Frequently Asked Questions

Important Terms:

The following are general insurance terms that are important to understand. The definitions below are generally accepted descriptions of each term, but it’s important to note that each insurance carrier has specific definitions within their policy. For a full description of coverage that applies to your specific plan, always refer to your plan documents including your brochure, certificate, or policy.

Copayment: A specified charge that the Plan Participant is required to pay when a medical service is rendered, or per prescription.

Deductible: The dollar amount of Eligible Expenses which must be incurred and paid by the Plan Participant before benefits are payable under the Policy.

Coinsurance: The specified percentage amount of a claim that is shared by the Insured Person and the Insurance Company.

Pre-existing Condition: An Injury, Sickness, disease, or other condition during a specified period immediately prior to the date the Plan Participant’s coverage is effective for which the Plan Participant 1. received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment for a condition which first manifested itself, worsened or became acute or had symptoms which would have prompted a reasonable person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; or 2. took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine.

Accident: An unforeseeable event which: 1. Causes Injury to one or more Plan Participants; and 2. Occurs while coverage is in effect for the Plan Participant.

Sickness: Sickness or disease of the Insured Person which causes loss and originates while the Insured Person is covered under this policy. All related conditions and recurrent symptoms of the same or similar condition will be considered one sickness.

Usual and Customary: Charges for medical services or supplies essential to the care of the Insured if they are the amount normally charged by the provider for similar services and supplies and do not exceed the amount ordinarily charged by most providers of comparable services and supplies in the locality where the services or supplies are received.

Who is Relation Insurance Services?

Relation Insurance Services is an insurance brokerage firm located in Los Angeles, with offices throughout the United States, which offers ISP Plans to eligible international students, visiting scholars and international travelers. You can learn more here:

What if I can’t find my school?

If you are an international student or scholar, Click here to locate the name of your school and see what plans are available to you. If your school is not listed, please call us at 1-877-738-5787 or  email us at We are continually updating our site to list new schools that offer our ISP insurance plans, but not every college or university appears in the list. Even if your school is not listed, we still might have an insurance plan that meets your needs.

Becoming a participating organization does not require a financial or contractual obligation from the school in any way. If you are part of a college, university or other institution and would like to learn more about our insurance plans please contact us at 1-877-738-5787 or email us at to determine which plan is right for your group.

Which plan meets my university’s waiver requirements?

Our website is streamlined to allow you to enroll in the appropriate plan for your college or university. We regularly update our insurance plans for international students and scholars to provide comprehensive coverage options that exceed the J1 visa requirements and meet the requirements of most colleges and universities. However, you should always verify that the plan meets your college or university’s current requirements prior to purchasing our plans. If you are unsure whether the plan meets the requirements, speak with your college or university or or contact us so we can assist you.

What insurance is required for J1/J2 Visa Holders?

The US State Department mandates that J1 and J2 visa holders are required to maintain insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in the United States that must include at least the following benefits:

 • Medical Benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
 • Repatriation of Remains in the amount of $25,000
 • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
 • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
 • A policy underwritten by an insurance carrier with:
    o an A.M. Best rating of ‘‘A-’’ or above;
    o a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor’s Claims paying Ability rating of ‘‘A-’’ or above;
    o a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of ‘‘B+’’ or above;
    o a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of ‘‘A-’’ or above;
    o a Moody’s Investor Services rating of ‘‘A3’’ or above;

While these requirements are generally accepted as the minimum required, many students and scholars appreciate having the added peace of mind that comes with a higher level of coverage which many of ISP’s plans offer. 

How can I enroll for coverage under one of the ISP Plans?

Enrolling into an ISP plan is quick and easy! All of our plans allow you to purchase coverage using our simple online enrollment portal. Once you find the plan you wish to enroll in, follow the instructions on screen to proceed with your enrollment. Most of our plans provide instant proof of coverage, so you’ll be able to download your insurance ID card as soon as you complete the purchase!

How can I pay for my insurance?

Payment can be made for the period of time selected at the time of enrollment via debit or credit card (American Express, Visa, MasterCard or Discover). For plans offered through IMG (Patriot Travel, Patriot Exchange, Student Health Advantage) payment can me made with an e-check as well as credit or debit card.

Is there a minimum number of months that I must purchase?

For International Students and Scholars coming to the US, most ISP plans require a minimum purchase of 3 months. Some schools require coverage for a certain period of time to meet the school’s requirements.

Remember to check with your school to make sure you are covered for the period of time that they require for your program. It’s important to remain covered for the entire time that you are traveling outside of your home country. Even if your college or university doesn’t require it, you should make sure you are covered during winter and summer breaks, and for the duration of your time in the United States.

