Richmond Home

Health Insurance FAQ

How does the billing for health insurance work?

All non-immigrant students are automatically billed and enrolled for health insurance coverage. This charge is added to the general fees of the University as a separate line item. The University will bill students each semester.

Students will be covered in 6-month increments for the duration of their studies at Richmond. Students starting in the fall semester will be covered from July 1 through January 1 of the following year for one-semester exchange students or through July 1 of the graduation year for degree-seeking students. One-semester exchange students starting in the spring semester will be covered from January 1 through July 1.

Health insurance payments by J-1 exchange visitors should be made by personal check to "Trawick International" and submitted to Krittika Onsanit in the Office of International Education. It will take two to three weeks to receive your card.

J-1 exchange visitors and their dependents must enroll before arrival to campus. The cost is $106 per month per person for the 2016–17 academic year.

Co-payments or costs not covered by insurance must be paid by the nonimmigrant directly to the health care provider.

What is a co-payment?

A co-payment is the percentage of Reasonable Expenses for Necessary Treatment or other amount that the plan does not pay and is therefore the responsibility of the insured. The insured should pay the co-payment directly to the medical provider, never to the insurance company or to the administrator.

The certificate of coverage says that health insurance will cover usual, reasonable, and customary (UCR) charges. What does this mean?

Every insurance company has a list of costs for services rendered that is considered usual, reasonable, and customary for each region of the United States. UCR usually represents the cost that 80 percent of the doctors and hospitals in the region charge for certain medical procedures or diagnosis. The health insurance company updates the UCR semiannually. You may call them for information on doctors and hospitals that offer rates that are usual, reasonable, and customary.

If I have questions about a claim, a bill, or plan benefits, who should I contact?

GBG Administrative Service, Inc.
1956 J University Blvd. S. #264
Mobile, AL 36609

Toll-free telephone number 1-866-916-7920

What if I lose my card?

You can order another one on the health insurance website.

Why is it necessary for the University to institute a mandatory health insurance requirement for international students?

Most international students are not prepared to pay such high costs for medical care. The University is not financially responsible for costs related to accidents or illnesses of any student.

Demonstration of adequate financial resources is necessary for the issuance of the I-20/DS-2019 and maintenance of one's F-1 and J-1 student status. Most people do not have disposable income to pay for health care associated with serious illnesses and accidents. Health insurance guarantees adequate resources in the case of a serious accident or illness.

The University has neither the staff time nor expertise to review policies from various countries or to review whether or not students are properly insured. In cases of emergency, policies outside of the United States are often difficult to use. Therefore, for the well being of the students and to protect the liability of the University and its employees, it is necessary to institute a mandatory health insurance plan.

Some international students do not keep their plans current. This policy will prevent lapses in health insurance coverage thus benefiting both the student and the institution should the student need health care.

A group plan makes health insurance affordable to all eligible students and/or non-immigrant dependents regardless of age.

How will this policy be enforced?

Non-immigrant students who do not pay their bill will have a hold placed on their registration and will not be permitted to register for the following semester. Registration holds will not be cleared until the student has paid his or her bill.

Does the insurance provide dental coverage?

Coverage is provided only as a result of dental injury.

Where can I go to get dental work for a reasonable cost?

The Medical College of Virginia Dentistry provides services at a fairly low cost compared to private offices.

If I have dependents (spouse or children), do they need insurance while in the United States?

The health insurance for your dependents must meet the same criteria for F-1 and J-1 visa holders. Payment for insurance must be received by Krittika Onsanit in the Office of International Education immediately upon arrival to campus.

The cost is $129.75 per month for each dependent.

Am I eligible for health insurance once I graduate?

Students who graduate are no longer eligible for the University's group insurance plan. Our health insurance broker recommends Wallach & Co. and Liaison International for individual coverage after graduation.

What if I become a permanent resident?

As soon as your I-485 is approved, the applicant will be issued an EAD (Employment Authorization Document) from the USCIS. At this point, the individual's status is no longer nonimmigrant, which means that the individual is not required to enroll in the international student and scholar group plan. If you need to continue your health insurance coverage, you can purchase individual coverage through Aetna.

What is the difference between a generic and brand name prescription?

Whenever possible, you should ask your doctor and pharmacist if a generic brand of the medicine you have been prescribed is available. The generic medicine is usually less expensive and is the same medicine as the brand name.

Why does the insurance company request medical records?

Your medical records may be requested for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To determine whether a claim is pre-existing
  • When a physician lists multiple diagnoses
  • In the case of accidents, medical records give a clearer picture of what may have happened.
Where can I find more information about the coverage?

Refer to the Aetna or Risk Management websites.

Where can I find more information about cross-cultural differences in healthcare and health insurance for international students and scholars?
Why do international students studying abroad need to be enrolled in the FrontierMEDEX study abroad travel insurance plan as well as the Aetna international student health insurance plan?
While the Aetna international student health insurance plan provides comprehensive medical insurance, the FrontierMEDEX study abroad travel insurance plan is specifically designed for international travel risk and provides a myriad of coverages, including (but not limited to) Medical for injuries and sickness, Security Evacuation, Trip Cancellation, and Personal Liability. A catastrophic injury or illness while studying abroad on a UR program outside the U.S. could require necessary services outside of the study abroad site. If the student is not enrolled in the Aetna plan during the UR study abroad program, there will be a lapse in major medical coverage.

Take Care

Identify and treat common ailments early to avoid expensive doctor visits. Learn more about common ailments you might face while at the University.