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International Student Medical Insurance

University of California, Santa Barbara International Student Insurance

The sunny shores of California are the lovely home of the University of California, Santa Barbara. UC Santa Barbara has consistently ranked in the top 30 universities in the U.S. for undergraduate and graduate courses. It has also historically proven to be one of the best schools for social mobility.

The college is a hub for budding professionals and researchers from across the globe. The campus is expansive, and boasts of state-of-the-art facilities for academics and extracurricular activities. 

University of California, Santa Barbara Academic and Research Opportunities 

UC Santa Barbara hosts a broad spectrum of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Some of its most popular undergraduate majors are sociology, chemical and materials engineering, economics, and computer science. 

For graduate students, the college offers excellent programs in biochemistry, education, finance, business management, etc. The college encourages quality research at all levels of study.

UC Santa Barbara’s constituent schools are: 

  • College of Creative Studies
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Letters and Science
  • Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
  • Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Health Risks for University of California, Santa Barbara International Students 

Santa Barbara is a pleasant university town situated on the coast of California. It is a warm and sunny place, ideal for international students to live and study in. 

Being a coastal location, the town is susceptible to unpredictable weather, especially in the fall and winter months. Be on the lookout for weather warnings before venturing out to the beach or into the ocean. In addition, ensure that you follow all the recommended safety precautions while enjoying watersports activities. These include waterskiing, swimming, paddling, surfing, etc. 

You should also take care while driving on some of the town’s tricky hillside roads. The “Painted Cave Road” in particular is notorious for its blind turns and steep inclines. 

Cover Your Risks with Health Insurance for University of California, Santa Barbara

Securing one’s health and finances is a top priority for international students. Therefore, it is crucial to have health insurance that can provide coverage while you are studying abroad. Having proper insurance coverage can help protect your finances in case you encounter a medical issue requiring treatment while studying at UC Santa Barbara. 

International Student Health Insurance for University of California, Santa Barbara - FAQs 

Do international students need health insurance before joining University of California, Santa Barbara?

According to state and university mandates, all international students (holders of F-1/F-2 and J-1/J-2 visas) must possess adequate health insurance coverage before their enrollment for classes at UC Santa Barbara. 

UC Santa Barbara enrolls all incoming students into its Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) automatically. Students may elect to waive this coverage for a comparable international student insurance plan that includes coverage for consultations, major and minor medical procedures, hospitalization, emergency care, medicine, etc. 

You can view the Insurance Requirements section below for a detailed explanation of coverage requirements. 

What’s the need for University of California, Santa Barbara health insurance for international students?

Accessing private medical care in the U.S. can be a significant burden to your finances. Without insurance coverage, you might find yourself stuck with a bill you cannot afford to pay, even for a minor procedure.

Therefore, purchasing a student health insurance policy offering appropriate coverage is the best way to keep your expenses in check. 

As a student at UC Santa Barbara, you’ll have access to a wealth of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, and swimming. The risk of injury is ever-present when taking part in extracurricular activities, making insurance coverage essential. 

However, even if you prefer to avoid these sorts of activities, you still need coverage. Anyone can become the victim of a badly twisted ankle from a missed step, or come down with a sudden illness that requires medical treatment. International student health insurance can provide needed financial protection in these cases. 

How to find the best student health insurance for University of California, Santa Barbara?

As an international student at UC Santa Barbara, you have the option to stick with the school-sponsored “SHIP” insurance plan, or elect to purchase comparable coverage for yourself or your accompanying dependents. 

To find the best international student health insurance plan for you, read through the Insurance Requirements section directly below, or visit the university’s website. Have a thorough understanding of your insurance requirements based on your visa and enrollment status. Then, compare several plans that meet those requirements, and choose the one that fits your needs and budget the best. 

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University of California, Santa Barbara International Student Insurance Requirements

International Students

UC Santa Barbara 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 UC Santa Barbara 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. Provides coverage for all Minimum Essential Health Benefits
  2. May not be a healthcare or pharmacy reimbursement plan
  3. 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 UC Santa Barbara 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) section. For J-2 dependents, 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 UC Santa Barbara Student Health Center 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

All J visa exchange visitors and their accompanying dependents are required by the U.S. Department of State to have health insurance for the duration of their program at UC Santa Barbara. UC Santa Barbara states that all J-1 scholars and their accompanying dependents must have medical insurance that meets minimum J-1 visa requirements.

UC Santa Barbara offers an insurance plan that J-1 exchange visitors, visiting scholars, and dependents can enroll in. J visa holders who elect to provide their own insurance must contact the UC Santa Barbara International Center to submit a waiver request. To be eligible for a waiver, the alternate insurance plan must meet all minimum requirements set by the Department of State and the UC Santa Barbara additional limits of coverage:

  • Coinsurance cannot exceed 25%
  • Preexisting conditions must be a covered benefit. The waiting period for benefit coverage cannot exceed 12 months. Please note: Policies with coverage for only “Acute onset of preexisting 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

For J visa paid employees and accompanying dependents who elect to enroll in the UC Santa Barbara benefits plan (e.g., Junior Specialists, Lecturers, Assistant Specialists, SRA II, etc. with the exception of postdocs), it should be noted that the UC CORE Benefits plan does not meet all J-1 health insurance requirements. It is mandatory to purchase supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation and repatriation. The Atlas MedEvac plan will meet the J visa federal limits of coverage.

It is recommended to contact the UC Santa Barbara International Center 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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New immigrant to USA?

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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