Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Health Insurance Requirements for UH Mānoa F-1 International Students


GENERAL QUESTIONS

HEALTH INSURANCE CLEARANCE QUESTIONS

OTHER INSURANCE PLANS

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Do I need health insurance if I am a F-1 student?

Yes. The University of Hawaii Board of Regents Policy (7-7) states: "All non-immigrants on student visas are required to enroll in a University of Hawaii endorsed student health insurance plan or furnish proof of enrollment in a health program whose benefits meet the minimum insurance requirements set by the President or the President's designee." This policy protects both the student and the university.

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Do I need health insurance if I am doing my Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

F-1 students doing their OPT are not required to have health insurance, however, health insurance coverage is highly recommended.

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Do I need health insurance if I am a J-1 student?

J-1 students are monitored by the International Student Services (ISS) Office (http://www.hawaii.edu/issmanoa/). For information on the health insurance requirements and clearance process, contact ISS at (808) 956-8613 or issmanoa@hawaii.edu.

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Why is health insurance in the US Important?

While other countries may cover the health care expenses for their citizens, in the United States each individual is responsible for his or her own medical expenses. A visit to the emergency room or a stay in the hospital can cost many thousands of dollars and the lack of adequate insurance coverage can be financially devastating. Therefore it is very important to have insurance that covers medical expenses.

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What kind of health insurance is available to me as a UH student?

UH and Chaminade have endorsed HMSA (Hawaii Medical Service Association) as the plan provider for the 2013 - 2014 academic year.

HMSA, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a reliable name in Hawaiʻi health care. Established in 1938, they are the largest and most experienced provider of health care coverage in the state. Over half of Hawaiʻi's population has chosen HMSA for their health care coverage. HMSA was chosen as the current UH endorsed plan based on a combination of cost, benefits, claims payment and customer service.

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Where can I find more information on the student plan?

For complete information about the plan, premiums, eligibility requirements, application form, and a listing of participating providers, go to www.hmsa.com/portal/student

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HEALTH INSURANCE CLEARANCE QUESTIONS

What is health insurance clearance?

The university requires that all international students maintain adequate medical health insurance and medical evacuation and repatriation coverage while attending UH.

All students will be unable to register, add or drop classes until they receive health insurance clearance due to the health insurance registration hold.

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What are the minimum insurance requirements?

The minimum coverage requirements are listed on the F-1 Student Acknowledgement & Insurance Provider Certification Form and Instructions. The university reserves the right to change coverage requirements in response to US or state law requirements, or in response to changing industry standards. It is important that prior to the fall semester each year, you check to make sure that your plan still meets the university's requirements. If the requirements change, any insurance that was acceptable in prior years may no longer be acceptable for the upcoming school year.

Go to Health Insurance Requirements for International Students: Requirements for F-1 Students to view the insurance requirements.

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How does the University monitor health insurance for F-1 international students?

All University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa F-1 students have an insurance hold on their Banner accounts. This means that you will be unable to register, add or drop classes until you receive health insurance clearance. You are required to receive insurance clearance for every semester that you are enrolled at UH.

Students can view their registration holds on their MyUH portal. From the MyUH home page, click on "Registration", then on "Check Registration Status" and select the current semester to see if you have any holds.

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How do I receive health insurance clearance for the UH Student Plan?

Read the following section in International Students - Insurance Clearance: Documents Required to Receive Clearance for the UH Student Plan.

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How do I receive health insurance clearance for the UH Employer/Employee Insurance Plan (through EUTF)?

Read the following section in International Students - Insurance Clearance: Documents Required to Receive Clearance for the UH Employer/Employee Insurance Plan (through EUTF).

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How do I receive health insurance clearance for all other insurance plans? (*all other insurance plans, including other HMSA plans (does NOT include EUTF or UH Student Plan)

Read the following section in International Students - Insurance Clearance: Documents Required to Receive Clearance for all other insurance plans.

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Where do I submit my insurance forms?

Your insurance documentation may be faxed, mailed, emailed, or personally delivered to the Student Health Insurance Office.

Mail:
University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Queen Liliʻuokalani Center for Student Services, Room 313D
2600 Campus Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822

Fax: (808) 956-6371

Email: shio@hawaii.edu

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Once I submit my insurance forms, how will I find out if my plan was approved?

You will be notified within 1 - 3 business days if your health insurance is approved, denied, or if further information is needed to make that determination.

