Health Insurance Requirements for International Students

The minimum coverage requirements are listed on the F-1 Student Acknowledgement & Insurance Provider Certification Form (PDF) *. 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 each semester, 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.

International students who are not enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets the University's minimum coverage requirements will be unable to register, add or drop classes until they receive health insurance clearance.

Requirements for F-1 Students

You are required to have insurance that covers you for the entire time that you are enrolled at UH.
You can submit your insurance for clearance every semester: fall, spring, summer or by a combination of semesters: fall & spring, spring & summer or for the entire year (fall, spring & summer).

Even if your insurance plan is good for more than one year, you will only receive clearance up to one academic year. Students are required to submit a new/updated form so that we can verify that your plan still meets the University's requirement as they may have changed.

Comprehensive medical coverage = at least $100,000 US per accident/ illness.
Your insurance plan must provide medical benefits (doctor visits, hospital, surgery, laboratory tests, x-rays, etc.) of at least $100,000 US (American dollars) for each accident or illness.

For example, if you are in an accident you will have to pay your portion (deductible, if applicable, and your co-payment) and your insurance policy must pay for covered expenses until a limit of at least $100,000 US is reached. Then if you get sick you will have to pay your portion again (deductible, if applicable, and your co-payment) and your insurance policy must pay for covered expenses until a limit of at least $100,000 US is reached.

Inpatient/Outpatient medical (including mental health) coverage at no less than 75% usual/customary charge (UCC)
Your insurance plan must pay at least 75% of covered medical expenses (including mental health coverage) for both inpatient (stay at an inpatient facility/hospital) and outpatient (doctor's office, outpatient department of a hospital or ambulatory surgery center) services.

Even after you pay the deductible, an insurance plan will usually cover only a percentage of your medical expenses. For example, if the policy pays 75%, you would need to pay the remaining 25% (coinsurance/copayment).

Repatriation of remains coverage to your home country = at least $25,000 US
If you should die in the U.S., your plan must provide at least $25,000 US (American dollars) to send your body/remains back to your home country.

Medical evacuation coverage to your home country = at least $50,000 US
If, due to a serious illness or injury, your doctor recommends that you return to your home country for treatment and/or recovery, your plan must provide up to $50,000 US (American dollars) for you to return home.

No more than $500 US deductible per accident or illness
Your insurance plan deductible cannot exceed $500 US (American dollars) for each accident or illness. Most insurance plans require you to pay for part of your health expenses (this is called the deductible) before they will start to pay for any covered services.

While the requirement limits the deductible to $500 per accident or illness many plans offer either lower deductibles or no deductibles at all. Some plans also have deductibles per year instead of per accident or illness. As long as your plan does not exceed the $500 US deductible (per accident/illness or per year) then this requirement will be fulfilled.

A deductible is not the same as a copayment or coinsurance. A deductible is in addition to your copayment/coinsurance.

Waiting period for pre-existing conditions no longer than 6 months
Your insurance plan cannot exclude coverage for any pre-existing conditions longer than 6 months.

Each company has their own definition for pre-existing conditions, but basically pre-existing conditions are any physical or mental conditions for which medical advice, medication, diagnosis, care, or treatment was recommended or received prior to enrollment on your insurance plan.

Some insurance plans exclude pre-existing conditions while some plans might put a waiting period on pre-existing conditions. A waiting period means that your insurance company will not cover any pre-existing conditions for a certain amount of time; this waiting period can range from 6 to 18 months. For example, if your plan has a 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions and you have previously received care for asthma, then you will not have coverage for any care or services related to asthma for 12 months.

As long as your plan has either no exclusions for pre-existing conditions or a waiting period of 6 months or less, then this requirement will be fulfilled.

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Requirements for J-1 Students

J-1 students are monitored by the International Student Services (ISS) Office ( For information on the health insurance requirements and clearance process, contact ISS at (808) 956-8613 or

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