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Health insurance requirement

Health insurance mandatory for all international students

Washington state law requires that international students maintain adequate health insurance while attending the University of Washington. All matriculated international students in F-1 status at the University of Washington are required to enroll in the University of Washington Student Health Insurance Plan for each quarter of enrollment.

Keep in mind that health care costs are very high in the United States, and individuals are responsible for paying all health care costs not covered by insurance. A good insurance policy gives you access to excellent medical facilities and provides protection against the very high costs of health care.

Enrollment process

For 2013-2014, UW student health insurance is provided by the LifeWise Assurance Company. You must enroll online via the LifeWise website; insurance will not be added automatically to your student account. 

New students: Bring a printout of your email confirmation showing your health insurance enrollment to orientation.  

Continuing students: Once you have registered for insurance, forward your confirmation email to

Your International Student Advisor will check your file for proof of insurance coverage before registering you in SEVIS for the quarter, so it is very important that you provide this confirmation before the start of the quarter.

Cost for coverage

The 2013-2014 premium rates will be $663 for autumn quarter and $696 per quarter in winter, spring and summer quarters for coverage of the student only. Dependent coverage is an additional cost. For more details on rates and coverage, see the UW Tacoma Student Health Insurance information page.  

Plan dates

Please review the details of the plan carefully, including the effective dates of coverage. We urge you to purchase insurance for the entire year if possible. If you arrive in the U.S. before the effective date of the UW insurance plan, you should buy supplemental insurance during this uninsured period. You can buy insurance on a monthly basis from LifeWise directly for the summer before you begin your studies, or you can purchase coverage from another insurance company (see below for suggested alternate companies).

2013-2014 Dates of Coverage

Autumn Quarter

September 20, 2013 – January 5, 2014

Winter Quarter

January 6, 2014 – March 30, 2014

Spring Quarter

March 31, 2014 – June 22, 2014

Summer Quarter

June 23, 2014 – September 19, 2014

Failure to fulfill the insurance requirement

Any student who is not enrolled in insurance, or has not been approved for a waiver, will have class registration blocked. Failure to maintain a full-time courseload will lead to termination of your I-20 by the International Student Services office.

UW Tacoma Student Health Services

On-site healthcare for UW Tacoma students is provided through Student Health Services. This office can help with immunizations, flu shots, annual physicals and other primary care medical services. This service is free for all UW Tacoma students; there is no charge for appointments. There are also benefits with your health insurance coverage if you coordinate your care through the campus clinic.

UW Insurance Waiver Eligibility

Students should not expect to be able to purchase an insurance plan that is not through the University of Washington. The requirement to purchase the UW Student Health Insurance Plan may be waived only if you fit into one of the following categories and have comparable insurance that is valid in the U.S. are eligible for an insurance waiver: 

·        Exchange or visiting student attending UW through an official exchange program sponsored either by a UW academic department or the UW Office of International Programs & Exchanges.

·        Student funded by his or her government, or the U.S. government. Funding agencies include but are not limited to DAAD and Fulbright.

·        Student receiving health insurance benefits provided by the U.S. employer of his or her parent, spouse or domestic partner.

·        Student enrolled at UW but doing research outside the United States.

·        Student working in the U.S. and receiving health insurance benefits through his/her employer.


Minimum Coverage: The insurance must provide a monetary minimum of $200,000 or more per medical condition per policy year, medical evacuation (at least $10,000) and repatriation of remains (at least $7,500).

Research or Teaching Assistantship: If you receive a graduate Research Assistant appointment, you may be eligible for the Graduate Appointee Insurance Plan (GAIP). If you enroll, this will automatically replace the UW Student Health Insurance Plan and no waiver is required. Note that if you lose your GAIP coverage, you will not be able to buy LifeWise for the remainder of the year and will have to purchase your health insurance through the self-pay option with GAIP.

Applying for a Waiver: Submit an Insurance Waiver Form and proof of alternate coverage to the International Student Services no later than 5:00 pm on the 7th calendar day of the quarter (if this day falls on a weekend, turn the form in by the preceding Friday). You can obtain an Insurance Waiver Form from the International Student Services office.

Supplemental coverage:

Students who need coverage during their post-completion OPT period, or any other period of their stay in the U.S. that is not covered by the UW Student Health Insurance Plan, should buy supplemental insurance. Below are some companies providing individual insurance plans for international students. Note that the UW maintains no association with the companies listed. Each student is responsible for procuring and maintaining suitable health insurance.