Health insurance for international students, excluding those with J-1/J-2 visas, is not mandatory but strongly recommended. The U.S. Department of State also requires all visitors on J-1 or J-2 visas to maintain medical insurance coverage throughout their stay in the United States.
However, there is no universal or national health insurance plan in the United States; rather, medical and dental care is generally a personal responsibility and can be quite expensive. These high costs can be extreme and even force an individual to forego necessary care. At Shepherd University, we never want an international student, visiting scholar, or family member to have to face that kind of difficult decision.
If you do choose to pay for health insurance, please keep in mind coverage for repatriation of remains and medical evacuations. There are many companies and health plans available on the market, and it can be quite confusing and overwhelming. To assist, the University recommends you purchasing coverage under one of these companies:
In some cases, you may be able to utilize your current health insurance coverage from your home country as part of your overall family’s health coverage. In these instances, we ask that you come prepared with your proof of insurance, allowable services, coverage limits, and information on how to utilize that specific plan in the United States.
Proof of Immunization
We also ask each student to fill out the health status review form and turn this into our University’s Health Center upon arrival. You may need to consult your local physician about required immunizations (mumps, measles, and rubella), spinal meningitis (if living on campus), a recent tuberculosis test, and any special medical needs or considerations you will want the Health Center to be aware of.
Depending on the region where you will be coming from, you may also be asked to provide additional information. While you can receive the immunizations after your arrival, you may find it easier and less expensive to have these completed before arrival. If you do this, make sure your doctor provides proof of immunization.