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Health Care and Medical Insurance

Emergency services

If an emergency arises, students can call 911. This number will connect them to a dispatcher, who will ask for their name, the address where they are at the time of the call, and the type of problem they are having. The dispatcher will then contact the police, the fire department, or an ambulance to answer the need.

LewisGale Hospital Montgomery
3700 S. Main St., Blacksburg
Emergency care only
Phone: 540-951-1111

Non-emergency, campus health care

Students needing to see a doctor during regular hours on weekdays or on the weekend can make an appointment at the campus healthcare facility, Schiffert Health Center, by calling 540-231-6444 or by making an appointment online.

Schiffert Health Center
McComas Hall
895 Washington St. SW
Phone: 540-231-6444 (appointments)
(The Hokie Passport is required.)

In case of an after-hours need for non-emergency, but urgent care, students should call 540-231-6444 and ask for the advice of a nurse or counselor.  The answering service will take their name and phone number.

The call to the nurse can be used to get a referral if they need to go to a specialist, to the Carilion After Hours clinic, or to the emergency room. If they visit an outside provider and are on the university's student health insurance plan, they will need to speak with the Office of Student Medical Insurance as soon as possible (540-231-6226) after that visit.

Counseling and support services

If students are experiencing personal emotional problems or thoughts of suicide, they should speak with a counselor at the Cook Counseling Center at 540-231-6557, or go to the center at 2475 Oak Lane in Blacksburg.

If students are victims of sexual assault, harassment, or other unsolicited and uncomfortable attention, they can contact one of these emergency offices:

If students need help finding resources or making a medical/dental appointment, they can contact the assistant director for student services for assistance.

Other area health services

If students need nonemergency medical care at a time when the Schiffert Health Center is closed, they can visit a private physician in the community. After-hours care is also available during weekday evenings and limited weekend hours at Carilion Clinic Family Medicine-Blacksburg. They can call 540-951-0352 to learn information and locations. All expenses and charges for medical care received outside the Schiffert Health Center are the responsibility of the students.

It is advisable to check with the assistant director for student services for help when students feel that they need to see a doctor.

Health service fee

Student fees include a health service fee that covers normal medical and nursing attention and counseling services. These services are respectively provided by Schiffert Health Center and Cook Counseling Center, with support from the Virginia Tech Rescue Squad.

The health service fee covers the majority of services provided, including doctor appointments, most medications, and most laboratory procedures. However, some services are charged separately. If there is a charge for the care, students must pay at the time of service with cash or check. Charges not paid at the time of service will be applied to the VT account of the students.

Virginia Tech student insurance requires that when students are sick, they must go to the Schiffert Health Center first. It is best for them to check with the assistant director for student services when they feel that they need to see a doctor.

If students go to another doctor on their own, or if the Schiffert Health Center sends them to any outside health care provider, they are responsible for all charges they incur there. Students should ask the provider if she or he is covered by their health insurance.

Mandatory health and accident insurance

All students and their dependents are required to have health insurance.

Health and accident insurance protects students and their dependents in case of an accident or major illness. Doctor visits and hospital care are very expensive in the United States. There is no free care for international students, so students are responsible for paying for their own health care. An insurance company generally pays most medical costs in the event of an illness or accident. It is impossible to buy health insurance after an accident or an illness has occurred. Therefore, health insurance coverage is mandatory for all Virginia Tech international students.

Students may choose to enroll with Aetna Student Health Insurance, which is preapproved by Virginia Tech to meet international student insurance coverage requirements, or they may choose a different insurance company, if the alternate policy meets all requirements for international student health insurance. Students who choose to enroll in an insurance plan other than Aetna, must submit a valid Virginia Tech International Student Medical Insurance Waiver along with Proof of Coverage to the Student Medical Insurance Office. Students should consult the Student Medical Insurance website for semester deadlines for insurance and waiver submissions. 

Intensive English Program students purchase health insurance through a reputable third-party health insurance company.  It is recommended that students purchase a policy that meets Virginia Tech’s international student medical insurance requirements. 

 J-1 visa holders studying at the LCI must purchase health insurance that meets or exceeds J-1 visa requirements.  The LCI Global Initiatives advisor can assist with this requirement.

Note: Health insurance coverage must begin no later than the first day of classes for the fall semester and must be effective through July 31 of the academic year. If students begin classes during an alternate semester, they must have coverage beginning to no later than the first of classes for that semester. The coverage must continue to July 31 of the academic year.

For detailed information regarding requirements, health insurance definitions, plan benefits, and more, please visit the Student Medical Insurance website.

Insurance on excursions and activities

Students are responsible for maintaining the health insurance needed to cover participation in LCI-sponsored activities. They are also responsible for wearing and using appropriate safety equipment for activities in which they participate. The LCI reserves the right to restrict participation in certain activities to students with insufficient English proficiency to understand safety instructions.

When students participate in LCI-sponsored events, they must read and sign the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Release, Waiver and Indemnification form.

Students assume all responsibility for any bodily injuries and property damage arising out of participation in school-sponsored activities.

While on school-sponsored trips, students are advised to carry the phone numbers of both their trip leader and the assistant director for student services in case they become separated from their group.