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Health care in the U.S. is a private system. To make sure that you are able to cover any medical expenses and to satisfy legal requirements, MU requires all international students to purchase 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 that are lawfully permitted to take classes are also required to be enrolled in the insurance program.

Enrollment in Aetna insurance for the fall semester is from Aug. 1 through Dec. 31; enrollment for the spring semester is from Jan. 1 through July 31. Dental insurance is not included in medical insurance, but can be purchased through Aetna Student Health at an additional cost. For more information about Aetna Student Health insurance, to print your 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 terminating students and eligible dependents as long as they were enrolled in the MU Student Health Insurance Plan for the previous academic term. Students eligible for the academic year MU student health insurance plan are not eligible to purchase this continuation option.

Enrollment and billing

International students will be automatically enrolled in the mandatory insurance plan when they register for any number of credit hours and will be charged for the coverage on their Mizzou student account. Other participants must complete an application form 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


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

  • Insurance coverage comparable to the MU plan that is provided for the student through a family member's employment benefits by MU or another higher education institution
  • Circumstances where students are currently not residing in Columbia, MO due to eligible reasons.

To successfully request a waiver of the MU Accident and Sickness Insurance coverage, you must meet one of the above requirements. If you do, please submit an online request for an insurance waiver, and also provide necessary supporting documents to the International Center.

Additionally, 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 insurance policy meets these requirements.