Health Insurance


For Summer 2019, the online waiver portal is available from April 19, 2019 to June 2, 2019
For Fall 2019, the online waiver portal is available from August 1, 2019 to September 7, 2019.
For the Fall Mandatory First Time On-Campus Arrival, the online waiver portal is available from July 15, 2019 to September 7, 2019.




The Texas A&M University System requires all international students entering the U.S. on a F-1 or J-1 student visa to be covered under the Texas A&M University System Student Health Insurance Plan (SSHIP) or have equivalent insurance coverage that meets the waiver criteria at http://assets.system.tamus.edu/files/benefits/pdf/studentinsurance/waiver%20guidelines.pdf. The System Student Health Insurance Regulation is located at http://policies.tamus.edu/26-99-01.pdf.
 
  • The plan is automatically charged to F-1 and J-1 international student’s tuition and fee statement.
  • Cost and policy period information can be obtained at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/cost for College Station, or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/cost for Galveston. International Student Services (ISS) does not control the cost of the insurance. If you purchase a plan that does not meet the waiver criteria, and do not receive waiver approval, you will still be required to pay the SSHIP fee. New students who arriving for their first semester for Fall, will be charged a separate SSHIP fee for the mandatory first time on-campus insurance to provide coverage for the month of August. If you are distance learning/defer/transfer/withdraw you must notify ISS. If notification is received after the 20th class day of the semester, the SSHIP fees will be the responsibility of the student.
  • Academic HealthPlans (AHP) administers the student plans including the Grad Plan and SSHIP and coordinates the waiver process for F1 and J1 students. Visit https://tamu.myahpcare.com/ for College Station, or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/ for Galveston for all of your Benefits, Claims, Enrollment, AHP Contact details, other important information and quick links, including the link to enroll in dental insurance and the new Mental Health Support Tool.
  • BlueCross and BlueShield of Texas (BCBSTx) underwrites the Student, Graduate and Employee health insurance plans, which includes managing claims and providing other health and wellness benefits. The Blue Access for Members (BAM) at https://www.bcbstx.com/member is your online resource for accessing health insurance ID cards and accessing in-network providers.
  • The SSHIP and Grad Plan include emergency services and benefits to help you and your family with expenses that you may not consider until faced with an emergency. Visit Academic Emergency Services to view benefits and services.
  • For F-1 or J-1 students (including sponsored students) who have equivalent insurance coverage, the waiver applications are submitted through the AHP online waiver system at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/waiver for College Station, or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/waiver for Galveston and must be applied for each semester the student is registered. ISS does not approve waivers and cannot waive students for failure to submit, late submissions, failure to provide appropriate documentation, or follow up on additional requirements for the waiver application.

Please be aware that medical costs in the U.S. can be extremely expensive. Voluntary enrollment in SSHIP can be completed through AHP at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/enrollment
 
  • Students not on F-1 or J-1 student visas are encouraged to voluntarily enroll.
  • F-2 dependents are STRONGLY encouraged to maintain health insurance by voluntarily enrolling in SSHIP.
  • J-2 dependents are required by the U.S. Government to maintain health insurance for the duration of the DS-2019, even if they are not physically present in the U.S. J-2 dependents must provide documented proof of enrollment through Terra Dotta.
 
Dental coverage enrollments are offered through AHP at https://tamusahpdental.myahpcare.com/. Students can enroll and pay directly to AHP for their dental coverage.

All F-1 or J-1 students (including sponsored students) who have alternative equivalent coverage must apply by the waiver deadline, and receive waiver approval through the AHP online waiver portal at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/waiver for College Station, HSC, or School of Law, or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/waiver  for Galveston each semester the student is registered.

