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International Student Health Insurance

Medical care in the U.S. is very expensive.  A simple office visit for a minor injury or illness can cost hundreds of dollars.  Prescription medications you may be able to cheaply purchase at home may cost significantly more here in the U.S.  Major injuries or illnesses can quickly become a significant financial burden in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

All non-Canadian international students are automatically enrolled in the full SUNY international health insurance plan for international students.  This plan has accident/illness/medical coverage and evacuation and repatriation coverage.  For a full explanation of coverage please download and review the Insurance brochure (PDF).

Coverage is August – August.  The fee amount varies depending on when you begin studies i.e. fall admits are charged the full fee for a full year’s coverage; spring admits are charged a prorated fee for January – August coverage; summer admits are also charged a prorated fee for May – August coverage.  Continuing students are charged for a full year’s coverage every fall semester. 

For current costs, please email International Education & Programs directly at international@potsdam.edu or call the office at +315-267-2507.

The SUNY international student insurance plan is very comprehensive.  However, if you have purchased another insurance plan, you may qualify for an insurance waiver.  In order to qualify for an insurance waiver, your current health insurance policy must “meet or beat” the SUNY policy (PDF).  Submit a health insurance waiver request when the link becomes active mid-June (fall semester) or mid-December (spring semester).  International health insurance waivers must be completed online at http://hthworldwide.force.com/SUNY.  Do NOT submit your international health insurance waiver request through BearPaws.  Use the link provided above.  Insurance waiver requests can only be submitted once so be sure you have all the required information on hand before submitting the waiver request.

Questions about international insurance or waivers?

Email International Education & Programs directly at international@potsdam.edu or call the office at +315-267-2507.

Canadian students (freshmen, transfer, graduate)

Canadian students are NOT automatically enrolled in the full accident/illness/medical coverage through SUNY Potsdam.

As a Canadian we assume you have provincial coverage and perhaps additional medical coverage from a parent or current employer and strongly urge you to 1) contact your provincial and 3rd party insurance and inquire about coverage in the U.S. – what type and levels of coverage you have and what hoops you have to jump through if you seek medical care in the U.S., and 2) return home to seek any medical care.

SUNY Potsdam does enroll all Canadian students in the evacuation and repatriation insurance coverage.  Most insurances do not carry these specific riders. 

  • Evacuation – transport you to a medical facility that can better manage your health issues; transport you to a safer place in the event of a political or civil crisis or natural disaster; transport you back home if it is deemed better care can be given there.
  • Repatriation – transport your mortal remains to your home country should you perish while in the U.S.

Coverage is August – August.  The fee amount varies depending on when you begin studies i.e. fall admits are charged the full fee for a full year’s coverage; spring admits are charged a prorated fee for January – August coverage; summer admits are also charged a prorated fee for May – August coverage. 

For coverage details and current cost, please email International Education & Programs directly at international@potsdam.edu or call the office at +315-267-2507.

You may utilize Student Health Services on campus anytime – you have paid a fee for that service.  But if SHS staff refer you off campus (x-ray, additional tests, medical specialist, etc.), return home to Canada and seek the medical care you need.  If it’s an emergency and you are unable to return to Canada, then you must understand you may have to pay for all medical expenses out-of-pocket (which can be very, very expensive in the U.S.) and then seek reimbursement from your provincial coverage or other 3rd party insurance you may be covered under (parents’ health insurance through work for example).

If you wish to have the full accident/illness/medical insurance:

  • please send an email to the International Education and Programs at international@potsdam.edu and you will be enrolled;
  • the full international health insurance fee will be added to your Student Account

If you have a qualifying evacuation and repatriation plan, you may request an insurance waiver.  In order to qualify for a waiver, your current evacuation/repatriation insurance policy must “meet or beat” the SUNY policy.  

  • Evacuation and repatriation waivers must be submitted before 12noon on the first Friday of classes.
  • Evacuation and repatriation waivers canNOT be completed online; do NOT submit an evacuation and repatriation waiver request through BearPaws.
  • [Waiver form with instructions is being developed]

Questions about international insurance or evacuation and repatriation waivers?

Email International Education & Programs directly at international@potsdam.edu or call the office at +315-267-2507.

Athletes - Canadian and Non-Canadian

The full international student insurance will only cover up to $1,500 of expenses should medical treatment arise from participation in intercollegiate or interscholastic sports (i.e. intramural sports).

NOTE:  Canadian students are NOT automatically enrolled in the full accident/illness/medical coverage through SUNY Potsdam.

SUNY Potsdam does NOT offer or provide any secondary insurance policy coverage for participation in athletics.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has a Catastrophic Injury Insurance Program that covers medical costs exceeding $90,000.  Meaning, your accident insurance and/or you must first pay $0.01 - $90,000 of medical expenses related to an athletically related injury before the catastrophic program will begin to provide coverage for additional medical expenses.  Medical costs exceeding $90,000 and up to $20 million in lifetime benefits will be covered by the NCAA Catastrophic Injury Insurance Program.

Canadian and non-Canadian athletes must provide evidence of suitable accident insurance that covers athletically related injuries, with limits up to $90,000.  Be sure you fully understand what your accident insurance policy will cover, not cover, at what levels and how i.e. what tests, what doctors, what your co-pays or deductibles are, do you pay for medical expenses out-of-pocket first and then seek reimbursement or will your accident insurance pay directly to the provider and bill you for any portion that is not covered, etc. 

Remember - your accident insurance and/or you must first pay $0.01 - $90,000 of medical expenses related to an athletically related injury before the NCAA catastrophic program will begin to provide coverage for additional medical expenses.