Health Insurance

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.


The International Education Program office will automatically enroll students into the medical insurance policy and students may pick up their health insurance card at the International office.

For more information on the medical insurance plan and updates on benefits please email

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