Office of International Programs
International Student Insurance FAQs
1. I found information on government websites that states I do not have to be PPACA compliant. Is this true?
No. The insurance must be PPACA compliant. We appreciate your research on the government websites, however this is a UT Systems decision. This means that UT Tyler, UT Austin, UT San Antonio, etc. must follow these guidelines. Click here for more information about the UT health insurance requirements and the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
2. Can my fiancé be placed on my insurance and then use the waiver?
If your company will allow him/her to be on your insurance, then yes. If they will not allow him/her to be on your insurance until after you are married, and the marriage takes place after the start of the school year, then he/she must have his/her own insurance; either through the University or a third party (with the waiver).
3. What are some of the reasons my insurance would not be approved?
There are certain companies that will not be approved because they are lacking. Our recommendation is to only purchase an outside plan from the US Exchange website. Also, it is recommended that we keep in mind that the plan must be a "Qualified Health Plan.''
4. Can I get a refund on my insurance?
We cannot tell you if you will be able to get a refund. You will have to call the company that you purchased the insurance from. We can provide a letter from UT stating that the insurance you purchased does not meet our requirements.
5. What are acceptable insurance policies?
Acceptable insurance policies are:
a. sponsored by the U.S. government, a foreign government recognized by the U.S., or certain international, government sponsored organizations, if:
- the sponsor has guaranteed payment of all health care expenses in writing, and
- has provided coverage through a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) compliant plan;
b. enrolled in the U. T. System Employee Group Health Plan;
c. enrolled in another PPACA compliant employer-provided plan;
d. enrolled in a U.S. Individual Plan purchased from the Exchange; or
e. enrolled exclusively in distance learning programs or classes.
This is what UT System has stated as acceptable policies. If they do not fall into these categories, they are not acceptable.
6. What policies do NOT meet requirements?
Please keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. There are other plans that do not meet requirements that may not be listed.
a. PSI- Professional Service Inc., Underwritten by SPC
b. BAJAJ Alliaz
c. HCC- Immigrant Secure
d. ICICI Lombard
e. ISO Compass
f. Seven Corners
g. Study USA
h. AIG- Travel Guard
i. AIA Life
k. HTH Worldwide
7. What is the UT System rule regarding International Student Health Insurance?
a. Please see the rule here.
b. The Board of Regents delegates to the chancellor the authority to approve a policy on International Student Health Insurance, which defines the categories of students who shall be defined as "international students" who are required to maintain health insurance as a condition of enrollment, and outlines the health insurance requirements which shall be applicable to such international students.
8. What is the website for the Waiver?
Please see the website here.
9. What is the Summary of Benefits and Coverage of the UT SHIP?
The summary appears here.
10. Are domestic students required by UT System to have health insurance?
There is no requirement for domestic students to have domestic insurance other than the requirements as stated by the Affordable Care Act.
11. I'm graduating in May, do I need to purchase the full spring/summer insurance?
Yes, you will need to pay the full amount for spring and summer. Also, you will need to submit a graduation waiver that has been signed by your academic advisor. Once you submit this graduation waiver, you may anticipate a refund of the summer amount in your my.uttyler account by the end of March.
12. I received a letter from AHP/BCBS requesting either my Tax Identification Number (TIN) or my Social Security Number (SSN). Do I need to have one of these? If I have one, do I really need to respond to this request?
a. You are not required to have a TIN or SSN as an international student. There is no need to get one just because the insurance company has requested that you submit it.
b. You do not have to respond to this request. A law was passed that stated the insurance carriers had to request this information of all insured persons. As such, the insurance company is just following the law. Never feel that you must provide such important information to ANYONE just because they requested it.
c. The insurance company will send up to three letters requesting this information. Just shred and disregard the three requests.
13. Can you tell me if this insurance meets the waiver requirements?
We would be happy to send your information to our contact at AHP to see if this plan meets the waiver requirements.
14. Could you please explain me how does the Health Insurance Plan work and what is the waiver (what does it do)?
a. The health insurance plan is a way of keeping the cost of medical care down. Please click here to link to the benefits of the insurance plan provided through the university.
b. The waiver is put in place for students who have existing insurance. If you have existing insurance, you are able to create an account with the waiver system and submit your existing insurance documents. The waiver will determine whether or not your existing insurance meets the UT System Board of Regents requirements.
15. My I-20 is showing insurance fees are $4,500. Is this for one academic year or two academic years?
For more details regarding your I-20 you must speak with your international advisor. However, you can click here to find the cost of the insurance per semester.
16. Can I make separate payments for spring and summer insurance or do they have to be combined?
The payment for spring/summer insurance must be combined. This is a UT System policy. If you are graduating in May, you may be eligible for a refund of the Summer amount.
17. How do I pay for insurance?
You may pay online where you make payment for your courses and fees. You could also make payment at the Enrollment Services Center, located in the University Center.
18. What insurance policies do you recommend?
19. Where can I find information about the benefits for UT SHIP?
We suggest looking at the Brochure and the Summary of Benefits Coverage here.
20. I am sponsored by my government. Do I need to purchase UT SHIP?
Please submit a copy of your financial guarantee through the waiver process. Once this is complete, the waiver will indicate whether or not you are required to purchase the UT SHIP.
21.My insurance is from my country of origin. Do I need to purchase the UT SHIP?
Please submit your insurance through the waiver process. We cannot guarantee that it will pass the waiver. Most insurance purchased outside of the U.S. will not pass the waiver process because it is not PPACA approved or considered a Qualified Health Plan (available for purchase on the www.healthcare.gov website aka U.S. Exchange Website).
22. How do I apply for the UT SHIP?
a. If you are an international student at UT Tyler (here on an F1 visa) the UT SHIP will be automatically added to your account and you will be automatically enrolled.
b. If you are a domestic student, please visit this website and contact AHP if you have any further questions.
23. I am planning to return home in the summer. Is it mandatory that I am covered by UT SHIP even though I will not physically be here?
Yes, unless you are graduating, you must purchase the UT SHIP as a spring and summer package.
24. Does UT SHIP cover dental and vision?
a. No, for dental insurance AHP/BCBS offers this plan.
b. There is not a plan for vision.