Frequently Asked Questions

I am a non-U.S. citizen and an international student. Will PPACA's individual mandate affect my IMG plan?

As non-resident aliens, international students on F, J, M and Q visas (and certain family members of students) are not subject to the individual mandate for their first 5 years in the U.S. All other J categories (teacher, trainee, work and travel, au pair, high school, etc.) are not subject to the individual mandate for 2 years (out of the past six).

Since international students are not subject to the mandate, they are not required to purchase a plan that meets PPACA requirements and can purchase an appropriate IMG plan.

International Students – Exempt as Non-Resident Aliens

Under the IRS international student exemption, anyone “temporarily in the United States on an “F”, “J”, “M”, or “Q” visa for the primary purpose of studying at an accredited academic institution or vocational school (and certain family members of students), and who substantially complies with the requirements of that visa,” is exempt from being treated as a resident alien, and is therefore exempt from the individual mandate as a non-resident alien.

That exemption applies for 5 years. After 5 years, a student is no longer exempt, and the substantial presence test must be applied. See examples here.

Even after 5 years in the U.S., an international student may continue to be a non-resident alien for tax purposes under the “Closer Connection” exception if they can prove that they still have a closer connection to their home country than to the U.S.

The Individual Mandate and Alien / Non-Alien Status

The IRS provides a questions and answers page on the individual mandate. Question 11 asks whether all individuals living in the U.S. are subject to the mandate. The answer is that U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents are subject to the mandate, as are “foreign nationals who are in the U.S. long enough during a calendar year to qualify as resident aliens for tax purposes.” Thus, non-resident aliens are not subject to the individual mandate, even if they have to file a tax return.

Am I a Resident or Non-Resident Alien?

The IRS states that you are a non-resident alien unless you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test.

Under IRS Publication 519, Tax Guide for Aliens (the green card test), green card holders are resident aliens for tax purposes. The substantial presence test uses a formula to count the number of days present in the U.S. over the past 3 years. Generally, you a resident alien after six months of presence in the U.S. – unless you are exempt.

Am I getting the best deal on these plans?

Insurance prices are regulated by the government - you won't find a better price on IMG insurance plans anywhere else.  

When should I complete my waiver?

Once your plan is purchased and you have your plan documents, you will have the information you'll need to complete your school's waiver. 

How do I determine the status of my waiver?

Check with your school to get your waiver status. 

How do I provide proof of insurance for my school?

To show proof of insurance, simply download or print a copy of the ID card and/or confirmation letter and provide it to your school's program administrator.

Do these plans cover sports-related illness or injuries?

IMG plans include customization options and add-ons, including add-on coverage for high school sports, interscholastic, intramural, or club sports, personal liability and legal assistance. 

How long does it take to process my application and receive my ID card and other documents?

If you are applying for coverage under the Patriot series of plans, IMG will process your application and send your ID card and other documents within one business day. If you are applying for coverage under the Global or Group series, IMG will process your application within three to four business days following the receipt of all required information, and your materials will be forwarded the same day coverage is approved. Every attempt will be made to process your application timely. The specific time frame depends largely on the type of coverage for which you are applying. 

The information provided above is for general informational purposes only. While we have attempted to provide current, accurate and clearly expressed information, this information is provided "as is" and IMG makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind. External users should seek professional advice from their own attorneys and tax advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.