Mandatory Health Insurance Requirements

The Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU) requires all matriculated, degree-seeking F-1 international students to have health insurance as a condition of registration and continued enrollment in the California State University system. 

Instructions to Clear Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 Insurance Hold

There are two ways to clear Summer 2021 Insurance Hold:

  1. If you will be in the U.S. during Summer 2021 session (6/1/2021 - 8/6/2021): Purchase Summer 2021 plan (Coverage period: 6/1/2021 - 8/9/2021) at http://www.4studenthealth.com/isfsu.  Choose “2020-2021” under “Currently displaying” before clicking the enroll button.
     
  2. If you will be outside the U.S. during Summer 2021 session (6/1/2021 - 8/6/2021): Sign the online Summer 2021 International Students Insurance Waiver.  For international students who are enrolled online during the COVID-19 pandemic and are verifiably out of the U.S., this waiver fulfills the requirement. 

Please note:

  • The Summer 2021 international health insurance hold will prevent registration for Summer 2021 classes until cleared.
     
  • If you do not plan to enroll in Summer 2021, you do not need to clear your Summer 2021 insurance hold.  Your Summer insurance hold will be cleared when Summer session ends on 8/6/2021.
     
  • The Summer 2021 insurance hold will not prevent you from registering for Fall 2021 courses.  

If you plan to enroll in Fall 2021, there are two ways to fulfill your mandatory insurance requirement at SF State:

  1. If you will be in the U.S. during Fall 2021 semester: Purchase Fall 2021 plan (Coverage period: 8/10/2021 - 12/31/2021) at http://www.4studenthealth.com/isfsu.  Choose “2021-2022” under “Currently displaying” before clicking the enroll button.
    ATTENTION new Fall 2021 students: If you are arriving the U.S. before 8/10/2021 consider purchase the Fall-Early plan.  The coverage for Fall-Early plan starts on 8/1/2021.  
  2. If you will be outside the U.S. during Fall 2021 semester: Sign the online Fall 2021 International Students Insurance Waiver.  For international students who are enrolled online during the COVID-19 pandemic and are verifiably out of the U.S., this waiver fulfills the requirement. 

Please note:

  • The Fall 2021 international health insurance hold will prevent registration for Fall 2021 classes until cleared.
     
  • ATTENTION Current students: If you receive two insurance holds, read this document: Multiple international health insurance holds (PDF. 296 KB).  The Summer 2021 insurance hold will not affect your to enroll in Fall 2021.  The Summer 2021 insurance hold will clear when Summer session ends on 8/6/2021.
  • Change in Benefits and PPO Network:  The new network for the 2021-2022 student health insurance plan is GeoBlue (starting 8/10/2021)NOT Aetna Passport PPO network. 
     
  • To see the Benefit changes, go to http://www.4studenthealth.com/isfsu, choose “2021-2022” under “Currently displaying”, read the “Important Message” section.  The specific benefits will be available soon.

Mandatory Health Insurance Requirements

F-1 International students enrolled in Bachelor's or Master's degree programs are required to satisfy the insurance requirement through purchase of the SF State sponsored insurance offered by Relation at http://www.4studenthealth.com/isfsu

No other insurance policies will be accepted as a substitute for the one sponsored by SF State. Insurance coverage must be purchased and renewed each semester/year.

Type of Plan Start Date End date
Annual (Not available for 2021-2022 plan) August 10 August 9 (a year later)
Academic Year August 10 May 31 (a year later)
Fall August 10 December 31

Early Fall

*For new Fall students who are arriving the U.S. early

August 1 December 31
Spring January 1 May 31
Summer June 1 August 9
You must clear the “International Health Insurance Hold” (if you receive one) before you can enroll in courses for an upcoming semester.  To clear the hold, you can purchase the insurance plan for the upcoming semester at http://www.4studenthealth.com/isfsu  or sign an international health insurance waiver (exceptions during COVID-19 pandemic)
 

Allow at least 2 business days (not including weekends) for the hold to be cleared. 

