Student Insurance - Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to take health insurance?
Insurance is mandatory for foreign students and health science students with clinical exposure. Students are billed for single coverage in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). If they want to add a spouse and/or are eligible for UIGRADCare and want that policy, they must complete an application.
Beginning with applicants enrolling for summer 2008, all new first-year students enrolled with 5 or more semester hours will be required to have health insurance coverage for the entire time they are students at Iowa.
How do I get exempted from this mandatory policy?
Health science students must complete the Proof of Coverage Form, which is available at http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/health/student/exempt.pdf, in the back of the insurance booklet, or from the Benefits office.
Foreign students must provide us with a copy of their policy and an insurance ID card along with the proof of coverage form. The policy must meet requirements listed in the insurance booklet you receive from the benefits office. More information can be found at http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/health/student/exempt.pdf
Beginning with applicants enrolling for summer 2008, all new first-year students enrolled with 5 or more semester hours who do not belong to one of the two groups above, will be asked to report their insurance status through their Admissions Profile on ISIS, the University's online service center for students. Students without coverage automatically will be enrolled in the University's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
How much does student health insurance cost?
See the current student health insurance rates on the appropriate index page for
your student status:
Undergraduate Health Insurance index page: http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/health/student/index_undergrad.html
Graduate Student or Undergraduate Health Science Major: http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/health/student/index_grad_hs.html
What care managers or clinics can I go to?
SHIP- Students on SHIP can go to any doctor or hospital; however it may save money to go to an Alliance Select Provider.
UIGRADCARE- Students on UIGRADCare must choose a primary care manager from Student Health Service, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, or other UI satellite clinics. Family members may choose care managers at Internal Medicine or Family Practice or other UI satellite clinics. Specialists must be at UIHC.
I have UIGRADCare. If I’m out of Iowa City and get sick can I go to a doctor in another town?
You can see a physician for illness, accident or emergency. You must call the number on your Wellmark ID card for precertification. If you move out of the Iowa City area and need non-emergency medical services, please contact the Benefits Office.
If I'm covered under SHIP or UIGRADCare, will I have coverage outside of the U.S.
Benefits under these plans are in effect worldwide and include coverage for hospitalization, surgery, emergency care, medically necessary physician care, medication, evacuation, and repatriation.
I am currently enrolled in the student insurance plan through the University of Iowa. If I am not enrolled for the summer session, will the student insurance continue over the summer?
Yes, the student insurance will continue over the summer if you pre-register for the fall semester in the spring.
I didn’t take insurance in the spring, but I’m registered for fall. Can I get summer coverage?
When does my coverage end?
Graduate students without assistantships and Undergrad students: Coverage terminates at the end of the month in which they cease to be a student. You will have the option to continue coverage for up to 12 months after leaving the University. Go to http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/healthinfo/index_aftergrad.html for more information.
For graduate students with assistantships, who have a fiscal year appointment, coverage terminates at the end of the month in which they terminate employment or cease to be a student. The Benefits Office will send you information on how to continue coverage once notice of termination is received electronically.
For graduate students with assistantships or fellowships, who have an academic year appointment, which is terminated as of 6/2, coverage will continue until 8/31, with a triple charge in June. You will receive information in August on how to continue coverage at your own expense.
I am an employed graduate student with an academic year appointment. Why do I have 3 deductions for insurance on my June check?
Students with academic year appointments or spring only appointments are charged in June for June, July and August premiums.
Why do I have 2 charges with the same date on my bill?
When charges are added retroactively, the billing system shows the same date for both charges. This frequently happens in September and February.
When can I change my plan?
Coverage can be changed during the open enrollment periods noted in the booklet, or if there is a significant life event.
Can I add my parents or siblings?
Can I add my fiancée or Domestic Partner to my policy?
Possibly. See Common Law, Domestic partner program at http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/
Am I eligible for a University contribution toward the cost of my insurance?
If you have a 25% time RA or TA (F19) or a fellowship (F52) paying at least $9500 per year, and the appointment is for at least one semester you should receive a contribution. You must complete an application, however.
My spouse is a student with an assistantship too. What should we do, because we each already have a single policy?
Complete a new application and mark the box at the top that states “spouse is a graduate student with assistantship”. The additional University contribution will begin the first of the following month, unless the application is completed during an open enrollment period.
I started my assistantship in August, so why was I billed the full cost of the insurance on my U-bill for August? Shouldn’t this have come out of my paycheck and shouldn’t I have gotten a University contribution toward the cost?
The University contribution toward your insurance begins the first of the month following the hire date or the first of the month following the completion of the appropriate application. The only exception is during open enrollment periods, which is explained in the informational booklet you will be sent.
If it is mandatory for you to have insurance during August because you are either a health science or foreign student, or if you chose to begin coverage in August, you are responsible for the full cost of the premium for that month.
In addition, if you complete your application after the deadline for open enrollment, you will be responsible for all premiums prior to the first of the month after we receive that application.
Why do foreign students and health science students have to pay for the whole months of August and January when classes start several weeks into the month?
The University requires them to be covered on the first day of classes and premiums cannot be prorated.
I am a foreign student going home during winter break. Can I cancel coverage?
No. Coverage will only be cancelled for students or family members leaving the U.S. for at least 2 complete calendar months (e.g. January1 - January 31st, NOT December 15th to January 15th.)
I am a foreign student going home for the summer. What should I do?
Bring a copy of your plane ticket or other documentation to the Benefits Office prior to leaving the U.S.
Coverage will only be cancelled for students or family members leaving the U.S. for at least 2 complete calendar months (e.g. June 1- June 30th, NOT July 15th to August 15th.)
I’m having problems with my claims. What should I do?
First, call Wellmark at the number on your card and discuss it with them. If that does not solve the problem, call the Health Plans Office at UIHC (356-8442) for assistance.