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 active health insurance for the academic year (Autumn, Spring, Summer semesters) if they are enrolled at least half-time and in a degree program of study.

Non-U.S. based insurance plans, and global or travel insurance plans cannot be used to meet this requirement.

To whom does the requirement apply? 

Domestic students enrolled in courses at least half-time and in a degree program of study. 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. 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.

International students enrolled in any credit hours are subject to the requirement and are required to purchase the Ohio State Student Health Benefits Plan. 

This criterion also determines which students are eligible to have the Ohio State Student Health Benefits Plan.

Please note credit hours in the following courses/programs do not count towards the minimum credit hour requirement:

  • Graduate - Non-degree* or Visitor (* Students may petition to enroll for an exception if the non-degree course is graduate level, and the student has a current academic year application on file with the Graduate School.)
  • Undergraduate - Non-degree, Visitor, Academy
  • Law - Non-degree or Casual
  • Courses designated as Continuing Education
  • Courses taken as Audit
  • Distance Learning credit hours (as denoted by “mode of instruction”) in absence of eligible campus based in person credit hours and/or fees.  Students meeting the required credit hours may petition to enroll.
  • Online Academic Degree Programs (in the absence of campus based in person credit hours and/or fees)

How is the requirement implemented? 

  • Student Health Insurance (SHI) is responsible for ensuring students meet the university requirement. 
  • Students are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Benefits Plan when they register for eligible classes in their first semester 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 semester’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 semester-to-semester. 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 (semester) if they wish. 

*Waivers are subject to audit to confirm the health insurance you waived with is active, annual health insurance. If an audit determines you are not in compliance, you will be notified and enrolled in the Student Health Benefits Plan and assessed the SHI 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 semester of each 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 coverage level you selected from the previous semester. 
  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 choice in your My Buckeye Link by completing the Student Health Insurance Select/Waive Process BEFORE the Select/Waive deadline of your first semester of each academic year. The Select/Waive deadline is typically the day that university fees are due. Petitions must be completed outside of My Buckeye Link via the appropriate form.
  4. If you select the Student Health Benefits Plan, your coverage is effective for the entire policy year, and you cannot modify your choice semester to semester. 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 will 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 semester 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.