Health Insurance

In all UC campuses a health insurance is required for all students (international students too). The campus itself offers a health insurance that it's automatically provided unless you want to choose another one. If you want to use your own health insurance remember that

  • there are deadlines to ask for a waiver, check on your university website (ATTENTION! The deadline is very early, they can even require you to have your insurance purchased before the notification of acceptance of the campus!)
  • it has to be an American insurance
  • there are some minimum requirements that your insurance have to guarantee, check on your campus Student Health website for up to date information.

These are some common terms recurring in the description of the minimum requirements to waive the campus insurance. The 2006/07 values for UCSD are reported, just as an example.

  • Out-of-pocket maximum no greater than $5000 (including deductibles). — The amount of co-insurance a member must pay before claims will be paid at 100% of the allowed amount. The deductible, instead, is the amount you must pay each year for your medical expenses before your insurance policy starts paying.
  • Policy benefits payable at 60% or more for all services. — The percentage of the expenses that the insured is required to pay by himself, at least up to a certain amount.
  • Lifetime aggregate benefits of 1,000,000.00 USD or more per condition. — This is the maximum amount the insurance is accepting to pay.
  • If your plan is an HMO or PPN, it must be accredited within California with access to full medical services within 100 miles of the UCSD campus. Full medical services include the use of your Primary Care Physician. — Some insurances require the insured to go to a certain network or hospital. UC Campuses require that any student can get appropriate assistance close enough to his campus.
  • Plan must have Inpatient and Outpatient Mental Health benefits. — Not all insurance plans cover everything, you should double check Mental Health and Dental Care first of all.
  • Policy must be in effect for the full duration of the quarters you wish to waive (Fall 9/19/05 - 1/6/06, Winter 1/6/06-3/30/06, Spring-Summer 3/30/06-9/18/06).
  • Medical evacuation benefits of 10,000.00 USD or more. — For international students only
  • Repatriation benefits of 10,000.00 USD or more. — For international students only
  • Plan must be purchased, operated and headquartered in the United States.

Note: Information regarding minimum requirements, costs and accepted Health Insurances are different for each campus and change every year. Please check up to date requirements for waiving the mandatory insurance at the links listed below.


Here are the cost of health insurance for EAP students at three of UC campuses (for academic year 2005/06).


Alternative Insurances

ns80qmqeki36A695B83548C496C The health insurance offered by your campus is usually the easiest way to get covered and you will hardly get a better deal. If anyone purchased an alternative health insurance, it would be useful to edit this page with this kind of information, even just a note.

For example, if you are an Engineer and IEEE member, you should be entitled to purchase a Gateway Health Insurance for a reduced price (check here and here). You just have to check if the requirements of your campus are fulfilled, for example in 2006/07 this insurance was ok for UCSB but not for UCSD.

In the banner at the bottom of the page, you should find some other options, or some web directories that collect (and compare) different offers from insurance companies.

Some other links:


Using your health insurance

In case of emergency

If you are sick

If there is a Student Health Care Center in your campus, you'd better go there because you can get good quality care in a lower price.

In Santa Barbara, UCSB has a Student Health Center. The Student Health Center on the UCSB campus is open from 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. The center includes a walk-in general health clinic, a women's clinic, an eye clinic, and a dental clinic. They accept cash, traveler's checks, and personal checks for payment. They do not accept credit cards. The visit itself will cost $50 and there will be additional costs for lab work or medicine. If you have insurance, show them. You will be reimbursed for most of the costs of your visit, including the $50 visit fee.

Check out UCSB Student Health Center web site for more information.

Dental care

Dental care is usually not included in regular health insurances. Sometimes periodic preventive care is included (still, the student is required to pay part of the costs up to a certain maximum), while dental surgery, root canals, etc. are usually not covered. Most of the insurance companies offer a dental plan too, if you are interested. Check the same links provided above (Insureme, …)

Drugs and medicines

Useful links

UCD Student Health Center
UCD Student Health Insurance
UCLA Student Health Center
UCLA Student Health Insurance
UCSB Student Health Center
UCSB Student Health Insurance
UCSD Student Health Center
UCSD Student Health Insurance

Useful addresses

Here is a list of Hospitals in Santa Barbara you can use in emergency.

  • Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital - 351 South Patterson, Goleta - Phone: 967-3411
  • Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital - Pueblo at Bath Street, Santa Barbara - General Information: 682-7111, Emergency Room: 569-7210
  • St. Francis Medical Center - 601 East Micheltorena, Santa Barbara - General Information: 962-7661, ER: 568-5712

Part of this material comes from The International Student Guide to Santa Barbara, developed by Jihyun Lee, from Seoul, Korea while attending the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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