spring semester, or if you are graduating in the Spring and not planning to complete Optional Practical Training (OPT), you may be eligible to receive the Summer refund. The refund is ONLY for students who made the Spring and Summer payment of $2,109. If you meet the above requirements, you must provide a copy of your flight out of the U.S. stating departure dates and complete the Insurance Refund Form.
Please note: If you are a returning international student who wishes to apply for the refund for the Summer, you will not have insurance until September 1st. The Spring and Summer coverage is from January 1st to August 31st.