Health insurance

Health insurance reqirement

Due to the high cost of health care in the United States, Wayne State University (WSU) and federal regulations require that all Exchange Visitors, International Students, and their dependents have insurance coverage for sickness and illness during their entire program period. Health insurance allows you to focus on academic success, not unexpected health care expenses.

Students (pdf)

Scholars (pdf)

How do I enroll in the required health insurance coverage?

All F-1 and J-1 international students and scholars whose 1-20 or DS-2019 was issued by Wayne State University must enroll in the WSU Student/Scholar Health Insurance plan (IHIP) provided by Blue Cross Blue Shields of Michigan and managed by Gallagher Student Health. This insurance plan is also required for your F-1, F-2, J-1, and J-2 dependents. This includes Canadian F-1 students living in the U.S. and J-1 Canadian students and scholars.

You can buy insurance on an annual or semester basis and pay online with a Visa or MasterCard when you enroll. The annual policy coverage year runs from August 1 to July 31, so make sure to renew your insurance in time to retain your coverage. 

Open enrollment dates:

Annual: 5/16/2024 - 10/31/2024
Fall: 5/16/2024 - 10/31/2024
Winter: 10/1/2024 – 3/31/2025
Winter/Spring/Summer: 10/1/2024 – 3/31/2025
Summer I: 2/1/2024 – 7/31/2025
Summer II: 5/16/2024 – 07/31/2024

F1 Students and their Dependents will enroll in the insurance through the Gallagher Student Health Portal here: Enroll in Student IHIP 2024-25  

J1 Scholars and their Dependents must contact the OISS Health Insurance Advocates at or 313-577-3422 with your Name, Banner ID, and Coverage Dates. An enrollment link will be sent to you through the Gallagher Student Health Portal.

For enrollment questions, contact the OISS Health Insurance Advocates at or 313-577-3422. For questions regarding portal issues, contact GSH at 1-833-468-9568 or

Learn more about BCBSM at or call (313) 225-9000.

What is a Health Insurance Hold?

Each semester (fall, winter, and spring/summer) we place a Health Insurance Hold on all international students' records. Your registration hold will be released upon purchasing the health insurance plan through the Gallagher Student Health Portal or providing accepted proof of coverage to OISS.

A Health Insurance Hold could potentially result in being out of status. If you are a J-1 exchange visitor who doesn't purchase health insurance for yourself and/or your family, you will be terminated from the Wayne State Exchange Visitor Program.

How do I get the required medical evacuation and repatriation coverage?

WSU requires repatriation and medical evacuation coverage for all international students and scholars, except for commuting Canadian students. This coverage is provided to all WSU F1 and J1 students and scholars and their dependents by OISS.

There is no need to enroll directly as all F1 and J1 students and scholars and their dependents are covered by the WSU blanket policy for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Exceptions to IHIP requirement

School of Medicine MD Program

The School of Medicine has policies that apply to students in the MD program. Specifically, they require all MD students to have health insurance. All international students (including Canadians) in the WSU School of Medicine must purchase either the IHIP student plan purchased through OISS online at: Gallagher Student Health Portal or the medical school's comprehensive group health plan.  For questions regarding health insurance for School of Medicine MD students, please contact:

Shanae Pruitt
Phone: (313) 577-3741

Commuting Canadian F-1 students 
(Not in the School of Medicine | MD Program)

F-1 Canadian students living in Canada and commuting to the U.S. daily for classes can opt out of the university's IHIP by providing proof of coverage through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).  

While not required, you can purchase the WSU plan as a supplement to your Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) if desired. The Ontario Ministry of Health strongly recommends that commuting Canadians purchase supplementary insurance because of limited benefits that OHIP provides to foreign healthcare providers.

If you want to opt out of the university's IHIP, you must complete the Commuting Canadian Health Insurance Waiver form.

GRA/GTA/GSA or WSU fellowship recipient or WSU sponsored student

If you are a GRA/GTA/GSA at WSU or a WSU fellowship recipient and have WSU health insurance provided as a benefit of your position, you can use that health insurance plan to meet the health insurance requirement. Please send a copy of your signed employment contract or WSU Fellowship Award Notice to so your health insurance records can be updated with OISS.

If you are a sponsored student through your embassy/home country with an agreement with WSU, we will accept the health insurance provided to meet the WSU health insurance requirement.

Please send a copy of your financial guarantee letter to Your health insurance approval/hold dates with OISS will coincide with those listed in your financial guarantee letter.

If your letter is for ONE semester only, we can only accept this for that semester. You must provide an updated financial guarantee as proof of health insurance coverage for each sponsored semester to release your registration hold.

Still have health insurance questions?

Health insurance is a serious matter, and we want to ensure you have what you need to remain healthy and in status so you can focus on your academic work. Our Health Insurance Advocates are here to help, you can email your questions to or call (313) 577-3422.