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Health Insurance Requirement

College of the Desert (COD) and the Intensive English Academy (IEA) are concerned about the health and safety of our international students.  US health care costs can be very expensive.  This is especially true in cases of catastrophic accident or illness.  We want to make sure that you have the coverage needed to lessen the out-of-pocket expenses that you or your family would have to pay.  For that reason, the Desert Community College District Board policy 5021 requires all international students to purchase the COD mandated health insurance plan.   
College of the Desert uses Ascension Benefits & Insurance Solutions as our health insurance provider.  Ascension provides affordable coverage with an extensive network of Preferred Provider physicians in the Coachella Valley and throughout the United States.  Ascension Benefits & Insurance Solutions is experienced with the specific needs of the international student and provides strong assistance to you as you access health care benefits.
This is an accident and illness policy and will cover your medical expenses as they relate to accidents/illnesses that may occur while you are in the United States.

Enrollment Instructions  

For instructions on how to enroll online, please see: ​Health Insurance Enrollment Instructions​.​

The International Education Program office will receive immediate notification once health insurance has been purchased and once the notification is received, registration holds will be lifted.  Proof of health insurance enrollment must be received by the International Student Office before students are granted access to registration.

Insurance Policy Website:

Visit the following link to learn more about and to purchase COD health insurance policy:     

For questions related to insurance, including policy waiver options, please stop by the International Student Office or contact us by email at