Maintaining adequate health insurance is a wise decision, but did you know it is also required under university policy? For international students and scholars it is also an immigration requirement and failure to maintain insurance could negatively affect your immigration status. To meet the requirement you must maintain health insurance that meets minimum requirements throughout the entire duration of the I-20/DS-2019. The minimum health insurance requirements can be found on the OIS website.
All students must either purchase the mandatory University health plan (called “Student Blue”) or waive out of Student Blue by showing proof of an alternative plan that meets a set of required criteria. If you haven’t waived out of Student Blue by September 12th, you will be automatically enrolled in the Student Blue plan. If you do not plan to waive out of the Student Blue plan, it is very important that you go ahead and enroll yourself in the plan on the Student Blue website immediately. This will ensure the insurance coverage is active in case you need to be treated for an illness or injury. You can learn more about enrolling or waiving out of Student Blue on the Student Health Center’s website.
J-1 students must also show proof of insurance for themselves and their dependents (if applicable) for the duration of the DS-2019. The Department of State (DOS) requires all participants of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program to have and maintain health insurance which covers the exchange visitor and all accompanying family members for the entire duration of their J status. The J-1 Exchange Visitor is ultimately responsible for acquiring sufficient health insurance for the entire duration of stay in the U.S. J-1 students will have to purchase insurance independently for their dependents, and make arrangements before they arrive to the U.S., or soon after their arrival. More information about health insurance can be found on the OIS website.
How do I obtain health insurance?
Students who meet the enrollment requirements, as listed on the OIS website, are eligible for the Student Blue plan and enrollment is automatic with the premium charged directly to the student’s NC State account and payable through the University Cashier’s Office.
What about my dependents?
At this time Student Blue plan does not offer coverage for dependents so students with dependents should make other arrangements to obtain dependent coverage. OIS maintains a list of insurance providers on our website.
Medical care in the United States is very expensive which is why insurance is so important. You never know when you may get sick or into an accident and being healthy or lucky in the past is no guarantee for the future. You don’t want to let a trip to the doctor or hospital destroy your academic career and future aspirations by bankrupting you financially! So be smart, and make sure you always have adequate health insurance for yourself and dependents. The last thing you need to worry about is medical bills while you are trying to write your PhD dissertation!