Health Insurance

Students are strongly encouraged to carry health insurance, since Student Health Services is NOT health insurance.  Please see below for information on the Affordable Care Act.

If students are currently covered by health insurance, they should check with the carrier to see what arrangements need to be made so coverage continues while at college.  All students should carry health insurance cards with them. Participation in the University of Wisconsin System Student Health Insurance Plan (see below) is required for international students. 

From UW-River Falls Risk Management web page: "UWRF does not provide any type of compensation for injuries that occur on campus. Each student and visitor is expected to have their own health insurance to cover personal medical costs."

University of Wisconsin System Student Health Insurance Plan for International Students

For 2015/2016, there will no longer be a plan available through University of Wisconsin System for domestic students to purchase.  Please see Information on the Affordable Care Act below. 

Information on the 2015/2016 annual insurance plan for UWRF international students (including information about the provider network) is available at and under "College" click on "Find My School" or call 651-439-7098. 

For the University of Wisconsin plan, to find a PPO provider:

  • Go to the SAS web site above and find UW-River Falls and the plan you are enrolled in, then click on "Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)," which will take you to
  • Click on the green box that says "Search for a Doctor or Facility"
  • If searching for a provider in Wisconsin click on HealthEOS (from the front of your card) and then "Continue"
  • If searching for a provider outside Wisconsin click on MultiPlan complementary (from the back of your card) and then "Continue"
  • Then continue your search for either a doctor or facility.  Please be aware that even though some facilities are PPO providers, they may not be listed as a facility, but rather by individual providers under "Doctor or health care professional"
  • You can always call 651-439-7098 to check about PPO providers or to confirm a provider

Information on the Affordable Care Act

Health Insurance Marketplace Information and Enrollment Sessions are being held in Pierce and Saint Croix Counties in December 2015 and January 2016 (click here for more information).

The Health Insurance Marketplace launched on October 1, 2013 as part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Students may wish to consider health insurance options available due to the ACA, a federal law passed in March 2010 which phases in over several years, and requires persons to have health insurance.  A penalty may be imposed for those without health insurance, and this penalty will increase to $695 per uninsured adult for 2016.  The penalty is assessed when persons file their income taxes.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a way for individuals and families who meet certain income requirements to buy private health insurance plans.  Four levels of plans are offered through the Marketplace.  The plans vary from each other based on the amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses that are covered.  For example, the lowest cost "bronze" plans only cover 60% of medical expenses, "silver" plans cover 70%, "gold" plans cover 80%, while the highest tier "platinum" plans cover 90% of medical expenses.  Individuals may be eligible for a subsidy (depending on their income) that will reduce the cost of a Marketplace plan.

Information on the Affordable Care Act is available at for more information and updates and to sign up for email or text updates.

For UWRF Students:  Do college students really need health insurance and how do I get health insurance?  If you do not have health insurance, you will want to shop for it, and there may be restrictions for when you can apply for coverage.  Please see web pages below for more information about this.  The law also provides new opportunities to acquire affordable health insurance.  As an example, you may be eligible for coverage through the new online health insurance exchanges (also called the Health Insurance Marketplace).  Exchanges can help you locate and compare plans, including coverage, benefits, premiums (purchase price), deductibles, and co-payment costs.

You may find that you qualify for a premium subsidy (assistance) that will reduce the cost of an exchange plan.  In some cases you may also qualify for a cost-sharing subsidy that will lower your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.  Whether you are eligible for a subsidy depends on your income.  To learn what coverage and the level of assistance that might be available to you, visit the web page.

What to do now:

Start by making a list of things that will be important in your coverage decision, for example:

  • Know how your current health insurance plan (if any) works, whether it will continue, and when it will renew.

  • Know about your insurance coverage in a given area, since many health insurance plans provide more limited benefits when you are away from your home or "out-of-area."

  • When purchasing a health insurance plan, you should not consider premium cost alone.  Plans with higher out-of-pocket expenses may have lower premiums, but a high deductible and high member coinsurance can make members reluctant or financially unable to receive necessary medical treatment.

Many benefits of the ACA may vary from state to state.  Some states have opted for the federal government to run their exchanges (including Wisconsin), while other states are running their own (including Minnesota).  Expansion of the Medicaid program also varies by state.

 For More Information:

Links to Other Health Insurance Resources

BadgerCare Plus State of Wisconsin health care plan: Including applying for Badger Care Core Health Care For Adults With No Dependent Children
MinnesotaCare: Minnesota residents who do not have access to affordable health insurance
Family Planning Only Services: Reproductive health services. View instructions for enrolling in this program.

Contact Us

Student Health and Counseling Services
Student Health Services: 715-425-3293
Counseling Services: 715-425-3884
M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
211 Hagestad Hall