Required health information and health insurance

Pre-arrival health information

Exchange students are required to meet several health requirements to attend UMBC. These requirements are available on the University Health Services website.


Please visit the University Health Services Immunization site for information about required immunizations. Exchange students must provide proof of immunizations in English prior to or upon arrival.

Additionally, all international students will need to have a Tuberculosis blood test (Quantiferon) within 60 days of the start of the semester. The cost of this test is around $336 if your insurance plan does not provide coverage for it.

Insurance Requirement

All J-1 exchange visitors must have health insurance which covers the exchange visitor and his or her dependents. The insurance must cover sickness or accidents during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor’s exchange visitor program as reflected by the start and end dates on the exchange visitor’s DS-2019. The minimum coverage and the waiver process is detailed on the University Health Services website. 

Purchasing Health Insurance

All exchange students will be enrolled automatically in UMBC’s student health insurance, sponsored by Aetna Student Health. This insurance is comprehensive, and it will mean you have minimal out-of-pocket expenses if you need to use it during the semester. However, it is quite expensive. The rate for fall only in Fall 2016 was USD 946, for Spring 2017 USD 1146.

UMBC’s University Health Services has approved an alternate insurance policy that meets both J-1 requirements and UHS requirements. It is substantially less expensive than the standard  insurance policy, but it has higher out-of-pocket costs if you need medical care while you are at UMBC. You can read more about the policy by ISOA UMBC Shield here.

Health Program Education

All students entering UMBC are required to complete the online health programs prior to arrival. If you have trouble completing these programs, our office can provide assistance. You will be automatically enrolled in these programs and can complete them via your student myUMBC account.

Understanding the US Healthcare System

Not sure how health insurance in the United States works? Watch this short video on the US Healthcare System.