  • Students on a government-sponsored scholarship which provides compatible insurance coverage as a part of the sponsorship should e-mail contact OIP at f1@sfsu.edu for instructions.
  • Students receiving insurance coverage through an employer-sponsored plan in the United States (i.e. receipt of insurance is a part of the U.S. employment compensation through your spouse) should contact the Mr. Michael Beatty at SF State Enterprise Risk Management office at mbeatty@sfsu.edu for instructions to clear the insurance hold.  Please include your full-name and SF State ID in your e-mail.
There are two exceptions:
  • Students on a government-sponsored scholarship which provides compatible insurance coverage as a part of the sponsorship.
  • Students receiving insurance coverage through an employer-sponsored plan in the United States (i.e. receipt of insurance is a part of the U.S. employment compensation through your spouse).
  • International students in other non-immigrants status (for example, H-4, F-2, J-2....etc)

See "International Health Student Insurance Hold" information below for next steps to clear your hold with insurance exceptions.

F-1 international students are not required to maintain full-time enrollment during the Summer or Winter breaks. Your Summer Insurance Hold will not prevent you from registering for classes in Fall (you must purchase Fall insurance to enroll in Fall courses).

If you plan to leave the U.S. during Summer:

You do not need to purchase any insurance for summer nor clear the insurance hold. 

If you plan to leave the U.S. during Summer and enroll in Summer online classes:

If you wish to clear the Summer insurance hold, please sign the Summer International Student Insurance Waiver (Available in March 2021).  The summer insurance hold will be cleared 2 business days after you sign the waiver.   

If you plan to stay in the U.S. during Summer and enroll in Summer classes:

You must purchase of the SF State sponsored insurance and clear your Summer International Health Insurance hold before you can register.

If you plan to stay in the U.S. during Summer but not enroll in any classes:

OIP recommend you to purchase any insurance to cover your summer in the U.S. to protect yourself.  You can purchase the Summer plan even if you are not taking classes as long as you plan to continue your study in upcoming Fall semester.

It is important  to understand how to use the services at Student Health Services (SHS) before you need it.  See Navigating the Health Services at SF State and International Student Health Insurance (PDF, 1.39MB).  

Frequently asked questions

  • DialCare is a remote telehealth service (offering physical and mental health consultation) available to international students through their student health insurance with Relation.
  • DialCare is an alternative to SF State Student Health Services (SHS) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and is not affiliated with SF State.
  • In order to access DialCare, students must first register their DialCare account (free of charge) following the instructions here (PDF. 65.3KB). 
  • See service information at DialCare: Mental Wellness Counseling Services (PDF, 598KB) and DialCare:Physician Access Information (PDF, 787KB)

Your health insurance will cover COVID-19 testing only if the test is ordered by a medical doctor. For example, if a doctor reviews your symptoms (cough, fever, etc.) and determines that you may have COVID-19, they may order a COVID-19 test. In this case, health insurance will cover the test.

If you would like a COVID-19 test for a different reason (e.g. you need one in order to travel), you must pay for the test "out-of-pocket" (using your own money). See here for a list of free and affordable COVID-19 testing facilities. 

You are covered by the Aetna Passport PPO network (See link) until 8/9/2021. 

Starting 8/10/2021, the new network for the 2021-2022 student health insurance plan will be GeoBlue.

You can continue to contact Relation customer service at 800-537-1777 or clientservices@relationinsurance.com if you have general questions about the coverage from Aetna Passport or GeoBlue.  

  • For general questions, contact Relation Insurance, the company that manage the SF State international student insurance. You may contact Relation customer service at 800-537-1777 or clientservices@relationinsurance.com
  • If you have trouble contacting Relation, contact OIP at f1@sfsu.edu.
  • You will receive an email from Relation with your Member ID Number. Use this number to download your ID card.
  • Log in to your Relation Member Portal  (You will need to create an account)and follow the instructions to download and print your insurance ID card. We recommend that you keep your insurance ID card with you at all times in your bag or wallet.

In the U.S., you must use an “in-network” doctor (someone who has contracted with the health insurance company to charge less money) for your insurance to save you money. If you go to an “out-of-network” doctor or clinic, you will most likely need to pay “out-of-pocket” (which means that you must pay the bill completely on your own) and you will pay more for covered services.

