Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Current International Students


Don’t see your question listed? Email the friendly staff in the Center for International Students (CIS) with any questions or concerns about current student issues.

1. I just got a bill from the hospital. What do I do with it?

2. I am going home for the summer. Do I need to do anything in order to return?

3. I want to work to pay for my education. Is this allowed?

4. What are the rules of employment for F-1 visa holders?

5. I have insurance in my home country; do I have to use the University’s insurance?

LewerMark Insurance Policy FAQ

6. Why do I need health insurance?

7. Why do I need international health insurance?

8. When should I use the Emergency Room?

9. How do I find a doctor?

10. What is a Copay?

11. Is there a 24/7 Nurseline?

12. How am I reimbursed for a claim or prescription drugs?

13. What happens if my claim is rejected?

14. The provider says I’m not on the insurance list at Lewer.

15. Scholarship Program

16. What is an EOB?

17. What is Assist America?


 

1. I just got a bill from the hospital. What do I do with it?

(Note: We just changed our insurance plan, so some of this information will change. We’ll be posting updated information soon! Can’t wait? Send us an email at iso01@truman.edu and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.)

Bring your bill with you to the CIS. We will assist you in making sure all your medical providers have a copy of your insurance card, help you fill out the Insurance Claim Form (also known as the Insurance Claim/Accident and Sickness Questionnaire), and obtain a Student Health Center Referral Form if applicable to lower your deductible. We will attach your receipts and other paperwork to the Insurance Claim Form and fax it to the insurance company. That way, the process will be must faster.

2. I am going home for the summer. Do I need to do anything in order to return?

You need an up-to-date I-20/DS-2019 with a recent travel signature from the CIS and a valid visa.

You will need to go the CIS for a travel signature, so make sure that you do this at least one week before you leave.

Here are the steps you should take to make sure you have these documents:

  1. Check your I-20/DS-2019 – Make sure that all the information is still correct, such as your major. Make sure that the I-20/DS-2019 will not expire, and look at the bottom of page three to make sure you have a space for another signature.
  2. If any information needs to be changed, if your I-20/DS-2019 will expire, or if your travel signature lines (page 3 of an I-20, bottom right corner of DS-2019) are full, then you need a new I-20. Click here to request a new I-20/DS-2019. This process can take several days. If you will need a new I-20/DS-2019, request one at least two weeks before you travel.
  3. If there are no problems with your I-20/DS-2019, bring it to the CIS at least one week before you leave.
  4. Check your student visa. Will it expire before you return to the US?
  5. If it will not, you don’t need to do anything more.
  6. If your visa will expire, contact the nearest US Consulate or Embassy in your home country and make an appointment to renew your visa.

Safe travels!

3. I want to work to pay for my education. Is this allowed?

Yes and no. International Students on F-I and J-I visas are allowed to work on campus without any type of special work permit from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Students are limited to working 20 hours per week during the academic year and 39 hours per week during breaks and holidays by both the USCIS and the University.

HOWEVER – the part-time, on-campus work you are allowed to do will not earn you enough money to be your primary source of funding. It can help with food and rent, but will not be enough to cover tuition and other expenses.

If you are looking for on-campus work, you can find job openings at http://trupositions.truman.edu or simply walk around to various campus offices to see if anyone is hiring.

If you look at the jobs posted on the link above, make sure look at “Type of Employment.” International students are eligible for Institutional and Scholarship employment types, but they are not eligible for the Work Study employment type.

You must seek and obtain your own employment. The Center for International Students (CIS) does NOT place students in jobs.

Once you have found a job, but before you begin working, you must submit a clearance form online and apply for a social security number. Clearance forms may be filled out through Truview. Enter your log-in information at truview.truman.edu, and click on the “Student” tab. For Institutional Employment, select “Institutional Clearances” under “iClearances.” For a Scholarship job, select “Online Scholarship Renewal” under “My Accounts.” Once you have filled out the appropriate clearance form, bring your immigration documents to the Payroll Section of the Business Office in McClain 105. There you will be required to fill-out an I-9 Form, a W-4 Form, and a Foreign National Information Form. Payroll will be able to assist you in completing these forms.

You will also need a social security number to track wages and income as is required upon employment. The application for a Social Security Number requires filling out an application (available at the Center for International Students) and taking it, along with a letter from your employer, a letter from the Center for International Students, and your immigration documents (I-94, I-20/DS-2019, Visa, passport), to the local Social Security Administration Office. If your employment is authorized, Social Security contributions should NOT be withheld from your wages if you have F-I or J-1 status. However, all wages are subject to Federal Income taxes.

4. What are the rules of employment for F-1 visa holders?

F-1 visa holders are ONLY permitted to work on-campus for 20 hours per week when school is in session and full-time during vacation periods. Working off-campus without an officially approved work permit is a VERY SERIOUS violation of F-1 status.

Q. What about internships?

A. Internships generally require a work permit. Paid internships always require a work permit. We always advise students doing unpaid internships to get a work permit just to be safe. For more information about this, see the section on CPT below.

If you have questions about whether a specific type of work is considered on or off campus, please contact the Center for International Students for assistance.

