Health Insurance and U.S. Health Care
All UMF students are required to be covered by a medical health insurance plan. In addition, Exchange Visitors (J-1) are required to have specific coverage for both themselves and their dependents (spouse and/or children), if they are in the US.
The United States does not have a national health care plan. This means that people living in the United States must purchase a medical plan, either at their own expense or through a plan sponsored by their employer, union or other organization. Since the cost of medical care and emergency health needs are not met by the U.S. government, they must be paid for by the individual.
If you have an emergency medical problem, you can be treated in an emergency room of a hospital. Federal U.S. laws require that both public and private hospitals provide services to anyone needing emergency medical care, regardless of whether that person has medical insurance coverage or has the private funds to pay for the services. Most international students and exchange visitors come to this country from homelands where costs are not a barrier to health care. In their own countries, national health care programs may offer a full range of services when needed. Many international students and exchange visitors are confused, sometimes shocked, by the financial barriers to health care which they encounter in the United States. Most medical insurance plans do not pay 100% of medical costs incurred and the amount owed by the individual can be quite costly at times.
Click here to learn more about health insurance and the U.S. health care system.
F-1 International Student Insurance Requirements:
The UMF Student Health Insurance plan premium will automatically be applied to F-1 student bills. F-1 students are required to either purchase the UMF Student Health Insurance plan or process an online waiver to certify proof of purchase of another medical insurance plan. Insurance waivers processed by the waiver deadline, will result in the charge being removed from the student account. No health insurance charges will be removed from student accounts after the waiver deadline has passed.
J-1 Exchange Visitor Student/Scholar Insurance Requirements:
The U.S. Department of State mandates that sponsors shall require each exchange visitor to have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor for sickness or accident during the period of participation in the sponsor’s exchange visitor program. Minimum coverage shall provide:
- Medical benefit of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;
- $50,000 to cover expenses associated with the medical evacuation;
- $25,000 for the repatriation of remains
- The deductible cannot exceed $500 per accident or illness.
The UMF Student Health Insurance plan premium will automatically be applied to J-1 student bills. J-1 students are required to either purchase the UMF Student Health Insurance plan or process an online waiver to certify proof of purchase of another medical insurance plan. Insurance waivers processed by the waiver deadline, will result in the charge being removed from the student account. No health insurance charges will be removed from student accounts after the waiver deadline has passed.
NOTE: Because the UMF Student Health Insurance Plan is not designed to fully meet the J-1 requirements, J-1 exchange students will need to purchase an additional supplemental insurance policy that helps to meet the above requirements and show proof of such to the Office Global Education.
Supplemental insurance to meet the above requirements can purchased at International SOS. Select the International SOS Visitor USA membership. Exchange students may also be able to purchase adequate supplemental insurance through their home university or government. Insurance policies are permitted that include provisions for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness. Exchange visitors and any accompanying spouse and dependent(s), also may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
Online full medical insurance policies (non-supplemental) to meet the above requirements can be purchased at ISO International Student Insurance. The Compass PPO Plan is a good option for F-1 students. The J1 Exchange/J1 Exchange Superior are both good options for J-1 Students/Scholars.
J-1 Exchange Visitor Language Assistants: You will be covered by the UMF staff/faculty health plan. You will also need to purchase supplemental insurance to meet the above requirements. Visit International SOS and select the International SOS Visitor USA membership.
University of Maine at Farmington Student Health Insurance Plan
Click here to visit the Cross Agency website for more information including the on-line plan brochure and information on who to contact for assistance.
- All international students will be enrolled in and billed for the UMF Student Health Insurance Plan
Academic Year 2019-2020 costs:
Coverage Plan Cost Effective Dates
Annual (12 month) $2,157 August 1, 2019 – July 31, 2020
Spring Semester (6 month) $1,079 January 1, 2020 – July 31, 2020
UMF Student Health Center
Scott Hall, North Entrance
(the right hand side of building as you look from Main Street)
The Student Health Center is open when school is in session during the Fall and Spring semesters.