The link to the Systems Waiver criteria is http://assets.system.tamus.edu/files/benefits/pdf/studentinsurance/waiver%20guidelines.pdf. Most travel plans do not meet the requirements, and are not approved for waivers. Plans must cover the entire policy period
  • Documentation required for the waiver portal includes: a copy of your insurance policy with schedule of benefits and exclusions, and the back and front of your insurance identification card. Documentation must include effective dates of coverage. This must be uploaded to the AHP waiver portal, NOT emailed to ISS. International Student Services does not approve waivers and cannot waive students for failure to submit or timely submit a waiver application.
  • 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.
  • To avoid late 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.
If approved for a waiver and there is a change in your health insurance enrollment status at any point in the semester, such that you no longer meet one of waiver requirements, immediately contact ISS by email at iss@tamu.edu.
Texas A&M Student Health Insurance resources for all TAMU students, includes a Decision Tool for Student Insurance Link may be found on The Texas A&M University System student insurance website at https://www.tamus.edu/business/benefits-administration/student-insurance/. If you enroll in a plan other than the Grad Plan you must apply for a waiver through the AHP online waiver portal at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/waiver.
  • F-1 or J-1 students under a Graduate Assistantship must enroll in the Grad Plan with benefits effective January 1 for Spring (September 1 for Fall), to receive a waiver from SSHIP, which will credit the tuition and fee bill for the semester. All onboarding must be completed correctly to be on the waiver report. Check with your Department Human Resource (HR) Liaison for onboarding requirements and Grad Plan benefit information.
  • F-1 or J-1 students under a Graduate Assistantship who enroll in the Grad Plan with benefits effective after January 1 for Spring (September 1 for Fall), will need to pay the SSHIP fee on the tuition and fee bill and if due a refund for months of double coverage having both SSHIP and Grad Plan coverage, AHP will refund students in the form of a check mailed to the student. Refunds are processed after the policy period ends and all student accounts and invoices are reviewed. 
If approved for a waiver and there is a change in your health insurance enrollment status at any point in the semester, such that you no longer meet one of waiver requirements, immediately contact ISS by email at iss@tamu.edu.
 
F-1 or J-1 students offered health insurance benefits through a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) employer while under SSHIP coverage may wish to inform your pending employer that you are currently covered through SSHIP and provide your current policy coverage ending date. Ask the employer if you can waive and enroll in the employer provided coverage under a qualifying event once your SSHIP policy ends. If you enroll in employer provide coverage while on CPT your alternative insurance must meet the waiver criteria and you must apply for a waiver of SSHIP through Academic Health Plan’s (AHP) online waiver system each semester by the waiver deadlines.
Continuations of Coverage through SSHIP can be completed through AHP at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/enrollment for College Station or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/enrollment for Galveston.
  • Students who have graduated or are otherwise ineligible for coverage and who have been continuously insured under the policy offered by the policyholder for three (3) months, are eligible to continue their existing coverage for a period of not more than six (6) months under the school’s policy in effect at the time of such continuation.
  • Continuations for Grad Plan use the GSE Continuation Enrollment form. Continuations for SSHIP use the Non-GSE Continuation Enrollment Form. Forms must be submitted with the applicable premium to AHP within 30 days after the expiration date of the student coverage. Contact AHP at (877) 624-7911 for details.
Qualifying Events
Eligible students who have a change in status and lose coverage under another health care plan are eligible to enroll for coverage under the policy, provided, within 31 days of the qualifying event. Student will need to send a “Qualifying Events” form available at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/enrollment for College Station, or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/enrollment for Galveston, along with proof to AHP. Proof may be a copy of the Certificate of Creditable Coverage, or a letter of ineligibility (lost coverage), from their previous health insurer, or other legal documentation.  A change in status due to a qualifying event includes but is not limited to:
  • Loss of Coverage from a previous health insurer
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Loss of a spouse, whether by death, divorce, annulment or legal separation
The premium will be prorated based on what it would have been at the beginning of the semester or quarter, whichever applies. However, the effective date will be the later of the following: the date the student enrolls for coverage under the Policy and pays the required premium, or the day after the prior coverage ends.
 
You can go through the webpage for FAQs or download the document for Frequently Asked Questions

Normally the BlueCross BlueShield cards are sent through the mail to the local mailing address on your Howdy Account in 10 to 14 days. However, if you did not have a U.S. local mailing address in Howdy at the time BCBS mailed the cards, they may have been sent to a default address, and were returned to BCBS. You can request your ID card through logging in to http://www.bcbstx.com/member using the BAM Login information.
  • The Group Number is 117557 and
  • Your Member ID is your Student Specific UIN. You may be required to place the letters “ZGP” prior to your UIN.
The letter you received is a request for SSN or ITIN so that BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) can send the correct Affordable Care Act documentation if required.
  • If you are not employed, you may disregard the letter. 
  • If you have been authorized employment, you will need to send BCBS your information so that you will receive the correct documentation for any tax requirements:
  1. Login at http://www.bcbstx.com/member with your Member ID (Student Specific UIN#) and Group Number 117557.
  2. Click on the “Contact Us” link. This will direct you to a secure mail email format.
  3. The Student needs to fill out the information requested
    1. At the To: dropdown, choose the (Membership Maintenance (Change of Address),
    2. Continue filling out the form with any changes of address or SSN/ITIN information,
    3. Click Submit
To claim a reimbursement, you will need to fill out the appropriate claims form at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/claims and follow the instructions provided on the forms.
 
