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Medical expenses in the United States are extremely high--one day in the hospital can cost well over $10,000. International students and their dependents are not eligible to use U.S. government or Minnesota-paid public assistance programs. You must have health insurance to pay for health care.
In the past, students have often purchased health insurance which was not adequate. The University of Minnesota now requires all international students, visiting scholars, and accompanying dependents to purchase the university’s insurance - the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). You will be charged for the SHBP automatically on your tuition bill each semester. DO NOT purchase other health insurance from your government or private insurance providers, otherwise you will pay for two insurance policies. Your payment for the SHBP and the Student Services Fee each semester will allow you to be seen at Boynton Health Service for most services at no cost and some services at a reduced cost.
Coverage under SHBP is guaranteed for incoming international students, scholars and dependents from the time they arrive at the University of Minnesota and have their documents validated by International Student and Scholar Services. The cost of pre-semester coverage is extra and added to the fall semester assessment amount. Coverage continues as long as the student meets the Boynton Health Service criteria for eligibility.
If you hold a graduate assistantship, you will receive different, but similarly high-quality insurance as a benefit of holding the assistantship. Contact the university department offering the assistantship for details.
Note: Please keep in mind that international students and their dependents are not eligible to enroll in government-paid public assistance programs