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Health Insurance for Hospital Visits

There is no universal or national healthcare/health insurance in the United States. Therefore, each individual is responsible for paying for his or her own healthcare. Purchasing a health insurance policy will help to lower those costs. Without healthcare insurance, a serious illness or injury can result in bills totaling tens of thousands of dollars, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars. You cannot buy health insurance after an accident or an illness has occurred.

Beginning Fall 2016, proof of health insurance in the US will be required for all ELI students. Until then, we strongly recommend that you buy a health insurance policy to cover emergency room visits or hospital stays. If you cannot buy an insurance policy from your home country, there are companies that offer short-term policies designed for international students studying in the US. The policies cost between $400-$500/term (4 months), depending on your age and how long you will stay in the US. Options include but are not limited to:

ISO Student Health Insurance
International Student Insurance

The University of Pittsburgh has complied a list of commonly used terms that may help you to better understand your health insurance policy and medical coverage. If you have any questions, please contact the ELI Student Advisor.

Hospital/Health Insurance is different from the University Wellness Fee. The Wellness Fee covers only treatment at the University's Student Health Services Clinic for minor medical conditions. Health insurance provides more comprehensive health coverage of stays in a hospital.

Wellness Fee for Visits to the Student Health Services Clinic

The Wellness Fee is optional for ELI students. The Wellness Fee only covers visits to the Student Health Services Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh. This is for non-emergency health needs, such as a cold or the flu. It does not cover emergency room or hospital visits. Visits to the hospital for more serious problems are very expensive in the US. If you need to go to a hospital emergency room for an accident (for example, a car or skiing accident) or if you need to stay in the hospital because of an unexpected illness (for example, surgery or serious sickness), you should have health insurance. You cannot buy health insurance after an accident or an illness has occurred.

Revised 11/17/15