Graduate Assistants who enroll in plan through Workday onboarding, will need to contact their Department Human Resources Liaison to enroll dependents.
Students under SSHIP, can enroll directly through AHP at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/enrollment for College Station or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/enrollment for Galveston. Once you are on the AcademicBlue site, scroll down and use the form link “International F1 & J1 Visa Holder Only Student Dependent Enrollment Form” and follow the instructions provided on the form.
 
New students F1 or J1 students arriving for their first semester for Fall, will be charged a separate SSHIP fee for the mandatory first time on-campus insurance to provide coverage for the month of August.
There are certain programs that may begin during the second Summer Term or prior to the start dates for the Fall SSHIP Policy. At the request of the deparment(s), to ensure any F1 or J1 students are within regulation, there may be an additional fee applied for the SSHIP policy required. 
 
The Spring policy period is set to January 1 through August 31. There are no early terminations for the policy. This policy may be available World Wide. For more information visit www.BCBS.com/bluecardworldwide, or call the BlueCard Worldwide Service Center at 1.800.810.2583 or collect at 1.804.673.1177.
 
If you received a dental insurance ID card and did not enroll in dental coverage, it may be due to your age. Pediatric routine dental care may be included up to the age of 19 years.
 
SSHIP only includes pediatric dental care up to the age of 19 years. Students may enroll in a separate dental policy at https://tamusahpdental.myahpcare.com/ during an open season. 
 
Blinn College has a Dental Hygiene Program that periodically provides dental screenings. Contact 979-209-7283 for details and appointment availability. The location is 301 Post Office Street, Bryan, TX 77801.
 
As a TAMU College Station Student, you have acccess to healthcare on Campus at Student Health Services (SHS). Please visit https://shs.tamu.edu/ for details.
Visit the AcademicBlue Website at https://tamu.myahpcare.com/benefits for College Station, or https://tamug.myahpcare.com/benefits for Galveston for links, tips and guidance.
If the SHS is closed, or to find a service for your dependent(s) once coverage begins, you can find a doctor or hospital by logging in at https://public.hcsc.net/providerfinder/search.do?corpEntCd=TX1. Based on your search findings, please be aware that hospital emergency room fees are very expensive and do not include Doctor fees. You may wish to try an Urgent Care/Express center.
 
ISS does not approve waivers and cannot waive students if the approval is not granted. Policies must meet Texas A&M University System Criteria. Texas A&M System only accepts Government Sponsored Plans or Employer Health Plans to be considered for a waiver request. Texas A&M System requires alternate insurance plans be Affordable Care Act compliant. Texas A&M System does not accept Travel Plans or plans that are designed exclusive for international students traveling outside of their home country. For new incoming students for Fall semester, there may be two separate waivers that are required – Mandatory First Time On-Campus and Fall. Failures to submit through the correct waiver system, late submissions, failure to provide appropriate documentation, and failure to purchase or follow up on additional requirements for the waiver application are common issues.
 
ISS applies waivers as they are received. ISS does not initiate or control the frequency of the waiver reports. Once the waiver is reported, it can take 2-3 business days to reflect on the Howdy Account.
  1. Students should first verify that they enrolled in the Grad Plan with benefits starting on:
    1. For Spring Semester benefits need to begin on or before January 1
    2. For Fall Semester benefits need to begin on or before September 1.
  2. Students should verify the visa information is correct in Workday. Check with the Department Human Resource (HR) Liaison for Workday issues. The following steps were provided from Texas A&M University Systems:
    1. Click their employee profile,
    2. Click the Personal tab > IDs > Edit button >
    3. Select Change Passports and Visas >
    4. Click on the Plus icon under Visa and enter the Visa information. 
    5. For country, select United States, then select the appropriate Visa type and enter all related information – number, issue date, expiration date. 
    6. Once all the information is entered, click the SUBMIT button to receive a To Do in their Workday inbox. 
    7. Submit documentation of the Visa to HR and click SUBMIT on the To Do once they’ve turned in their documentation.  Then, the HR Partner will review the documentation and approve the Visa update.
  3. If changes are required through the Department HR Liaison, reports may take 7-10 days after the changes are approved to update. Do not ask your Department HR Liaison to contact ISS, nor bring in copies of your Workday enrollment information. ISS cannot update waivers, unless approved through Texas A&M University System and AHP.

Information is available on the ISS health insurance website for continuation coverage under the Options to Extend Coverage dropdown.