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Thornton International House
344 W. Woods Street
San Marcos, TX 78666-4616

Telephone: 512.245.1967
Fax: 512.245.1644

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International Health Insurance

New Health Insurance Requirements for International Students

Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a ruling outlining the applicability of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively “Affordable Care Act”) to student health insurance plans.  In general, the ruling requires that student health insurance plans increase their coverage limits and benefits over the next two years to fully comply with the coverage limits and benefits for individual market plans established by the Affordable Care Act.  “Short Duration” health insurance plans for international students pursuing an education program for one semester or less do not have to comply with the same requirements.

Effective August 23, 2012,  international students attending Texas State University on a Non-Immigrant visa will have to comply with one of the following health insurance requirements:

Attending Texas State University for one semester or less:

  • Deductible may not exceed $500
  • $50,000 minimum coverage for injury or sickness
  • $10,000 benefit for medical evacuation
  • $7,500 benefit for repatriation
  • 80% of medical expenses must be covered by the insurance company
  • Provide coverage for mental health and pregnancy
  • Have a phone number contact within the United States
  • Proof of health insurance provided in English and US currency only

Attending Texas State University for more than one semester:

  • Deductible may not exceed $500.
  • $100,000 minimum coverage for injury or sickness
  • $10,000 of medical evacuation
  • $7,500 medical evacuation repatriation
  • 80% of medical expenses must be covered by the insurance company.
  • No lifetime maximums
  • Coverage for preventative care at 100% in network including immunizations, physical exams and birth   control with no cost sharing
  • No internal caps on essential benefits, including mental health, pregnancy,  prescriptions, surgery, emergency room, doctor visits, hospitalization, physical therapy
  • No pre-existing condition limitations for those younger than age 19
  • Have a phone contact within the United States
  • Proof of health insurance provided in English and US currency only

TAKE ACTION NOW: Students should immediately review their health insurance plan coverage to ensure that they will be in compliance.  Texas State University must comply with this federal law, so exceptions will not be considered.

Texas State provides a health insurance plan through Aetna Student Health which meets all of the requirements of federal law and is very competitively priced at $1849 for a student annual plan.  This health insurance plan may also be purchased on a semester basis (Fall $723, Spring $708, Summer $418).  Health insurance coverage will have to increase to $500,000 in 2013 and to No Annual Limit in 2014 to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

International students on Non-Immigrant Visas enrolling at Texas State are automatically assessed a student health insurance charge. If they wish to substitute another health insurance plan, it must meet the requirements listed above to be considered for a waiver of the charge.  Waivers are processed through the Student Health Center.  An e-mail will be sent later in the summer with information on the health insurance waiver process, including deadline dates.  Students can also monitor the SHC website for important information at http://www.healthcenter.txstate.edu/international.html.

Emilio Carranco, M.D., M.S.
Director, Student Health Center
512.245.2161
http://www.healthcenter.txstate.edu

 


Students Participating in Texas State Faculty-led and Exchange Programs
If you are participating in a Texas State Faculty-led Study Abroad Program or in a Texas State Exchange Program, you have health insurance and travel assistance coverage through HTH Worldwide (HTH) and International SOS (ISOS). Please refer to the Health and Safety Abroad page for more information on this coverage. Please note that policy coverage from these companies only includes the dates within your program period; if you choose to travel on your own before or after your program period, you will not be covered. Texas State Study Abroad recommends that you purchase health coverage for the additional time abroad; refer to the following section for information on purchasing additional coverage.

Students Participating in Other Study Abroad Programs or Independent Travel
It is important to realize that most U.S. insurance coverage is not recognized abroad. Therefore, Texas State Study Abroad strongly recommends that you acquire sufficient health and accident insurance for the entire period of your trip. Ask your study abroad program provider if you will have insurance coverage while participating in the program; if so, request a detailed description of this policy. The following insurance companies provide health insurance to study abroad students (these options are presented as a reference, and it is not the intention of Texas State Study Abroad to recommend any of these companies):

HTH

Travelex Insurance Services, 800.228.9792

International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI)

Travel Guard Insurance

CMI Insurance Worldwide

Betins International Health and Travel Insurance

Health Care Global 2000

Travelinsured

For health information on specific destinations, visit the National Center for Infectious Disease: Traveler's Health page. Please refer to the Health and Safety Abroad page for more information on health and safety abroad.