Health Insurance - International Students


All international students...

  • are required to have health insurance in order to attend the University of Iowa. Dental insurance is NOT required.
  • must have insurance beginning the first day of classes and, therefore, will be billed for the months of August and January
  • will be automatically billed for a student-only policy under SHIP for each semester in which you are registered. Coverage and premium charges will begin the first of the month in which the student is registered and class begins.
  • will have their coverage extended over the summer unless the student graduates or submits an exemption.
  • who are pre-registered for fall semester, but will be out of the U.S. over the summer, must bring proof of travel to the University Benefits Office prior to departure in order to avoid being billed for summer insurance premiums.

Insurance Plans & Rates

Undergrad International Students:

Plans available to you:

How much do these plans cost?
Below you will find links to the 2018 - 2019 rates for SHIP and Student Dental. These rates are effective September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019. 

  • Rates for SHIP
  • Rates for Student Dental

Graduate International Students or Health Science Majors:

Plans available to you:

How much do these plans cost?
Below you will find links to the 2018 - 2019 rates for SHIP, UIGRADCare and Student Dental. These rates are effective September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019. 

  • Rates for SHIP
  • Rates for UIGRADCare
  • Rates for Student Dental

Adding Dependents:

If you have a spouse/partner or children who will need insurance, you must complete an enrollment form in MyUI to add them to your policy. You will have 30 days from the date of arrival, or date of eligibility and 60 days from the date of birth to add dependents to your policy. 

Exemption Guidelines

Do you already have insurance? Please read the following guidelines regarding an exemption to being added to our student insurance plans:
Your policy...

  1. must include hospitalization coverage.
  2. must be non-cancelable and fully paid for a minimum period of one semester.
  3. must be renewable for continuous coverage. Conditions covered under the initial policy must not constitute a pre-existing condition under the renewal policy.

Additional exemption requirements for students with a J-1 Visa:
Your policy...

  1. must include medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness.
  2. must include repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500.
  3. must include expenses associated with medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000.
  4. and must include a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

If you have a scholarship or are sponsored by an agency that provides insurance or assumes payment of your medical costs, you must provide documentation to University Benefits by the deadlines below.

Please Note:

  • Monthly payment plans will not be accepted.
  • Exemptions will not be made for students or family members leaving the U.S. for a period of less than one month. 

Deadlines for receiving exemptions and making policy changes:

  • After the deadlines shown below, only partial exemptions will be given.
  • You will then be required to pay for coverage through the end of the month in which your insurance documents are accepted.
  • If your documents are not in English, you will be required to have them translated.

Fall Semester:  September 9

Spring Semester:  February 9

Summer Semester:  June 9

Please contact your advisor or the University Benefits Office before the deadline if you have problems or questions regarding the insurance requirement. 


When can I enroll?
You may enroll during Student Insurance Open Enrollment or if outside the Open Enrollment period, with a qualifying event

Open Enrollment periods are as follows:

  • Fall Semester:  August 1 to September 9
  • Spring Semester: January 1 to February 9
  • Summer Semester:  May 1 to June 9

How do I enroll?
Enrolling in SHIP is an easy process that you can do online through MyUI. Follow the simple steps below:

  1. Sign in to MyUI.
  2. Under STUDENT INFORMATION, select the "+More" button
  3. Under STUDENT LIFE MANAGEMENT, select "Student Insurance"
  4. Choose the first green button labeled "Enroll in Insurance"
  5. Continue to fill out the online form and submit to University Benefits for processing

Once you submit your online enrollment form, you will receive an email confirmation from The University of Iowa's Workflow system. Your form will be processed in the order it was received. You may check the status of your previously submitted insurance requests by visiting your My Initiated Packages in Workflow.

Please be sure that your home address is up to date in MyUI as this is where Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield will be sending your health insurance card which you will need when you visit a health care provider. 


The information presented on our website describes only the highlights of the plans and does not constitute official plan documents. Additional terms and conditions may apply. If there are any discrepancies between the information contained herein and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern. For more detailed information you may contact Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield at toll-free number 800-524-9242 (TTY: 888-781-4262), Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Time). For more efficient service, please have your member ID number handy - it can be found on the front of your card.

Frequently Asked Questions

Insurance is mandatory for international students and health science students with clinical exposure. Students are billed for single coverage in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). If they want to add a spouse and/or are eligible for UIGRADCare and want that policy, they must complete an application.

Beginning with applicants enrolling for summer 2008, all new first-year students enrolled with 5 or more semester hours will be required to have health insurance coverage for the entire time they are students at Iowa.

Health science students must complete the Proof of Coverage Form, which is available in MyUI.

International students must provide us with a copy of their policy and an insurance ID card along with the proof of coverage form. The policy must meet requirements listed on our website. 

Beginning with applicants enrolling for summer 2008, all new first-year students enrolled with 5 or more semester hours who do not belong to one of the two groups above, will be asked to report their insurance status through their Admissions Profile in MyUI, the University's online service center for students.  Students without coverage, will be automatically enrolled in the University's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). 

See the current student health insurance rates on the appropriate index page for
your student status:

Undergraduate Health Insurance (non-Health Science Major)
Graduate Student or Undergraduate Health Science Major

Understanding Student Health Insurance

Check out this student health insurance tutorial.

Benefits Office

Campus address
120 USB