Health Care and Health Insurance

Degree-Seeking Students

It is UNR policy that international students have health insurance coverage with appropriate repatriation and medical evacuation provisions. For the fall semester insurance coverage normally begins mid-August and ends mid-January of the following year. Spring/summer coverage begins about mid-January and ends mid-August. The exact dates may change every year. If students are arriving early for their first semester at UNR, they may want to use travel insurance until their health insurance coverage begins.

Health Insurance

Student Health Center Insurance Presentation

F-1 students health insurance is mandatory and provided by the university.  Students will be covered automatically during their semester of enrollment and charged accordingly.  Costs of the insurance can be found at

J-1 Exchange, Government Sponsored and students employed and covered by a US insurance policy have the option to waive the university provided insurance if eligible.  A copy of the insurance policy coverages must be provided to the Office of International Students & Scholars for review.

The university provided insurance policy through United Healthcare (UHC) is designed as an accident and sickness policy that is affordable to students. There are certain limitations and restrictions of this policy which you can review by reading the Benefits Summary. For more information and pricing, visit UHC.

WAIVER: If you want to request a  waiver of your University international student medical insurance, go to Student Health Insurance Plan.


Student Health Center Insurance Presentation

Your health, and health insurance, are very important issues. If you are an F-1 student or a J-1 student or scholar, health insurance is required. F-1 and J-1 students please find information below about the insurance you can buy through the University. It is very important to know what your benefits are, your rights, etc., regardless of what type of insurance you have. Please do not wait until you are very sick to try to figure out these complicated issues. Find more information about the university international student plan.

  1. The insurance carrier is United Healthcare.
  2. Go to UHC to get your insurance ID card.
    1. You will need to create an account if you do not have one already.
  3. Your 1st point of reference should always be the Student Health Center at 775-784-6598. If you go to the insurance company's preferred hospital or preferred provider organization (PPO), you will be billed a $250 deductible per year (outside of the Student Health Center) and 20% of the bill thereafter with the insurance paying 80% (depending on the type of care). At present, the closest PPO hospital to the University is Saint Mary's. If you do not go to the PPO, the insurance will pay 40% (after the $1500 deductible) of "usual and reasonable expenses." Please read the Medical - International Student Plan very carefully to better understand the requirements and any changes to the information above.
  4. If you have additional insurance questions please contact the Student Health Center Insurance Coordinator: Laura McHardy, at (775) 784-6598 or by email


If you were born in 1957 or later, you must present documentation of immunization for the following before you can enroll in academic classes at the university:

  • Two doses for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • An immunization within the last 10 years for diphtheria/tetanus
  • A tuberculosis (TB) skin test and follow-up check

Note: OISS requires international students receive a tuberculosis (TB) test prior to coming to the United States. Bring the results with you translated into English for the Student Health Center. The TB skin test is a very sensitive test and occasionally, the student will get a false positive result. If an international student has an initial positive TB test once they are in Reno, they will not be allowed to register for classes, and follow-up x-ray testing may cost the student over $100, which must be paid before class registration.

International students must go to the Student Health Center (784-6598) after their OISS check-in and before class registration. The Student Health Center is located in the Redfield Building on the north side of campus. (The easiest way to get there is to take the free university shuttle bus to the North Shuttle Stop). Students may have to pay a small fee if they require any immunizations. In addition, these immunizations may be obtained from the Washoe County Health Department (328-2400), located at 1001 East 9th Street.

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center offers quality health care at a reasonable cost for students of the university. If you get sick or injured, the staff of professional physicians are ready to help you. They also offer special health care for men and women, sports medicine for athletes, dermatology services, nutrition and mental health counseling, x-rays, immunization and allergy shots, and many types of lab work. The Center also provides some prescription medications at cost or reduced rates, orthopedic casting, minor surgery, physical examinations, and many other services. The Health Center Fee is assessed each semester, and you can utilize the Health Center by making an appointment at 784-6598 or by just walking in. The Student Health Center is located on the University of Nevada, Reno campus across from the Medical School and next to the Family Medical Center on the north end of campus. Note: Spouses who are on F-2 or J-2 status who take at least six credits at the university are also eligible for the Student Health Insurance plans.

