Health insurance and immunizations
Community connections is prepared to inform students about the various health insurance options in the U.S., assist them with signing up for the appropriate program, and help locate the different medical services around VCU and Richmond.
Health Insurance for International Students
All international students are expected to purchase health insurance, which covers 80-100 percent of the cost of medical care and hospitalization while studying in the U.S. Medical care can be quite expensive, and you need health insurance to help with these costs. Information about different health insurance plans will be available at international student orientation and in the support services office.
Health insurance plans should adhere to the following guidelines:
- The insurance company does not have to be a U.S.-based or owned company, but it must have an office in the U.S. If purchasing a health insurance policy outside the U.S., be sure the company has an office here. Otherwise, doctors and hospitals may not accept your insurance.
- The plan must provide at least $250,000 in medical benefits a year.
- The plan must include medical evacuation.
- The plan must include repatriation of remains.
We have reviewed many different health insurance plans for international students and have found several plans at reasonable rates. We do not endorse any one plan, but are here to answer students’ questions and help them understand differences in various plans so that they have adequate information to make an informed decision.
Student health services
VCU University Student Health Services (USHS) is a convenient on-campus clinic for students who are sick or have sustained minor injuries. Doctors and nurse practitioners see students, typically the same day they call for an appointment. In addition, students at USHS can have their prescriptions filled at the clinic for less cost than at a local pharmacy. Prescriptions written by private doctors in the community cannot be filled at the university clinic. USHS is not a hospital and students with serious injuries or illnesses should go to the hospital or be referred to a private specialist.
Required immunizations and screenings
International students are required to submit an official copy, in English, of their immunization record to University Student Health Services upon their arrival. Please request that your doctor complete the Certificate of Immunization form before you leave your country. If you do not obtain this documentation before you arrive, you will be required to have the immunizations here, which is expensive and inconvenient for you. Contact University Student Health Services with questions.
VCU requires students to complete the tuberculosis (TB) risk assessment section on their Certificate of Immunization form , and if indicated, to be screened for tuberculosis with a tuberculin skin test (PPD test). If the student has a positive PPD skin test, a chest X-ray is required. Although an international student may have received the BCG vaccine, the student is still required to complete the PPD skin test in the U.S. Student Health Services does not recognize PPD tests or chest X-rays completed outside the U.S. You may get the PPD test at University Student Health Services after you arrive.