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International Student Health Insurance

Insurance Requirements

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). The plan is automatically charged to an international student’s tuition and fee statement.

International Student Services (ISS) does not determine the cost of this insurance. This plan is reviewed annually by 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.

To access AHP website for College Station and Galveston:

Texas A&M University – College Station

https://www.academichealthplans.com/tamu/2013-2014/

Texas A&M University – Galveston

https://www.academichealthplans.com/tamug/2013-2014/

Continued Enrollment in SSHIP

SSHIP ID cards will not be reissued for Spring 2014. Those who were enrolled in the plan for Fall 2013 and autobilled in Spring 2014 will continue enrollment in SSHIP. If your ID card has been lost or stolen, you may request a replacement ID card through AHP at https://www.academichealthplans.com/tamu/2013-2014/ by logging into BAM (Blue Access for Members).

BAM Login Information
Group Number: 117557
Member ID: Student Specific UIN#

Waiver Guidelines

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.

Waiver Process

AHP will review ALL waiver requests. ISS will no longer be reviewing waiver requests. The waiver process for Spring 2014 is NOW open through January 17, 2014.

Waiver approvals are valid only for the semester in which the waiver was approved. If you applied and were approved for a waiver in a previous term, you will need to reapply.

What documentation is required to request a waiver?

  1. A copy of your insurance policy with schedule of benefits and exclusion of benefits.
  2. 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.

To Apply for Health Insurance Waiver

If you are planning on applying for the health insurance waiver for Spring 2014, you will need to have coverage at a minimum from January 1– August 16, 2014.

To apply for a waiver you will need to do the following:

  1. Have insurance card, benefit policy including exclusions, and UIN ready
  2. Go to https://www.academichealthplans.com/tamu/2013-2014/waivercriteria.php
  3. If your plan meets the TAMU waiver criteria, click bottom of waiver criteria page to create your waiver account by entering your information. Click “register.”
  4. Login to waiver system by using your UIN# and your Date of Birth (mmddyyyy format)
  5. Click on the waiver link found under “Submit Waiver” on the waiver Home Page.

Graduate Assistantships

  • 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 Spring 2014, your coverage will continue automatically for the Spring 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. You are not required to apply for a waiver of SSHIP.
  • Current Graduate Student Employees with effective date of coverage after 1/1 – If your benefits begin after January 1, 2014, you will be autobilled for Spring 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 HealthPlans. Refunds will be issued at the end of the policy term.

J-2 Dependent Insurance

All J2 dependents must have adequate health insurance at all times. The insurance requirements are established by the U.S. Department of State and the federal regulations.

http://j1visa.state.gov/participants/how-to-apply/eligibility-and-fees/

During this transition period, J2 dependents are eligible to purchase the dependent insurance through AHP. However, if the J2 dependents prefer to show alternative health insurance coverage, then the coverage must be submitted to healthinsurance@tamu.edu nno later than January 17, 2014 for the Spring semester.

The alternative health insurance coverage must meet all the minimum benefit levels of the J regulations and include maternity and mental health coverage. The J minimum health insurance coverage is located at

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=49c26709e4e8a766b8d81c 357035cff4&rgn=div8&view=text&node=22:1.0.1.7.35.1.1.14&idno=22

Health Insurance Options

F-1 wanting to purchase for F-2(s)
Email form to joan.weatherford@ahpcare.com

J-1 wanting to purchase for J-2(s)
Email form to joan.weatherford@ahpcare.com

Purchase insurance online while on OPT or Academic Training

AHP Contact

  • Academic HealthPlans, Inc.
    PO Box 1605
    Colleyville, TX 76034
  • tamuwaiver@ahpcare.com
  • 877-624-7911 [Toll Free Customer Service Number]
  • 817-479-2101 [Fax Number]




last updated: 11/2013
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