Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

Health Coverage Is Required

Health coverage is very important.  UK requires all international students (on an F-1, J-1, or J-2 visa) to have qualifying health coverage.  International students are automatically enrolled in the UK Student Health Plan (SHP) when they register for classes. You do not need to fill out any forms to enroll in SHP. J-2 dependents with a DS-2019 issued by a non-UK entity, organization, or government agency may choose to purchase insurance from other health providers, unless enrolling in coursework or beginning employment with the University of Kentucky.
The cost of SHP will be added to your student bill.  See cost below. You may choose to buy coverage for your spouse and/or children through the company’s website and learn more at See frequently asked questions below.

Term Duration of Coverage Cost
Fall 2024  August 15, 2024 - December 31, 2024 $1,185
Spring/Summer 2025 January 1, 2025 - August 14, 2025 $1,937

Please note:  The US Department of State requires all J-1 Exchange Visitors (including visiting scholars and their J-2 dependents) to carry health, repatriation and medical evacuation coverage during the period of time they are participating in the Exchange Visitor Program.   UK’s employee plans do not include the medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.  Therefore, all J-1 scholars must purchase this coverage separately for themselves and their dependents.  ISSS recommends scholars choose one of the following providers:


How do I get my health plan identification (ID) card?

You will not receive an ID card in the mail.  About two week after you enroll in courses, ID cards are available for you to download through an online account with the health plan services site.  You can go to or download the Sydney App to create your account.  For detailed instructions on how to obtain your ID card, please review the quick links section on the Academic Health Plans website: If you have any questions, call Anthem at 844-412-0752.

Understand your plan

In the United States, having health coverage does not make all medical services free.  It is your responsibility to understand your health coverage.  Read more about your plan at  Call the customer service department at 1-855-856-2385 with your questions or email the UK SHP Office at for assistance.

NOTE:  English as a Second Language (ESL) students have different health coverage enrollment and waiver procedures.  Email for assistance.

Health Coverage Waiver Process

In rare circumstances, when a student already has qualifying health coverage provided by an employer, government sponsor or exchange agency, they are eligible to provide documentation of their alternate health insurance coverage by applying for a coverage waiver.  When a waiver is approved for a qualifying alternate plan, UK will cancel that student’s eligibility for the SHP for one semester.  Waivers must be completed each semester in order to cancel the SHP charge.

Due to federal regulations, and for your protection, all alternate health coverage must comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) minimum standards for health coverage

Which waiver applications are approved?

Approved waiver applications must meet several criteria, including all of the following:

  1. Be received by the posted deadline,
  2. Include all requested plan documents,
  3. Provide documentation of medical evacuation and repatriation benefits*, and
  4. Show evidence of unlimited coverage for all “essential benefits” outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards.

For a full list of waiver requirements, click here.

*Medical evacuation and repatriation coverage may be purchased separately if needed.

How do I apply for a health coverage waiver?

To apply for a health coverage waiver you must submit a waiver request here. If your waiver is approved for a qualifying alternate plan, UK will cancel that student’s eligibility for the SHP for one semester. Waivers must be completed each semester in order to cancel the SHP charge. Call Academic HealthPlans with any questions at 1-855-856-2385.

  • Deadline for Fall Waiver Applications: September 16
  • Deadline for Spring/Summer Waiver Applications: February 24

Note that you will be unable to submit a waiver request prior to being enrolled on the UK’s health plan.

Do I need immunizations?

All newly enrolled international students may need to update immunizations before coming to UK. Click here for more information.

Do I need a Tuberculosis (TB) screening?

UK requires all new international students to complete a TB screening. Click here for more information.

Can I add my dependents to my health plan?

Yes, you can add your spouse and child(ren) to your health plan.  Dependents can be added at during open enrollment only, except for a Qualifying Life Event (marriage, new baby, loss of other coverage, arrival in the U.S. within 30 days). Once you receive confirmation that you have been enrolled in the health plan, you can go to and add your dependents.

  • Fall 2024
    • Open Enrollment Period: July 15 – September 13
    • Cost: $1,244 per dependent
  • Spring/Summer 2025
    • Open Enrollment Period: December 2 – February 21
    • Cost: $2,034 per dependent