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FAQs

Non-Immigrant Student Health Insurance : Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Why does Texas Tech University (TTU) require non-immigrant students to have health insurance?
  2. Who is covered by this requirement?
  3. Why has TTU selected only one insurance company for this insurance?
  4. Are there any waivers?
  5. Why are waivers limited?
  6. What is the procedure for submitting waiver requests?
  7. How long does it take to get a waiver decision?
  8. How can I appeal if my waiver request is denied?
  9. Do I have to apply for the waiver every semester?
  10. Now that I've enrolled - where can I get my insurance card?
  11. If I have to pay for the insurance, can I get the Medical Service fee waived from my tuition bill?
  12. Do I need to pay the medical services fee to be eligible for medical care at Student Health Services?
  13. Where can I find information about AHP insurance?
  14. How do I pay and when must I pay by?
  15. How does the plan work? Can I see any doctor?
  16. Does the Texas Tech University student insurance plan cover 100% of my medical bills?
  17. What is the difference between the TTU Employer (RA/GA/TA) Plan and the Student Plan?
  18. What are the dates of coverage?
  19. Can a non-immigrant student elect to pay the annual payment and receive a discount?
  20. If a student elects to use the TTU employer-based insurance (RA/TA/GTA), what must be done during the 90 day waiting period?
  21. The student plan is underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Texas. Can other Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Texas policies be substituted for the TTU policy?
  22. What financial assistance may be available to assist students challenged by the cost of health insurance?
  23. Is a student required to buy insurance for a dependent spouse and/or child?



  1. Why does Texas Tech University (TTU) require non-immigrant students to have health insurance?

    The United States Government has certain requirements for all persons applying for a non-immigrant visa(e.g., student visas) to enter the United States. These include certain financial qualifications - such as being able to meet all personal financial liabilities while in the US, and not becoming a "public charge" while in the US. Given the extraordinarily high cost of medical care in the US, TTU requires that all non-immigrant students have health insurance coverage as a condition of enrollment. This helps assure that non-immigrant students comply with United States Government financial responsibility requirements cited above.

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  2. Who is covered by this requirement?

    All enrolled students at TTU in any non-immigrant status (not U.S. citizens, not Permanent Residents, not Refugees).

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  3. Why has TTU selected only one insurance company for this insurance?

    TTU undertook a competitive and open process in accordance with governing law and regulation to solicit bids from interested insurance carriers. Based on the competition, Academic Health Plans was awarded the contract.

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  4. Are there any waivers?

    Yes, the insurance premium will be waived for nonimmigrant students sponsored by the United States Government, a foreign government recognized by the United States of America, or certain international, government sponsored or non-governmental organizations. Such waivers will be based on the government or organization guaranteeing payment of all health care expenses including evacuation and repatriation. Documentation must be presented to the TTU Office of International Affairs prior to registration.

    The insurance premium will also be waived for students who provide documented evidence of health insurance coverage, including evacuation and repatriation, by a U.S. employer. Nonimmigrant students employed by TTU and eligible for both employer-provided insurance and international student health insurance may select between the two, as long as the insurance selected includes evacuation and repatriation coverage. Such documentation must be presented to the TTU Office of International Affairs prior to registration. Note: Medical evacuation and repatriation insurance can be purchased to supplement employer provided health insurance from Academic HealthPlans.(See the enrollment form.)

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  5. Why are waivers limited?

    Waivers are limited to assure that non-immigrant students at TTU maintain adequate insurance coverage to pay for potential expenses arising from unexpected medical issues. Otherwise, such expenses could jeopardize the student's ability to cover her/his expenses while in the visa status, as well as make the student vulnerable to becoming a "public charge"(which is a factor precluding qualifying for a non-immigrant visa) while in the United States.

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  6. What is the procedure for submitting waiver requests?

    Students who meet one of the waiver criteria may obtain the waiver request form by downloading from the Student Insurance page or picking up the form at the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at the International Cultural Center (ICC). The completed form should be submitted at OIA (drop box by reception). OIA will then forward the form to the appropriate offices and the student will be informed by campus email of the final decision by Student Health Services.

