UMD: A Globally Connected University

Health Insurance

New Freshmen and Transfer Undergraduate Students

All students and international visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase health insurance.  For some students and international visitors, it is required to carry health insurance.

Since 2009, health insurance is mandatory for all newly admitted undergraduate freshmen and undergraduate transfer students registered for 6 or more credits. These students must complete an on-line form at www.firststudent.com to indicate whether they either:

  1. have insurance (i.e. through parent plans, family plans, or employer-sponsored plans) and wish to waive the requirement; or
  2. wish to purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) available through the University of Maryland.

If a waiver is chosen, the website will require the student's name, date of birth, University ID#, e-mail, name of insurance company and insurance policy number.  E-mail messages will automatically be generated to inform the student of his/her waiver status upon submission of the waiver request.

If a student has not waived out of the University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), he/she will automatically be enrolled in SHIP for the academic year and the cost will be billed to his/her student bursar account.  Students who submit the waiver by the Univesity's deadline will not be charged the University's SHIP fee.

Individuals with high deductible plans or plans with poor coverage outside of their local community may purchase SHIP for additional assistance with health care costs.

Read more on the Health Center's website.

All J-1 Visa Holders

Regulation
As an Exchange Visitor in the United States, you are required to carry health insurance for yourself and your J-2 dependents for the full duration of your J program. Government regulations stipulate that if you willfully fail to carry health insurance for yourself and your dependents, your J-1 sponsor must terminate your program, and report the termination to the United States Department of State (DOS) in Washington. Your proof of insurance coverage must be uploaded to the iTerp system when you arrive to UMD and will be verified by ISSS at the ISSS orientation and throughout your stay at Maryland.

Required Insurance Specifications
While you hold J-1 or J-2 status, you are required to carry the following type and amounts of coverage:

  • $100,000 (minimum) for each accident or illness.
  • $50,000 (minimum) for the expenses of your travel, if a doctor advises you to be sent home because of a serious illness or injury.
  • $25,000 (minimum) in benefits to send your remains to your home country for burial, if you should die in the United States.
  • $500 (maximum) deductible per accident or illness.
  • Waiting period for pre-existing conditions must be reasonable by current standards in the insurance industry.
  • The policy must be backed by the full faith and credit of your home country government or the company providing the insurance must meet minimum rating requirements established by USIA (an A. M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-i" or above, a Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above).

Insurance Options
If the University of Maryland is your J-1 sponsor, you have several options that comply with the J-1 regulation.

  • Maryland Benefits Plan is available to some Maryland employees. This does not provide for medical evacuation or repatriation insurance so you must also enroll in a supplemental policy to cover those benefits. One option, called Frontier Medex, is available through the University Health Center and covers only medical evacuation and repatriation.  If you do not choose Frontier Medex, you must show documentation of an alternative supplemental plan to cover those benefits.  Be sure to upload proof of insurance for both plans to iTerp, including expiration dates.
  • United Health Care (UHC) student insurance policy is available for students at the Health Center.
    • Students may sign up during the open enrollment periods at the beginning of each term or within 30 days of being removed from another policy.
  • If you are already covered by insurance that meets the requirements below, please provide written proof of coverage to ISSS.
    • The information should be in English
    • Clearly specify the amount of coverage, deductible, co-payments, and exclusions.
    • Provide period and type of coverage and the policy concerning pre-existing conditions.
    • State company rating
    • UMCP offers a group insurance policy which provides emergency medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance. To enroll, please visit the Health Center Business Office, room 1142 at the Health Center.

Where To Find Insurance Information
If you need information about purchasing UHC insurance, you may contact the Health Center at (301) 314-8165 or via email at insurance@health.umd.edu.