Study Abroad

Insurance and healthcare

Healthcare in the U.S.

  • In the U.S., each individual pays his or her own medical expenses, and medical care is very expensive.
  • Make every effort to be insured during your entire stay in this country.
  • Even with the UW health center and insurance plan, you can expect some “out-of-pocket” expenses.
  • We urge you to purchase this insurance for the entire year, so that you will be covered whether or not you are enrolled each subsequent quarter.
  • We also advise that you complete any medical treatments before leaving home, as your health insurance may exclude preexisting conditions for six months.

Health insurance at the UW

Health insurance that meets specific requirements is mandatory at the University of Washington for all international students and their accompanying dependents. The University requires health insurance for international students for numerous reasons including, among others:

  • Washington state law
  • Federal law
  • Health care is very expensive and complicated in the U.S.
  • The U.S. does not have a national health care plan
  • Health services may be restricted if you do not have health insurance
  • Washington state law (WAC 478-160-260) requires that all international students on temporary visas have accidental injury and illness insurance while attending the UW.
  • Federal law (22 CFR Section 62.14) requires that all J-1 exchange visitors and their dependents obtain health insurance for the duration of their participation at the UW which meets the minimum specified criteria.

Students are required to purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or to establish to the UW’s satisfaction that you have comparable coverage from a U.S.-based company that complies with all applicable UW policies and state and federal laws. For more information, visit the Student Health Insurance Plan website.

Insurance waiver

  • The requirement that you purchase the UW Student Health Insurance Plan may be waived only if you meet certain eligibility criteria and have comparable insurance that is valid in the U.S.
  • For more information, see the International Students Services webpage.

Healthcare at the UW

  • The UW maintains a professionally staffed healthcare center called Hall Health.
  • It is centrally located on campus.
  • Hall Health provides treatment for basic medical conditions for current UW students, faculty and staff.
  • Hall Health does not provide major surgery, major illness or overnight care.
  • Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.
  • Twenty-four hour care is available at several nearby hospitals, including the UW Medical Center.