International students who are required to maintain health insurance must ACTIVATE their enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or submit a WAIVER each coverage period.
Students holding comparable coverage may be eligible to waive enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan.
- You are encouraged to complete your waiver request as soon as possible. Any additional information that may be requested must be submitted prior to the posted deadline.
- Late submissions will not be accepted.
- If you DO NOT submit a waiver or if your waiver submission is not approved, you will be automatically enrolled in SHIP and the cost of the insurance coverage will be remain posted to your student financial account.
The University of Houston will submit your eligibility to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan to Academic HealthPlans, the third-party plan administrator, each applicable term.
During the ENROLLMENT ACTIVATION and WAIVER period, uploads from the university will be processed at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM daily. After the health insurance charge has been posted to your university account, allow approximately one (1) hour after the next scheduled upload before attempting submit a WAIVER.
The Student Health Center facilitates the reporting and communication functions on behalf of the university. The Student Health Center does not accept or review waiver submissions.
The waiver department at Academic HealthPlans will audit all submitted waiver request documentation based on the University of Houston System Policy for International Student Health Insurance Requirements.
Wavier Submission Minimum Requirements
An international student may request a waiver of this mandatory health insurance fee in the following instances with proof of acceptable alternate insurance.
- The student is sponsored by the U.S. government, the government of the student's home country is recognized by the U.S. or by certain international, government-sponsored or non-governmental organizations, if the sponsor has provided a plan equivalent to the SHIP or a letter guaranteeing payment of all health care expenses.
- The student is enrolled in a verifiable employer-provided group health plan which is equivalent to the SHIP.
- If medical evacuation and repatriation that equals the amounts as compared to the SHIP are not included in an otherwise acceptable policy, a rider must be purchased.
In order to be approved for a waiver of enrollment in the mandatory SHIP, an alternate health insurance plan must meet or exceed all minimum requirements and be submitted each coverage period/term by the posted waiver deadline. The waiver deadline is the official reporting/census day as posted on the Academic Calendar. Late submissions are not accepted.
- Medical/preventative care benefits equivalent to the UHS-endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan with no annual limits.
- Contains no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
- Imposes no provisions for co-insurance that exceed 25% of the covered benefits.
- Medical evacuation coverage amount is no less than $50,000.
- Repatriation coverage amount is no less than $25,000.
- International "J" Student Visa Holders must have a policy whose deductible does not exceed $500 annually.
- International "F" Student Visa Holders must have a policy whose deductible does not exceed $1,500 (individual)/$3,000 (family) annually.
International students that are subject to this policy must have health and medical evacuation/repatriation coverage that meets or exceeds the following SHIP coverage periods:
- Fall: August 1st – December 31st
- Spring/Summer: January 1st – August 31st
- Summer Only: June 1st – August 31st
Types of alternate health insurance plans that will automatically be denied without further review include, but are not limited to:
- An individual/family plan purchased directly from HealthCare.gov, other government service organization or an insurance company.
- A Travel Plan
- A Healthcare Spending Account
- A Healthcare plan that does not cover the full requirements listed in the waiver criteria.
(You DO NOT want the student health insurance plan)
- Have an electronic copy of your medical ID card and full policy document (in English) ready.
- Go to Academic HealthPlans: Enrollment Activation and Waiver
- Select the Click Here to Waive' link.
- By clicking the "Click Here to Waive" link, you confirm that you have read and understand the University of Houston System Policy concerning F and J Visa International Health Insurance Requirements.
- Once you log in using your CougarNet ID and Password, select the WAIVE button from the "I Already Have Insurance" section.
- Complete the waiver form and attach an electronic copy of the front and back of your medical insurance card and your full policy document.
- Select the 'Submit Waiver' button at the bottom of the waiver form.
- You will receive a waiver status email within 5-7 business days.
Once you have successfully submitted your waiver request you will receive an on-screen confirmation and an automated email confirming receipt of your request. Please make sure you receive this submission confirmation email, and print it for your records. Should there be any problems with your waiver, you will need this confirmation email which contains your waiver request ID number.
If the waiver department determines during the audit of a student's waiver submission documentation that the alternate health insurance policy does not meet the minimum requirements, documentation cannot be verified or that additional information is needed to verify the waiver submission, the waiver will be denied and no further review of the currently submitted documentation will be completed at that time.
An email notification advising the student will be sent. The email will include the reason for the denial and instructions about how to submit additional information by the posted deadline, if applicable.