F-1 Health Insurance

SUNY 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.

International Students Without Assistantship

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 $1144.50 for 2012-2013 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 is serviced by Haylor, Freyer & Coon and covers accidents and sicknesses as well as visits to and referrals from the Syracuse University's Health Services Center. Questions regarding coverage and policy information should be directed to Haylor, Freyer & Coon at 866-535-0456 or  1-800-289-1501, be sure to ask for a college specialist. You can also e-mail them:

About a month after enrollment, students should receive their health insurance card. This must be presented to the medical facility when medical care is requested. If you do not receive your Health Insurance card, please contact the Cashiers Office (102 Bray Hall / 315-470-6630).

Note: 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.

Students who Hold a State Graduate Assistantship

F-1 visa holders are required to enroll in the Graduate Students Employees Union (GESU) NYSHIP plan through Human Resources. You must also purchase supplemental Medical and Security Evacuation coverage for $87.60/ year (2012-2013 rate) at the Cashier's Office as the GESU insurance does not include this coverage. To enroll in the GESU health insurance plan, contact Human Resources (216 Bray Hall).

Students who Hold a Research Foundation Assistantship

F-1 visa holders may choose between the SUNY International Health Insurance Plan offered through the Cashier’s Office (102 Bray Hall) 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 and Security Evacuation 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).

Alternative 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 Health Care 

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 Health Care Plan can be purchased for dependents who join you in the U.S.

The fee for the 2012-2013 academic year is:

  • Spouse: $2455.20
  • Children: $1322.40 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 primary's would purchase the coverage through the ESF Cashier's Office; F-2 dependents would complete the enrollment form available online (be sure to select the SUNY OUTBOUND plan) and submit it with payment to HTH.

SUNY Health Insurance Coverage During OPT Authorization

F-1 students with active SUNY-ESF SEVIS records, are eligible to enroll in SUNY Health Insurance Coverage for the post-completion OPT authorization period. You must consult the Cashier's Office (102 Bray Hall) to enroll in the coverage. You should not have any lapses in health insurance coverage while in F-1 status.

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