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Health Insurance Basics


Vanderbilt University requires all eligible students to be covered by a health insurance plan that is comparable to or exceeds the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan- offered by Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk. International students are required to enroll in the Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan; waivers of the mandatory enrollment in the Gallagher health insurance  plan are not available.

(From NAFSA: Association of International Educators)


What to Look for in an Insurance Plan

(From NAFSA: Association of International Educators)

Checklist for Optimal Insurance Coverage

– Low co-pay/deductible
– Having Vanderbilt or other nearby providers in network
– No pre-existing condition exclusion (or very limited)
– Inpatient or outpatient treatment for non-emergency illness or injury, including
participation in intercollegiate, interscholastic, intermural, or club sports
– Treatment of specified therapies, including acupuncture and physiotherapy
– Emergency care and hospitalization
– Inpatient or outpatient treatment for mental and nervous disorders, including drug or
alcohol abuse, and regular counseling or therapy sessions
– Laboratory tests/services
– Prescription drugs, including oral contraceptives and devices
– Dental repairs or treatment
– Professional ground or air ambulance service to nearest hospital
– Medical evacuation to home city/country
– Bedside visit/emergency reunion (for close friend or family member)
– Repatriation of mortal remains
– Accidental death and dismemberment benefit
– Coverage in countries under U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings or the Office of
Foreign Assets Controls sanctions, if applicable
– Reliable, high quality 24-7 assistance services (phone and email) for use of insured
services, lost travel documents, visa services if needed for ground/air
transportation to a third country, locating quality doctors, managing medical
cases, etc.

(From NAFSA: Association of International Educators)

Which Health Service Should you use?

Not every medical situation requires a visit to the hospital emergency department.  Waiting until the next day to see the doctor or going to an urgent care facility instead often will take care of a problem.

(Adapted from Michigan State University)

Additional Questions

To view Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and videos relevant to these topics, please visit the VUMC Student Healthcare and Insurance page by clicking the following link: