What is the University of Vermont Student Health Insurance Plan and am I required to purchase it?

Overview of UVM SHIP

  • Insurance coverage period: August 1 - July 31
  • Students enrolled in the UVM SHIP must pay the UVM Health Fee. The Health Fee covers most health and counseling services at UVM's Center for Health & Wellbeing (CHWB), regardless of a student’s health insurance coverage.
  • The UVM SHIP covers all routine and preventative health care ONLY when they are obtained at the CHWB offices. Preventative services available at CHWB will not be covered at any off-campus facility.
  • Students should obtain a referral from CHWB before obtaining care elsewhere. There is a $200 deductible for services obtained outside of CHWB without a referral.
  • Prescription Drug Coverage: After a co-payment, prescriptions are covered at 100% (in network).
  • Psychiatric Services at CHWB: students with UVM SHIP are covered at 100% of the initial visit and 80% of each follow up visit.
  • Students who have purchased the UVM SHIP and who later withdraw or fall below 6 credits (undergraduates) or 5 credits (graduate students) may keep the insurance policy for the remainder of the semester from which they withdraw, but they are not eligible for CHWB services (even though they have also paid the Health Fee).
  • To enroll in SHIP, complete the simple Insurance Decision/Waiver Form before the deadline. Enrollment after the deadline is generally not an option. But under certain very limited circumstances University Health Plans will consider making exceptions. Contact them directly for information.

We strongly suggest that you read the Student Insurance Plan Brochure and Summary of Benefits documents found on the "Benefit Information" menu at the University Health Plans website. Prior years' benefit information is also available for comparison.

Students are not required to purchase the University of Vermont Insurance if they have comparable coverage under another insurance carrier. Choosing between the UVM Student Health Insurance Policy (UVM SHIP) and comparable coverage is an individual decision and UVM can provide you with information but cannot help you make this decision. 

Do I need to notify UVM if I decline or accept the UVM Student Insurance? Do I need to resubmit the insurance decision/waiver form each year?

Yes. Regardless of your decision to accept or decline the UVM Student Insurance, you must complete the online insurance decision/waiver form every year. This is how we ensure you are properly covered.

What is the deadline for completing the Insurance Decision/Waiver Form?

In order to avoid unwanted charges on your student account, students should enroll in or waive UVM Student Health Insurance by July 1st for the Fall Semester and December 1st for new/returning students in the SPRING.

Students who fail to complete the Insurance Decision/Waiver form by this date will be charged for the UVM Plan, and will have a HOLD placed on their UVM student account. This hold is removed when you complete the insurance decision/waiver process, and the charge will be backed off if you can show that you have comparable insurance coverage.

The last possible date to change a decision or to enroll in the UVM Student Health Insurance is September 15 for the FALL and February 15 for the SPRING.

  • If you are deciding on SHIP, you will only need your Student ID Number to complete the form.
  • If you are waiving SHIP, you will need your current health insurance card or equivalent, with subscriber/member ID number, primary subscriber's name and subscriber's relationship to you.

Should I choose UVM SHIP or a different health insurance plan? Do you have tips for evaluating other plans?

While we can help you make an informed choice, only you can make this decision. We encourage you to do as much research as possible about UVM SHIP and other health plans before making your decision.

Some insurance plans are restrictive in terms of which healthcare providers you can see or where you may seek care. Plans like these can leave you under-insured (or effectively uninsured) while away at school. This could result in substantial out-of-pocket medical costs for you or your family. Evaluate other plans carefully. We recommend verifying that the plan provides adequate coverage in the Burlington, Vermont area for:

  • Lab tests and X-rays
  • Prescription medications
  • Hospitalization (including room and board, physicians' fees and surgical expenses)
  • Outpatient hospital services
  • Mental health care
  • Emergency room care
  • Intercollegiate sports injuries if you are on a team

You should also make sure that the plan:

  • Provides coverage to students over the age of 19
  • Covers you through July 31st of the current academic year
  • Does not have a high deductible that must be met before you are allowed to access coverage

What students are eligible to purchase SHIP? Can my spouse, domestic partner, or minor dependent get coverage?

