East Carolina University
Office of International Affairs

International Affairs Images


Medical Insurance

Because it is modern, scientific and heavily dependent on technology, medical care in the United States is very expensive. This is especially true when viewed from the perspective of other countries. Therefore, it is essential that anyone spending time in the U. S. purchase medical insurance. In the U.S., individuals are responsible for paying any medical care they receive. Most U.S. citizens and permanent residents arrange this through private or employer-sponsored insurance plans.

If you are an F-1 or J-1 student, the ECU sponsored medical insurance will be automatically charged to your student account (tuition/fee bill). If this charge is not included on your tuition/fee bill, it is your responsibility to notify our office as soon as possible, even if you plan to request a waiver. If you already have medical insurance that meets ECU guidelines, you may request a waiver of insurance charges by submitting appropriate documentation to the Office of International Affairs. This documentation must be in English and show the following information: coverage dates, coverage per accident/illness, and appropriate coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation.

Current international students are required to have ECU’s medical insurance policy each year. Payment is due in August for the Fall semester and by January for Spring/Summer semesters. Please note that Summer cannot be separated out.

The University of North Carolina (UNC) system requires that all students attending a UNC campus in either F-1 or J-1 legal status purchase and maintain medical insurance. East Carolina University requires that you purchase the school sponsored policy. This policy is an excellent value. No student will be allowed a waiver from this policy upon entrance to ECU except students who are sponsored by their own government, the U.S. government or who are already covered through a policy required by their program.

In order to waive the international student insurance plan, you MUST provide written proof of insurance coverage (in English) to be reviewed by the Office of International Affairs. THIS MUST BE DONE EACH SEMESTER.

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Insurance for International Students and their Dependents

Do I have to purchase international student medical insurance?
Because of the high cost of medical care in the U.S., all international students in F-1 and J-1 student status must purchase medical insurance. Because of the importance of insurance, you should not expect to be exempted from this policy unless you have existing medical insurance. If you have insurance you can contact the Office of International Affairs to discuss if your insurance qualifies for a waiver.

How do I sign up and pay for the insurance?
The cost will appear on your ECU tuition/fee bill. If you do not get a bill from the Cashier’s Office, you should speak with them. Your bill may have been sent to your home country.

Will I have an insurance card?

You will receive notice from the Office of International Affairs to pick up your insurance card within the first two of weeks into the semester. You should carry this card with you so that you can show it to a doctor or hospital if you need treatment.

How do I know what the insurance covers?

At the beginning of the year, you will get a brochure which explains coverage and limitations of your policy. Read this brochure carefully. You must follow the procedures to ensure coverage.


Does my family also need to be covered?


Yes. It is important that all family members have medical insurance. You will purchase their insurance through ECU but need to stop by the Office of International for payment rates and a special letter to take to the Cashier’s Office.


What is my deductible when I go for treatment?


All physician visit deductibles for injury or sickness are WAIVED if treatment is received at Student Health Services on ECU’s campus or if the initial treatment for an injury or sickness is received at a recognized student health center. Otherwise, students pay the first $100 of treatment if they first go outside of these services.