IMPORTANT : Due to the large number of students who will be requiring insurance clearance each semester, students should submit their forms early to avoid not being able to register, add and drop courses. We recommend submitting your forms at least 2 weeks prior to student registration/add/drop period.

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Once I submit my insurance forms, how long does it take to receive my insurance clearance?

You will be notified within 1 - 3 business days if your health insurance is approved, denied, or if further information is needed to make that determination.

IMPORTANT : Due to the large number of students who will be requiring insurance clearance each semester, students should submit their forms early to avoid not being able to register, add and drop courses. We recommend submitting your forms at least 2 weeks prior to student registration/add/drop period.

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What happens if my insurance plan does not meet all of the University's minimum requirements?

If your plan does not meet the minimum levels of coverage required then your plan will not be accepted for health insurance clearance.

Options:

  1. Find another insurance company who has plans that meet the minimum requirements and is willing to complete the required form, certifying that the policy meets all of the minimum health insurance coverage requirements.
  2. Purchase the UH endorsed student health insurance policy (www.hmsa.com/portal/student)

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What happens if my insurance company will not complete and sign the required form?

The University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa requires all students to submit a completed & signed F-1 Student Acknowledgement & Insurance Provider Certification Form. We do not review insurance policies and so your insurance company is required to confirm that your policy is in compliance with the school's requirements by initialing each requirement and signing the form.

Each country, insurance company and benefit plan is different. Because of this we were having a very difficult time verifying if each student's insurance plan met the university minimum requirements. With the approval of the UH Office of the General Counsel, the Student Acknowledgement & Insurance Provider Certification Form was implemented. With this form, the responsibility for certifying that the student's health insurance coverage meets minimum coverage requirements falls on the shoulders of the health insurance providers - not the students, not the parents, not the school.

Without the completed provider certification we will be unable to accept your current insurance plan.

Options:

  1. Find another insurance company who has plans that meet the minimum requirements and is willing to complete the required form, certifying that the policy meets all of the minimum health insurance coverage requirements.
  2. Purchase the UH endorsed student health insurance policy (www.hmsa.com/portal/student)

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What happens if I do not receive health insurance clearance?

International students who are not enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets the University's minimum coverage requirements will be subject to University sanctions, including but not limited to registration/ID card holds, until enrollment is complete.

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Do I need health insurance clearance if I am a F-1 student, but not physically at UHM?

As long as you are considered an F-1 student at University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa(UHM) then you are required to have health insurance that meets the University's minimum requirements.

However, if you will not physically be in the United States then you can request a waiver (example: you are enrolled at UHM, but you are in your home country working on your thesis.)

If you are requesting a waiver to UHM's health insurance requirement because you will not physically be in the United States, submit the items listed below to the Student Health Insurance Office for consideration:

  1. A completed & signed F-1 Student Acknowledgement & Insurance Waiver Form
  2. A letter from your UHM academic advisor or the UHM International Student Services Office, confirming that, although you are registered, you will not be physically in the United States this semester.

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OTHER INSURANCE PLANS

Can you recommend other insurance plans or companies?

Since the UH endorses HMSA, University officials do not "recommend" other plans. The health insurance marketplace is large and constantly changing. It is your responsibility to carefully review benefits and exclusions of specific plans to determine if that plan will suit your needs.

Additionally, the health insurance company you select must certify on the F-1 Student Acknowledgement & Insurance Provider Certification Form (International Students) that your plan meets the University's minimum coverage standards.

IMPORTANT: If your plan does not meet the minimum levels of coverage required or your insurance company will not complete and sign the F-1 Student Acknowledgement & Insurance Provider Certification Form, then your plan will not be accepted for medical clearance.

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What about other insurance plans that appear to be comparable and more affordable?

Some plans may appear comparable, but in fact they do not meet UH's minimum requirements or state and federal mandates and they have limitations in their benefits (example: only emergency coverage for mental health or exclusions for pre-existing conditions).

Some of these plans seem less expensive because they do not cover many of the expenses you will incur if you need medical care. Examples of these limitations are: daily hospital limits of $500- $1000, maximum ambulance payments of $150, deductibles for each visit/occurrence, and either exclusions or pre-existing condition clauses that are longer than 6 months. These plans do not provide adequate coverage to protect you while you are attending UH.

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