As long as you have paid the UVM Health Fee and you are one in one of the categories below, you are eligible to purchase SHIP:

  • Any undergraduate, continuing education or medical student taking 6 or more credits.
  • Any graduate student taking 5 or more credits.
  • Any student enrolled for Continuous Registration (Grad 902 or Grad 903).

Spouses, domestic partners, and minor dependent children can get coverage but you are responsible for their enrollment. Contact University Health Plans (our plan provider) directly for more information or to enroll. Their phone number is (800) 437-6448. You can also enroll on their web site. The deadline for this enrollment is September 15th for Fall semester and February 15th for Spring semester.

Can I been seen at the Center for Health and Wellbeing regardless of my type of health insurance? Is there a charge?

Yes, you can be seen at the CHWB if you have paid the Student Health Fee for the current term (for many students this is part of the Comprehensive Fee).

Most basic CHWB services are covered by the Health Fee but some are not. Services not include by the Health Fee include laboratory work, immunizations, psychiatry visits, prescriptions, X-rays, and orthopedic supplies. If you do not have coverage from UVM SHIP, you will incur a charge for using these services and can either pay at the time of service or have a charge applied to your UVM Student Account, which you can then submit to your insurance company to request reimbursement.

We cannot accept insurance copays, nor can we bill your insurance company for any chargeable services.

How are students notified of the mandatory health insurance requirement?

Students are notified by mail or e-mail each year about this requirement. This is usually done after the student has registered for courses. We send official email to your UVM email address. If you do not use your UVM email account, please forward your UVM email to your preferred email account.

What happens if I withdraw from UVM?

A student who withdraws from courses during the first 31 days after the start of classes will not be eligible to keep the UVM SHIP.  A full refund of the premium will be made, minus the cost of any benefits paid during that period. 

Students who withdraw, graduate or reduce their courseload to less than half time status 31 or more days after the start of classes will remain covered by the plan for that semester and no refund will be made.  In this case, they are no longer be eligible for CHWB services and would need to seek health care elsewhere.   

Exceptions may be made for students currently under the care of a medical or mental health provider at CHWB may continue care for a brief   period of time not to exceed 60 days to allow for an orderly transition of their care to an outside provider. These exceptions must be discussed with the CHWB Medical Director or the Director of Counseling and Psychiatry Services, as appropriate, and authorized by the Director of the Center for Health & Wellbeing.

Can I fill out the Waiver/Decision form on paper?

No. The insurance decision/waiver must be submitted online.

What happens if I do not fill out the Waiver/Decision Form?

Students who do not complete an online insurance decision/waiver by the deadline will be billed, the insurance premium will be added to their UVM student account, and a hold will be placed on their student account. Once a hold is placed on a student's account, s/he will not be able to register or make registration changes. The hold can be removed until the deadline stated below (see next question).

How do I remove a hold from my student account?

You can remove a hold on your account by entering your current insurance information into the insurance decision/waiver form. You do not need to notify anyone after you have completed the form to remove the hold.

Holds can be reversed through the month of August for the fall semester and until February 15th for the spring semester.

If I make an error, can I change it?

Yes, by going to the insurance decision/waiver form and changing the information that is there. This can be done until the deadlines mentioned above. The charges will come off or the premium will be added to your student account depending on the decision.

Can international students waive the UVM Student Insurance (UVM SHIP)?

No. International students who want to talk about other coverage can call the insurance office at (802) 656-0602 or email studentinsurance@uvm.edu.

Can I purchase Student Insurance for Fall semester only?

If you are graduating in December and wish to purchase UVM Insurance for the Fall semester only, you can do so by going to the insurance decision/waiver form and checking the appropriate box for "Fall-only."

How will I be billed for the UVM SHIP insurance?

In two separate charges: The first half of the premium payment will be billed to your UVM Student Account in July, August or September, depending on when you enroll in the insurance. The other half will be billed in December for the Spring semester.

What if I do not have access to a computer?

Computers are available at several locations on campus, including the library, outside of Student Financial Services in the Waterman Building or in the CHWB Student Health Clinic at 425 Pearl Street, Ground Floor.