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Obtaining an Insurance Requirement Waiver

If you have insurance that is comparable to the U-M Health Insurance Plan, you can request a waiver of the health insurance requirement. If you plan to purchase insurance, please make sure your policy will meet these standards before you purchase it as many policies do not meet these requirements. Also, please remember that the U-M Health Insurance Plan changes from time to time and so do the requirements for the approval of insurance waivers. Therefore, insurance that was acceptable in prior years may not be acceptable this year.

Applying for an Insurance Waiver

To obtain a health insurance coverage waiver, you submit a Health Insurance Waiver Request Form (PDF) to Suzette Crandell at Office of International Affairs, #108 The Union. If you are in Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), use the OPT Waiver Form (PDF).  For J1 Scholars who will be given health insurance through their UM employer, please use the J1 Scholar Waiver Form

Waivers must be submitted before the following deadline dates:


Students:        October 1st for Fall term                  

                          February 1st for Winter term

                          June 1st for Summer term (s)

OPT & CPT:    30 days after employment start date

Scholars:        30 days after arrival date

Any waiver requests received after these above deadline dates will not be considered but returned to student/scholar.  No exceptions.


University of Michigan (Dearborn) Health Insurance Standards

In order for a waiver to be approved, your health insurance must, at minimum, meet the waiver standards listed below:

  1. There must be a U.S. phone number for the insurance claims agent.
  2. The plan must be in full compliance with applicable federal law (specifically Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972, as amended by the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987). Specific components of these laws include pregnancy treated as any other medical condition. Insurance plans that exclude maternity coverage or severely limit it will not be accepted. Maternity coverage must be similar to coverage for other medical conditions.
  3. The following kinds of insurance plans are not considered to be comparable to the U-M International Student/Scholar Insurance Plan and therefore are not acceptable:
    • Insurance that covers emergencies only is not acceptable.
    • Insurance that pays for a patient's condition to be 'stabilized' but then requires the patient to be returned to the home country for treatment is not acceptable.
    • Travel insurance is not acceptable. Travel insurance is insurance that is in effect for a short period time (60 - 90 days, for example) and is designed for short trips. Insurance that you plan to substitute for the U-M International Student/Scholar Health Insurance Plan should be in effect at least through August 31 of the current academic year unless you plan to leave the University permanently before then.
    • Coverage under MediShare or other forms of cost-sharing arrangements that are not true medical insurance is not acceptable.
  4. The insurance plan must provide medical benefits of $1,000,000 or more per accident or illness. This amount must be available for accident or illness. For example, a plan paying up to $500,000 for accident and $500,000 for illness would not be acceptable.
  5. The insurance plan must cover at least 80% of usual and customary charges in the Dearborn, Michigan area for hospital room, board, miscellaneous hospital expenses, physician expenses in and out of the hospital, ambulance service, outpatient labs, x-rays, and diagnostic tests. The plan may not contain specific limitations for the treatment of medical conditions relative to standard hospital or outpatient care. For example, an insurance plan that limited coverage of hospital room and board to $500 or limited coverage of ambulance costs to $350 would not be acceptable.
  6. The insurance plan must cover at least 90% of usual and customary charges for prescription drugs.
  7. The insurance plan must have a deductible of no more than $100 per accident or illness, or $150 per policy year.
  8. The insurance plan must cover both inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment and must cover treatment for substance abuse (both alcohol and drug abuse.) A specific level of coverage for mental health treatment is not required. However, coverage for mental health treatment should not be significantly lower than the coverage provided by the U-M Health Insurance Plan. The U-M Health Insurance Plan covers inpatient mental health treatment for up to 30 days per policy year per condition. 25 visits per year for outpatient mental health treatment are covered with a co-pay of $25 per visit (in network) or $50/visit (not in network).
  9. The plan must have a 'medical evacuation to home country' benefit of at least $10,000 and a 'repatriation of remains' benefit of at least $7,500.

NOTE:  If your plan meets all other requirements, you may purchase medical evacuation/repatriation coverage from the University of Michigan for $6.85 per person per policy year (September 1 through August 31).  Please contact the Office of International Affairs to enroll into the Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Plan.

Last reviewed: 7/09

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