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DOS - Student Health Insurance Program E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]


Dear Student,

We are writing to share an important update about Vanderbilt’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). If you will not be attending Vanderbilt University in academic year 2021-2022, you may disregard this message.

A broadly representative university committee, including student representatives, selected Aetna to replace UnitedHealthcare as Vanderbilt University’s student health insurance carrier for the 2021-2022 academic year. The insurance carrier transition will go into effect on August 12, 2021. This decision was based on the needs of Vanderbilt students, as well as Aetna’s extensive provider network and competitive pricing. Aetna will also replace HealthSmart Benefit Solutions, who previously administered SHIP claims.

We do not anticipate a disruption of care for the majority of SHIP students because of the extensive Aetna provider network. However, we encourage you to reach out to your medical providers now to inquire if they accept Aetna in order to prepare for the carrier transition on August 12. Please note that all Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) providers are in the Aetna network.

If you would like help finding a mental health provider who accepts Aetna, please reach out to the Office of Student Care Coordination (OSCC) at studentcare@vanderbilt.edu. The OSCC will help you find a provider who meets your specific needs and accepts Aetna. The Student Health Center (SHC) is the primary care provider for Vanderbilt students and offers comprehensive services regardless of their insurance coverage. Annual referrals from the SHC are required for physical health community providers. Please reach out to the SHC at the beginning of the fall semester if you believe you need a referral. Referrals are not required for mental health providers.

Students using HealthiestYou should be aware that Vanderbilt is provisioning for a new telehealth service that will be announced this summer, including steps to help you transition your care to a new telehealth provider.

Below please find a few of the major improvements to SHIP for academic year 2021-2022:

  • Announced on April 27, 2021, SHIP will be administered by Academic HealthPlans.
  • SHIP students will have access to the Aetna Mobile App, allowing you to access your ID card, and view plan benefits, claims details and an Explanation of Benefits.
  • The Aetna 2021-2022 plan design will mimic the current 2020-2021 plan design, with increased benefits for gender affirmation services, bariatric surgery, and vasectomies.
  • SHIP students no longer eligible for SHIP in academic year 2022-2023 will have access to purchase three months of continuation coverage, effective August 12, 2022.
  • SHIP students will no longer be required to pay a separate $100 pharmacy deductible.
  • SHIP students will have an out-of-network, out-of-pocket maximum of $10K (previously no limit).
  • SHIP students will have access to Mindcheck, an online mood tracking tool in support of mental wellness.
  • SHIP students will have access to benefits while traveling with Academic Emergency Services.


We are here to support all SHIP students during the insurance carrier transition. Please email SHIP@vanderbilt.edu with questions or concerns.



The Vanderbilt University SHIP Team

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