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International Student Medical Insurance

University of California, San Diego International Student Insurance

General Information

University of California - San Diego (UCSD) is an institution founded with the goal of being distinctive. After one visit, you’ll likely agree that this goal has been achieved. 

Situated in the trendy, seaside San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla, the campus of UCSD is a mix of lush green spaces and advanced technology. There are self-driven vehicles that deliver mail across campus, and the library is an architectural marvel. 

For international students, UCSD makes for an attractive destination for a number of reasons. In addition to excellent educational, extracurricular, and research opportunities, the location of the university itself is a big draw. La Jolla is right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, providing easy access to beaches and waterfront activities. Also, the year-round sunshine and pleasant weather attracts students from around the world.  

University of California, San Diego Academic and Research Opportunities

At UCSD, International students can choose from one of the largest arrays of degrees and programs in the United States, with nearly 200 undergraduate majors to choose from. 

The university consists of four academic divisions:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences

USCD undergraduate programs are taught at seven residential colleges:

  • Revelle College
  • John Muir College
  • Thurgood Marshall College
  • Earl Warren College
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College
  • Sixth College
  • Seventh College

In addition, USCD students can apply to attend one of its seven graduate schools:

  • Jacobs School of Engineering
  • Rady School of Management
  • Scripps Institute of Oceanography
  • School of Global Policy and Strategy
  • School of Medicine
  • Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science 

The location, quality of faculty and amenities, and variety of programs available makes USCD an extremely popular choice. With over 99,000 freshman applications in fall, 2019, UCSD is the second most applied to university in the United States. 

Health Risks for University of California, San Diego International Students

International students at UCSD are sure to enjoy the warm weather and friendly atmosphere this school has to offer. The close-knit college community is fun, vibrant, and welcoming. However, you still have to be mindful of your health. 

One risk that students must keep in mind is the ocean. When living in San Diego, it’s impossible not to be drawn to the beauty and fun of the Pacific coast. But keep in mind, the water can be dangerous. You must be careful of strong currents and riptides. Even if you stay on the beach, it’s essential to protect your skin from damaging rays with sunscreen. 

Even if you don’t ever plan to drive while attending UCSD, you must also be wary of traffic. San Diego is a very large, busy city. Be extremely careful when crossing roadways, and always buckle your seatbelt when riding in a car to reduce the chance of an injury. 

Cover Your Risks with Health Insurance for University of California, San Diego 

Though eating well, exercising, and using caution can certainly reduce your health risks while studying at UCSD, there’s no way to completely eliminate those risks. If you do become ill or get hurt while studying abroad, the price for treatment could prove unaffordable if you don’t have insurance coverage in place. 

Luckily, international student health insurance for University of California, San Diego can help ease this financial stress. 

International Student Health Insurance for University of California, San Diego  - FAQs

Do international students need health insurance before joining the University of California, San Diego?

UCSD requires international students to have health insurance. You can either enroll in the default University of California international student health insurance plan (SHIP), or enroll in private health insurance so long as it meets all insurance requirements set by the university and your visa status. 

What’s the need for University of California, San Diego health insurance for international students?

Though excellent healthcare is available in the U.S., it comes at a high price. As an international student with a budget to keep, it’s essential to protect your finances from unexpected medical bills. A proper international student health insurance plan can provide the financial protection you need in case you become sick or injured while studying at UCSD. 

How to find the best international student health insurance for the University of California, San Diego?

Finding the best health insurance coverage for your studies at UCSD doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need to follow a few steps:

  1. Understand the insurance requirements for yourself and any accompanying dependents. You can find this information below, or by contacting UCSD. With this knowledge, you can ensure that whatever plan you choose is compliant with all university and visa requirements. 
  2. Compare different plans. Choose several plans that seem like good options, and compare their monthly premiums, benefits, copays, and out-of-pocket expenses for treatment. 
  3. Using this information, select a plan that provides the most useful combination of affordability and benefits for you. 

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University of California, San Diego International Student Insurance Requirements

International Students

UCSD automatically enrolls all international students in its Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP). Students are able to request to waive the SHIP, however, in order to satisfy UCSD insurance requirements, any plan selected in place of the SHIP must meet the SHIP waiver requirements such as:

  • Be a Medi-Cal/Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE/Military, Covered California, or other U.S. federal or state exchange plan, or a University of California employee health plan, or:
  • Be an employee-sponsored group health plan or individual plan that provides the following benefits:
  1. Doctor office visits for medical, including mental health, and alcohol/drug abuse conditions
  2. Provides coverage for all Minimum Essential Health Benefits
  3. May not be a healthcare or pharmacy reimbursement plan
  4. Have no per-medical or mental health/substance abuse dollar maximum limits

In addition, alternative insurance for international students must meet the following criteria:

  • Cover services related to suicidal conditions, including attempted suicide or suicidal thoughts
  • Have no preexisting condition exclusion or limitation, or if there is a preexisting condition waiting period, that period has expired
  • Have no lifetime maximums on benefits
  • Have a claims payment office with an address and phone number in the U.S.
  • Pay at least $50,000 annually for medical evacuation
  • Pay at least $25,000 for repatriation of remains

Dependents of eligible international students are able to be enrolled in the UCSD SHIP; however, there is no mention of a mandate for health insurance. Those with an F-2 visa can select any plan in the student (F-1/F-2). All plans under the Exchange Visitor (J-1/J-2) section will meet the requirements mandated by the Department of State.

