Health Insurance for International Students

International students often have questions regarding requirements for health insurance. Below are the most common questions and answers. Be aware that there are specific health-related tasks (vaccinations, tuberculosis tests, etc.) that need to be fulfilled. These can be done upon arrival in Binghamton, even if Orientation has not yet taken place. Should you arrive to the area early, we encourage you to visit the Decker Student Health Services Center and complete the necessary steps, to avoid long lines and remove any registration holds that may be on your account. 

Q. Is it mandatory for me to have the health insurance that Binghamton University provides?
A. Yes.

Q. How do I enroll and pay for the insurance?
A. Enrollment is automatic for all international students who have registered for classes. The fee is charged to your tuition bill and appears as a separate line item. There is nothing you need to do to enroll.

Q. When do I get my insurance ID card?
A. After the International Student and Scholar Services Office completes health insurance enrollment, an e-mail is sent to you from It will contain instructions for registering on their website and where you can find and print your ID card. Enrollment takes place approximately four weeks after the semester begins.

Q. Do I need my insurance ID card if I go to the Decker Student Health Services Center on the Binghamton University campus?
A. No. Medical services provided by the Decker Student Health Services Center do not require your insurance ID card.

Q. When do I need my insurance card?
A. If the Decker Student Health Services Center refers you to a doctor off campus, or if you have a medical emergency that requires that you go to a hospital, you will need your insurance ID card. You will also need your insurance ID card to purchase prescription medication at a participating pharmacy.

Q. What do I do if I have a doctor referral or have a medical emergency but I have not received my insurance ID card?
A. Contact the International Student and Scholar Services Health Insurance Team at and you can be issued a card on an individual basis. In an emergency situation you can contact us after you are released from the hospital.

Q. I have health insurance from my home country. Can I use it in place of the Binghamton University insurance?
A. Having other health insurance does not automatically allow you to waive the Binghamton University insurance. Your other insurance must meet very strict requirements of the State University of New York. Those requirements can be found here. Very few international health insurance plans meet these requirements. Do not apply for a waiver if your plan does not meet the minimum requirements. Deadlines for submitting requests can be found here.

If you have questions or need help with the international health insurance provided by Binghamton University, visit here or e-mail

Last Updated: 11/7/16