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 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 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 or determine who the university requires to maintain health insurance.

Online Enrollment Activation and Waiver Requirements

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.

University of Houston international student with "F" or "J" visa status must ACTIVATE their enrollment or submit a WAIVER each coverage period.

Failure to ACTIVATE your enrollment in a timely manner will result in a delay in your ability to use your Student Health Insurance Plan. If you do not ACTIVATE your enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan by the posted deadline, your enrollment will automatically activate after the close of the Open Enrollment Period for the designated coverage period. This will delay the activation of your insurance coverage to approximately 10 days after the close of the enrollment period.

The Student Health Center does not review or process a student's waiver request or complete their enrollment activation. Enrollment activation or waiver requests are processed through Academic HealthPlans, the third-party administrator for the UH System-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan.

Online Enrollment Activation and Waiver Period

Fall Term: 2022 Spring/Summer Terms: 2023 Summer Terms (All Sessions): 2023
Starts: July 22, 2022
Ends: September 7, 2022
Starts: December 19, 2022 (8:00 am CDT)
Ends: February 1, 2023 (5:00 pm CDT)
Starts: May 26, 2023 (8:00 am CDT)
Ends: June 8, 2023 (5:00 pm CDT)

Important Information

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 or visa status, class enrollment, etc.)

Submit your status changes as early as possible and follow-up with the appropriate department(s) to ensure all changes are POSTED timely and verify your university records are financial accounts are accurate.

  • It is the responsibility of each student to review their financial account for accuracy. 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 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.
  • 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 prior to the university's payment deadline.
  • 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.
  • A change in your Residency for Tuition Purposes Only does not change an international student's visa status or their health insurance requirements

Questions about your visa status or why you 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.

Distance Education

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.

Completing Online Courses Outside of the United States due to Visa Issues

Contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office for more information and requirements.