It is recommended to contact the Student Health & Well-being Administration office to verify the health insurance requirements prior to purchase, as detailed information may only be provided to the attendee.

J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitors

UCSD provides health insurance coverage and options for each category patriating in the Exchange Visitor Program.

UCSD Postdoctoral Scholar J-1 Exchange Visitors are eligible to enroll in the UC Postdoctoral Scholar Benefit Plan or chose to waive the plan for an alternative one that meets the all the federal limits of coverage issued by the U.S. Department of State and the additional UCSD requirements for themselves and their accompanying dependents for the full duration of their time in the U.S., Such requirements are as follows:

  • Coinsurance cannot exceed 25%
  • Pre-existing conditions must be a covered benefit. The waiting period for benefit coverage cannot exceed 12 months. Please note: Policy’s with coverage for only “Acute onset of pre-existing conditions” do not meet this requirement.
  • Carrier must be at least A- rated or backed by the full faith and credit of the Exchange Visitor's government

UC San Diego Employee Exchange Visitors Program (paid for by UCSD, excluding postdocs) who are benefits-eligible can choose coverage through the UC San Diego health plan. However, it is important to note that the UC San Diego Core Plan does not provide benefits for medical evacuation or repatriation of remains (MER). In order to meet Department of State Requirements, eligible individuals who choose this plan must purchase supplemental MER coverage to meet requirements. Atlas MedEvac would meet the MER federal limits. Those who choose to waive the UC San Diego Core Plan for an alternative one that meets the all the federal limits of coverage issued by the U.S. Department of State and the additional UCSD requirements for themselves and their accompanying depending for the full duration of their time in the U.S., Such requirements are as follows:

  • Coinsurance cannot exceed 25%
  • Pre-existing conditions must be a covered benefit. The waiting period for benefit coverage cannot exceed 12 months. Please note: Policy’s with coverage for only “Acute onset of pre-existing conditions” do not meet this requirement.
  • Carrier must be at least A- rated or backed by the full faith and credit of the Exchange Visitor's government

All other J-1 Exchange Visitors and their accompanying dependents can elect to enroll into the UCSD Visiting Scholar Benefits plan or waive out and enroll in their own health insurance plan. However, in order to do so, they must complete a waiver, and provide documentation of an alternative insurance plan that meets all Department of State requirements. All plans under the Exchange Visitor (J-1/J-2) section will meet the requirements mandated by the Department of State as well as the additional requirements for UCSD which are not limited to:

  • Coinsurance cannot exceed 25%
  • Pre-existing conditions must be a covered benefit. The waiting period for benefit coverage cannot exceed 12 months. Please note: Policy’s with coverage for only “Acute onset of pre-existing conditions” do not meet this requirement.
  • Carrier must be at least A- rated or backed by the full faith and credit of the Exchange Visitor's government

It is recommended to contact the International Faculty & Scholars Office to verify the health insurance requirements prior to purchase, as detailed information may only be provided to the attendee.

Please contact our office for further information. This information is subject to change.

J Visa Insurance Plans

Patriot Exchange Program

ExchangeGuard® Choice

ExchangeGuard® Essential

Student Health Advantage Standard

Student Health Advantage Platinum

StudentSecure® Budget

StudentSecure® Select

Study USA - Healthcare Standard

Study USA - Healthcare Preferred

Study USA - Healthcare Platinum

F Visa Insurance Plans

This school does not allow to purchase outside insurance or no insurance plans available that meet the school requirements.

DISCLAIMER: The school requirements are accurate as of the time of analysis. It is possible that the school requirements have changed since they were reviewed and matched with insurance plans meeting the requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that the latest requirements are still met by the insurance product you purchase. We are not affiliated with the schools listed here and these insurance plans are not endorsed by your school.

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Visiting USA?

Healthcare costs are very high in the U.S.

Buy U.S. based visitors insurance and enjoy your trip.

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Traveling abroad?

Did you know that your insurance may not cover you abroad or that it may only provide limited coverage?

Purchase travel medical insurance that includes emergency medical evacuation.

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You are not eligible to enroll in Medicare for the first 5 years.

Purchase new immigrant medical insurance to bridge the gap.

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Going on a vacation?

You could lose your non-refundable trip costs if you had to cancel your trip.

Buy a trip cancellation insurance package plan and be worry-free.

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Are you an exchange visitor to USA?

The U.S. Department of State requires all J visa holders to purchase compliant insurance.

Buy J visa medical insurance to meet your requirements.

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Traveling to Europe?

Schengen countries require most non-US citizens to purchase Schengen visa insurance.

Make an instant purchase online and get instant visa letter.

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Traveling frequently throughout the year?

You don't need to purchase travel insurance for every trip.

Purchase annual multi trip travel insurance for your travels.

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International student in the U.S.?

Most schools require international students to purchase health insurance.

Purchase international student health insurance that meets most school requirements.

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