Health Insurance Waiver

The North Dakota University System (NDUS) is pleased to offer health insurance coverage to NDUS students through United Healthcare insurance company. The NDUS requires all international students to have adequate health insurance in place and verified (see Policy 505) but in some cases, an international student is able to secure a waiver from the NDUS health insurance plan.


Waiver of NDUS designated policy:
International students may be eligible for a waiver of the NDUS designated insurance if they are able to provide proof of comparable coverage.

Waivers are granted in only a few exceptional situations, typically when:

  1. Coverage is already provided through a U.S. employer;
  2. Coverage is already provided through a parent or spouse’s U.S. based employer; or 
  3. The student’s home country provides universal coverage through a national health insurance plan, AND the coverage meets all of the required waiver criteria.


Waiver Criteria: 2024-2025
For international students “comparable health insurance coverage” means that the alternate health insurance plan meets all of the following criteria:

  1. Coverage must be active by the first day of the Student Health Insurance Policy semester: August 16, 2024 for fall semester or January 1, 2025 for spring semester. 
  2. The insurance company must be owned and operated in the U.S. (offshore insurance companies do not meet this requirement).
  3. Plan is filed by an insurance company and approved by the North Dakota Insurance Department; 
  4. Plan Benefits must meet Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements including all of the following: 
    1. Pre-existing conditions must be covered with no waiting period;
    2. Preventive Care must be covered at 100%; 
    3. Plan must have an unlimited policy maximum;
  5. The annual individual deductible must be $500 or less; 
  6. The co-insurance plan payment must be 75% or higher: 
  7. Benefits must include prescription drug coverage; 
  8. Benefits must include maternity coverage for the insured person; 
  9. Benefits must include both inpatient and outpatient mental health services with no limits; 
  10. Benefits must include substance abuse services; 
  11. Benefits must include coverage for self-inflicted injury or suicide;
  12. Benefits must be unlimited with no per-service, per-diagnosis or per-accident limitations; 
  13. Benefits must cover out of network, non-emergency services;
  14. Benefits must include intercollegiate sports injuries for student athletes; and 
  15. The plan must have Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains benefits paid at 100% with unlimited benefits.*   

*Note: If Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains benefits are the only criteria not met by an alternate policy, the student will be given an opportunity to purchase those services through United Healthcare during the waiver process. Additionally, if you have an approved alternative plan and need to yet purchase the Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains benefit, click here to receive the discounted addendum to your policy:


Alternative Insurance Options
In the summer of 2018 and on an ongoing basis since then, NDUS and ECI, an independent insurance audit company, researched several policies and performed thorough audits of popular insurance plans. Here is a list, though not comprehensive, of plans/companies that will meet the requirements, or will meet the criteria and only result in proof of purchase of a Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remain policy. Additionally, we included a list of plans that will not meet the above listed waiver requirements, and thus, will result in a denial. These lists serve as an example and are not exhaustive; NDUS reserves the right to add or remove plans to these lists as more information comes to light.


Furthermore, based off experience and the necessity to provide students with the best health insurance possible, the campuses and the NDUS Office recommend students purchase the plan offered through United Healthcare StudentResources. We do not deny that acceptable alternatives exist, but we caution students that intend to shop around for alternative coverage. If you intend to look for coverage outside of the UHCSR plan, please ensure that your plan meets all the above waiver criteria, and, be advised that because one student found acceptable coverage through a particular company or website, that does not guarantee that all plans offered through that carrier will be acceptable, nor that you as an individual will qualify for that particular plan at whatever advertised price because it may vary based on things like your income, household size, age, where you live, and/or other variables.


For example, if a student obtained insurance online through the Health Insurance Marketplace, students should be advised that not all Marketplace plans meet NDUS waiver guidelines. Many plans have a higher deductible than the maximum of $500 listed above in the criteria or do not provide coverage for all required areas. A student should be very careful when signing up for any alternative coverage through any insurance provider, especially if they are not sure the policy meets all requirements as noted above. If you have questions about a plan, you can contact your campus contact, listed on the Student Health Insurance page. But please note, not all campus contacts are able to assist you in determining if the plan meets criteria for a waiver; only a full audit of the plan can make that determination.


Compliant Plans:   

  • Aetna Life Insurance (Royal Thai)  
  • Canada Medicare  
  • Health Canada  
  • ISEP-sponsored insurance
  • Norwegian Health Care System  
  • Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission (SACM) insurance through United HealthCare  


Non-Compliant Plans:
ASPE Insurance •Atlas America • Atlas Exchange • Compass Health Insurance •First Health Network •GeoBlue Navigator Health Plan •Global Benefits Group •Gouda Travel Insurance •IEESIMG Global •Insuby, Inc. •ISO Care • Patriot America •Patriot Exchange •PGH Global •PSI Insurance •Sanford TRUE •Seven Corners •Student Health Advantage •Student Secure •Study USA-HealthCare •Tokio Marine HCC Insurance •USI Affinty •4 Ever Life Insurance Company


Waiver Application
To apply for a waiver, the student will submit a waiver request through ECI Services in the permissible timeframe. If you are unable to log into the site, please visit with your campus contact person.

Waiver application deadlines for the 202-2025 academic year:

Fall term: September 4, 2024

Spring/Summer term: January 23, 2025

Summer term: June 13, 2025