Office of Student Life

Student Health Insurance

Health Insurance Requirement at Ohio State

What is the requirement? 

Students at all campuses of The Ohio State University are required to have health insurance if they are enrolled at least half-time and in a degree program of study.

To whom does the requirement apply? 

The requirement applies to Domestic students enrolled in courses at least half-time and in a degree program of study.  International students enrolled in any credit hours are subject to the requirement. 

This criteria also determines which students are eligible to have the Ohio State Student Health Benefits Plan.  International students are required to purchase the Ohio State Student Health Benefits Plan. 

"Half- time" is considered at least six (6) credit hours for undergraduates, at least four (4) credit hours for graduate and professional students and at least three (3) credit hours for post-candidacy doctoral students. 

Credit hours in the following courses/programs are excluded from being applied to the minimum credit hour requirement:

  • Non-degree status.*   The following plans are considered non-degree:
    • Graduate - Non-degree or Visitor
    • Undergraduate - Non-degree or Visitor
    • Law - Non-degree or Casual

* You may petition to enroll if the non-degree course is a pre-requisite for entrance into a degree status program of study; if the course is graduate level, you must have a current application on file with the Graduate School. 

  • Continuing Education
  • Audit
  • Online Degree Plan/Programs (in the absence of campus based in person credit hours and/or fees)
  • Distance Learning credit hours (as denoted by “mode of instruction”) in absence of eligible on campus credit hours.
    • Students taking all distance learning courses in the absence of eligible on campus courses may not automatically be enrolled in coverage but may petition to enroll.
  • Enrolled students taking one of the approved exception course numbers representing co-ops, internship, study abroad, and thesis or dissertation research will be automatically enrolled, and the health insurance premium will be included in their fees regardless of credit hours unless the student waives coverage.

How is it enforced? 

  • Student Health Insurance (SHI) is responsible for making sure students meet the university requirement. 
  • Students are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Benefits Plan when they register for eligible classes in their first term of each academic year, and the university will post the student health insurance fee to their account. Students can choose to keep or waive this automatic enrollment before that term's Select/Waive deadline
  • Annual selection: The policy year follows the academic year. If students select the Student Health Benefits Plan, the coverage and fees will be in effect for all remaining coverage periods of that year for which the student remains eligible. Modifications cannot be made term-to-term. Exceptions include if the student experiences a Qualifying Event.
  • If students waive the Student Health Benefits Plan in Buckeye Link before the select waive deadline, the fee will be taken off their account within 1-2 business days. The waiver still stays in place all policy year, but students can newly select the Student Health Benefits Plan for a subsequent coverage period if they wish. All waivers are subject to audit and electronic verification by SHI to confirm the health insurance you reported is adequate and active. If an audit determines you are not in compliance, you will be enrolled in the Student Health Benefits Plan at the time of determination and assessed a fee. 

What does it mean for me?

  1. You will see the student health insurance fee post to your Statement of Account in your first term of the academic year, if you are enrolled in eligible classes. This fee verifies your automatic enrollment in the Student Health Benefits Plan. Enrollment level defaults to single (“student only”) or, if you are a returning member, the level you selected for the previous term. 
  2. At this time, you have the opportunity to choose one of three options: keep the automatic enrollment and select the Student Health Benefits Plan, waive it by documenting your other adequate health insurance, or waive it and purchase the WilceCare Supplement. If you are an International Student, you are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Benefits Plan but may qualify to petition to waive if you meet specific criteria.
  3. You must make your initial choice in your My Buckeye Link by completing the Student Health Insurance Select/Waive Process BEFORE the Select/Waive deadline of your first term. The Select/Waive deadline is typically the day that university fees are due. All academic semesters (autumn, spring, and summer) have a Select/Waive deadline, but eligibility varies by prior selection and student status. Petitions must be completed outside of My Buckeye Link via the appropriate form.   
  4. Your choice at the start of your first term impacts the full policy year. If you select the Student Health Benefits Plan, your coverage is effective for the entire policy year and you cannot modify your choice term to term. If you waive the Student Health Benefits Plan, your waiver will stay in place for the entire policy year, although you can newly Select the Student Health Benefits Plan for a subsequent coverage period if you wish. **Any other modifications to your choice can only be made if you notify us of a Qualifying Event**. If you purchase the WilceCare Supplement alongside your waiver, it remains in effect for the entire policy year. 
  5. If you do nothing and submit no choice at all, you shall remain covered by and billed for the Student Health Benefits Plan for the entire policy year, assuming eligibility. 
  6. The policy year for the Student Health Benefits Plan corresponds to the academic year. In general the full policy year runs mid-August to mid-August; specific start and end dates are published each year.
  7. If you want to waive student health insurance, you will need to submit documentation of your other coverage, including plan name, policy holder/member ID number, group number, etc. This documentation is also required if you purchase the WilceCare Supplement

So if I want student health insurance, how do I ensure I have active coverage for the policy year? 

  1. Select the plan in the first term you are enrolled each academic year, and do so before the Select/Waive deadline. 
  2. Be enrolled in eligible courses in both autumn and spring, and register for those courses before the coverage period start dates if at all possible (see dates here). With few exceptions, you have to be enrolled in courses that meet credit hour and course eligibility if you wish to have student health insurance. 
  3. Look at your Statement of Account and verify that the student health insurance fee appears on the itemized list of fees. If it doesn't appear, you do not have active coverage. 
  4. Pay the student health insurance fee on time.