WHY MANDATORY INSURANCE?
In 1985, the SUNY Board of Trustees passed a resolution mandating that all individuals participating in SUNY programs of international exchange possess health and accident insurance through a policy contracted by the University. This was to protect international students from the exceptionally high cost of medical care in the United States, and to fulfill U.S. federal government regulatory requirements.
IF I HAVE OTHER HEALTH AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE WILL THE SUNY HEALTH AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE BE WAIVED?
Waivers can only be given if your current insurance is as good or better than the SUNY policy. Unless your insurance policy meets the minimum coverage requirements outlined at http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/waiverinfo.html you are not eligible for a waiver. Very few policies meet the minimum coverage requirements and few waivers are granted. Examples of health insurance policies that are NOT comparable are: All travel policies, United Health Care United Chinese Plan, ASPE, IIE (including Fulbright), various Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans, and many others. If you think you are eligible for a waiver, you must complete an Insurance Waiver Request Form found at http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/waiverinfo.html, present a copy of your full insurance policy in English and proof of current dates of coverage to the International Health Insurance Coordinator, at the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. The policy and proof of coverage may be provided via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW MUCH DOES THE SUNY POLICY COST?
The current insurance rates are $477.00 for the Fall 2012 semester and $667.75 for the Spring Semester. Coverage is provided for a full twelve months (August 15, 2012 through August 14, 2013). Payment is made, along with your tuition and other fees to the Student Accounts Office at Binghamton University. Refunds for the summer months are not available.
IS COVERAGE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR MY SPOUSE AND/OR CHILDREN?
Yes. Students in J-1 status should note that the US government REQUIRES that J-1 sponsored dependents have insurance. F-1 status students may also purchase health insurance for their dependent family members. Printed material describing the health insurance policy benefits and the cost plus enrollment information is available from the Office of International Student and Scholar Services or at http://www2.binghamton.edu/isss/health-insurance/BUDeptBroc.pdf
HOW DO I GET MY HEALTH INSURANCE ID CARD?
HTH Worldwide Insurance Services (email@example.com), your health insurance company, will send a notification to your Binghamton University e-mail account when your health insurance ID card is ready. You must access their secure website, print your ID card and carry it with you.
HOW DO I RECEIVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES?
If you are a student, visit the Decker Student Health Services Center. They will treat you. There is no extra charge. If they feel that you need to see a doctor in the Binghamton area, they will refer you to a doctor who can treat you.
If you are referred to a doctor, the Decker Student Health Services Center will give you a referral form. You enter the information on the HTH Worldwide Insurance Services website, hthstudents.com, as directed on the referral form. With the referral form, HTH Worldwide Insurance Services will not charge you the $50.00 deductible that you must pay a doctor when you do not receive a referral.
If you are referred to a doctor: Call the doctor’s office to make an appointment. Bring your insurance card with you to present to the doctor’s office staff.
After you see the doctor, he or she will bill the insurance company to receive payment for your service.
Once the doctor is paid by the insurance company you will receive a statement from the insurance company showing how much of the bill they paid.
If there is any amount of money that you owe, the doctor will also send you a bill. The amount the doctor bills you should be the same amount that the insurance company showed as the “patient responsibility” on the statement they sent to you. That is the amount of money that you must pay the doctor.
If you receive doctor bills or letters from the insurance company or from the doctor regarding your bill that you do not understand, or if you are billed more money than you think you owe, or you need advice regarding your HTH insurance/doctor bills, contact the ISSS Health Insurance Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 777-2510 for assistance.
If you are a scholar or faculty member: As someone who is not a student, you cannot use the Decker Student Health Services Center. The ISSS web page provides a search engine for finding a doctor. It is found on this ISSS web page in the Health Insurance section at the link “Finding a Participating Doctor or Hospital.” Or, you may contact the ISSS Health Insurance Team for assistance. A deductible of $50.00 per illness or injury will apply to your doctor visits.
Otherwise, follow the same steps for obtaining health care as outlined for students.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN THE DECKER STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES CENTER IS CLOSED?
In most cases, you should wait until the Decker Student Health Services Center opens again in the morning. If the Center is closed on a weekend, you may see a doctor off campus. When the Decker Student Health Services Center re-opens, obtain a referral form from them and enter the information on their website, hthstudents.com, as directed. The referral form will allow your $50.00 deductible to be waived.
If you have a Medical emergency, meaning, a life threatening event or severe and/or acute pain, seek immediate emergency care at a local hospital. Call 7-2222 from a campus land line phone, or 607-777-2222 from your cell phone. If you call 911 from your cell phone you will contact your local Police Department. Explain your off-campus emergency and that you are a Binghamton University Student. They will help you.
DO NOT use a hospital emergency room if you do not have a medical emergency. If you do, you will be charged very expensive emergency room and doctor fees and you will be charged an additional $50.00 deductible. You will also expect to wait 2-4 hours before you are seen, as people with real emergency conditions receive priority.
If the Decker Student Health Services Center is closed for an extended period and you must see a doctor off campus you have the option of going to a local medical “walk-in” clinic. The clinics are staffed by professional medical staff and you do not have to make an appointment to see a doctor. The local walk-in clinics are:
Lourdes Hospital Walk-In Clinics
UHS Walk-In Clinics
UHS (which operates both Wilson Medical Center and Binghamton General Hospital) walk-in clinics may apply an “after hours” charge if you visit after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or anytime on a weekend or holiday. This charge may or may not be covered by your insurance.
WHO CAN I TALK TO IF I HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING MY INSURANCE, OR IF I NEED CLAIMS ASSISTANCE?
Any questions, concerns or problems regarding insurance should be directed to the Health
Insurance Team at the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. You can reach them at 607-777-2510 or send an email to: email@example.com You may also contact HTH Worldwide Insurance Services, Inc. concerning your claims or benefit questions at 1-888 350-2002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: 1/4/13