Mandatory Health Insurance FAQ

The University of Maryland requires comprehensive health insurance coverage for all undergraduate student registered for 6 or more credits. These students are required to show proof of health insurance coverage by completing an online waiver card.  Waivers can only be completed online at http://www.firststudent.com.The waiver siteis now open for the 2012-2013 academic year. Instructions on completing the on-line waiver will be sent to your e-mail.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mandatory Health Insurance

Why is the University of Maryland requiring health insurance?
Unexpected health care expenses such as those associated with unexpected illness, accidents, or mental health care can destabilize a student’s financial situation and derail his/her progress toward a degree. These potential barriers to attendance and degree completion are reduced when students have health insurance. Conversely, students without health insurance who do not have access to needed specialty care or hospitalization may attempt to continue their academic pursuits but fail to reach their full potential due to their untreated illness.

Do I have to enroll in the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) in order to use the University Health Center? No, all registered UM College Park students can be seen at the University Health Center, regardless of the type of insurance they have.

   I am already covered by health insurance. What do I need to do to avoid being billed for Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)?

 Students who are covered by health insurance (i.e. through parent plans, family plans, or employer-sponsored plans) may apply for a waiver of the requirement to enroll in SHIP at the beginning of each academic year by submitting the name of their insurance company and insurance policy number for verification on-line during the waiver period.  Waivers can only be completed online at
http://www.firststudent.com.

Students must either waive or enroll in the University sponsored student health insurance plan. 

Students are required to complete a waiver each academic year.

Students who do not show proof of health insurance will be automatically enrolled and the premium will be billed to their student account.

 

If I waived  the insurance planlast year, then I am good for the next four years at UM, right? No! Every UM undergraduate student enrolled in or after Fall 2009 and taking at least 6 credits must complete the waiver process once a year (each fall semester) every year.

 

Can I use my prescription card at the University Health Center? Yes. The pharmacy accepts many prescription insurance plans, including BC/BS, NPA, PAID, and PCS. Methods of payment accepted include cash, check, Terrapin Express, student account, American Express, Visa, Discover, and Mastercard.

What is covered by the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan? The policy provides benefits for the “Usual and Customary Charges” for loss due to a covered injury or sickness up to the maximum benefit of $150,000 for each injury or sickness.

Most services at the University Health Center are covered by SHIP except the 3rd and subsequent sessions of massage therapy and some uncommon laboratory tests. Examples of Health Center services which are covered include: acupuncture, flu shots, and immunizations. Pharmacy benefits at the UHC are defined by the policy. Prescriptions are subject to co-pays at the UHC. Any services billed by the UHC are not subject to the policy deductible.

Is there a vision or dental plan? All SHIP insured students have access to a discount dental and vision plan. There is an on-line procedure to access the discount dental and vision plans as well as many other discount programs at http://www.firststudent.com/. The link also includes a brochure that can be downloaded and printed.

Does the Student Health Insurance Plan provide coverage if I travel abroad? SHIP has Emergency Global Travel Assistance meaning that each insured person has access to emergency medical assistance services when traveling 100 miles or more from campus, his/her permanent home or around the world. Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and meet or exceed the United States J-1 visa requirements for international students. For more information on the Global Travel program, please see http://www.assistamerica.com.

What happens to my coverage if I withdraw from classes? If a student has attended class for the required first 31 days of the semester, the policy is still in effect for the policy year.  After the first 31 days, refunds are only allowed upon entry into the armed forces.


How do I determine if my health plan is adequate?
Families are responsible for determining if the student has adequate health insurance using the following guidelines:
1. Student has coverage for physician and hospital care in this geographic area
2. Student has mental health coverage
3. Student has prescription coverage
4. Plan covers care 365 days per year
5. A female student has pregnancy coverage
6. Plan covers mandatory requirements of J-1Visa holders
7. Annual deductible should not exceed $500
8. Policy covers minimum 80% coverage of professional and hospitalization fees
9. Plan will continue coverage if student is enrolled less than full-time
10. Coverage must be in effect prior to the first day of coverage of the SHIP