The University of Houston System Policy states that International students with an “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.
Contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) if you have any questions about your international status.
1. Read All Notifications
The University uses the UH email alias to send important information such as emergency closings or any official information. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure the UH e-mail alias points to a working e-mail address at all times. Students may update their e-mail address information by logging on to their myUH account.
It is the student’s responsibility to read e-mail correspondence frequently and consistently. The University recommends students read e-mails at least once a day.
An international student will receive email notifications and information concerning Student Health Insurance, international status and other topics due to being identified as an International Student by the University of Houston.
If you believe you have received these notifications in error, and you are not an international student, Contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) about your international status.
2. Health Insurance Notification Hold
All International Students, regardless of their visa status, are required to read and acknowledge the University of Houston International Student Health Insurance Requirements each Fall and Spring term.
- International Student Health Insurance Requirements
- UH System Policy: F and J Visa International Health Insurance Requirements
A HOLD is place on your university account once the university has posted your eligibility to enroll in the new Fall or Spring term. Please acknowledge this notification by going to the Acknowledgement Center page located within your university account. Once you have acknowledged this portion of your account, the hold will be removed automatically.
The university identified you as an international student at the time the Health Insurance Notification hold was placed. A change in your international status does not automatically remove the hold. The hold cannot be manually reversed.
Please review the instructions and link that are included with the HOLD notification or go to Student Health Insurance for more information.
3. Verify That Your University Account is Accurate
It is the responsibility of each international student to inform the University of their current visa status and to verify that the information posted in their university account is accurate.
Visa status changes/corrections 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. (Including, but not limited to, a change/correction in residency, citizenship or visa status)
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.
4. International Students with “F” or “J” Visa Status
ACTION REQUIRED: Each international student with “F” or “J” visa status must activate their enrollment or submit a waiver each coverage period. You will receive email reminders from Academic HealthPlans throughout this time period until your Activation or Waiver process is completed.
- It is recommended that you complete this activation at least one week prior to the beginning of the new coverage period to ensure you have access to your insurance account and not experience any delays when seeking medical care.
- It is recommended that you submit your waiver request as soon as possible to ensure that all required documentation is received prior to the posted deadline. Any requests for additional information should be submitted immediately.
- The definition of “new” or “returning” students is based on the student’s insurance account (Fall Only):
- NEW STUDENT: Not enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan for the previous Spring/Summer coverage period. If you obtained a waiver for the previous Spring/Summer or Summer Only coverage period, you are considered a NEW STUDENT for the following Fall coverage period.
- RETURNING STUDENT (Renewal): Enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan for the previous Spring/Summer or Summer Only coverage period and renewing coverage for following Fall coverage period.
NOTE: The University must submit an eligible to enroll list to Academic HealthPlans each term. During the ENROLLMENT ACTIVATION and WAIVER period, uploads from the university will be processed at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM daily. After the health insurance charge has been posted to your university account, allow approximately one (1) hour after the next scheduled upload before attempting to ACTIVATE your enrollment or submit a WAIVER.
You can access your insurance account using your university student ID number and your date of birth (MMDDYYYY) as your initial password. If you need to reset your password, an email will be sent to your UH.EDU email address on file. Your insurance account is not linked to the University of Houston and cannot be accessed using your Cougarnet Account login information.
5. International Students ENROLLED in the Student Health Insurance Plan
Take the time now to review the benefit information:
Insurance Account and ID Card:
Once your enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan has been activated and processed (approximately 3 – 5 business days after activation), you must register for your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) Blue Access for MembersSM account using your BCBSTX member ID number.
If you do not know your BCBSTX member ID number, log into your Academic HealthPlans to review your insurance enrollment information.
- Mandatory Enrollment (International Students with F or J Visa): You'll need your University Email Address and School Assigned ID to log into your Academic HealthPlans account.
- Voluntary Enrollment: You will use the email address submitted during your enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan and School Assigned ID log into your Academic HealthPlans account.
Once registered, your Blue Access for MembersSM account provides you with online secure access to find doctors, get an ID card, view claims and more.