Office of Student Life

Student Health Insurance

Information for International Students

Requirements and Automatic Enrollment

Students designated as International and enrolled in credit hours are required to purchase the Ohio State Student Health Insurance Benefits Plan.*

  • You are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Benefits Plan ("SHI Benefits Plan") at the Student Only Coverage Level at the beginning of their first academic term of the academic year, and the fee automatically posts to your Statement of Account. 
  • International students remaining in their home country and taking only Distance Learning credits are not subject to the Health Insurance Requirement and may request the SHI fee be removed from their Statement of Account.  You will need to verify current residency in your homeland by providing your I-94 documentation (Most Recent I-94 page and Travel History page).  You can access your I-94 information online
  • Fees post at the start of autumn and spring semesters.  Remember to check your Statement of Account each semester to confirm your enrollment.  
  • To change your Single Coverage to cover eligible dependents, you may do so during the Select/Waive period. Follow the Selection Procedures before the applicable deadlines. 
  • If you experience a Qualifying Event, submit a Qualifying Event Form within 31 days of the event.

*If an international student is residing in their home country or abroad and taking only Distance Learning credits, the requirement does not apply. 

Waiver Eligibility

International students may qualify for an exemption from the automatic SHI Benefits Plan if: 

  • You have a government sponsored plan that has been approved by the University. (note: SHI requires written confirmation from the government that the government will take full financial responsibility for all medical expenses not covered by insurance), OR 
  • The student is covered under a US-based health insurance policy as a US-based employee, or as a dependent of a US-based employee, OR 
  • The student has permanent residency status (a green card).  

Minimum Health Insurance Criteria:

  1. The health insurance has unlimited annual benefits
  2. The health insurance has an annual deductible of $500 or less.
  3. The health insurance provides payment at 90% of U.S. based Reasonable and Customary charges for inpatient or outpatient emergency, urgent or routine treatment for: medical care; mental health care;   prescription drugs; immunizations and screening tests as required by the U.S. government for individual insurance plans.
  4. The health insurance has no exclusions for: pre-existing conditions; suicide/attempted suicide; self-inflicted injury; pregnancy/pregnancy related treatments; sexually transmitted diseases/infections, HIV/Immune deficiency disorders; cancer; alcohol/drug related conditions; recreational activities injuries.
  5. The health insurance is provided by a company licensed to do business in the United States, with a U.S. claims payment office and a U.S. phone number.
  6. The health insurance is effective for the duration of the academic year, or until the academic program ends.
  7. The health insurance provides payment for medical and mental health care in the location where you are attending school
  8. The health insurance does not require you to leave the U.S., return to country of origin, or home country for medical or mental health care.
  9. The health insurance provides payment for medical evacuation and repatriation expenses.

If you believe you qualify for an exemption, you must submit a request via the online Petition to Waive

  • SHI will email your Ohio State email account with notice of an approval or denial.

If you are enrolling at Ohio State for the first time and arriving to campus prior to a Student Health Insurance Benefits Plan coverage start date, you may be eligible for up to 4 weeks of Early Arrival Coverage. 

  • Early Arrival Coverage provides up to 4 weeks of extended coverage under the SHI Benefits Plan. You will be charged a pro-rated, weekly rate payable to the Office of the University Bursar. This rate will be in addition to the rate charged for the subsequent term's SHI Benefits Plan. The Early Arrival Coverage Rates and Dates page will have rate details for the current early arrival offering. If you are a Graduate Associate or Fellow receiving a subsidy, the early arrival coverage will not be subsidized.  
  • You must submit an Early Arrival Coverage - International form within three (3) business days of their arrival to campus and attach a flight itinerary.  

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