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  7. How long does it take to get a waiver decision?

    Routine waiver decisions will be completed within ten business days.

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  8. How can I appeal if my waiver request is denied?

    Appeals can be submitted in writing to the Vice Provost for International Affairs, Office of International Affairs, Box 1036, TTU. The appeal must explain which of the waiver categories the student believes s/he qualifies.

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  9. Do I have to apply for the waiver every semester?

    YES

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  10. Now that I've enrolled - where can I get my insurance card?

    Insurance cards will be mailed by the insurance company to the student's address. Temporary cards will be available from Student Health Services once the student has paid for the health insurance.

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  11. If I have to pay for the insurance, can I get the Medical Service fee waived from my tuition bill?

    No - The Academic HealthPlans Policy premiums are based on student utilization of Student Health Services at the Student Wellness Center for routine medical appointments. The insurance policy provides coverage for prescription medicines, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and medical care when the student is not in Lubbock, Texas.

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  12. Do I need to pay the medical services fee to be eligible for medical care at Student Health Services?

    Yes.

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  13. Where can I find information about AHP insurance?

    You can find more information at the Academic Health Plans website.

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  14. How do I pay and when must I pay by?

    The cost per semester will be charged to your student tuition and fees account. Students need to pay for their insurance at the same time they pay their other fees to the University.

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  15. How does the plan work? Can I see any doctor?

    The TTU plan is a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan. Student Health Service (SHS) physicians and a referral nurse can assist you in locating a physician. The Student Insurance plan pays for prescription medicines. Students can also access a doctor outside Student Health Services by logging on to Academic Health Plans to find an in-network doctor.

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  16. Does the Texas Tech University student insurance plan cover 100% of my medical bills?

    The plan provides benefits for covered expenses for a loss due to an injury or sickness up to $100,000 per policy year. There is a $250 annual deductible and benefits are paid at 80% for services rendered by in network providers. It is important that the students pay their medical services fee so they can receive routine medical care Student Health Services. Student Health services include doctors' visits, laboratory tests, and x-rays. At the Student Health Services Pharmacy, the deductible expense is waived and prescription co-pays are $15 for generic drugs and $20 for name brand drugs. Outside of the Student Health Services Pharmacy, the prescription co-payments are $20 for generic drugs and $40 for name brand drugs.

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  17. What is the difference between the TTU Employer (RA/GA/TA) Plan and the Student Plan?

    The TTU employer plan is administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield and has some higher benefits. The TTU employer plan does not include medical evacuation and repatriation. The Student Plan is geared for students and while it does not have as broad coverage it meets the needs of most students and includes medical evacuation and repatriation and is less expensive then the employer plan.

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  18. What are the dates of coverage?

    Fall Semester: August 16th to December 31st

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  19. Can a non-immigrant student elect to pay the annual payment and receive a discount?

    No.

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  20. If a student elects to use the TTU employer-based insurance (RA/TA/GTA), what must be done during the 90 day waiting period?

    Students may purchase a short-term policy to cover the 90 day waiting period. Academic Health Plans offers such a policy. It is important for health insurance not to lapse for more than 30 days in order to avoid claims being denied due to a pre-existing condition.

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  21. The student plan is underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Texas. Can other Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Texas policies be substituted for the TTU policy?

    No. The TTU Student Health Plan is administered by Academic Health Plans.

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  22. What financial assistance may be available to assist students challenged by the cost of health insurance?

    The Gelin Loan (guidelines at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/gelin_intro.htm) is available to assist graduate students. (Please note that Gelin Loan program is a loan, not a grant, and must be repaid.) The International Student Texas Public Education Grant (TPEG) application is available through the OIA at: http://www.iaff.ttu.edu/Main/ISSS/CurrentStudentScholars/TPEGInfo.asp to international students.

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  23. Is a student required to buy insurance for a dependent spouse and/or child?

    No. Health care insurance (including evacuation and repatriation) is recommended for dependents.

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