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International Student Health Insurance Requirement

Helpful Information About Using Your Insurance Plan

  • The semester health fee is not reimbursable by Aetna. However, for other fee-for-service charges at the Student Health Center, just stop at the front desk on your way out to request an Aetna claim form. Fill out the top, sign and date it on line 27 and send it with your checkout statement to the claim mailing address on the back of your Aetna card. Aetna will reimburse the student at 100%.

  • Utilize the services available at the Student Health Services to reduce your out-of-pocket costs (the amount you pay).

  • If you have an urgent health concern when the Student Health Center is closed, call ODU Police at 757.683.4000 and ask for the Student Health Services on-call clinician. The on-call clinician will return your call and advise you accordingly.

  • If you are referred to a health care provider or source of health care off-campus, ask if they are in the Aetna network since your out-of-pocket costs are lower by seeing in-network providers.

    Aetna: 866.618.0026
    Student Health Services: 757.683.3132

Paying for Your Insurance

Just as in the previous semester, your insurance will be added to your tuition statement when you register for courses. There are two ways to pay for your coverage: one payment or multiple payments. If you wish to make multiple payments, you can sign up for the payment plan which will break down all of your costs into four equal installments, thus giving you the benefit of not having to all of your tuition and fees at one time. To set up the payment plan, you'll need to submit the Payment Plan form to the Cashier on the second floor of Rollins Hall; all payment plan questions can be directed to that office.

Coverage Dates for the Plan

Coverage dates are as follows:

Fall semester: 1 August 20XX to 31 December 20XX
Spring/summer semester: 1 January 20XX to 31 July 20XX

As an ODU international student, you are required to have health insurance at all times, thus the dates above. If you graduate in May or travel outside the United States for the summer, please know Aetna will not provide a partial refund.

Insurance Cards & Enrollment

You are automatically enrolled for the continued coverage when you enroll for classes--whether you enroll for 1 credit or 15 credits. If you currently have Aetna insurance from the previous semester, Aetna will NOT send you a new card. However, if this is your first semester here at ODU, Aetna will send you a card. As always, you need to ensure that your SEVIS U.S. and U.S. "Permanent" addresses are up-to-date. Besides the need to have them updated for the insurance, remember that incorrect addresses are also a violation of your F-1 or J-1 visa status. (See the FORMS page of the ISSS site for forms to update these addresses.)

For new students or new plan years, within two weeks or course registration, your card will be available for printing on the Aetna site. Within a month of course registration, your card will come to you in the mail.


There are very limited circumstances in which students can be waived from Aetna. Cases where an exemption may be possible (pending review of proper documentation):

  1. Student's parent or spouse is employed by an American organization providing health insurance via a U.S.-based insurance provider; and/or
  2. Embassy-sponsored students where the embassy is directly providing health insurance from a U.S.-based company and the coverage is equal to or greater than the benefits required by ODU; in addition, a copy of the current sponsorship letter is on file in ISSS.

Both of the above items require documentation be submitted to ISSS. To be eligible for this waiver, the insurance in question must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be equal to OR greater than the insurance Aetna provides, and
  • Comply with the Commonwealth of Virginia mandates, and
  • Be filed and approved for sale in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and
  • Contain unlimited coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains to your home country

If your documents meet the requirements, ISSS will e-mail you so you can purchase medical evacuation and repatriation coverage, which is not a part of most U.S.-based employer plans. Once proof of this coverage is submitted to our office, your waiver request processing will continue and ISSS will email you with the decision.

Waiver Recipients from the Previous Semester

You will need to e-mail ISSS to request the waiver exception form. Please put INSURANCE WAIVER (TERM/YEAR) in the subject line. ISSS cannot assume the coverage you had in place in the previous semester remains in effect. It is the student's responsibility to provide proof of the coverage, which can be in the form of a letter from your insurance provider. The letter should indicate that the coverage will continue to be in effect through 31 July 20XX, as well as that there are no changes to the policy. The letter must be in English, on company letterhead and include full address/phone information. It can be e-mailed by the company to us directly or the student can forward the e-mail they receive from the provider with this documentation. The letter must be submitted to ISSS by the deadline stated in the e-mail sent to the ISSlist.


J-1s must, per federal law, continue to maintain coverage for their dependents while in the U.S.; the policy must meet requirements outlined by the Department of State and documentation must be submitted to ISSS. Aetna is still available for this coverage, if desired. F-1 dependents are no longer required to have Aetna as their primary insurance; even so, ODU strongly encourages you to have coverage for your spouse and children at all times. If you wish to keep your dependents with Aetna, you are welcome to do so.