Health Insurance & Services

The cost of health care in the United States is very high; a short stay in the hospital will cost thousands of dollars. International students, scholars or dependents who are in the U.S. on temporary, non-immigrant visas such as F or J, are not eligible for U.S. government programs like Medical Assistance or Medicaid. You must protect yourself from the high cost of health care by purchasing health insurance coverage. Health insurance must be purchased for the academic year or at the minimum the entire semester. If you have questions before purchasing a health insurance plan, you can contact our Insurance Coordinator by reaching out via email at: or by calling at (269) 387- 5804.

All international students must have health insurance coverage in effect on the first day of classes. Email insurance documents to within the first week of classes. Health insurance may be purchased ahead of time and use your arrival in the U.S. as the policy start date. 

Use this page to navigate:

Minimum insurance requirements

J-visa holders

WMU exchange visitors and international students on J-1 or J-2 visas are required by U.S. Department of State regulations to have health insurance that meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Must cover the entire period of participation in the exchange visitor program
  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor or student to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible not exceeding $500 per accident or illness

Any policy, plan or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:

 a) Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or above, Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of "A-" or above, a Moody’s Investor Services rating of "A3" or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or

b) Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country; or

c) Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or

d) Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization or eligible Competitive Medical Plan as determined by the Health Care Financing Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Other international students not on J-visa

Health insurance for all other international students must meet the same requirements as the J-visa holders plus:

  • Inpatient and outpatient medical coverage for hospitalization, emergency room, urgent care, maternity, physical therapy and mental health services
  • Prescription (medication) coverage
  • Pre-existing condition clause not greater than 6 months

The insurance policy must be written in English, in U.S. currency, and have a U.S. billing address and phone number.

Please take note that medical evacuation and repatriation coverage is a standard requirement for all international students.  If you do not have this coverage in your current plan, it must be purchased in a separate policy. 


Students and scholars may explore insurance options available through these providers:

Necessary Documentation

All international students must send documentation of their health insurance coverage to International Admissions and Services. This includes a copy of the front and back of the insurance card and confirmation letter from the insurance company stating coverage dates of the policy. Failure to comply with the insurance requirement will cause a HOLD on your student account.

You must keep a copy of your health insurance card with you at all times and present it when you seek medical treatment.

For insurance assistance contact Tiedra Robertson at (269) 387-5804 or email:

HealthCare Services in Kalamazoo

Sindecuse Health Center (WMU Campus)

Located on the main campus, WMU's Sindecuse Health Center offers convenient, cost-saving services with an experienced, multidisciplinary staff dedicated to maintaining and improving patient health. Many insurance plans are accepted. Services include: 

Other Health Care Services

When the Sindecuse Health Center is closed, it is advised to visit an Urgent Care Center in the area.  Be sure to take your insurance ID card with you.  Hospitals provide excellent care as well but not every medical situation requires a hospital emergency room visit.  Hospital emergency care is necessary when you have a life-threatening situation.  Examples are severe chest pain, bleeding that cannot be stopped, traumatic head injury, or severe shortness of breath. 

For a minor emergency or Sindecuse Health Center is closed visit an Urgent Care Center:  

For a major emergency visit a Hospital Emergency Room: 

 In case of a life-threatening emergency, dial 911, and an ambulance will be sent to your location