Your comprehensive health insurance plan must meet the University’s general requirements listed below. Please note that additional criteria may also be necessary in order for your waiver to be approved.

General Criteria:

  • Your plan must be a U.S.-based health insurance plan that is filed and approved in the U.S.
  • Students taking courses at our UPC or HSC campuses must have coverage that is comprehensive with no major exclusions and has in-network providers (hospital and doctors) in the Los Angeles area.
  • Satellite campus and online distance learners must have comprehensive coverage with no major exclusions and have in-network providers in the zip code where they live and take classes.
  • Provide continuous year-round coverage while you are a student at the University of Southern California.
  • Your insurance plan must meet the Affordable Care Act (ACA) criteria. Only plans in compliance with ACA criteria will be accepted. (No major exclusions such as maternity or mental health coverage allowed).
  • Cover preventive care services at 100%.
  • Your plan must have no pre-existing condition exclusion; if the plan has a pre-existing condition waiting period, that period has expired.
  • Your plan must have no per-injury or per-illness maximum benefit limits.
  • Your plan must cover medical services for injury from participation in all types of recreational activities or amateur sports.
  • Have an annual combined deductible and out-of-pocket expense of $8,550 or less.

Upon request, you must be able to provide a copy of:

  • Verifiable proof of coverage with student’s name (ID card, insurance policy or letter from the insurance carrier.)
  • Plan document(s) in English, with currency amounts converted to U.S. dollars, and the insurance company contact phone number in the U.S. is mandatory.  All claims must be processed in the U.S. and paid directly to U.S. providers.

Some reasons why you may not be granted a waiver:

  • Your coverage only provides emergency/urgent care in your location of study; or
  • Your plan may be an out-of-state plan with regional coverage only (i.e. HMO or EPO); or
  • Your plan may be an out-of-state Medicaid plan and out-of-state Medicaid plans are not accepted (on-campus students only); or
  • Your coverage may be a Healthcare Sharing Program which is not a contract for insurance nor a comprehensive insurance plan; or
  • Your plan may not be compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which includes providing all essential health benefits outlined in the ACA.
  • Students with coverage from insurance carriers outside the United States or coverage by foreign National Health Insurance programs.
  • International student insurance plans such as GBG, PSI and Student Medicover are not filed in the US and are not eligible for a waiver.

If you are an International Student, please be aware that most international plans are not accepted. Your insurance plan must meet the minimum requirements to support your visa as well as the criteria above including being ACA compliant. (Plans marked as ACA “comparable” will not be approved.)

The plan must:

  • Have policy written in standard English with benefits expressed in U.S. dollars
  • Have a claims payment office with an address in the United States (All claims must be processed in the US and paid directly to US providers).
  • Pay at least $50,000 annually for medical evacuation (Also a DoS requirement)
  • Pay at least $25,000 for repatriation of remains (Also a DoS requirement)

*NOTE: Travel insurance plans and reimbursement programs of any kind do not qualify for waiver, including reimbursement arrangements or vouchers from home governments or their U.S.-based consulates.

If you have questions regarding your request for a waiver or if you intend to keep the USC Student Health Insurance Plan and have questions, please contact USC Student Health at

Students who decide to waive SHIP/Aetna must submit a waiver by the third week of classes (Friday). Waivers must be submitted every year in the fall semester by the third Friday deadline.

See Fees and Deadlines