Don’t forget, there is a HEALTH INSURANCE WAIVER HELP SESSION tomorrow! Where? See here:

Read on for part 2 of our (at least) 3 part series on health insurance from our guest blogger Chien-ying Wang.


Yes, it’s the time of the year when we get many questions about health insurance waiver.

It is true that although all MSU international students are automatically signed up for Aetna Student Health (billed to your tuition bill), you have an option to waive it with an alternative health insurance policy as long as it meets the MSU minimum requirements.

Let me show you the process of insurance waiver application. (Click image to enlarge)

Step 1: Purchase alternative insurance policy

Before you purchase any alternative insurance policy, it is very important to ensure it meets all the MSU minimum requirements. If it doesn’t meet the requirements, your application will be rejected.

Please click on the image to the right for the specific requirements.

Step 2: Apply for the health insurance waiver online

Apply here:

Reminder: 2012 Spring/Summer Application deadline: 01/31/2012

Step 3: Supply the following 2 documents

1) Insurance plan’s Schedule of Benefits

2) Enrollment proof (show your full name, enrollment start date and end date)

Where to send the documents?

  • Email:
  • Fax : (517)353-1869
  • Mail/deliver: 1407 S. Harrison Road, Suite 140, East Lansing, MI 48823

Step 4: Wait for result

It generally takes 2 weeks to review your application. If your tuition bill is due before the application is processed, pay first and get refund later (if approved).


1) My tuition is due this week, but the health insurance is not removed. What should I do? To avoid late fee, pay tuition bill first, get refund later if approved.

2) Do I need to buy an alternative insurance plan before I apply for the insurance waiver? Yes, you do. To waive your health insurance doesn’t mean you don’t need health insurance. It simply means you waive it with an equivalent insurance policy.

3) How long will it take to review my application?  Approximately 2 weeks

4) Who should I contact regarding my waiver application? MSU Benefits Office

  • Email:
  • Go in person: 1407 S. Harrison Road, Suite 140, East Lansing, MI 48823

5) How do I know which insurance policy is better? Friends are not insurance experts. Many people simply pick the cheapest plan without realizing the tricks hidden in the cheap plans. These tricks can end up cost you a lot of money when you need medical care. If you are interested in purchasing a private insurance policy, OISS can be a credible source of information.

6) I’m going back to my home country in summer. Can I waive the insurance for summer semester? I had the same question, too. The answer is no. MSU requires international students to have coverage for both spring and summer semesters even if you are not taking classes or physically here.

 Aetna Student Health doesn’t allow students to segment the spring and summer semester. If you apply for an insurance waiver, it, too, requires you to show coverage for both spring and summer semester.

Looking on the bright side, that money is not wasted because the waiver criteria require your insurance policy to have worldwide coverage. You’ll be covered wherever you go.

For graduating students, however, MSU Benefits Office does have a provision that students graduating in spring semester in 2012 who can show that they have booked a plane ticket prior to 05/12/12 can receive a refund of the summer portion of the premium. You will need to contact MSU Benefits Office for detail and submission deadline.

Chien-ying Wang is a second-year international graduate student from Taiwan. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Health and Risk Communication at MSU’s College of Communication. Chien is passionate about communicating healthcare and health insurance information to MSU’s international community and helping them make better health decisions. She serves as Community Health Intern at the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS).