Health Insurance & Immunization Requirements



Health Insurance Requirements for F-1 and J-1 Students


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 SDSUStudent Health Services , and provides full coverage.


You may purchase this insurance policy online at:

Ascension Student Health Insurance

Cost for Student


(Aug 15, 2012 - Aug 14, 2013)

Fall 2012

(Aug 15, 2012 - Jan 15, 2013)

Spring 2013

(Jan 15, 2013 - Aug 14, 2013)



Exchange students are REQUIRED to purchase the above policy from Ascension Student Health Insurance (previously Renaissance Insurance).


The only alternate policies accepted for J-1 Exchange Student coverage will be those offered through:


  • Fulbright
  • ISEP
  • The Swedish government (CSN)
  • AON (University of Technology, Sydney)
  • The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) or
  • The Norwegian Government
  • Chubb Europe (University of Kent students only)


Matriculated, F-1 degree seeking students may choose to purchase a different health insurance policy. However, the ISC must approve your policy before you will be eligible to register for classes . 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 at least $250,000 per illness or injury with a maximum 25% copayment and a maximum $150 deductible;
  • The repatriation benefit is at least $7,500;
  • The medical evacuation benefit is at least $10,000;
  • 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-exisiting 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.


Note: Exchange

If you are on a J-1 visa, you are required to purchase insurance for your dependents in the U.S. If you are on a F-1 visa, you are strongly encouraged to purchase insurance for your dependents in the U.S. You must enroll dependants at time of student enrollment or within 30 days of dependants arrival to the United States.


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.