Health Insurance Requirement
All non-immigrant visa holders and their dependents are required to carry insurance for the duration of their program. Health insurance is necessary for everyone in the United States, as medical costs are very high.
All students at Rice University are required to have health insurance coverage and show proof of coverage through the enrollment/waiver process before the semester deadline. In addition, all Rice-sponsored F-1 and J-1 visa international students are subject to the Rice International Student Health Insurance Policy that requires F-1 and J-1 students to enroll in:
1) Aetna (Rice's Student Health Insurance Plan) or
2) Wellfleet (Rice's Approved Alternate Health Insurance Plan for International Students on F or J visas)
Failure to properly enroll or waive will cause a student to be automatically enrolled and charged for the Rice Aetna plan without the option for modifications.
Exempt or Non-Exempt
For health insurance enrollment and waiver purposes all Rice students are categorized as Exempt or Non-Exempt from the Rice International Student Health Insurance Policy.
Click HERE to see if you are an EXEMPT or NON-EXEMPT student to complete your enrollment/waiver application.
Open Enrollment Period
Fall 2023: July 1, 2023 - August 31, 2023
Spring 2024: December 1, 2024 - January 15, 2024
- Coverage will start August 1st (Fall) or January 1st (Spring).
- Students who do not expect to arrive in the United States before the start of classes will not be required to participate in open enrollment and will not be required to have health insurance until they arrive in the United States. When they arrive in the U.S. they will be required to enroll in the Aetna Student Health plan or The Wellfleet plan. Both plans will be available for enrollment as a Qualifying Life Event based on the date of their arrival to the United States. The premiums will be prorated based on the date of enrollment.
- All students located in the United States who do not take action during Open Enrollment will be auto-enrolled for the annual plan.
The Wellfleet enrollees are not required to apply for a waiver. The OISS and Student Insurance Office receive an official confirmation of your enrollment directly from Wellfleet. The Student Insurance Office remove the pre-billed Aetna amount from your account in about a week after your enrollment.
Health Plan Options
Plan Information - Short Brochure and Summary Flyer
Click here for Short brochure and Summary flyer.
Click here for Current Rates.
How to Enroll
- Visit http://studenthealthinsurance.rice.edu
- Click Menu, Enroll or Waive, then "Click here to Enroll or Waive during Open Enrollment"
- You will be redirected to Aetna's website
- Upon submission, your enrollment will be complete
- You will pay your insurance premium on your student bill
Click here for instructions on how to Print your ID Card. To request a card, contact Aetna's customer service at 877-375-7908.
Filing a Claim
Click here to File a Claim.
Find a Doctor
Click here to Find a Preferred Provider (In-Network Doctor).
Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for Aetna FAQ's.
For plan specific and network provider questions, please contact Aetna Student Health directly at 1-877-375-7908 or click here to visit the website.
If your doctor's office is closed and you do not know whether your condition is life threatening, you can call one of the Nurse Health Lines listed below. This is a free service available 24/7. You will be able to speak to a trained Nurse that can advise you on the best place to seek treatment based on your symptoms.
Aetna Nurse Health Hotline: 1-800-556-1555 (ONLY available to students enrolled in the Aetna insurance plan)
Memorial Hermann Nurse Health Line: 713-338-7979 or Toll Free at 1-855-577-7979
Rice Student Health Center: 713-348-4966
- Information on COVID-19
Please see the Aetna COVID-19 FAQ page for all information related to COVID-19 and Aetna insurance.
- Plan Information
Click here for Benefits at a Glance.
- Current Rates
Wellfleet current rates as of May 2022 (all charges subject to change)
Insurance For: Annual 8/1/2023 - 7/31/2024 Fall 8/1/2023 - 12/31/2023 Spring 1/1/2024 - 7/31/2024 Student only $1,766/year $738 $1,028 Spouse $1,766/year $738 $1,028 Each child $1,766/year $738 $1,028 3 or more children $5,298/year $2,214 $3,084
Please note that the doctoral subsidy is only applied if a doctoral student enrolls in the Rice Aetna plan. For information on the doctoral student health insurance subsidy, please click here.
- How to Enroll
- Fall enrollment will be available from July 1, 2023, until August 31, 2023.
- Visit https://www.studentinsurance.com/Client/895
- Click on "Enroll" to complete your enrollment application
- How to Create an Account
- ID Card/User Manual
- Filing a Claim
- Find a Doctor
Click here to Find a Preferred Provider (In-Network Doctor).
- Frequently Asked Questions
Click here for Wellfleet FAQ's.
- Contact Wellfleet for eligibility, benefits and claims questions/status
PO Box 15369 Springfield, MA 01115-5369
Customer Service Phone: 877-657-5030 (M-Th 8:30am - 7:00pm EST; Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm EST)
Direct Contact for Rice University:
Paul Fisher – Phone: 877-626-0360; email email@example.com
Nancy Braun – Phone: 877-626-0360; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Enrollment Issues: Pinnacle Student Insurance: 877-626-0360
Benefits and Claims Issues: email@example.com
Office of International Students & Scholars:
- Additional Services Included in your Wellfleet plan
CareConnect – Behavioral Health Hotline 888-857-5462
24/7 telephone access to professional assistance by licensed mental health professionals for concerns like drug abuse, alcohol-related concerns, transition and/or adjustment issues, stress related to coursework and careers, cultural diversity issues, eating disorders and body concerns, anger management issues, suicidal or homicidal ideations, relationship problems. 24/7 telephone access to professional assistance by licensed mental health professionals for concerns like drug abuse, alcohol-related concerns, transition and/or adjustment issues, stress related to coursework and careers, cultural diversity issues, eating disorders and body concerns, anger management issues, suicidal or homicidal ideations, relationship problems.