Health and Medical Care

Unlike most countries, the United States has no national health care program. Consequently, medical costs are extremely high. It is extremely important that students and scholars, as well as their dependents, be adequately covered by a health insurance plan. At the University of Nevada, Reno, international students are required to pay the university Student Health Center fee and purchase the "Student Health Insurance Plan."

Video about the American healthcare system!

Health care costs in the United States are extremely high and for that reason alone it is highly recommended that all dependents are covered by medical insurance. All J-2 dependents MUST, as the condition of their lawful status, have a health insurance which covers at a minimum:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000
  • A deductible that does not exceed $500

For F-2 and H-4 dependents the health insurance is optional, but highly recommended! It is very dangerous not to seek medical care because you are lacking the insurance coverage. The cost of insurance may seem high, but it is much more costly to pay medical bills if you don't have any insurance. UNR students and scholars may purchase the university student health insurance for their dependents or look for an alternative coverage provided by an outside insurance company. For more information please contact OISS.

Be aware that while the state of Nevada provides certain special health programs for its uninsured low income residents, non-immigrants are discouraged from participating in such programs. Taking advantage of federal and state sponsored benefits while in a non-immigrant status, may have a long-term effect on your ability to become a permanent resident at some point of time in a future, and may also have a negative impact on your current stay in the U.S. For more information on this topic please go to point 7 and read the "Public Charge" paragraph. Keep in mind that children born in the U.S. are American citizens and as such are entitled to various health, childcare and other welfare benefits.

Emergency and After Hours Medical Care

We recommend students and scholars go to Urgent Care first unless it is a legitimate emergency. For information about the difference between emergency care and urgent care, go to:

Emergencies - For life threatening emergencies call 911 or go directly to a hospital emergency room. The nearest emergency rooms to UNR are:

Urgent - For urgent care (non-emergency) services when the Student Health Center is closed:

  • Renown Health Urgent Care
    • 4791 Summit Ridge Dr., Reno, NV 89523
      (775) 982-5000
    • 975 Ryland St., Reno, NV 89502
      (775) 982-5000
    • 1075 N. Hills Blvd., Suite 180, Reno, NV 89506
      (775) 982-5000
  • Saint Mary's Urgent Care
    • 6255 Sharlands Ave., Reno, NV 89523
      (775) 770-7580
    • 280 Vista Knoll Parkway, Suite 106, Reno, NV 89506
      (775) 770-7530

Students are responsible for the payment of services received from community agencies and for knowing the coverage provided by their medical insurance plans. The Student Health Center does not assume any liability for services that students receive outside of the Student Health Center

Discount Dental & Vision Care

Your health insurance plan offers dental and vision coverage. To learn more, or to enroll online, go to

The Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) Dental Hygiene Program offers routine exams, x-rays, and teeth cleaning. Call 775-673-8247 for an appointment. Located at the main campus on Dandini Blvd. (Bus Route 15 from Citicenter, last bus stop), Red Mountain Bldg. (First Building on the Right), 4th Floor, Room 415.

Click Here for TMCC area and building maps.

Planned Parenthood of Northern Nevada

Planned Parenthood provides information and confidential counseling on birth control, abortion referral, and pregnancy tests. The closest office is located at 455 West 5th St. (775-688-5555).


People today are worried about getting AIDS. You can't just "catch" AIDS like a cold or flu, because it is a different type of virus. The AIDS virus is transmitted through sexual intercourse, the sharing of drug needles, or to babies before or during birth. If you would like to know more about AIDS or whether you should consider taking a blood test, talk to your doctor. Informational brochures are available at the Student Health Center. In addition, you can get helpful, confidential information from the National AIDS Information line, 1-800-342-2437.

Drinking Alcohol And Doing Drugs

Confidential information and counseling services about alcohol and other drugs are available to students of the university from the Counseling Center. The program includes prevention, crisis intervention, assessment and evaluation as well as individual and group counseling. For more information, contact the Counseling Center at 206A Thompson Student Services Center, 775-784-4648.