Medical Clearance and Health Insurance Information
Office of International Education

Please note that ESF contracts for Health Services from Syracuse University's Health Services Center; all medical inquiries and documentation should be directed to Syracuse University's Health Services Center (315-443-2666).

Medical Records, Immunizations, & the SU Health Forms

New York State public health laws require that all students provide documentary evidence of their health history and immunizations (measles, mumps, rubella, and meningitis).

Accordingly, you must complete the four-page Health Form with your doctor/physician and the Meningitis Response Form and submit to Syracuse University Health Center. You will not be allowed to register and begin classes at ESF until this form is received. You may email your form to

Completed Health Forms should be mailed to:
Syracuse University Health Services
Attn: Medical Records
111 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2320

If you do not supply these records to Health Services prior to or upon your arrival, you will be required to obtain immunization(s) at a charge of approximately $45 to $115 and insurance may not cover this expense. Please avoid this expense by providing your completed medical record to Health Services prior to or upon arrival.

Health Clearance & Tuberculosis Testing

As part of the health clearance process for new students, you are required to go thorough tuberculosis screening in accordance with state and county guidelines. This clearance process should be completed as soon as you arrive in Syracuse. If a chest x-ray is medically necessary for this clearance, it must be taken and read in the United States or Canada within 3 months of arrival. Therefore, please plan to have all your tuberculosis testing done as part of health clearance at the Syracuse University Health Services immediately after arrival on campus; do not attempt to complete this in your home country as the testing will need to be repeated in the US. Returning students from Leave of Absence may or may not be required to have the testing done again. Please consult with the Health Services by e-mailing at

There is no initial charge for the health clearance appointment. Charges will result if students require immunizations (e.g., MMR vaccines) or lab work related to a positive TB result.

Failure to complete the health clearance in a timely fashion will result in a hold being placed on a student's account.

Health Insurance Requirement

ESF students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required by SUNY policies to maintain comprehensive health insurance with medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. No exemption from the health insurance fee shall be allowed except for participants presenting evidence of a religious objection or those individuals for whom comparable coverage has been obtained through an exchange agreement, an employment benefit, or foreign government sponsorship.

US Immigration regulations require J-1 Exchange Visitors including students and interns to maintain health insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents for the duration of the J program. The health insurance coverage must meet the Department of State's minimum federal guideline requirements as well as the minimum coverage requirements set forth by SUNY.

Health Insurance for Students without Assistantships

ESF students who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents are required by SUNY policies to maintain adequate health insurance with medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. International students (F-1 or J-1 status) are automatically enrolled in the SUNY Health Insurance Plan prior to matriculation and the fee for the medical coverage is added to the Bursar bill. The annual single student premium for the SUNY Plan is $1113 for 2013-2014 academic year. You will be enrolled in this insurance every year of your program and the coverage will continue until graduation.

The SUNY Health Insurance Plan serviced by Haylor, Freyer & Coon and covers accidents and sicknesses as well as visits to and referrals from the Syracuse University Health Services. About a month after enrollment, students receive a card that is to be presented to the medical facility when medical care is requested.

Before seeking any medical care, including obtaining the required tuberculosis screening and immunizations necessary to complete the Health Form and clearance process, international students should contact the Cashiers Office (102 Bray Hall / 315-470-6630) to obtain a health insurance card.

  • Plan Options, Brochures, Policy Certificates
    Health insurance plan brochures, policy certificates, and dependent enrollment forms can be accessed online. Be sure to click on the "INBOUND" plan options.

    If you are participating in a SUNY program abroad, you will have to purchase OUTBOUND coverage for the duration of your travel.

Please note that neither the State of New York, through its agents, nor the State University of New York through its agents and employees, is responsible in any manner whatsoever for the payment of any claim for health-related services provided to individuals covered under this insurance policy. The State of New York and State University of New York are not responsible for obligations incurred by individuals who are not covered by this insurance policy. All individuals participating in the University’s health insurance programs described herein are responsible for reviewing all descriptions of the scope and level of coverage offered by this policy. Such participants will be solely responsible for obtaining additional coverage not provided under this program if such is deemed necessary by the participant.

Health Insurance for Students who Hold a State Graduate Assistantship

F-1 Visa holders who hold a State Graduate Assistantship are required to enroll in the Graduate Students Employees Union (GESU) Health Insurance Plan. Students will be billed for supplemental Medical Evacuation and Repatriation coverage for $87.60/ year (2012-2013 rate) as the GSEU insurance does not include this coverage. contact Human Resources (216 Bray Hall) before seeking any medical care, including the medical requirements for the Health Clearance, to enroll in this plan.

Health Insurance for Students who Hold a Research Foundation Assistantship

F-1 Visa holders who hold a Research Foundation Assistantship have the choice between the SUNY International Health Insurance through the Cashiers Office or the Research Foundation Student Health Insurance (RFHI). If you choose the RFHI, you must provide a copy of the insurance application (not the hire form) to the Cashier's Office in order to just be billed for medical evacuation and repatriation coverage for $87.60/ year (2012-2013 rate) as the RFHI insurance does not include this coverage. To enroll in the RFHI plan, contact Human Resources (216 Bray Hall).

Students with Alternative Comparable Health Insurance Coverage

Students who meet an exemption criterion noted above and choose not to carry the SUNY health insurance, must submit a Health Insurance Coverage Statement and evidence of comparable alternate coverage [a copy of your health insurance plan coverage details; proof of medical evacuation and repatriation coverage (if not included in your primary health insurance policy); and proof of enrollment (e.g., health insurance card)] to the Cashier in 102 Bray Hall or the Bursar’s office in 103 Bray Hall within 30 days of the first day of class each semester you attend SUNY-ESF. If you do not present this evidence within this time frame, you will be responsible for the full insurance coverage for that semester.

Please note that comparable coverage is coverage that meets or exceeds all of the minimum requirements noted below.

Minimum Health Insurance Requirements:

  • Medical benefits of at least $200,000 (US $) per person per accident or illness
  • Medical benefit coverage payable up to the reasonable and customary charges of the following expenses:
    • Physician and surgical, ambulance, emergency room, in-patient and out-patient care, mental and nervous costs, maternity care, nursery care of a newborn child
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
  • Expenses associated with medical evacuation to home country in the amount of $10,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $50 per sickness or injury
  • Coverage of pre-existing conditions

Family/Spouse/Dependent Health Insurance 

Adequate health insurance with medical evacuation and repatriation coverage must be obtained for every member of your family who accompanies you to the U.S. The SUNY HTH Health Insurance can be purchased for dependents who join you in the U.S. The fee for the 2013-2014 academic year is:

  • Spouse: $2387.28
  • Children: $1273.74 per child

To enroll dependents in health insurance:

If you have children who will be attending public schools, you will be required to show proof of immunization, including the three D.P.T (diptheria, pertussis, tetanus). Bring copies of medical records for yourself and your family members.

If you or your family will travel outside the US and require health insurance coverage, you can purchase the SUNY OUTBOUND coverage for the duration of your travel. F-1 and J-1 primary's would purchase the coverage through the ESF Cashier's Office; F-2 and J-2 dependents would complete the enrollment form available online (be sure to select the SUNY OUTBOUND plan) and submit it with payment to HTH.

Traveler's Insurance

It is recommended that international students purchase traveler’s insurance to ensure that medical care coverage is avaiable while en route to the U.S. if your home insurance will not cover the expenses of emergency medical care.

Additional Information

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