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International F1 Visa Students

All International F1 Visa students are required to enroll in the student health insurance plan (SHIP) each year in attendance, regardless of credit load.  This policy in place to protect you in the event of an unexpected serious illness or injury.  Students who are not covered by a domestic insurance plan may not be able to receive local, quality health care at a low cost.  Treatment, doctor visit, and prescription medication that have to be paid out of pocket, impose a severe financial hardship on students.  By enrolling in a high quality insurance plan, you will have access to local health care from legitimate providers with minimal financial stress.

Students who enter the country with a pre-purchased student travel insurance plan or other insurance-related product will still be required to enroll mandatorily in the University-sponsored health insurance plan; please incorporate the cost into your financial planning for each semester of attendance. 

Please note: All International students seeking F1 visa status must submit a Certification of Finances.  The certification of finances, required for authorization of the I-20 form, gives University of the Sciences accurate information about the funds available to its International students.  Government regulations and economic conditions have made verifying the financial resources of incoming International students essential.

How much does the SHIP cost?

See the chart below of the cost coverage for the SHIP. The premium is charged to your Student Account upon close of the course registration "Drop/Add" period.

*Please check back for premium rates for the academic year 2016-2017.

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What does the SHIP cover?

USciences Student Health and Counseling (SHAC), in partnership with First Risk Advisors and UnitedHealthcare, is pleased to be able to offer students (and their dependents) an affordable, high-quality health insurance plan. If you become seriously ill or injured, the SHIP will help you receive local health care and relieve the financial stress due to medical expenses.

USciences SHIP is a comprehensive plan that provides coverage for a full range of medical services, including inpatient and outpatient services, specialty care without referral, emergency care, hospitalization, and mental health across the nation, as well as prescription drugs and discount dental and vision services.

Click here for the full plan brochure. Click here for a sumary of benefits and coverage.

Although United Healthcare offers comprehensive coverage, you are encouraged to make SHAC your first destination for high-quality, on-campus physical and behavioral healthcare, including consultation, treatment, and specialty referral. At SHAC:

  • Services are free
  • Staff are accustomed to working with International students
  • Staff are aware of cultural considerations
  • Staff can offer a referral for serious illness or injury
  • Student Health works hand in hand with Student Counseling services

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When does coverge under the SHIP begin?

Annual Coverage - August 15, 2016 through August 14, 2017

Spring Coverage - January 11, 2017 through August 14, 2017

Please note: The University-sponsored insurance plan is an annual policy.  As a result, the insurance underwriter does not allow for premature exit from the contact between the student and the insurance company even if you separated from the University.

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Am I eligible for an exemption from the SHIP?

Any student who is sponsored by their government is eligible to apply for an exemption from the SHIP.

If you are enrolled in a domestic (United States) insurance plan and your plan offers equivalent or greater benefits than what the SHIP offers, you may be eligible for an exemption from the SHIP. In order to be eligible for an exemption, your personal health insurance must include the following benefits:

  • Annual deductible less than $2,500 per person
  • Annual plan maximum limit of $500,000
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage for inpatient and outpatient medical services in the Philadelphia region (i.e. physician visits; day surgery fees)
  • Coverage for laboratory tests and radiology
  • Coverage for inpatient and outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment up to 30 days in the Philadelphia region
  • Coverage for the purchase of medications (can be a separate plan)

To apply for an exemption, you must submit the following materials to the Insurance Coordinator before the deadline:

  • Exemption request form;
  • Insurance member ID; OR
  • A Letter from your Embassy confirming payment for all medical expenses

Exemption applications and documentation must be submitted each academic year by the deadline. If you do not submit an application by the deadline, you will be automatically enrolled in the SHIP and the annual premium will be charged to you Student Account.

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When are the deadlines?

Fall 2016: 07/05/15 - 09/09/16

Spring 2017: 12/01/16– 01/27/17 (New students)

Summer 2017: 05/01/17 - 06/29/16 (New students)

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More Information

Please contact the USciences Health Insurance Coordinator for additional information.

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Plan Brochure
Prescription Drug List
Provider Finder
Exemption Request Form

Ms. Alicia C. Miller, MPH
Health Information Data Analyst
(P) 215-596-8536
(F) 215-596-7576

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