Health Insurance Requirement
Per the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) policy section 505, international students at Minot State University in F-1 or J-1 status are required to be covered by the health insurance policy that has been pre-identified by the Chancellor of the North Dakota State University System and approved by the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education. We do not grant exceptions or waivers to this policy even when students can show coverage through another insurance provider.* It is for this reason that the Application for Form I-20 and Proof of Financial Evidence (which students must complete before we will issue their I-20 or DS-2019) explicitly indicates that the expense for this insurance plan is a mandatory cost of attendance (see page 5).Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) is the current official health insurance provider for all F-1 and J-1 students attending North Dakota public institutions. The policy is comprehensive and provides benefits, network access and rates other insurance plans are not able to match. Plan information can be found in great detail at this link: www.studentbluend.com.
The insurance policy enrollment fee is automatically charged to an international student’s MSU financial account at the beginning of the academic year, and it must be paid with other tuition and student fees. This coverage is required from the time of registration at MSU until termination or completion of program objectives. Any student who is not properly insured will be prohibited from participating in their program.
*Per SBHE policy section 505, students from Canada and Norway are exempt from this requirement. However, students from Canada and Norway may opt to enroll in the Blue Cross Blue Shield policy by completing an online application, if interested in obtaining coverage from a U.S. based insurance provider. Canadian students and parents should refer to the Current Students page for information regarding private and provincial health insurance considerations.
Why do International Students and Scholars Need Health Insurance?
Many international visitors come from countries where the government pays for medical care. In the United States, the cost of health care is usually shared by the person who uses the service and by an insurance plan. Medical costs are very expensive in the U.S. In fact, it is not uncommon for hospital bills alone to range from $1,000 to $100,000. If you are injured or ill and do not carry health insurance, you will be responsible for paying the entire bill yourself. In addition, medical facilities may refuse treatment to non-emergency cases without a guarantee of payment. For these reasons, and your own peace of mind, it is mandatory to have health insurance. It allows you to get medical services you need when you need them and it protects you from unexpected expenses that can cause great worry and even interrupt your academic study.