Insurance & the Health System

Health insurance is mandatory for all international students and scholars at SUNY campuses. Medical costs are extremely high in the United States and it is essential that you are protected against any illness or accident that might happen.


How much does international health insurance cost? 
(Please note that costs are subject to change)

$7/month or $85/year – Canadian graduate and undergraduate students with provincial coverage from Canada.  This provides for only the evacuation and repatriation benefit – no emergency medical coverage.  Students who seek emergency or other health related services off campus must contact their own primary and/or secondary insurance regarding coverage and submission of claims.

$95.50/month or $1145/year – International (non-Canadian) students with no or inadequate coverage for study in the U.S.  This provides for emergency medical AND the evacuation & repatriation benefit.  See detailed information below under “Insurance Policy for International (non-Canadian) Students”.

Insurance Waiver

It may be possible to waive your inclusion in the SUNY Plan if you are able to show proof of a comparable insurance policy.

Waiver forms were included with your immigration documentation and must be returned to the office of International Education & Programs before the end of the first week of classes.  

Note to Canadian Students:
   In order to qualify for a waiver of the international health insurance ($85 per 12 months of coverage), you must show proof of coverage over and above your provincial health insurance plan.  While most provincial plans provide for emergency medical care while outside of the US, many do not provide for the necessary evacuation and repatriation coverage.  You must seek out a secondary insurance plan for this coverage. 

Some examples of secondary coverage are: parent/spouse employer(s) coverage, CAA, Blue Cross Canada Travel Insurance, RBC Travel Insurance, Bank of Montreal Travel Protection Plan, etc.  Please submit proof of your provincial coverage (copy of your insurance card) and proof of your secondary coverage.

Failure to meet the required deadline or supply incomplete documentation will result in enrollment in the MEDEX portion of the insurance plan. This amount will be included on your student billing account.

Insurance Policy for International (non-Canadian) Students

The College has a special policy that costs $1145 per year (2012-2013) academic year, rates subject to change) and is a very good value. The SUNY plan covers 100% of reasonable and customary expenses up to the lifetime maximum of $200,000 per injury or sickness. Please contact the Office of International Education for more information about this plan. You are covered by this insurance anywhere in the world but only up to $5,000 per accident/illness/injury occurring in your home country.

Deductible
There is no deductible for health care as long as you visit Student Health Services first. However, there is a deductible of $50.00 per illness/accident/injury if you fail to use Student Health Services first, when their services are available. The $50.00 deductible is waived if Student Health Services is closed when you need medical care (emergency situations).  

Seeking Medical Treatment Off-Campus
The insurance contracted through the SUNY HTH Worldwide Plan requires that you seek medical care at our Student Health Services Center first.  If you have an emergency or if Student Health Services is closed and your illness/pain cannot wait until they re-open, please seek care at the local hospital.
 
If a doctor/nurse at Student Health Services (SHS) Center refers you to an off-campus medical provider for additional care, please ensure that the Provider (doctor or nurse) at Student Health Services completes the referral process via the HTH Providers online site.  (This step applies only to students. Dependents, non-students and children are not eligible to seek care at Student Health Services.)  Completing this process will ensure that you are not charged the deductible and that payment for the claim goes directly to the off-campus doctor/lab/hospital.  If you require follow-up care for your illness or injury, you will NOT need to ask the doctor/nurse to complete an additional referral.

When you go to the off-campus provider, be sure to give them a copy of your insurance ID Card from HTH Worldwide Insurance Services.  This lets the provider know that you have medical coverage while in the U.S. and the Provider will use this information to send a claim to the insurance company.
 
After seeing an off-campus provider, you will receive “Explanation of Benefits” or EOB statements from HTH Worldwide.  The EOB’s will explain what the provider has billed to the insurance company.  You may at the same time, begin to receive statements from the provider requesting payment for services.  DO NOT pay these to the provider.  If the referral process is followed above, and if you have given your insurance information to the off-campus provider, payment by the insurance company to the provider should happen automatically.

We encourage you to keep records of all statements received by either the insurance company or the off-campus provider.  You will want to track the progress of payment by the insurance company to ensure that payment is made in full. 

If you require any assistance regarding this process, please contact a staff member of the International Education & Programs Office (international@potsdam.edu).

Student Health Fee vs. Health Insurance
The majority of services provided at Student Health Services are covered by the mandatory health fee. All students are required to pay the health fee.

Additional charges (which must be paid for at the time of service) include certain medications and supplies. Students are responsible for all medical expenses incurred off campus such as emergency room visits, referrals, laboratory tests and all other services and supplies.

Please note that the mandatory health fee is not the same thing as your expenses for International Student Health Insurance. These will show as separate charges on your student billing statement if you purchase the SUNY Health Insurance Plan.

Health & Immunization Records & The Health Report
All students enrolling at Potsdam are required to file a health report, including a complete list of immunizations against diseases or documentation by a physician of the disease(s) you have had. The Health Report was included in your admissions package. This must be on file with Student Health Services 6 weeks prior to your start date at SUNY Potsdam . If you have not completed the necessary health report you may not be able to register for classes.

Visiting Student Health Services

Student Health Services is your on-campus site for health needs. By visiting Student Health Services first, you will not be required to pay the $50.00 deductible per “event” (illness/accident/injury). In addition, basic services offered by Student Health Services, including office visits, medication, and common medical supplies are pre-paid by the separate Health Fee, which is paid at the beginning of each semester. This eliminates the need for you to pay cash for medications/care at Student Health Services.

There is also the convenience of receiving medication and services right here on campus, rather than having to go off campus to a pharmacy. Finally, you will not need to submit claim forms and wait for reimbursement of your expenses for treatment and medicines available to you through Student Health Services.

Even if you are considering the option of seeking services from a community health professional (off-campus) you will need to first see Student Health Services. They will stamp your claim form as a referral and you will then avoid the $50.00 deductible.

Location 1st Floor, Van Housen Hall
Phone: (315) 267-2377
Website: www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/healthservices/

Seeking Emergency Help

In an emergency, where you cannot wait (e.g., acute illness, severe injury, extreme pain) until Student Health Services re-opens, then you have the option of going to a doctor, a “walk-in clinic” or an Emergency Room* in the community.

You are responsible for obtaining a stamped claim form from Student Health Services to send to HTH Worldwide Insurance Services, Inc., to verify that your doctor or hospital visit indeed took place when University Health Service was closed so that you will not be charged the $50.00 deductible.

Please note: Emergency Room services are very expensive.  You should allow a minimum of 2 hours to be seen and treated. For non-emergencies, we recommend that you use one of the numerous “walk-in” clinics in the area that offer comparable, faster and not as cost prohibitive care.