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. 

ATTENTION!

In order to register for Spring 2021 classes, international students must complete the mandatory insurance requirements by Thursday, November 12 (California Local Time). 

Instructions will be posted in mid October, 2020.

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 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” 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 by the Registrar's Office.  It is not necessary to email the proof of purchase to OIP.

  • 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 SF State Enterprise Risk Management office at riskmgmt@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).

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 Form.  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:

You are not required to purchase SF State student health insurance nor clear the Summer International Health Insurance Hold.

However, OIP would 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 your are registered for the Fall semester.

Students on Post-Completion OPT are not required to purchase Sf State sponsored insurance.  However, OPT students are eligible to purchase this plan as long as you make the purchase within 30 days of your previous insurance expiration date.  For example, if your current insurance will end on August 9, you must purchase new coverage by September 9.
To purchase insurance, complete Relation's OPT Enrollment Form:

2020-2021 OPT Enrollment Form (PDF, 138KB)(Starting 8/10/2020)

FAX or MAIL the application with your EAD or I-20 with OPT request (if your application is still pending) to Relation. Do not apply online nor EMAIL the application.

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

You are covered by the Aetna Passport PPO network (See link)

  • 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 calling Relation Insurance customer services at (800) 483-6192.
    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,” and ask them to confirm that they are still participating as an Aetna PPO network provider.

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: August 2020

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