Insurance 101

Health insurance helps protect you and your family against incurring extremely large medical expenses.

Having health insurance helps you pay for several types of medical services, some are even paid at 100 percent. Even with health insurance, you should always expect to have some out-of-pocket expenses. Remember, some plans are better than others. Generally, the less you pay for insurance, the less it covers.

TIP: Always keep your insurance card on you. All medical facilities will require a copy of your insurance card so they can file your claims with your policyholder.

Understanding your health insurance policy is very important when receiving medical services. Every plan has exclusions and limitations, so make sure to read your plan, and ask questions.


University of Arkansas Sponsored Health Insurance 

The University of Arkansas has contracted with Academic Health Plans to provide health insurance for students that join the plan.

All international students enrolled at the University of Arkansas are required to have year-round health and accident insurance throughout the duration of their studies.

If you have insurance with Academic Health Plans, you will have a $20 co-pay for office visits at the Pat Walker Health Center, and most other services are covered at 100 percent.

To learn more about Academic health plans, go to contact Beau Holt at 479-575-4406 for questions.


Important Definitions 

  • Health insurance policy: a contract between an insurance provider and an individual or his/her sponsor (e.g. an employer or a community organization).

  • Premium: the cost to purchase an insurance policy (usually paid in monthly installments). Note: this will not be your only expense. Employers that offer insurance plans for their employees pay a large part of the premiums. For example, the University pays 60 percent of the premiums for full-time (50 percent appointed) GAs or TAs. The GA or TA pays 40 percent of the premium cost.

  • Deductible: the amount you must pay before your health insurance starts to pay. It may take a while to meet the deductible, or it may take only one incident.

  • Co-Payment: The amount you must pay out of pocket before the health insurer pays for a particular visit or service. You can expect a co-payment charge for office visits, prescription drugs, lab work, surgical procedures, etc.

  • Co-Insurance: the percentage the insurance policy will pay towards services. This usually applies for serious situations like hospitalizations or surgery.

  • Out of Pocket Maximum: the limit to what you are expected to pay for all medical services. This is determined by your plan and whether or not you go to a preferred provider.

  • Preferred Provider (also called an in-network provider): a provider that has contracted with your insurance company to provide discounted health care for their policyholders. This can be a physician or a clinic or the hospital. If you choose to use a provider that is not preferred, you will have more out of pocket expenses and in extreme cases, the insurance policy may not pay anything. Always use a preferred provider if possible. Pat Walker Health Center is a preferred Provider for Academic Health Plans.