International Students Insurance
All international students and scholars must maintain insurance
coverage during their stay in the United States (United States
Information Agency Rule 22 CFR Part 514 and California State University
Executive Order Number 622).
Understanding How Health Insurance Works in America
- Insurance plans usually have specific doctors and/or hospitals
where you may receive medical care. These places and people are
usually called your “network” or “provider group.”
- The "network" or "provider group" have a business contract with
your insurance company to "provide" you with healthcare when you are
- Ask your insurance company about how to find a doctor or hospital
that is in your plan. There is usually a (toll-free 800) phone number
to call or an online directory listing the names, addresses and phone
numbers of doctors and hospitals in your plan..
- Find out if your insurance company will let you go outside their
“network” for medical care.
- Learn what the process is before you
have a medical emergency. Certain insurance companies ask that you get
permission to go to an “outside of network” hospital. Some ask that
you call them before you go to an emergency room at a hospital. It is
important to know what your insurance company’s rules are because
going outside the network can be very expensive..
How to Get the Most from your Health Insurance
- Carry your insurance ID card with you.
- Know the name and location of the network hospitals in your
insurance plan that are near where you live and where you are
permitted to go..
- Know what injuries and sicknesses are covered by your insurance
plan and which injuries and sicknesses that are not.
- Write down the emergency information (doctor, hospital, insurance
details) so housemates and companions know how to get help for you.
- Find and register with your own primary care (general) doctor
before you are seriously sick or injured.
What To Do When You Are Sick or Injured
- Go to or call Student Health Services (SHS) on the SFSU campus
during business hours if you can.
- If you have a doctor, call your doctor. They will return your call
if it is after business hours and tell you what to do.
- In an emergency, go to the nearest Emergency Room at a hospital or
- Show your insurance ID card to the doctor or at the hospital
before you receive medical care. Be ready to pay your “co-pay” (your
share of the expense).
- Send in the completed claim forms to your insurance company with
the required documents. Answer later requests for more information
When Do I Use Student Health Services (SHS)?
- Check with your insurance company to see if you are required to
use the Student Health Services before you go to a private doctor
off-campus. Ask them if you need a “referral” (written permission to
receive medical treatment from a different doctor).
- Check with your insurance company to see if you will be paid for
medicine and services you receive and paid for at SHS.
- If SHS is closed, contact your insurance company’s provider
network for help finding a doctor or hospital via phone or online.
- For SHS hours and appointments, call (415) 338-1251
How to Get Your Medical Bills Paid
- To have your bills paid or to receive repayment for bills that you
have already paid, you must file a “claim” with your insurance
company. This claim tells your insurance company that you have
received medical care and what those costs were
- Find out whether you need a claim form or if you can file the
claim electronically. Forms are sometimes available online at
insurance company websites.
- A claim lists specific medical and payment details. It is your
responsibility to make sure a claim has been filed properly. Know the
rules of your company.
- After a few weeks, ask questions! Call the claims department and
ask for a status report on your claim.