Health Care and Health Insurance

The US Health Care System

The American system of health care is a private system; the government does not run it. Each person is responsible for paying his or her own medical bills. Medical costs in the U.S. are extremely high. For example, it would cost $500 to spend one night in the hospital, not including any fees paid to the doctor or to the laboratories for testing. The cost of a simple broken arm could be anywhere from $500 to $5,000. Since medical bills would be a great financial hardship for students, the University of St. Thomas requires all international students to buy health insurance.

University of St. Thomas Health Service

The University of St. Thomas has its own Health Service. Their staff and services will meet most of your routine health care needs. The Health Service is open Monday and Friday from 8:00 am-4:30 pm and from 8:00 am-6:00 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday while school is in session. It will be open at reduced hours during summer.

The clinic is staffed by nurse practitioners, physicians and nurses. These services are open to all registered UST students. UST Student Health Services will bill your insurance company for the cost of these services. Any UST Student Health Services costs not covered by your health insurance will be added to your UST student account. For more information on our health service please visit the Health Services Website.

Health Insurance Requirements

Because of the high cost of medical services in the United States, all international students on visas are required to have a comprehensive insurance plan. It is mandatory and will be automatically added to your student account upon arrival. The costs associated with the health insurance plan can be found HERE.

Some F-1 international students with U.S.-based health insurance may be eligible to waive the UST-sponsored health insurance. Visit and scroll to the bottom of the screen for minimum coverage requirements and waiver application instructions. Email with questions. For the fall 2015 semester, you must complete your waiver application by September 30, 2015. In order to allow time for questions, it is advised to request a waiver by September 15, 2015. Note: J-1 exchange visitor students are not eligible for the health insurance waiver.


The state of Minnesota requires that all students born after 01/01/1957 be immunized against diphtheria and tetanus (TD), and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and provide their vaccination dates.

If you have had measles, mumps or rubella, the law requires that you either have a blood titre (blood test) done to prove immunity (please send a copy of the laboratory work) or a physician's signed document attesting to the disease, and also the month and year in which you had the disease.

There is no titre that is acceptable as proof of immunity to diphtheria-tetanus.

Students are to enter the following information into Murphy Online under the Student Service tab:

  • The 2 dates of your measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination
  • The date of the tetanus-diphtheria (TD) vaccine (must be within the past ten years)

Note: All new student must enter their MMR and TD dates by the 45th day of class. Click HERE to enter your immunization record.

If you have a philosophical objection to the immunizations, please write the objection and have your signature notarized by a notary public. Please be aware that if an outbreak of measles, mumps or rubella does occur, persons requesting a medical waiver or philosophical objection will not be allowed to attend classes until the outbreak is over. Click HERE for Conscientious/Religious Exemption Form.

International students also need to be screened for TB and may be required to have a tuberculin (TB) test. We provide these tests at Health Services. Please be advised that your health insurance carrier will be billed for the test and any amount not covered by the insurance is your responsibility and will be billed to your account.

The following immunizations are also recommended for students but not required. They can also be entered into Murphy Online.

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza Vaccine
  • Meningitis
  • Polio Vaccine
  • Varicella