Q. I want to be approved to work off-campus, what do I do?

A. No off-campus work permits can be issued to a student who has been in F-1 status for less than one full academic year. There are very specific requirements for off-campus work authorization, and not all students will qualify for this authorization. Here are the three ways that students can qualify to work off-campus:

1)      Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – Students qualify to apply for this if:

  • They have maintained valid F-1 status for one full academic year
  • Have not yet completed their degree
  • Are able prove they will be receiving course credit for their work
  • Have approval from their academic advisor stating that the work is directly related to their field of study.

Students authorized for CPT during the regular semester must maintain a full course load (unless it is their final semester, contact Center for International Students for more information.)

To apply for CPT, go to the Center for International Students and get a CPT application packet. It will have instructions and CIS staff can help you if you have any questions. Remember that you must wait for official approval to begin working!

2)      Optional Practical Training (OPT) – Students qualify to apply for 12 months of OPT if:

  • They have maintained valid F-1 status for one full academic year
  • Will be completing their degree within 60 days of applying*
  • Will work in field related to their course of study

* OPT is authorized for 12 months, so most students choose to use all 12 months after they graduate. However, students can apply to work before they graduate. The same rules apply regarding part-time employment during the school year. However the time worked on OPT before graduation we be subtracted from the student’s 12 months. So a student who does OPT before graduation will not eligible to work as long once they have graduated.

To apply for OPT, go to the Center for International Students and get an OPT application packet. If the immigration liaison is not there, make sure you make an appointment to meet with this person so you can review the application and requirements. It can take up to three months for the government to process OPT applications. The OPT application fee is $380 and cannot be refunded if you application is denied, so you need to work with the CIS staff to make sure your application is as complete as possible to increase your chance of success. Remember that you must wait for official approval to begin working!

3)      F-1 Economic Hardship Employment – Students qualify to apply for this if:

  • They have maintained valid F-1 status for one full academic year
  • Can prove to the government that employment is necessary due to severe economic hardship caused by circumstances beyond his or her control that arose after obtaining F-1 status.

Economic Hardship Employment is VERY difficult to obtain. The government expects that F-1 students are prepared to pay for their education before they begin their studies, however it is understood that circumstances change. If you feel you qualify to apply for this, meet with the International Student Advisor to discuss your options. Remember that you must wait for official approval to begin working!

5. I have insurance in my home country; do I have to use the University’s insurance?

Starting in the Spring 2010 semester, all students, including exchange students, must purchase The Lewer Agency Student Insurance Plan through Truman. The ONLY exception is for ISEP Exchange Students as they already have a mandatory plan. All other visiting, degree-seeking, and exchange students are required to be covered by The Lewer Agency Student Insurance Plan chosen by Truman State University. Contact the Center for International Students for more information about student insurance.

6. Why do I need health insurance?

(Via LewerMark.com) Medical costs in the US are very expensive. A major accident or illness could cost $10,000 – $100,000.

7. Why do I need international health insurance?

International students have different health insurance than domestic students in case of serious emergency. If an international student must return to their home country for emergency medical reasons, international health insurance covers this.

8. When should I use the Emergency Room?

(Via LewerMark.com) If you have an emergency that is life threatening, go to the emergency room, otherwise, try to visit a doctor or after hours clinic that is close by.

9.How do I find a doctor?

(Via LewerMark.com) There are many doctors and hospitals available. Go to www.lewermark.com and click “Find a Doctor” and select Great West Healthcare Open Access for the PPO.

10. What is a Copay?

(Via LewerMark.com) This is a small out of pocket expense that you must pay the doctor or hospital for each visit.

11. Is there a 24/7 Nurseline?

(Via LewerMark.com)Yes, you can call toll free and discuss any medical condition, any time of day. If you are not sure if you should see a doctor, call the Nurseline at 1-866-549-5076. They have interpreters to assist as well.

12. How am I reimbursed for a claim or prescription drugs?

(Via LewerMark.com) The pharmacy will require payment up-front. You will receive a 50% refund once you send in the receipt. www.lewermark.com

13. What happens if my claim is rejected?

(Via LewerMark.com) Call The Lewer Agency at 1-800-821-7710, or email tlasip@lewer.com. Occasionally, a claim can be rejected if the doctor provides the wrong number or other information is missing. We will research the claim and let you know the status.

14. The provider says I’m not on the list at Lewer.

(Via LewerMark.com) There is a chance that we have not received the enrollment form from the school. This can happen at the beginning of the semester. The school needs to send us a notification that you are enrolling in the insurance. We will reimburse your eligible visit if the provider requires payment up front.

15. Scholarship Program

(Via LewerMark.com) The Lewer Agency offers a scholarship essay contest. Check the website for details. www.lewermark.com

16. What is an EOB?

(Via LewerMark.com) This is a form you will receive that is the Explanation of Benefits. It will show the charges, discounts, and any amount that still owed. If the provider is in the Open Access network, there should be zero balance after the copay.

17. What is Assist America?

(Via LewerMark.com) This is a free service for all participants for any health questions, illness, or emergency. If you are 100 miles or more from school, call Assist America for any medical evacuation, or other medical requirement. Call 1-800-872-1414.

Bethany

I found it very relaxing to get away from the hustle and bustle of a big city and get the chance to enjoy all of the aspects of a smaller town. This town is a wonderful place to enhance your college experience.

Bethany Williams ('13), Communication Major