The System Student Health Insurance Plan (SSHIP)
All F-1 and J-1 international students are automatically enrolled into SSHIP to ensure that students do not violate their visa status or TAMU system regulations by having gaps in health insurance coverage.
SSHIP meets or exceeds all requirements set in U.S. law or TAMU System regulation. The SSHIP fee is charged through a student’s tuition and fees. Students who wish to not pay for SSHIP must either be enrolled in the Grad Plan or show proof of equivalent coverage via the waiver process to have the fee waived.
Complete information on SSHIP can be found at the SSHIP Benefits Page
Important Information for all NEW A&M International Students: Students arriving at Texas A&M for the first time in August, will be required to have health insurance for the month of August. As such, students will be automatically enrolled and charged for SSHIP coverage, regardless of if they are going to be a graduate student employee under the Grad Plan later.
Students will see two (2) fees for SSHIP on their Fall semester tuition and fees bill. One is for the August coverage period, and one is for the Fall coverage period.
Graduate Student Employees are eligible to enroll in the Grad plan which would qualify them to have the SSHIP plan removed for the Fall coverage period, but they will still be required to pay for SSHIP for August or submit proof of coverage through the waiver process.
Note! If you have been double charged for a single coverage period contact ISSS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and UIN in your email.
International students who are working as benefits-eligible employees at Texas A&M University (e.g., Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants, Research Assistants, etc.) are considered Graduate Student Employees (GSE). GSEs are eligible to enroll in the Grad Plan which is paid through a payroll deduction and by their employer. GSEs should talk to their department HR or business coordinator for further information on eligibility and how to enroll in the Grad Plan.
Removing/Refunding the SSHIP Fee
You are eligible for a waiver if your Gad Plan coverage begins on or before:
September 1st in the Fall coverage period
January 31st in the Spring/Summer coverage period
May 17th in the summer coverage period
AND the student enrolls in Grad Plan within 7 days of their hire date, then the SSHIP fee should be removed automatically.
AND have your visa information & Alien Work Authorization Expiration Date information entered into Workday. Without this information entered you cannot be identified as eligible for a waiver.
If the fee is not removed, you should contact ISSS by email at email@example.com.
If you are offered and/or start a position as a graduate student employee AFTER September 1st for Fall or February or later for Spring/Summer, then you will be billed for SSHIP coverage and receive a refund for the months of double coverage in the following semester.
GSEs must choose to enroll in Grad Plan during on boarding. If you do not enroll in Grad Plan, ISSS will enroll you in SSHIP coverage. If you choose a different plan offered by Texas A&M instead you must go through ordinary waiver process (ex. Being covered under your spouse’s insurance who is an A&M employee).
F-1 students who have ended their degree program are no longer required, by either the University or their immigration status, to have health insurance coverage. ISSS would still strongly encourage students (and their dependents) to maintain their health insurance coverage if they plan to remain in the U.S. as unexpected medical expenses can be very costly.
J-1 students and J-2 dependents are still required by the Department of State to maintain valid health insurance coverage for the entirety of their program as defined by their program start and end dates.
When Coverage EndsStudents who were enrolled in SSHIP and graduate in May or August will continue to be covered until August 31st since spring and summer coverage is purchased as a package. Students who will graduate in December will have their coverage end on December 31st.
Students who were enrolled in the Grad Plan will need to check with their HR representative or contact BCBS customer service to confirm their last effective coverage date. Typically, this is the last day of the month when you were last employed by the University.
Options for Extended Coverage
Employer Provided InsuranceMost employers will offer health insurance coverage that OPT, and post-completion Academic Training participants may enroll in.
Note: J-1 students should keep in mind that their employer provided health insurance must still comply with the minimum insurance requirements determined by the Department of State.
Extending SSHIP CoverageGraduating international student who have been continuously insured under their current policy, either SSHIP or Grad Plan, for three (3) months are eligible for continuation of their current coverage for an additional (3) months after their current policy end date.
Students wishing to purchase a continuation of coverage plan can visit the links below for more information.
Continuations for Grad Plan use the GSEs Continuation Enrollment form.
Continuations for SSHIP use the International & Domestic Student Continuation Enrollment Form.