Insurance for International Students
Most international students are required to maintain the international Student Health Insurance Plan (iSHIP) while enrolled at WSU. Students with an F1 or J1 visa type will be automatically enrolled.
Sections on this page:
Understanding the U.S. health care system
Health care is very expensive in the United States. International students, scholars, and family members cannot rely on any government assistance with medical expenses as few states approve even partial Medicaid to nonimmigrants.
Overall, international students and scholars are fully responsible for their medical costs unless they are covered by health insurance. If a member of your international community does not have insurance and needs medical care, that person will be responsible for paying the full cost of that care.
It is important to have health insurance with coverage effective as soon as possible after arrival to protect your international community’s well-being. It is generally impossible to wait until you are sick or hurt to purchase insurance.
Get more information on key insurance terms.
Only students who fit into one of the following categories may be exempt from enrollment in the iSHIP plan:
- Students enrolled in a medical insurance plan sponsored by a United States employer of themselves or a family member (parent, spouse/partner)
- Students enrolled at WSU but conducting research outside of the United States
If you feel you meet one of these categories, please send your request to cancel to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide proof of coverage and/or your reason that you might be exempt.
UHCSR provides free language assistance services in over 20 languages. Call 1-866-260-2723 for more information.
Enrollment and coverage
This year’s plan will be provided by UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR). The plan starts on August 1, 2017 for international students who are new to the university. For returning international students, the plan starts on August 16, 2017.
Starting around September 1, you will be able to create an online account with UHCSR through their app or on their website. Brochures summarizing plan details and certificate of coverage are available online, you are also able to request printed copies for in-person pickup.
Dental coverage is not part of your student insurance plan, but you can choose to purchase your own dental insurance through Delta Dental.
Your insurance benefits include access to many different services to support your health and wellbeing, including:
- HealthiestYou, a 24-hour telehealth service that connects you with a board-certified physician via phone or video chat for a consultation, diagnosis and treatment – a great option for WSU Pullman students to use on evenings, weekends or holidays when Health & Wellness Services is closed!
- Student Assistance Program, a set of services including 24/7 counseling, assistance with legal and financial issues, and mediation services
- Global Emergency Services, a program providing you (as well as your spouse and/or dependent children if they are enrolled) with access to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and certain other services when faced with a travel or medical emergency while traveling 100 miles or more from your permanent residence
- Better Help, a national virtual counseling service where you can get the help you want, the way you want it. This service provides access to psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, and licensed professional counselors. These licensed counselors will be available to you via ongoing text communications, live chat, phone, video, or groupinars.
Spouses, domestic partners, and children may be enrolled at your request. The enrollment/cancellation deadline is the 13th day of classes for the fall and spring semesters and the 5th day of classes for the summer sessions.
To add a spouse or domestic partner, please complete the Declaration of Marriage or Domestic Partnership.
If you are new to WSU, you can complete the below forms to enroll your dependents or cancel their coverage:
- Dependent Enrollment Form for New International Students
- Dependent Cancellation Form for New International Students
If you are a returning international student and were enrolled in the spring 2017 plan, you can complete the below forms to enroll your dependents or cancel their coverage:
- Dependent Enrollment Form for Returning International Students
- Dependent Cancellation Form for Returning International Students
Printed copies of all documents are available upon request.
Prescription services for students outside Pullman
Do you have prescriptions that you take regularly? Our pharmacy in Pullman can fill and mail maintenance medications to students who have a WSU student insurance plan (iSHIP or GSA).
We’ll need 3-5 business days to fill and mail your prescription. Make sure to give us plenty of notice before you need a refill. We’ll bill your insurance to reduce the amount you pay at the time you fill the prescription.
Examples of maintenance medications include:
- Birth control
- Blood pressure medication
- Oral diabetic medications
There are some restrictions. If you have questions or would like to start receiving your prescription by mail, contact our pharmacy.
International students who begin their studies during the summer session can enroll in summer medical insurance until the fall semester begins. Summer 2018 forms will be available at a later date.
If you were enrolled in the 2016-2017 plan, you have up to one year to submit claims for medical services provided to you on or before August 15, 2017. Your insurance administrator is AmeriBen.
Contact for questions
The billing and insurance office is located in the Washington building within the medical clinic entrance.
Phone: 509-335-3575 (option 3)