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Waiving Cardinal Care (International Students)

Once you’ve evaluated your options, you may decide that you do not wish to remain enrolled in Cardinal Care. The process for waiving Cardinal Care coverage differs for domestic vs international students. Please read the information below for international students carefully.

International Student Information for Waiving Cardinal Care 

If you are an international student, you must have coverage that meets or exceeds minimum standards established by the university in order to request an exemption from Cardinal Care coverage. These requirements for coverage are in place to ensure that any non-U.S. based plan you have will serve your health care needs adequately while you are a student at Stanford.

Your alternative insurance policy must cover the entire academic period of September 1 through August 31 with benefits that meet or exceed the following minimum standards:

  • An annual deductible less than $1,000 USD.
  • Lifetime aggregate maximum benefit of at least $2,000,000 USD or a maximum per condition/per lifetime benefit of $500,000 USD.
  • Coverage for inpatient and outpatient medical care in the San Francisco Bay Area and the U.S.
  • Coverage for inpatient and outpatient mental health care in the San Francisco Bay Area and the U.S.
  • Prescription drug coverage.
  • Coverage for non-emergency as well as emergency care.
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions or you have met applicable waiting periods.

Although not a requirement of Stanford University, the U.S. Department of State requires that J1 visa holders have a policy with minimum coverage of $25,000 USD for repatriation of remains and $50,000 USD for medical evacuation.

Review your policy carefully before deciding to request an exemption from Cardinal Care coverage. An exemption from coverage means that you will not be eligible to have insurance through Cardinal Care for the remainder of the academic year. The decision made at the start of the first registered quarter of each academic year (autumn quarter for most students) is binding for the remainder of that academic year.

Once you’ve decided to request an exemption, you must do so by the deadline that is applicable to you (see table below). In order to request an exemption from Cardinal Care coverage, you must work with your insurance company to complete the International Student Insurance Certification Form.

If you choose not to participate in Cardinal Care, you’ll need to request an exemption from coverage each academic year by the applicable deadline. The deadlines for submission of the International Student Insurance Coverage Certification Form are earlier than the domestic student waiver deadlines to allow for adequate processing time. If you do not submit your form by the applicable deadline, and there is not enough time to process your request, your request for exemption may be denied.

International Student Deadline to Submit the International Student Insurance Coverage Certification Form:

Autumn Quarter

August 15 for students entering Stanford in Autumn

Winter Quarter

November 15 for students entering Stanford in Winter

Spring Quarter

February 15 for students entering Stanford in Spring

Summer Quarter

May 15 for students entering Stanford in Summer

Action item for international students who want an exemption from Cardinal Care coverage: Work with your insurance company to complete the International Student Insurance Coverage Certification Form. Submit your completed form to Vaden Health Center’s Insurance and Referral Office via postal mail or through a delivery service (e.g., Fed Ex), fax to (650) 725-9970, deliver in person, or submit a ServiceNow Ticket with an attachment, no later than the applicable deadline.

Once you've submitted the International Student Insurance Coverage Certification Form, the Vaden Insurance and Referral Office staff will review your request.
  • If the staff determines that your alternative insurance policy meets the minimum standards for coverage, the staff will process a waiver in Axess to remove you from Cardinal Care.
  • If the staff determines that your insurance policy does not meet the required minimum standards, a waiver will not be processed. The staff will assist you with determining why your coverage does not meet the requirements. You may opt to take additional action based on the identified gaps, but if you do not, you will remain enrolled in Cardinal Care for the remainder of the academic year.

In either scenario, you will receive an email notification within 10 business days of your submission with the status of your request from Vaden’s Insurance and Referral Office.