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Healthcare for International Students & Scholars

All international students and scholars are required to have international student and scholar health insurance. The United States (US) does not have a universal healthcare system. This insurance is likely different from any regular insurance you might find in the US as it includes coverage that is unique to international visa holders.

It is customary for anyone living in the US to purchase health insurance, which pays for a portion of expenses incurred in the event of an illness or injury as even minor injuries can result in costs totaling thousands of dollars. 

Insurance Options for Students

United Healthcare SHIP Plan (BANNER plan)

This is the international student health insurance plan that students will be enrolled in automatically unless they provide proof of insurance that meets the University System of Georgia (USG) requirements.

These costs are for student-only plans and do not include costs for plans with dependents. These prices are subject to change without prior notice.

  • Fall (08/01/20-12/31/20): $1,177.00
  • Spring/Summer (01/01/21-07/31/21): $1,631.00

Using Your UnitedHealthcare Insurance

All students must create an online account in order to access the insurance card for UnitedHealthcare. Students may download and print a copy of the insurance card or request that a hard copy be sent in the mail. You will not automatically receive a copy of your insurance card upon being enrolled. You must create the account and access it. If you have previously created an account but do not remember your login credentials, you will need to contact UnitedHealthcare. Your international student advisor cannot help you retrieve that information.

Each coverage term (fall and spring/summer) students will need to log in to retrieve their insurance card. 

PGH Global Plan

This is an alternate insurance plan that is an option for students. Students who choose to enroll in this insurance will need to complete the waiver process. This charge will not be assessed on BANNER as students will need to self-enroll through PGH.

You must enroll in this plan on your own if you choose to use PGH Global. If you would like to enroll in PGH Global, please visit the PGH Global enrollment website.

These costs are for student-only plans and do not include costs for plans with dependents. These prices are subject to change without prior notice.

  • Annual (08/01/20-07/31/21): $954.00
  • Fall (08/01/20-12/31/20): $400.00
  • Spring/Summer (01/01/21-07/31/21): $554.00

International Student Health Insurance Waivers

All international students will be automatically enrolled for UnitedHealthcare international student health insurance. If you already have health insurance and want to waive out of the mandatory insurance, you will need to complete a waiver. If you are denied, the UnitedHealthcare fee will remain on your BANNER invoice. If you are enrolled for UnitedHealthcare, you will need to create an account in order to access your insurance card.

The following benefits must be included in your plan to be considered for a waiver from the USG mandatory plan. You will be required to provide your international student and scholar advisor a copy of your benefits, in English.

  1. Repatriation of remains in the amount of at least $25,000
  2. Medical Evacuation to one’s home country in the amount of at least $50,000
  3. Accident and Sickness coverage of at least $250,000 per policy year
  4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  5. A plan in effect for the required dates:
    • Fall semester: August 1 - December 31
    • Spring/summer semester: January 1- July 31
    • Entire year: August 1 - July 31 of the next year
  6. In-patient and out-patient, mental and nervous disorder benefits
  7. Prescription Drug Coverage
  8. Maximum preferred provider total out-of-pocket expenses cannot exceed $8,150 per member ($16,300 per family)
  9. Unlimited Maximum Benefit for covered medical expenses
  10. Preventative care with no cost-sharing for Preferred Providers
  11. Coverage for pre-existing condition with no waiting period
  12. Pediatric dental and vision coverage
General FAQs

What if my insurance meets some but not all of the requirements?

Many students have a spouse or parent who have health insurance that may meet some requirements but usually not the requirements for repatriation and medical evacuation. Many scholars have insurance through UNG as part of their benefits package. If this is the case, you can consider purchasing a supplemental insurance policy instead of an entirely new international student or scholar health insurance policy. A quick internet search will produce some results for supplemental insurance options, but here are a few to get you started. Please remember that the Center for Global Engagement and your International Student and Scholar Advisor are not responsible for these plans and cannot answer specific questions about their coverages.

Student FAQs

What should I know/do before using my insurance?

Failure to obtain a referral from Student Health Services may result in your insurance claim being denied and you paying the full amount for any healthcare costs.

Dahlonega or Gainesville Campus

You should visit Student Health Services before seeing a doctor off-campus, unless you need to visit the emergency room. If Student Health Services refers you to an off-campus doctor, you need to ask for a referral in order to use your insurance. A referral is required prior to using your health insurance.

Oconee or Cumming Campus

No referral is required for international students on these campuses.

What is the difference in the SHIP plan and the PGH Global plan?

It is important to remember that you get what you pay for. The PGH Global plan costs less because it covers less. If you have anticipated healthcare needs or visit the doctor often, you may want to consider the SHIP plan. If you are interested in seeing a policy brochure to see the differences in coverage, please contact your international student advisor.

How do I waive the SHIP charge if I have another insurance plan?

Once students are registered for classes and the charge is on their BANNER account, students will receive an email from the Business Office with instructions on the online waiver process. If students enroll in the PGH Global plan, they must complete the online waiver process. Students do not need to complete an online waiver if they are satisfied with the SHIP plan.

Can I use a different insurance plan than the ones listed above?

There are other companies that offer excellent international student health insurance. Feel free to do your own research, or check out the companies listed here. Please remember that the Center for Global Engagement and your international student advisor are not responsible for these plans and cannot answer specific questions about their coverages.

International Scholar & Intern FAQs

If I’m here on a J-1 or J-2 visa, what are the minimum requirements for my insurance?

Per regulation, all exchange visitors in a J status are required to have adequate health insurance during their stay in the U.S. Current standards require the minimum coverage listed below. These insurance requirements are mandated by immigration regulation. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the termination of your J-1 status.

Item Minimum Coverage
Medical benefits $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains $25,000
Medical evacuation $50,000
Deductible per accident or illness (should not exceed) $500

These requirements may be different or greater than the minimum requirements for UNG students. You are responsible for complying with regulation and ensuring that you have adequate coverage.

The insurance policy must be underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating "A-" or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-Paying Ability of "A-" or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or above, or such other rating services as the Department of State may from time to time specify. Insurance coverage backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country shall be deemed to meet this requirement

Can I use the services offered at Student Health Services?

No. Student Health Services is only available to students enrolled in classes and paying the associated health services fee.

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