Office of International Programs

Insurance for international students

The University of Akron requires that all international students purchase major medical health insurance through UA’s Student Health Plan.

A waiver can be requested if you meet one of the following requirements: Your insurance is provided to you by your government, as part of your scholarship or through your parent/spouse who works for a U.S. employer.

The insurance must be major medical coverage. Waivers can be requested by sending an email and including your student ID number and a copy of your insurance card or a “Certificate of Coverage” from your insurance company to

Please allow two business days for the hold to be moved forward.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need Health Insurance?

Health insurance is mandatory at The University of Akron for international students and (the accompanying dependents (spouse and/or children) of J-1).

The University of Akron requires health insurance for international students for several reasons, including:

  • Health care can be very costly in the US.
  • The US does not have a national health care plan.
  • Health services may be restricted if you do not have health insurance.
  • Health Insurance is a Federal Immigration requirement.

Do I have to cancel my current insurance?

If you have paid the insurance prior to the first email notification of June 21, 2012,no you do not have to cancel, however you may have to upgrade. Policies that offer insufficient coverage will not be accepted. Note: If you have renewed, but have not paid the premium, yes, you should cancel the policy.

Is this a new fee?

No.Major medical insurance coverage has always been mandatory for international students. To that end, the cost of the premium has always been calculated into the living expenses amount listed on the Declaration and Certification of Finances (DCF) Form that each international student is required to complete and submit along with adequate financial documentation before the I-20/DS-2019 is issued. Therefore, you have sworn that you are financially able to pay the University Student Health Plan fee.

What determines if an international student has met the requirements under another health plan?

  • The  plan must be a government-sponsored program, employer benefit for the student or parent of the student (if the student is a dependent),  or be provided by another source (i.e. scholarship) that guarantees acceptable coverage will remain in force during the entire length of your stay.
  • The plan must be provided by a company licensed to do business in the United States with (a) a U.S. claim payment office, (b) a U.S. telephone number, and (c) plan literature available in English. Travel insurance plans and reimbursement programs of any kind do not qualify.
  • The plan must exceed the coverage provided the University Student Health Plan. If the waiver is approved,  the student must provide proof of payment for the entire year.  No monthly or installment payment will be permitted.  Note: Many plans may appear comparable, but there are “internal limits”, “exclusions” and “pre-existing illness clauses” which leave students almost unprotected.

Who determines if an international student has met the requirements for “comparable coverage” under another health plan? 

The University of Akron solely determines whether an international student has met the waiver requirements. 

Which international students are subject to the hard waiver program? 

The hard waiver program applies to all non-immigrant students enrolled in a degree-seeking, guest or exchange program at the University. 

Are the dependents of international students subject to the program? 

No, dependents are not subject to the hard waiver program; however, the University expects that dependents will maintain adequate health coverage throughout their stay in the United States.  As a reminder, dependents with J-2 visa status are required by law to maintain health insurance at proscribed minimum levels throughout their stay or risk the loss of legal status.

How will international students pay for the student health coverage under the University Student Health Plan?

When an international student enrolls online in the student health plan, he/she will be directed to the OIP eMarket to process the payment.  Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and eChecks are acceptable forms of payment.

What is the cost of the Insurance Fee?

The Spring/Summer 2015 Student Health Insurance fee is $687. The new academic year 2015-2016 health insurance fee will be posted by March 2015. International students who do not qualify for the waiver must pay the fee before they will be permitted to register for classes.

What information should an international student have available before entering the online waiver site to file a waiver application?

Before entering the on-line waiver site, an international student should have (1) his/her current health plan ID card; and (2) his/her health insurance carrier’s brochure or plan description.

What happens if an international student fails to demonstrate acceptable coverage by the established deadline?

Any international student who fails to demonstrate acceptable coverage by the established deadline must enrolled the University Student Health Plan. 

Whom may I contact if I have additional questions?

For questions regarding the online waiver process or payment process, please contact the Office of International Programs at or call our Front Desk at 330-972-6349

Where may I pay?

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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