What International Students Need to Know About Healthcare

Photo courtesy of International Students Office

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many international students at Sam Houston State University have experienced uncertainty regarding their healthcare. International Student Recruiter and Special Programs Coordinator Dana Van De Walker explains how students within this program are receiving their healthcare and how it compares to domestic students. 

The Office of International Programs serves two purposes: assisting students that want to study abroad and working with any incoming international students.

 “We do international student admissions, international student advising, and some programming and orientation and different things like that,” Walker said.. 

When it comes to international students receiving their healthcare benefits, Walker explained that it is actually more straightforward than people realize.

 “International students are charged mandatory international student health insurance, so they’re just like domestic students,” Walker said. “The only difference is that domestic students, technically, can be uninsured.” 

As part of their visa, international students in the United States have to have insurance. For Sam Houston State University, they are automatically enrolled and will be charged for their insurance. 

If an international student has a minor illness, they are advised to head to the Student Health Center. For more serious illnesses or injuries, any clinic partnered with their insurance plan will be available to them, for students in Huntsville, this includes Huntsville Memorial Hospital. 

Walker notes that it is important for all students, especially international students, to have proof of insurance to avoid complications with billing. 

“Just make sure you have your proof of insurance with you at all times,” Walker said. 

International students can visit the Office of International Programs with questions regarding health insurance in general as well as to learn more about the program itself. 

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