US Students studying abroad who enroll into the Student Health Advantage plan can purchase a minimum of 1 month.

What is the maximum duration of coverage that I can buy?

12 months per policy period is the longest duration of coverage that can be purchased at one time. Most of our plans allow you to either extend or renew your coverage at the end of your coverage period.

Can I purchase coverage for my dependents?

Yes, if you are enrolled as a member under one of our plans you can add coverage for your spouse and child(ren). You would need to add your dependents to your purchase when you complete your enrollment and they would need to be covered for the same duration as the primary insured person. If you need to insure your dependents only, the Patriot Exchange plan is offered to F2 and J2 visa holders who can enroll on their own without the need for the primary visa holder to enroll.

How can I renew or extend my coverage?

Coverage can be extended up to the maximum number of months allowed under a particular plan if you still meet eligibility requirements. It is the member’s responsibility to be aware of the date their coverage will end and to extend their coverage prior to expiration. Instructions on renewing on renewing or extending your insurance plan can be found on our Manage Your Account page. In most cases you can extend your coverage quickly and easily online. 

For assistance with extending your coverage you may contact ISP at 877-738-5787 or via email at When sending the email make sure you include your full name, and member ID for reference.

My contact information has changed. How do I notify ISP?

ISP plans provide easy to use online tools for members to manage their account. If you need to update any of your person information, like your address, phone number, or email address, visit our Manage Your Account page where you can find instructions for your specific plan.

How do I get my school’s insurance verification or waiver form completed?

Some colleges and universities require a completed form to verify that your insurance plan meets their requirements. After you complete your enrollment into one of our plans, please send us a copy of the form via email to When sending the email please include a copy of your electronic insurance member ID card to verify your enrollment, and be sure to to complete any sections of the form that require your student information or signature. We’ll complete any sections that ask for insurance information.

Please allow up to 2 business days for your request to be processed and sent to your school. We’ll notify you once we’ve sent the form to your school.

How do I obtain my insurance ID card?

ISP members have 24/7 access to their electronic insurance ID card. 

To access your ID card, visit our Manage Your Account page where you can find instructions for your specific plan.

How do I verify my coverage effective dates?

On most ISP Insurance ID Cards your coverage dates are listed.  If your id card does not list the coverage dates, you can view your coverage dates in the enrollment confirmation email received after your initial purchase or by logging into your member account. 

If you still require assistance, you can contact us at or 1-877-738-5787.

Are any of the ISP plans major medical policies?

No, they are not. Most plans offered through our website on an individual basis are short-term accident and sickness insurance policies designed specifically to meet the unique needs of international students and scholars.

Do any ISP Plans provide coverage for intercollegiate sports injuries?

Yes! The ISP Pioneer Elite plans have benefit options of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 for intercollegiate sports-related injuries and illnesses.  

Which Medical Network does my plan utilize and how do I find a participating providers?

Each ISP plan has a designated primary medical network which is easily identified on your insurance ID card. All of our plans utilize broad national PPO networks, such as First Health, UnitedHealthcare, Aetna Passport, and more. You can also visit our What To Do if You Need Healthcare page to learn more. Reference the section “To find an in-network medical provider in your area" where you can find links to search for participating medical providers in the network applicable to your plan.

Must I use an “In-Network” medical provider?

All ISP insurance programs offer the freedom to obtain treatment from medical providers that are within or out of the plan’s network of medical providers. It is strongly recommended, however, that you use an In-Network provider whenever possible to maximize the amount of benefits paid by your insurance and to limit your out-of-pocket expenses. You can learn more about network providers here.

Do I need to receive treatment at my college or university’s Student Health Center?

May colleges and universities offer some type of health services center to their students and scholars right on campus. It is always recommended that you first seek treatment at your college or university’s student health center when practical. They can often provide many services free of charge or at low cost, and have practical knowledge of the local medical community. If you need additional care, they can usually point you in the right direction! Visiting your student health center will also reduce your out-of-pocket expenses under your insurance plan versus visiting an outside medical provider.

ISP plans do not require that you first be treated at the Student Health Center, but it is always recommended.

How do I pay for prescription drugs?

Many of our insurance plans for international student and scholars include a Pharmacy Benefit Manager, or PBM, such as Express Scripts. If your plan includes a PBM, you will need to simply pay the applicable co-payment at the pharmacy when filling your prescription. The prescription copay is typically listed right on your ID card along with the name and logo of the PBM.

If your plan does not include a Pharmacy Benefit Manager, you may need to pay for the prescription in full and submit a claim for reimbursement. A copy of the prescription, receipt from the pharmacy, and completed claim form for the correct plan should be sent to the claims administrator for processing. For covered expenses, you will be reimbursed less any applicable deductible or co-payment.

