Health Insurance Coverage Requirement - Automatic Enrollment & Billing

  • All undergraduate students at the University of Maryland, College Park, who are enrolled in 6 or more credits are required to have Health Insurance.  

  • In order to ensure coverage, the University automatically enrolls all undergraduate students taking 6 or more credits in the University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) unless an approved waiver is submitted.

  • Students are automatically billed for SHIP.

  • International undergraduate students who matriculated beginning Fall of 2017 are automatically enrolled in SHIP with no option to waive.

Purpose of Health Insurance Requirement

The purpose of the health insurance requirement is to ensure that students have adequate coverage and to avoid the accumulation of unexpected medical bills that could cause an interruption of one's education.  The American College Health Association notes the “SHIPs are an outstanding value for students due to robust and broad coverage, often at half the cost of comparable employee plans…SHIPs are uniquely designed for the lifestyles of college students.  Specifically, SHIP coverage accounts for the mobility of the student patient population by remaining in place while a student engages in student travel or during anticipated breaks in the academic year.” UMD’s SHIP is a platinum level plan which covers students both in College Park as well as nationally through the insurance company’s provider network.  

Waiver of Health Insurance Requirement

Students who do not wish to retain the SHIP must file an online waiver each academic year to have the charge removed from their tuition bill. This is referred to as a “hard waiver.”  

The waiver website opens in mid-May and remains open until September 15th.  A waiver is required each academic year without exception. The waiver must be submitted online.  Providing insurance information at the University Health Center does not substitute for the waiver requirement. Once the waiver is received and approved, the insurance charge is reversed on the student bill. If no waiver is received, the charge will remain on the bill and the student will be enrolled in the UMD-offered plan.  The premium is billed annually and provides coverage between August and the following July. (Students may also proactively enroll in the plan through the website.)

State law mandates that retroactive terminations are not available. The University must pay the applicable subscription charges for a member covered under the plan until the insurer receives the notice that the member is no longer eligible for coverage. This means that all waivers must be completed on time. If you do not waive coverage by the deadlines, you will be held responsible for all charges made by the carrier. There are no exceptions.

For a waiver to be approved, the level of benefits provided to the student through a health insurance plan must be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Coverage is considered comparable if it provides students with access to local providers and a range of services in the state of Maryland. Services include, but are not limited to, preventive and non-urgent care, emergency care, surgical care, inpatient and outpatient hospitalization, lab work, diagnostic X-rays, physical therapy and chiropractic care, prescription drugs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Students who waive the UMD Student Health Insurance Plan are solely responsible for all medical expenses and bills incurred.

No Waiver for International Undergraduates

Beginning in the Fall of 2017, all newly admitted international undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in the UMD Student Health Insurance Plan and cannot waive.  This practice was implemented to insure that international students, who are not subject to requirements of the Affordable Care Act, receive appropriately comprehensive insurance coverage.

How UMD Communicates with Students about SHIP

All communication about the insurance requirement is sent directly to the student using the contact information that is on file with the University.  Parents and families are encouraged to communicate with their student about these important emails. It is also important for the party responsible for the student bill to regularly check the bill for charges that may appear after the initial tuition and fees are posted so as not to overlook the insurance premium charge.

Important Health Insurance Requirement Dates

May: Waiver site opens, initial communication goes to students

Summer: Health insurance premium is applied to student bills.

Summer: UMD sends a letter to incoming first-year students and parents which includes information about the waiver process.

Summer and Fall: UMD sends email reminders to students who do not complete the waiver.  Once the waiver is completed, the premium is removed from the student bill.

September 15: Waiver site closes.

September: Late waivers may be accepted prior to the official enrollment date in October by presenting in person to the University Health Center Business Office.

October 1: Final enrollment in the plan is completed with retroactive coverage to August 1 and waiver is no longer permitted.

Instructions for Enrolling in or Waiving the SHIP

I have health insurance - Complete the Waiver online


  • Visit website

  • Select University of Maryland – College Park from the drop-down menu

  • Under “Student Tools” choose “Undergraduate Students”.

  • Scroll down the page choose the link “Waive Coverage (Opt Out of Coverage)”  and click the blue box “Waive Now”.

  • Enter student’s date of birth and University ID number; do not enter your Directory ID or SSN. University ID can be found on Admissions letter or thru the Admissions portal

  • Complete the “Waiver Request Form”.

  • Click the “Submit” button.

  • A confirmation email of your approved waiver will be forwarded to your email address on file with the Registrar.  SAVE THIS EMAIL CONFIRMATION FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. If you do not receive a confirmation email, your waiver has not been properly submitted.

  • Students who do not submit waivers by July 15, 2018 are billed the amount of the premium on their student Office of Student Financial Services and Cashiering account.  This charge can be reversed if you submit an approved waiver by September 15, 2018.

  • The coverage period is August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.  Additional information regarding SHIP is available at

I do not have insurance and/or I want to enroll in SHIP

  • Visit website

  • Select University of Maryland – College Park from the drop down menu

  • Under “Student Tools” choose “Undergraduate Students”.

  • Select “Enroll Now”.

  • Enter students date of birth and University ID number;  do not enter your Directory ID or SSN. University ID can be found on Admissions letter or thru the Admissions portal

  • Click “Continue”.

  • Complete the enrollment form and click the “Submit” button.

  • A confirmation email of your enrollment will be forwarded to your email address on file with the Registrar’s office.

  • You can begin using the plan August 1, 2018.

  • We will only bill your student account the annual amount of the premium once. If you have not been billed at time of your enrollment, we will bill your account within 2 weeks.

To Appeal an Insurance Charge

After the enrollment date in October, appeals must be directed to First Risk Advisors who will render a final decision. First Risk can be contacted

The Hard Waiver process has been reviewed and approved by the University of Maryland Office of the General Counsel and Division of Student Affairs.


  • The Health Center is able to bill many insurance plans for the cost of services 
  • We are considered out-of-network & can not bill some HMO/POS plans such as Kaiser & Tricare Prime. We can not bill Medicare and out of state Medicaid. 
  • Check with your insurance provider to see what is covered; do not assume that services provided by UHC will be covered; many plans do NOT cover services outside of their geographical areas 
  • Services not covered by insurance are the student’s responsibility
  • For UHC Optimum Choice or MDIPA, call member services (the phone number is on your ID card) and make University Health Center the PCP (Primary Care Provider) for your student for visits at the University Health Center to be considered
  • For BCBS Blue Choice, call member services and name one of our providers as PCP for  your student.  If this is done, visits at University Health Center may be considered for coverage


  • Applicable co-pays, co-insurance, or deductible according to your plan
  • If the Health Center does not participate in your plan, as a courtesy, your insurance will be billed where applicable
  • You are fully responsible for services not covered by your insurance plan
  • No co-pays, co-insurance or deductible when seen at the University Health Center
  • Most services at the University Health Center are covered; inlcuding x-rays and lab tests. 
  • Co-pay for medications



  • The Pharmacy accepts many major prescription cards
  • Check out the pharmacy’s webpage for more information about available pharmacy services


  • Stop by the Health Center to leave a copy of your insurance card(s)
  • Your student should have his/her own card
  • Providing the Health Center with a copy of your card does NOT fulfill the mandatory health insurance waiver requirement
  • Completing the on-line waiver does NOT transfer your insurance information to the Health Center’s billing system