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Health insurance

Health care in the U.S. is a private system and can be quite expensive. To make sure you are able to cover any medical expenses and to satisfy legal requirements, MU requires all international students to enroll in the Aetna Student Health insurance plan provided through the university. This plan is also available for dependents (spouses and children) at an additional cost, and dependents in nonimmigrant status who are lawfully permitted to take classes must also enroll in the insurance program. The enrollment terms are:

  • Fall term: Aug. 1–Dec. 31
  • Spring term: Jan. 1–July 31

Dental insurance is not included in this plan, but can be purchased Aetna Student Insurance at an additional cost. For more information about Aetna Student Health insurance, to print or ID card or to find a doctor in the area, go to the Aetna website for MU students.

A continuation plan is available to insured students who lose their eligibility for the MU student health insurance plan through graduation or otherwise leaving school. This plan is only available to those students and eligible dependents as long as they were enrolled in the MU student health insurance plan for the previous academic term.

Please note that U.S. federal regulations state that all J-1 visa holders and their dependents must meet insurance coverage requirements for the duration of their stay. The MU student health insurance plan meets these requirements.

If you have questions about health insurance, contact the MU Student Health Center by email ( or phone (573-882-7481).

Enrollment and billing

You will be automatically enrolled in the mandatory insurance plan when you register for any number of credit hours and the fee will be charged to your MU student account. Other participants must complete an application and follow the payment instructions indicated:

  • OPT students: Apply online
  • Dependents: Apply online; must enroll for the same period as the student or within 30 days of the date the dependent entered the U.S.
  • Continuation plan: Apply online

Insurance waiver

MU has a hard-waiver policy that strictly limits waivers of the mandatory insurance enrollment for international students. Only the following exceptions are allowed:

  • You have insurance coverage comparable to the MU plan provided by a family member's employment benefits by MU or another higher education institution.
  • You are not residing in Columbia, Mo., because of an eligible reason.

If you meet one of these exceptions, you may submit an online request for an insurance wavier, along with the necessary supporting documents no later that two weeks from the start of the semester.