Always present your insurance ID card to the pharmacy when obtaining a prescription.

Do I need to pay the medical provider or does the insurance company pay them?

ISP insurance plans are designed specifically with the needs of international students and scholars in mind, and we strive to make the process of purchasing and using your insurance as easy and affordable as possible. One of the most important things to remember is to CARRY YOUR INSURANCE ID CARD with you AT ALL TIMES. When you need medical care and visit a medical provider, like your campus student health center, urgent care, doctor’s office, or hospital, be sure to provide them with your insurance ID card. It is common for the medical provider to send any bills through your insurance plan directly.

There are, however, private physicians that may require payment at the time of treatment. If you pay for medical services yourself, you can submit a claim for reimbursement. In general, you will need a receipt showing how much you paid along with an itemized bill and completed claim form. An itemized bill is just a more detailed bill from the medical provider which includes codes and pricing for each service you received. The medical provider can provide this to you upon your request. Any reimbursement will be sent to you via check, less any applicable patient responsibility such as your deductible, copay, or coinsurance.

You can learn more by visiting our How to Make a Claim page.

How do I file a claim?

ISP insurance plans are designed to provide our members with a simple, straightforward claims process. We hope you’ll remain healthy and safe during your time abroad, but if you do need medical care, it should be as easy as possible for you! All of our plans provide access to a network of doctors and medical providers to provide you with convenient access to healthcare. In most cases if you visit an in-network provider within your plan, the provider will submit your claim directly to your insurance plan.

If the medical provider has not submitted your claim and you have paid the medical provider for the services provided, you will need to submit the itemized bill from the medical provider and receipt showing the amount paid, along with a completed claim form, to the claims administrator. You can learn more and find additional details about the claims process by visiting our Making a Claim page.

How do I check the status of my claims?

All ISP insurance plans provide members with online tools to view and manage their claims. If you have questions about a specific claim and wish to speak to a representative, contact member services at telephone number listed on your ID card. You can learn more about submitting a claim and accessing your account to check the status of a claim on our How to Make a Claim page. You may also contact an ISP team member for issues with claims by emailing or calling 1-877-738-5787.

Can I cancel my insurance and request a refund of premium?

For enrollments processed through, there are no premium refunds, except when the Plan Participant leaves school and permanently returns to his or her Home Country or enters the armed forces of any country in which case a pro rata refund (for the number of full months remaining in the term) will be issued only upon request and only if there are no claims on file. If eligible for a refund a $25 early termination fee will be applied. A refund request must be submitted in writing to Premium refunds will not be considered if a claim has been filed during the period of coverage. Any approved or early cancellations and premium refunds will be credited to the original credit/debit card and subjected to a $25 early termination fee. Depending on the college or university you attend, we may need to verify that you have left school before considering your cancellation requests. All refund requests are subject to the approval of ISP. This applies to the ISP Trail Blazer, Pioneer Elite, Tourer, and additional custom plans purchased via

Plans purchased through other insurance carrier partners including but not limited to IMG, GBG, and BETins, are subject to the refund terms and policies of those insurance carriers and would need to be handled with the carrier directly.

If I cancel my coverage can I still keep insurance for my dependent(s)?

If the primary insured cancels their coverage, any dependent coverage will terminate as well. If coverage is needed for your dependents only, including F2 or J2 visa holders, they can purchase coverage on their own under the Patriot Exchange plan. You can learn more, get a quote and enroll here.

Do ISP plans cover COVID-19?

ISP offers a variety of insurance plans for international students through several different insurance carriers. In most cases, if you need medical treatment for COVID-19 it is covered the same as any other medical condition and subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of your particular policy. This applies to our Trail Blazer and Pioneer Elite plans, plans with GBG, and the following plans offered through IMG: Patriot Exchange, Student Health Advantage, Patriot America Plus, Patriot American Platinum. This does not guarantee coverage and is subject to change.

With regard to testing, in general, doctor ordered testing will be covered for symptomatic individuals. Testing for asymptomatic individuals, testing for travel, or for admission to a college or university are generally not covered unless included under a wellness or preventive care benefit, if your policy includes one. If you are unsure what benefits your policy includes, please contact our team or member services as listed on your insurance ID card so we can assist you in getting the information you need.

Do ISP plans include telehealth or telemedicine?

Yes, most ISP Trail Blazer Elite plans do provide benefits for virtual or telephone visits with both a physician or licensed mental health counselor at no cost to the member via Dial Care, a service included with the plan. Plans can vary from state to state and for different schools, so be sure to check the plan brochure for the appropriate plan for a full description of coverage.


Need assistance? 


Our team is standing by to help with any questions you may have. Give us a call at 1-877-738-5787 or email us at and we'll respond to your inquiry shortly.