- Monday and Tuesday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
- Wednesday 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
- Thursday and Friday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Administrative staff available Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 8:30am
Visit the UMF Student Health Center website for more information.
How to use the Student Health Center
To see the nurse for colds and other acute illness and injuries, you can simply walk in and be seen on a first come, first served basis. Physician visits are by appointment; please call in advance to schedule pap smears, physical exams for sports or employment, or general health evaluations.
UMF’s Student Health Center provides a full range of primary health care services, including care for acute illness or injury, help in managing chronic health problems, and preventive health care. All students with billable insurance can have up to three visits per semester without a co-pay charge. After three visits, you will be charged the co-pay amount associated with your insurance plan. Students with insurance that we cannot bill or who fail to present a health insurance card will be charged $20 for every visit. Students who have not met their annual insurance deductible or if your insurance company denies a submitted claim, will be charged $20 for the office visit. Students never have to pay up-front for services; they may have any charges added to their student account.
UMF Health and Wellness Fee
All Students will pay a UMF health and wellness fee of $25 per semester.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do I need to have health insurance?
American health care is very expensive and you must have appropriate insurance coverage. If you fail to obtain health insurance to cover your medical costs you will be responsible for paying your medical bills in full. Even simple medical procedures can amount to thousands of dollars. Exchange Visitors are required to have insurance coverage, per the U.S. Department of State.
Are exchange students required to have health insurance? And what is the process?
Yes. The US Government requires all exchange students to have minimum levels of coverage during their stay in the US. These requirements are listed above. All exchange students are enrolled automatically in the UMF Insurance Plan.
What if I have my own insurance?
Any alternate insurance plan must meet at least the Required Levels of Coverage listed above and the plan must be valid for the entire time that you will study at UMF. Please remember that you get what you pay for. Be sure to read the entire plan before choosing it. If may not cover important items that you may need such as ambulance services.
Anyone wishing to use an alternate insurance plan should fill out the Insurance Waiver form linked above. If the request is approved, the charge for the health insurance plan will be removed from your student account.
How do I know if my plan meets the minimum coverage levels?
Since the Office of Global Education does not employ anyone who specializes in insurance we are unable to assist in reviewing and approving insurance plans. Any questions should be directed to the insurance company that administers the plan, who should also be provided with the required minimum levels.
What do I need to do to be enrolled?
Although the Student Health Plan will be automatically added to your student account, you will have to visit the Cross Agency website to process your individual enrollment in the insurance. Enrollment period will begin in August. You must make sure that you have a Maine address entered on your Student Center on MaineStreet account.
When will I get my insurance card?
It takes about 2-3 weeks after enrollment for cards to arrive by mail. However, enrollment may not occur the day that you submit your request. Electronic copies of the ID card are available upon enrollment at this website . Select “ID Card Information” on the left-hand side of the screen.
Where will my card be mailed to?
Your card will be sent to the Maine address that is on your Student Center on MaineStreet.
What if I need to use my insurance, but have not received my ID card?
The UMF Student Health Center can verify your enrollment in the Student Health Insurance Plan and you can be seen and later present your ID card. Some doctor’s offices offer delayed billing. Which means that you can visit the doctor and then pay the bill at a later time. When your proof of insurance cards arrive you can bring them to the doctor’s office and they will remove any charges that are covered by the insurance plan. Be sure to discuss your situation with someone in the doctor’s office before your visit. In some offices delayed billing is not available. In those cases you must pay the full price for your visit. After you receive your proof of insurance cards, you can work with the insurance company to be reimbursed for the amount that should have been covered by the insurance plan.
If you need prescriptions you will have to pay the full price of the prescription. Then, after you receive your proof of insurance cards, you can work with the insurance company to be reimbursed for the amount that should have been covered by the insurance plan.