Health Insurance & Immunization Requirements
Health Insurance Requirements for F-1 and J-1 Students
Revised Fall 2014
Medical care in the U.S. is extremely expensive. Treatment costs for a simple broken wrist can exceed $500. A routine surgical procedure, such as an appendectomy, can be as high as $10,000.
As a visa student, you are not eligible for any federal or state welfare assistance, and if you are uninsured, you are held legally responsible for paying all your medical expenses. As a consequence, the California State University has required that all international students maintain valid health insurance coverage during their studies.
Evidence of adequate health insurance coverage is required in order to register for classes.
The ISC has information on health insurance requirements, administers the University approved policy, and encourages students to utilize the many health care resources available at Student Health Services .
SDSU requires all its international students to maintain adequate health insurance throughout the duration of their visa status. SDSU automatically places an F-Hold on your class registration each semester. To clear your F-Hold so that you can register for classes, you must show proof of adequate health insurance each semester to the ISC.
The easiest way to show proof of adequate insurance is to purchase a policy sanctioned by the ISC . The ISC encourages you to purchase the pre-approved policy below which offers the most economical group rate in cooperation with SDSU Student Health Services, and provides full coverage.
You may purchase this insurance policy online at:
Cost for Student
(Aug 15, 2014 - Aug 14, 2015)
(Aug 15, 2014 - Jan 15, 2015)
(Jan 15, 2015 - Aug 14, 2015)
Exchange students are REQUIRED to purchase the above policy from Ascension Student Health Insurance
Exchange students who are U.S. citizens are not eligible to purchase the Ascension policy. The ISC will accept your home country insurance as long as you can show proof it is valid in the U.S. If you do not have a current policy, you may purchase the policy offered for U.S. students through SDSU Student Health Services. The link to this policy is here. Please show proof of your insurance to the ISC Reception Desk.
Students on the J-1 visa are required to purchase insurance for your dependents in the U.S. You must enroll dependents at time of student enrollment or within 30 days of dependents arrival in the United States.
The only alternate policies accepted for J-1 Exchange Student coverage will be those offered through:
- The Swedish government (CSN, Kammarkollegiet)
- AON (University of Technology, Sydney)
- The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
- The Norwegian Government
- Chubb Europe (University of Kent students only)
- ACE Europe (Leeds Metropolitan University students only)
For F-1 degree seeking students, only the following policies are acceptable and will be approved:
- Policies for students sponsored by their home government or the U.S. government
- Students covered with a U.S. policy through their own or a family member’s employment (must purchase Ascension medical evacuation/repatriation policy)
- Policies issued through parents/spouse in your home country that meet the requirements.
You must submit a petition to have the ISC approve your policy before you will be eligible to register for classes. F-1 students are strongly advised to purchase insurance for dependents in the U.S. You must enroll dependents at time of student enrollment or within 30 days of dependent’s arrival in the United States.
Continuing students may continue on the policy that was approved in a previous semester and must submit and have approved the Petition to Approve Alternate Health Insurance Policy before the F hold will be cleared.
To be approved, your insurance policy must meet the following criteria:
- The policy is valid until at least the beginning of the next semester;
- The medical benefit is unlimited with a maximum 25% copayment and a maximum $150 deductible;
- The repatriation benefit is unlimited;
- The medical evacuation benefit is unlimited;
- The policy provides equal benefits for each gender (i.e. provides pre-natal and maternity benefits at no extra cost and is Title IX compliant).
- The policy pays for pre-existing conditions after 6 months of continuous coverage. (Regardless if no pre-existing condition).
To have an alternative policy approved, you must complete an Insurance Approval Petition available at the front desk of the International Student Center. The petition must be accompanied by documentation clearly describing (in English) the policy benefits and restrictions.
Keep in mind that over 90% of the alternate insurance policies, especially those purchased in another country as travel insurance, are not accepted. If the petition is not approved, you will have to purchase another policy that meets ISC approval which could cost you several hundred dollars.
We believe the Ascension Insurance policy is the most competitively priced policy on the market.
Examples of Policies Not Accepted
- AIG/AUG Insurance - Japan, Korea
- Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance - Japan
- ICICI Lombard General Insurance - India
- Bajaj Allianz Insurance - India
Meet Immunization Requirements
All students must meet specific immunization requirements. You may bring or send medical documentation or laboratory evidence as proof of immunizations to Student Health Services.* If you do not provide proof of immunizations during your first semester at SDSU, you will not be allowed to register for classes the next semester. Students may also receive vaccines at Student Health Services, which provides a full range of medical services for students. For additional information, call (619) 594-7339 or visit the Student Health Services Web site.
Student Health Services
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-4701
FAX (619) 594-7469
* When mailing or faxing medical documentation, include your RedID number, contact phone number and address.
Measles and Rubella - Required for All Students
If you were born on or after January 1, 1957, you must present proof of immunity against measles and rubella during your first semester at SDSU. One way is to submit proof of at least one vaccination for measles and rubella given after your first birthday and after 1968. You may also submit laboratory evidence of immunity or medical documentation that you have previously had one or both of the diseases. If you have no proof of immunity, you may receive the measles and rubella vaccines at Student Health Services for a fee. You are strongly encouraged to consider a second measles immunization, although it is not required.
Hepatitis B - Required for Students Aged 18 or Younger
If you are age 18 or under, you are required to present proof of immunity against Hepatitis B during your first semester. You may submit: proof of vaccination (Hepatitis B vaccination is a series of three injections given over a period of at least four months); laboratory evidence of immunity; or medical documentation showing that you have previously had the disease. If you have no proof of immunity, you may begin vaccination during your first semester and receive at least one vaccination each semester until you complete the series. The Hepatitis B vaccine is available at Student Health Services for a fee.
Meningococcal Disease - Recommended
All entering freshmen, particularly those living in residence halls, are urged to consider this vaccination. The vaccine is fairly effective against the majority of meningococcal strains, but its immunity effect declines over time, as does the risk of becoming infected. Older students with other risk factors may want to consider vaccination. The vaccine is available at Student Health Services for a low cost.