University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

New Students

Health Care and Insurance

Medical expenses in the United States are extremely high­—one day in the hospital can cost well over $10,000 even for routine care. International students and their dependents are not eligible to use any public assistance programs that are supported by the U.S. government or the State of Minnesota.

The University requires that all international students and their dependents enroll in the University-administered health insurance program—the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). All international students will automatically be enrolled each semester.

Students holding a qualifying graduate assistantship appointment will be eligible to enroll in the Graduate Assistantship Plan as an alternative to the SHBP.

International students should NOT purchase alternative insurance from a private insurance company for themselves or their dependents.

Once you have attended Immigration Check-In, you are covered under the plan retroactively to August 1 or the date of your arrival (whichever is later) at no extra cost. You can purchase pre-semester insurance at an additional cost if you are arrive prior to August 1 due to a departmental orientation, training, or graduate assistantship early start date. Please note that each pre-semester enrollment request is contingent on a review by the Office of Student Health Benefits.

Questions about the SHBP or the Graduate Assistant Health Plan can be emailed to

Pre-Existing Conditions

The University’s insurance plans cover any pre-existing conditions. If you have a health condition (e.g. diabetes, heart problems, asthma, depression, etc.) that requires ongoing care, please make sure to bring copies of your medical records with you to Minnesota as well as a list of medications you are taking so that your care is not interrupted. You may also wish to complete the medical history form in consultation with your physician at home and bring it with you to Minnesota. You may find the form on the Boynton Health website.

Dependent Insurance

International students are required to enroll any dependents who are in the United States in F-2 or J-2 status into the University’s insurance plan. Dependents are not enrolled automatically on the plan. They are covered from the date of their arrival as long as the F-1 or J-1 student completes the enrollment paperwork with the Office of Student Health Benefits within 30 days of their arrival.
For information about cost and coverage details, visit or contact

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