An Overview of Health Insurance and Immunization Policies


Because it is modern, scientific and heavily dependent on technology, health care in the United States is very expensive. In the U.S. individuals are responsible for paying for any health care they receive, a notable difference when viewed from the perspective of other countries. Therefore it is essential that anyone spending time in the United States purchase health insurance. Most U.S. citizens and permanent residents arrange this through private or employer-sponsored insurance plans.

The California State University (CSU) system requires that all students attending a CSU campus in either F-1 or J-1 legal status purchase and maintain health insurance with specified coverage. The international student legal requirements for insurance are:

  1. .. at least $50,000.00 maximum allowable for each accident or illness, (SSU policy allows unlimited coverage)
  2. .. at least $10,000.00 available for medical evacuation,
  3. .. at least $7,500.00 available for repatriation of remains, and
  4. .. a maximum deductible of $500.00.

Sonoma State University requires that you purchase the school sponsored policy which exceeds the specified requirements and is an excellent value. This may be done at the Center for International Education Office or online at You can visit the website to find costs and coverage details.

No student will be allowed a waiver from this policy except students who are sponsored by their own government or the U.S. government and who are already covered through a policy required by their program. Such a policy must meet the limits listed above and you will need to contact the international student advisor to request the waiver. If you do not fall into one of these covered categories and are interested in learning more about the waiver policy, please speak to the international student advisor at International Services.


You must try to get copies of your immunization records if you have not already done so. Sonoma State requires new students to supply evidence of two kinds of immunization:

Measles & Rubella:

This immunization is required of all students born after 1956. Your record should show you received a series of two doses of Measles & Rubella vaccine (MR or MMR) at least one month apart and after the age of twelve months.

Hepatitis B:

Proof of completion of a series of three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine is required of students under the age of 19 at the time of first enrolling at SSU. Three doses are typically given over a four to six month period (minimally in a 0-1-4 month sequence).

Acceptable proof can be a photocopy of immunization records from a doctor, hospital, clinic or high school, bearing the student's name, birth date, types and dates for each immunization and the name/signature of the medical provider; or a photocopy of official blood test results indicating immunity.

If you have not yet had these immunizations, your private doctor, a public health clinic or the Sonoma State Student Health Center can immunize you when you arrive. For further information you may check .