International Insurance

Insurance for International Students, Scholars, and Visitors

Students and Scholars

To ensure the health and safety of international students and scholars, the University requires participation in the University-sponsored health plan, which includes special coverage for evacuation and repatriation:

  • All international students and their dependents must purchase the University-sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan unless eligible for a waiver.
  • International scholars visiting the University for more than 31 days are required to enroll in the University-sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan. Scholars visiting the University for 31 days or less must carry the Student Health Benefit Plan or their own health plan coverage for the duration of their visit to the University.

All international students and scholars should work with International Student and Scholar Services to ensure enrollment in appropriate insurance and completion all other requirements.

Visitors (on B or W Visas)

Visitors on tourist, business, or pleasure visas are responsible for purchasing their own insurance for the duration of their travel to and within the U.S. Healthcare in the U.S. is complicated and very expensive. One illness or injury can financially devastate you and your family. Health insurance is designed to prevent depletion of your savings if an accident or illness occurs. To ensure adequate insurance coverage, you and your dependants are strongly encouraged to purchase health insurance. While the US offers high quality medical care, it is very expensive and thus financially risky to use the services of an American doctor, hospital or clinic without insurance. Whether purchasing your international insurance in your home country or in the U.S., here are some factors to consider while purchasing your insurance:

  • What care the plan includes. A policy that includes coverage for accident/sickness medical expenses, repatriation and medical evacuation is ideal. Some policies also include travel insurance for things such as lost baggage and trip cancellation.
  • The deductible for the plan. The deductible is the amount that the insured is responsible for paying to the medical provider before the insurance plan pays anything for the medical expense.
  • Any pre-existing condition limits. Many plans have pre-existing condition exclusions, which can be a problem for visitors to the U who have chronic health conditions that may require treatment while in the U.S. In most cases, the eligible medical expenses are only for new illness/injuries. It is therefore advisable for visitors to the U.S. to see their doctor in their home country prior to their visit and if necessary to bring the needed supply of medication(s) for a pre-existing condition with them to the U.S.
  • Dental and vision coverage. In most cases, dental and vision coverage is limited or is provided only as a result of injury. It is therefore advisable for visitors to the U.S. to see their dentist and vision care provider in their home country prior to their visit to have any dental or vision related treatment and if necessary to bring back-up prescription contacts and eye glasses with them to the U.S.
  • Any limits or fixed benefits of the plan. Even though the plan might have a large medical maximum coverage, you should check if there are any fixed limits on the plan.
  • The option to renew or extend the plan. This is important if you might extend your initial stay.
  • If there is a provider network or can the customer visit any medical facility.

While there are many insurance plans available in the U.S. for people on B and W visas, this list is a sample of options. Inclusion does not indicate endorsement as the policies have NOT been officially reviewed or approved by the University.


If you are an insurance provider with plans for B1/B2 or W visa holders and are interested in being added to this list at the next update, please email global@umn.edu. Inclusion on this list is by reference or request and the University does not review policy options or vouch for the services provided by any organization on the list.

If you are a traveler who has feedback on any of the policies listed here or recommend an addition to the list at the next update, please email global@umn.edu.