Health & Insurance
UC Student Health Insurance
All international students are required to carry the University Student Health Insurance policy unless they can prove coverage equal to or greater than the University policy. Foreign-based policies WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Insurance fees will be included on your tuition bill as soon as you are registered. Students are responsible for paying this fee each semester they are registered. Check the Student Health Insurance website for information on current fees.
- Undergraduate students must be registered for at least six credit hours and/or Co-op to be eligible.
- Graduate students registered for less than six credit hours are eligible to enroll for coverage provided they are registered for one graduate credit hour each semester they desire coverage (the graduate credit hour must be toward their degree and they must be matriculated into a program). They must submit an official SHI Enrollment Form for each semester they desire coverage but before the semester deadline.
- Summer coverage is free for students who pay during Spring Semester.
If at any time while registered for classes, international students change their F or J Visa status, register for classes from outside the United States, or transfer to another institution, they must contact the UC Student Health Insurance Office immediately. Failure to do so will result in their responsibility to reimburse the University for the student health insurance premium.
To learn more about student health insurance, visit the Student Health Insurance Department's website.
Waiving Student Health Insurance
Students who are currently enrolled in a health insurance plans that are equal to or better than the UC Student Health Insurance Plan may waive UC Student Health Insurance by submitting an online waiver by the deadline. Check the Student Health Insurance Department website for information on upcoming deadlines.
All waivers must be received by the deadline. Students are encouraged to carefully review their policies with their parents or partners if they are covered under someone else's insurance.
Health Insurance Requirements
All international visitors, whether studying, working, or collaborating on activities with the University of Cincinnati, are required to have health insurance coverage while in the U.S.
F-1 students and J-1 exchange visitors have university and/or Department of State requirements for health insurance coverage that must be met. All other visitors are subject to coverage based on The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act - ACA). It is your responsibility to understand your health insurance requirements and comply accordingly. This information will help you understand the requirements and provide options that can be pursued.
Health Insurance Requirements for F-1 & J-1 Students Expand
All international students are required to carry the University of Cincinnati Student Health Insurance policy unless they can prove coverage equal to or greater than the University policy. If you are not registered for at least 6 credit hours or more, you will not be eligible for the University Student Health Insurance policy
The exception to this rule is graduate students who are finished with all required coursework and who are actively writing a thesis/dissertation. Under such circumstances, you can work with the Student Health Insurance to purchase the plan.
However, you must have insurance while in the United States. If needed, you can obtain health insurance coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange” as part of the Affordable Care Act or from one of the insurance companies listed below in the Health Insurance Plans section. The policies below will NOT qualify you for a waiver of the UC Student Health Insurance policy. They are strictly provided as an option for students who don't qualify for the UC policy, but still need insurance.
Health Requirements for J-1 Scholars Expand
All J-1 Exchange Visitors (and dependents) are required to have health insurance that meets Department of State Requirements. Such requirements include:
- medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
- repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;
- medical evacuation to the home country in the amount of $50,000;
- a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
The insurance policy must be underwritten by an insurance corporation having:
- an A.M. Best rating of 'A' or above,
- an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of 'A-1' or above,
- a Standard & Poor’s Claims-paying ability rating of 'A-' or above, OR
- a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above.
Insurance coverage backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor’s home country shall be deemed to meet this requirement.
If your appointment is not covered by University of Cincinnati medical benefits, or the student health insurance plan, you will be required to provide UC International Services with proof of insurance that meets the requirements upon arrival. Failure to produce such proof of insurance will result in the termination of your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.
Employees of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center must purchase additional coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. The CCHMC Humana Select insurance plan does not include these benefits.
If needed, you can obtain health insurance coverage from one of the insurance companies listed in the Insurance Plans section. The Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange” as part of the Affordable Care Act, does not meet all the requirements for insurance for J-1 exchange visitors.
Health Requirements for Other International Visitors Expand
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act - ACA) requires individuals who do not maintain “minimum essential healthcare coverage” to make an additional payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) when they pay their taxes, unless they are exempt. The “individual shared responsibility” provision of this act can be avoided if the individual enrolls in a compliant plan by the date stipulated for the current tax year.
Students and employees covered by the UC Student Health Insurance Plan or by employee benefits are enrolled in a compliant plan and do not need to worry about ACA. All other international visitors, which could include students who do not qualify for the UC Student Health Insurance Plan or nonimmigrant visa holders who are not UC employees, must enroll in a compliant plan or make additional payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) unless exempt.
Whether or not you are expected to carry ACA-compliant insurance or to pay the tax penalty for not carrying it is determined by your residency status for tax purposes. Determining your tax residency status can be difficult, but generally F-1 and J-1 students are considered to be non-resident aliens for tax purposes for the first 5 years of presence in the U.S. J-1 scholars are considered non-resident aliens for tax purposes for the first two years in the U.S.
All others are generally considered resident aliens for tax purposes if physically present in the United States on at least:
- 31 days during the current year, and
- 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
- All the days you were present in the current year, and
- 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
- 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.
It is also important to distinguish between being subject to the individual mandate and being eligible to participate in the Health Insurance Marketplace. In most cases, a lawfully present nonimmigrant who is exempt from the individual mandate would still qualify for marketplace coverage through the State exchanges, if he or she so desired.
See www.healthcare.gov for a list of immigration statuses that qualify for marketplace coverage.
UC Student Health Insurance
All students registered for co-op, and/or for six or more credit hours are eligible for coverage and will be automatically charged for student health insurance unless they have previously waived coverage during the current academic year. To learn more about student health insurance, visit the corresponding tab.
Other Health Insurance Plans
- T.W. Lord & Associates
Toll Free: 1-800-633-2360
25 Dodd Street
P.O. Box 1185
Marietta, GA 30061
- International SOS Assistance, Inc.
(for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains only)
- International Medical Group® Telephone: 1.317.655.4500 or 1.800.628.4664
University Health Services
If you have a health question or problem, you will want to go to University Health Service (UHS) on the 3rd floor of the Richard E. Lindner Center or call the office at 513-556-2564.
From sore throats to sprained ankles, University physicians are there for you. You can receive personalized attention at University Health Services. Services provided include primary care services, women’s health, dermatology, mental health services, preventative health care, health education, and wellness promotion. Additional special services include a pharmacy, x-ray, and laboratory services.
University Health Services is open daily during the week for your convenience. Appointments are required. There is also a doctor “on call” 24 hours a day to advise you, should you have an emergency when the Campus Health Center is closed.