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Healthcare for International Students

Unlike many other countries around the world, the United States (US) does not have a universal healthcare system. Even minor injuries can result in costs totaling thousands of dollars. For this reason, 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.

All international students and scholars are required to have international student and scholar health insurance. 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.

Using Your Healthcare

A referral is required prior to using your health 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 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.

Gainesville, Oconee, or Cumming Campus

A referral from Student Health Services will be required for a doctor's visit. In order to do this, you will first need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. After your appointment has been scheduled, you will need to send an email to Student Health Services. In your email, please include the following information:

  1. "I am an international student who needs a doctor's referral for my UnitedHealthcare insurance."
  2. your name
  3. your date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
  4. the name of the doctor you will be seeing
  5. the address of the doctor's office
  6. the time and date of your appointment

United Healthcare SHIP 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.

  • Annual (08/01/18-07/31/19): $2,422.00
  • Fall (08/01/18-12/31/18): $1,015.00
  • Spring/Summer (01/01/19-07/31/19): $1,407.00

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 (08/01/18-07/31/19): $946.00
  • Fall (08/01/18-12/31/18): $397.00
  • Spring/Summer (01/01/19-07/31/19): $549.00

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 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 from August 1-December 31, 2018 (or August 1, 2018-July 31, 2019)

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