UH Student Health Center - International Students - University of Houston
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Health Insurance Requirements

UH System Policy states that international students with "F" or "J" visa status are required to be covered under the UH System-endorsed 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 charged for the mandatory UHS-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) 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.

The Student Health Center facilitates the reporting and communication functions on behalf of the university. The Student Health Center does not interpret/update a student's visa status, residency status, class registration or determine which students the university requires to maintain health insurance.

Enrollment activation and waiver requests are processed through Academic HealthPlans, the third-party administrator for the UH System-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan

Your Responsibilities

The health insurance fee is posted to a student's university financial account based on the information reflected in their university records.

  • It is the responsibility of all international students, regardless of their visa status, to ACKNOWLEDGE that they have read and understand the University of Houston International Student Health Insurance Requirements each Fall and Spring term.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student to review their financial account for accuracy.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student to inform the university of their current visa status and verify that the information posted in their university account is accurate. A change in a student's Residency for Tuition Purposes Only does not change an international student's visa status or health insurance requirements.
    • Changes/corrections that may affect or reverse a student's waiver, enrollment in the mandatory SHIP, or being charged the health insurance fee must be posted to the student's university account no later than the posted deadline for the current term. (Including, but not limited to, a change in residency, citizenship/visa status, class registration, etc.)
    • Changes should be submitted as early as possible, and it is the responsibility of the student to follow up with the appropriate department(s) to ensure all changes are POSTED before the term's deadline and that their university records and financial accounts are accurate.
    • Please note that the university processes tuition and fee calculations each weekend. The health insurance fee may not be reversed or added to your university account until after the weekly calculation is complete. The last calculation recorded for each term that may affect the health insurance fee will be scheduled during the afternoon of the posted deadline date.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student charged the health insurance fee who drops or withdraws from all classes or defers their admission before the term's posted deadline to review the Class Registration Changes instructions and complete them as needed.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student enrolled in an approved Distance Education Program and residing outside of the United States for the full insurance coverage period to have their status updated before enrolling in classes to avoid being charged the health insurance fee.  If a student has already been charged the health insurance fee, changes to their status must be posted to their university account no later than the term's waiver deadline.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student required to maintain health insurance to ACTIVATE their enrollment or submit a WAIVER for each coverage period before the term's posted deadline.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student required to maintain health insurance who registered in classes after the posted deadline for the current term to enroll in the UH System-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan as a Qualifying Event directly through Academic HealthPlans before their first class day.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student to meet university payment deadlines.
    • The university should not be responsible for any late fees, penalties, or dropped classes that may occur due to a student's failure to render acceptable payment before the university's payment deadline.
    • All payments are processed by the Office of Student Business Services.
    • Payment plans are available.
  • It is the responsibility of each international student required to maintain health insurance with an Authorized Medical Withdrawal or a SEVIS Authorized Reduced Course Load to carry health insurance equivalent to that offered by the UHS Student Health Insurance Plan.

Questions about your visa status or why you are considered to be an international student should be directed to the International Student and Scholar Services Office.

Questions about your residency status should be directed to the Office of the University Registrar.

UH Email Account Requirements

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.

The Student Health Center and Academics HealthPlans, the administrator for the UH System-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan, will also use the UH email alias to send email notifications.

Members of the UH community receive a UH email alias and a UH email account. The email alias is a pointer that directs email messages to a destination email account. UH uses email aliases to send important information such as emergency closings or information from colleges or departments.

  • 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 Access UH and going to myUH.
  • 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.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to check their SPAM folder to verify that all communication is reviewed.

The university, UH Student Health Center, Academic HealthPlans, and AcademicBlue are not responsible for students missing important information due to emails being misdirected, rejected, or blocked.

Distance Education

An International Student is charged the health insurance fee based on their status with the university. The Student Health Center does not determine a student's international status, which students the university requires to maintain health insurance, or if a student is studying outside of the United States.

  • If a student is enrolled in an APPROVED distance education program and is residing outside of the United States for the full coverage period, it is the responsibility of the student to have their status updated in their university account prior to class enrollment to avoid being charged the health insurance fee.
  • If a student has already been charged the health insurance fee, changes to their status must be posted to their university account no later than the term's waiver deadline.
  • If the student later plans to enter the United States prior to the end of the current coverage period, it is the responsibility of the student to enroll in the UH System-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan as a Qualifying Event prior to their arrival.

Contact the Online and Distance Education Department, Learning Abroad, or your department program prior to the term's posted waiver deadline if you require assistance.

Contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office prior to the term's posted waiver deadline with questions regarding your status with the university while studying outside of the United States.