24 Hour Nurseline: 800-634-7629
Phone-based, reliable health information response to health concerns and questions. Assistance in decisions on the appropriate level of care for an injury or sickness. This program is not a substitute for doctor visits or emergency response systems. It does not answer health plan benefit questions. For health plan benefit questions call 800-633-7867.
Emergency Medical and Travel Assistance
Program that will arrange emergency medical and travel assistance services, repatriation services and other travel assistance services when you are traveling. If you are travelling and need assistance in North America, call 877-305-1966 or when in a foreign country, call collect at +1 715-295-9311.
Vision Discount Program – Davis Vision Discount Program
- Information on COVID-19
Please see https://wellfleetstudent.com/covid-19/ for all information related to COVID-19 and Wellfleet insurance.
Tips on finding medical care
Students may call Rice Student Health at 713-348-4966 for an appointment. They are open Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. They are closed during the holidays.
Student Health sees all students regardless of private insurance and there is no cost for the doctor consult.
Information on Student Health can be found at health.rice.edu.
If you have a life-threatening condition, you should call x6000 on-campus (713-348-6000) or 911 off-campus immediately or go to an Emergency Room.
If it is after hours or holidays and you have a non-emergency situation, consider the convenience and affordability of using an Urgent Care Center.
Urgent Care Centers are ideal for most non-emergency situations when you are unable to get an appointment with student health or your primary care doctor.
Here are a few of the symptoms, illnesses, and conditions that may be effectively treated at an urgent care facility:
Acid reflux and GERD; Allergies; Asthma; Colds/Flu; Diarrhea; Ear infections; Pink eye or other eye infections; Pulled muscles; Sinus infections; Sore throat; Tendonitis and other repetitive use injuries; Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Emergency Rooms are for life-threatening situations that require immediate medical attention, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, head injuries, heart attacks, unexplained fainting, seizures, stroke, burns, etc. Urgent care facilities can handle many less serious conditions, are usually less expensive and can see you more quickly.
• To find an Urgent Care Facility, click here for Wellfleet/Cigna (international insurance). For direct search results for closest facilities to zip code 77005, click here.
• If you are looking for an Urgent Care Center closest to Rice University, you can click here for a list of Urgent Care Centers within approximately 8 miles of campus in network on Wellfleet.
• To find an Urgent Care Facility with Aetna Student Health, click here, and choose the Aetna open choice PPO.
• If you have your own insurance, you can log onto your website and search for local providers or call the member services number on the card.
Dental and eye examinations
The health insurance charges listed above do not include routine dental and eye examinations, nor charges for dental work and eyeglasses. The normal charge for a full dental exam is about $100. Dental work is quite expensive. Eye examinations cost about $100. Glasses can cost $125 or more. It is highly recommended that you have your eyes and teeth cared for before coming to Rice.
Low cost Dental / Vision Options (These are all discount programs, not insurance)
Aetna enrollees Students who enroll in the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan, will be automatically enrolled in the Vital Savings on Dental Discount program at no additional fee. You do not need to elect the Vital Savings option when enrolling in the medical plan. Please visit the Vital Savings for more information.
Wellfleet enrollees click here. Davis Vision Discount program is included in your Wellfleet plan. Careington Dental Discount program is available for purchase as a separate dental plan.
Health Insurance Info Session
Click on the image below to view a recording of a health insurance information session hosted June 13, 2023 (login with Rice NetID required).
Additional Important Notes
**Meningitis vaccine requirement:
All new and returning students (including transfers) under the age of 22 must complete the meningitis vaccine requirement 10 days prior to moving on campus. Students who fail to meet this requirement will not be allowed to move into on-campus housing or take on-campus classes. For more information about the requirement, please click here.
For Rice University J-1 student visa holders:
When you register with the OISS, you will be required to show proof that you have purchased one of the approved health insurance plans for you and your family. Failure to maintain adequate health insurance can, by law, result in the termination of your J-1 status. The Rice Aetna plan or the approved Wellfleet alternate insurance plan meet the legal visa requirements for J-1 visa holders.
For new students:
ALL new undergraduate students and graduate students, including business school students, are required to submit a properly completed Health Data Form to Student Health.
The Health Data Form must be completed and mailed to the address below before June 1st (for undergraduate students) or July 1st (for graduate students). The form should be completed in your home country, as medical check-ups in the U.S. can be very expensive.
RICE UNIVERSITY STUDENT HEALTH SERVICE
6100 MAIN ST. MS#760
HOUSTON, TX 77005
Interim insurance for new students:
Rice health insurance plans (Aetna and Wellfleet) have an effective annual term from August 1- July 31 of the following year. If you will be arriving early or beginning your program in the summer, you will need to secure alternate insurance that will cover you until your school plan becomes effective. You are free to select the insurance company of your choice for this interim period. Atlas Insurance is an example of a good option, as it meets the minimum requirements for specific visa categories, such as the J-1, and has the flexibility of enrolling for the number of days that you need. For more information, please visit: http://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/travel-medical-insurance/
For all students:
A Health Service Fee is also required by Rice University every semester. This fee pays for your use of the campus health center service only. It is entirely separate from the health insurance which helps pay for hospital or physician bills off campus, and does not offer service to dependents.
- Student Health Insurance Enrollment Process for F-1 and J-1 Students
- Rice Health Insurance Resources
- International Health Insurance Requirement Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- General Graduate Health Insurance Information
- Student Health at Rice
- After Hours Care
- Helpful Tips for Using Health Insurance & Health Insurance Basic Terminology
- Understanding Health Insurance in the U.S. (video)