Health Insurance


Adequate health insurance is required for all international students studying in the USA on F-1 or J-1 visas for the duration of their academic studies, along with any dependents. Health insurance is necessary to protect international students in the event of an emergency or an extended health issue.


All international students enrolled at MSOE will be enrolled into a student health insurance plan (SHIP) provided through the insurance provider Wellfleet, and managed through the insurance partner Gallagher. Coverage under this health insurance plan will be in place from the time of an international student’s entry into the USA with a valid MSOE I-20. Note: dental insurance is not provided in the SHIP.

If a student has their own insurance, they can choose to waive the SHIP during the open enrollment/waiver period. They will submit a waiver for approval through Gallagher, the insurance broker for the schools participating in the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) SHIP program, by the established deadline (see HOW below).

SHIP coverage will run August 1st through July 31st each year for all students. 

Important Names:

Wellfleet: the insurance provider for WAICU. This company sends you your insurance card, processes your insurance claims, and sends any bills you’ll need to pay (e.g. copays or deductibles). Wellfleet has an app you can download where you can access your insurance card.

Gallagher: the insurance partner for WAICU. This company hosts the MSOE SHIP webpage with the insurance plan details and the portal (Origami) where students sign up for or waive the SHIP. They also approve or deny waiver requests and contact the insurance provider, Wellfleet, with any questions students have about their insurance. 

Cigna: the insurance type offered through Wellfleet. This name will be on your insurance card. When you go to a health care provider, you can ask “Do you take Cigna insurance?”. It is a very well-known type, so most will. You can check health care providers here.

Important Terms:  

  • Premium: the amount you pay each month (or yearly) for your insurance.
  • Deductible: how much you need to spend each year before your insurance pays for anything.
  • Co-pay: pre-determined rate you pay out of pocket for health care services, at the time of the visit. (e.g. If you had 80% coverage, on a $300 bill, insurance pays $240, you pay $60).
  • Co-insurance: the percentage of a health service bill that you pay after exceeding your deductible.
  • In Network vs. Out of Network: Going to a health care provider that is in-network will cost you less money than going to an out-of-network provider. Find a health care provider here.


During the admissions process, students will receive an email from their admissions counselor explaining more about the SHIP.  A few months before students’ intended start date, they will receive an email from the insurance broker, Gallagher, about how to sign up, important deadlines, and the option to waive the SHIP with their own plan (if sufficient). This email will be sent to their MSOE email.

After signing up for insurance in the Gallagher portal (or if no action is taken by the student), SHIP charges will be added to a student's MSOE account for the year. This fee will be paid with their tuition for their initial term (fall or spring) and then for fall each additional year. Insurance charges can be added to monthly payment plans for tuition if a student chooses to set this up.

This process will repeat each academic year for the duration of a student's time at MSOE.  For those with accepted waivers, proof of coverage must be confirmed during the open enrollment/waiver period. This deadline is communicated via Gallagher, around the 15th of August each year. 

Waiving the SHIP

Here are the requirements to use an individual plan instead of the SHIP. Individual plan information will be submitted in the Gallagher portal (Origami) and then evaluated. Students will be informed of their decision via their MSOE email.

To be accepted in place of the SHIP, individual plans must be/have:

  • Fully compliant with all aspects of the Affordable Care Act;
  • Underwritten and administered in the United States;
  • Access to local doctors, specialists, hospitals and other healthcare providers near campus;
  • Coverage for urgent and non-urgent care including:
    • Preventative and routine benefits;
    • In-patient and out-patient surgery and hospitalization;
    • Lab work, diagnostic x-rays, physical therapy, chiropractic care, emergency room treatment, ambulance services and prescriptions;
    • In-patient and out-patient mental health, substance abuse and counseling services

Also to note: 

  • If students are enrolled in an HMO or Medicaid plan and outside of the plan’s service area of MSOE, their waiver will be denied.
  • Students will need to waive coverage every year they are enrolled as an international student (F1 or J1 visa) at MSOE.
  • Health insurance plans must cover as student for the entire year (August 1 to July 31).
  • If a student is under 18 years of age, the waiver must be completed by a parent or legal guardian.

Helpful Videos to Better Understand Insurance in the US

Coverage Types for College Students
Deductibles, Coinsurance and Copays
Using Your Health Plan
International Student Health