Steps to find a doctor:

  1. Visit http://www.aetna.com/docfind/custom/passport .  You can also find a provider by contacting Relation customer service at 800-537-1777 or clientservices@relationinsurance.com
  2.  Enter your location and range. Click “Search.”
  3. Select Passport to Healthcare® Primary PPO. Click “Continue.”
  4. Type the name, specialty, or type of provider ("Provider" means the doctors who are providing medical services to you) you need into the search bar, or click the corresponding category.
  5. Select a provider from the list, and call to make an appointment. Make sure you have your insurance card available in case they ask for your insurance ID number.
  6. When you call the provider, tell them that you are covered by the “Aetna Passport PPO network” (Until 8/9/2021) and ask them to confirm that they are still participating as an Aetna PPO network provider.

*The above steps will be valid until 8/9/2021.  Information will be updated for 2021 - 2022 plan soon.

 

You can review review Relation Insurance’s “How To” guide (PDF, 1.95MB), or contact Relation Insurance at https://4studenthealth.relationinsurance.com/contact-us/ or call Relation Insurance customer services at (800) 483-6192 for support.

If you are not sure what is covered by your health insurance plan, you may do the following:

Usually, when you use your health insurance to receive medical care, you will be charged a fixed amount for a covered health care service, usually before you receive the service.

The medical provider will send the bill directly to the insurance company to request payment for the rest of your visit.

If you receive medical care at SHS, SHS will not send your bill to Relation.  Instead, SHS will charge the services fee to your SF State student account. You should pay this bill at the SF State Bursar’s Office. After that, you must contact Relation to file a claim if you want to be reimbursed.

If your insurance does not cover the entire cost of the care you received, you will be required to pay for what is not covered. This means that you must pay a portion of the bill, while the insurance company will pay for the rest.

Normally, when you use your health insurance to receive medical care, the medical provider will send the bill directly to the insurance company. However, that is not always the case. At some locations (for example, Student Health Services at SF State), the medical clinic will bill the patient. Afterwards, it is the patient’s responsibility to either “file a claim” with the insurance by submitting copies of all bills and itemized statements or pay the bill and then “file a claim” by submitting receipts of paid bills for reimbursement.

For more details about how to file a claim, visit the “Claims” section under “Use Your Insurance"on the Relation Insurance website: http://www.4studenthealth.com/isfsu

Relation offers a helpful glossary (in both English and Spanish) explaining different health insurance terms. Visit Relation Insurance's Information & Resources page for more information.

You should only use the emergency room for “life-threatening” illness or injury. 

Please note that if you use the emergency room for a non life-threatening illness or injury, your health insurance may not cover the cost of the visit. You should NOT use the emergency room for non life-threatening situations. For mild to moderate illnesses and injuries, we recommend that you make an appointment with an in-network doctor using the AETNA passport or visit your nearest Urgent Care clinic. Use this Help! I Need Medical Care chart (PDF. 234 KB) to determine whether you should visit the emergency room: 

  • Urgent Care is a type of walk-in clinic that treats injuries or illness that require immediate attention (e.g. flu, sprained ankle) but are not life-threatening. You do not need an appointment to visit an Urgent Care clinic.
  • The following Urgent Care clinics accept your health insurance:
    • Golden Gate Urgent Care: 199 West Portal Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127, (415) 821-8798
    • City Bay Urgent Care: 2131 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA 94122, (415) 233-8388
    • Dignity Health GoHealth Urgent Care - Glen Park: 2895 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA 94131, (415) 964-4866
Flu shots are considered preventative care and are not covered by your insurance. If you would like to get a flu shot, here are a few affordable options.  SF State’s Student Health Services also offers affordable flu shots periodically during the semester.
Normally, when you use your health insurance to receive medical care, the medical provider will send the bill directly to the insurance company. However, that is not always the case. At some locations (for example, Student Health Services at SF State), the medical clinic will bill the patient. Afterwards, it is the patient’s responsibility to “file a claim” with the insurance company in order to get the claim processed and paid by the insurance or receive a reimbursement for the money for eligible expenses if the patient paid out-of-pocket.

 

Last updated: June 2021

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