General Insurance Information
Where To Seek Treatment
Students: Your first and best option is to go to the Student Health Center because you are paying a fee that allows the Health Center to provide treatment at low cost.
Health care system in the U.S.
Health care in the United States is provided by private hospitals and clinics. Although in many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, in the U.S., individuals and families—including students—are responsible for these costs themselves. Living in the U.S. without adequate health insurance is unwise and potentially extremely expensive.
While it is not a federal regulation, non-Mexican F-1 and F-2 international students and dependents are required by the University of Texas (UT) System to maintain qualifying medical insurance coverage during the duration of their stay in the U.S. Mexican students are exempt from this requirement. Regardless of UT System exemptions, certain UTEP academic departments require all enrolled students to maintian qualifying medical insurance coverage.
All international exchange visitors and their dependents (J-1, J-2) are required to maintain qualifying medical insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in the U.S. This is both a federal regulation and a UT System requirement that applies to all exchange visitors regardless of country of citizenship.
Registered J-1 and non-Mexican F-1 students will be charged the UTEP student health insurance premium on each semester’s tuition/fee statement. These students may qualify for a waiver of the health insurance premium if their insurance covers at least the following amounts as established by the UT System Board of Regents and the United States Department of State:
- May include provisions for co-insurance under the terms of which the employee may be required to pay up to 25 percent of the covered benefits per accident and the covered benefits per illness.
- Shall not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange programs in which the student participates.
- Must be underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best Rating of “A-“ or above, or a Standard and Poor’s Claims-paying Ability of “A” or above, and Insurance solvency International LTD (ISI) rating of “A” or above or Weiss Research Inc. rating of “B” or above.
If students/scholars have their own policy from their home country or another policy in the U.S. that meets the required health insurance amounts, they need to provide proof. Registered students can apply for a waiver of the mandatory health insurance fee.
- Students need to complete the “UT System International Student Insurance Waiver” form and submit it to the office of Human Resources no later than census day of each semester. If you are an employee of UTEP, you must be employed at 50% time (20 hours) or more per week and the appointment must be for 4½ months or more to qualify for UTEP health insurance.
- Scholars and J-1 student interns need to complete the “Confirmation of Insurance Coverage” form and submit it to the Office of International Programs.
The process for both forms is as follows: 1) complete the form; 2) attach proof of the other health insurance plan that includes the dates of coverage, insurance amounts, and coverage descriptions.
Both forms are located under the forms tab at the Office of International Programs website: https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/oipsa
Considering that there is still no federal regulation for F-3 visa holders and based on the information available, it appears that F-3 visa holders are exempt from the insurance requirement.
To file as residents for tax purposes, individuals must live in the U.S. Since F-3 visa holders are required to live in Mexico and commute during their studies, the ACA will most likely not apply to this visa type.
The staff at the Office of International Programs at UTEP is not trained in tax matters or the new health care reform (ACA). We do, however, host a tax assistance event every February where international students and scholars can complete their tax forms and speak to tax IRS representatives on-site. If you have further questions, please visit the following websites:
UTEP Employee Health Insurance
Students that are employed on campus at 50% time (20 hours) or more per week for appointments of 4 1/2 months or more, are eligible for UTEP health insurance through the UTEP sponsored plan provided by Academic Health Plans. Whether the student is benefits-eligible is at the discretion of each department.
Academic Health Plans
Most professors, scholars and student interns are provided health insurance by UTEP as a benefit of their paid research or teaching position. Please check with your host department to determine if you are eligible for UTEP health insurance benefits. If you are benefits eligible, you will be enrolling in the UTEP sponsored health insurance plan provided by Academic Health Plans. An Insurance Waiver will be given to you at OIP check-in and orientation. Please note the UTEP plan only covers medical insurance and you will be asked to provide additional insurance for repatriation and medical evacuation. To purchase repatriation and medical evacuation policy add-on’s, please visit Academic Health Plans Enrollment page and complete the “Enrollment Form – AES”.
For more information about the UTEP Employees policy, please visit the Academic Health Plans website.
You are also free to find another company that offers the same insurance. You may also bring insurance form your home country that will cover you for the entire time you are in the U.S. In order to satisfy the insurance requirements, the policy must be in English and the insurance amounts must be provided in U.S. dollars. Usually an English copy of the declaration page will be sufficient if it shows:
- names of the insured people on the policy
- descriptions, amounts and dates of coverage
If you are not being paid by UTEP and/or do not receive health insurance benefits, there are a couple of options for you in order to satisfy this requirement. We have provided a list of different type of health insurance plans for international students and exchange visitors. Please refer to our website page “Other Health Insurance Plans” for additional information.
Other Health Insurance Plans
The following companies offer different types of health insurance. Since information about individual plans change frequently, please consult these websites and call the company to be sure that you have accurate information about the plan coverage. The Office of International Programs does not endorse any one of the following health insurance companies; they are listed solely for convenience.
Insurance confirmation should include the following: names of the insured people on the policy, descriptions, amounts and dates of coverage.
J-1 Exchange Visitors and dependents are required by law to have the appropriate health insurance. Please note that sometimes scholars and professors might need to choose individual student plans when selecting certain insurance plans.
Compass Benefits Group
Toll Free in the U.S: 1-800-683-1468
The Harbour Group L.L.C
Toll Free in the U.S: 1-800-252-8160
Toll Free in the U.S: 1-800-244-1180
Toll Free in the U.S: 1-800-335-0611
The insurance company chosen must have a company rating of A- or above on one of the following scales: A.M. best, Insurance Solvency International, Ltd., Standard & Poor’s Claims-Paying Ability, or B+ or above from Weiss Research, Inc.