Medical services in the United States are privatized. That means that the government does not provide medical treatment, and the patient is responsible for all costs. Medical treatment can be very expensive the in the U.S., so many Americans carry medical insurance to subsidize medical costs.
All international students (any student that is not a U.S. citizen or an approved lawful permanent resident) are required to have the Texas A&M University System Student Health Insurance Plan (SSHIP) during all periods of enrollment. The plan is automatically charged to an international student's tuition and fee statement.
International students are covered by the Blue Cross and BlueShield of Texas Academic HealthPlans. International Programs does not determine the cost of this insurance. This plan is reviewed annually by the System Benefits Administration. The cost is established based on plan design, plan participation and claim experience. This plan is available for students at A&M System universities. The System Student Health Insurance Regulation is located at http://policies.tamus.edu/26-99-01.pdf
Academic Health Plans (AHP) provides program management and administrative services for the student health plans of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.
The Texas A&M University System has established five circumstances in which an international student can request a waiver to the SSHIP and provide alternative health insurance coverage.
- Student is sponsored by the United States government;
- Student is sponsored by a foreign government recognized by the United States or certain international, government-sponsored or non-governmental organizations, and covered under a health plan that is compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If the health plan does not include medical evacuation and repatriation, a rider must be purchased providing coverage at equal limits to the SSHIP;
- Student is enrolled in an employer-provided group health plan that is compliant with the ACA. If the health plan does not include medical evacuation and repatriation, a rider must be purchased providing coverage at equal limits to the SSHIP;
- Student is enrolled in only distance learning programs; or
- Student is involved in intercollegiate athletics and coverage for all medical insurance is provided through a policy as part of the current sports accident medical policy approved by System Risk Management.
- Current Graduate Student Employees - If you are a current graduate student employee and you are currently enrolled in the graduate student health plan and your assistantship will continue for Fall 2014, your coverage will continue automatically for the Fall semester. You are not required to apply for a waiver of SSHIP.
- Current Graduate Student Employees in a Leave Without Pay Status - If you are a current graduate student employee placed in a leave without pay status, and will be returning to work, contact your hiring department as soon as possible to make sure that your benefits are reinstated by September 10, 2014 with an effective date of coverage no later than September 1, 2014. You are not required to apply for a waiver of SSHIP.
- Current Graduate Student Employees with effective date of coverage after 9/1 – If your benefits begin after September 1, 2014, you will be autobilled for Fall 2014. If it has been determined that you are due a refund, AHP will process these in the form of a check. You may update your address online through Academic
AHP will review ALL waiver requests. The waiver process for Fall 2014 will open August 1, 2014 and close on September 10, 2014. Waiver approvals by AHP for Fall 2014 are valid through Summer 2015. Waiver approvals by AHP do not include those who are enrolled in the Graduate Student Employee Plan.
What documentation is required to request a waiver?
- A copy of your insurance policy with schedule of benefits and exclusion of benefits.
- Enrollment Proof (front and back of insurance id card along with start and end date of policy)
Once your waiver is submitted and your proof documentation is received by AHP, you will be notified via email within 5-7 business days of the status of your waiver request. It may take up to 10-14 business days once the waiver has been approved to process a refund through your tuition and fees. If your tuition bill is due before your waiver application is processed, pay the fee and if approved, the refund will be processed at a later date.
Academic Health Plans Contact
Academic HealthPlans, Inc.
3500 William D. Tate Ave.,
Suite 200 Grapevine,
877-624-7911 [Toll Free Customer Service Number]
817-479-2101 [Fax Number]