International students with "F" or "J" visa status are required to be covered under the UHS Student Health Insurance Plan or have equivalent health insurance coverage, regardless of the number of credit hours taken. At the time of registration, the student will automatically be enrolled in the mandatory UHS-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and will be charged for the coverage period on their student financial account.
The University of Houston does not require international students with “non-F” or “non-J” visa status to show proof of health insurance.
Completing Online Courses Outside of the United States due to COVID-19
Contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office for more information and requirements.
It is the responsibility of F and J visa international students with an Authorized Medical Withdrawal or a SEVIS Authorized Reduced Course Load to carry health insurance that is equivalent to that offered by the UHS Student Health Insurance Plan.
Each UHS University shall establish guidelines to ensure compliance with the mandatory health insurance requirements. These guidelines shall include a process which requires automatic enrollment in SHIP for students in F or J visa status. A student may receive a waiver of this requirement if the student's alternative coverage meets the requirements outlined in this policy.
Each international student with “F” or “J” visa status must ACTIVATE their enrollment or submit a WAIVER each coverage period.
NOTE: The University must submit an eligible to enroll list to Academic HealthPlans each term. During the ENROLLMENT ACTIVATION and WAIVER period, allow approximately 4-6 hours after the health insurance charge has been posted to your university account for the eligible to enroll list to be processed before attempting to ACTIVATE your enrollment or submit a WAIVER.
Online Enrollment Activation and Waiver Period
- Fall Term 2020: July 20, 2020 - September 9, 2020
- Spring/Summer Terms 2021: December 14, 2020 - February 3, 2021
- Summer Terms (All Sessions) 2021: May 17, 2021 - June 10, 2021
The Student Health Center does not interpret/update a student’s visa or residency status or determine who is required by the university to maintain acceptable health insurance.
NOTE: A change in your residency status for TUITION PURPOSES ONLY does not change your visa status.
It is the responsibility of each student to inform the University of their current visa status. Visa status or residency changes that may affect or reverse a student's waiver or enrollment in the mandatory SHIP must be posted to the student's university account no later than the posted semester deadline.
Submit your status changes as early as possible and follow-up with the appropriate department(s) to ensure all changes are POSTED timely and accurately.
Contact International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSSO) if you have any questions about your international status.
A student enrolled in an APPROVED distance education program and is residing outside of the United States for the full coverage period should have their status updated in their student account prior to the semester waiver deadline to avoid being charged. Contact the Online and Distance Education Department, Learning Abroad, International Student and Scholar Services Office or your department program if you require assistance.