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Post-Graduation Insurance Options

Coverage Termination for Graduating Students

You will be covered under SHIP until the end of the policy period for which you are enrolled. For more information, visit the “Waiver” page.

Continuation Coverage

  • Continuation of Coverage is offered to students and covered dependents who were enrolled in the Vanderbilt Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) during Spring/Summer semesters and who will graduate and no longer be a student the following Fall. Application for Continuation of Coverage must be completed and premium paid directly to Academic HealthPlans no later than September 11.
  • This Continuation option allows students to enroll for three additional months under the 23/24 SHIP plan subject to any plan changes as well as new annual deductible/out of pocket terms. In addition, students no longer enrolled at Vanderbilt do not have access to Vanderbilt’s Student Health Center and referrals for access to outside care are not required.
  • Students will need to set up an account to enroll in Continuation Coverage. Visit, click “All Other Enrollment” and click Continuation Coverage enrollment (the option for Continuation Coverage will be available beginning in June).

Post-graduation Insurance Options

Dependent Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance plans must offer coverage for dependent children up to age 26. If under the age of 26, you may be eligible to stay on your parent’s insurance plan. Be aware that your parents may receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) from their insurance carrier with details about your health care services.

Enroll in New Coverage

You may enroll for new coverage through a variety of options:

Purchase a State Marketplace Plan
You have the option to purchase a state Marketplace Plan (also known as the “exchange”):

  • Visit to find Marketplace plans for your state.
  • Marketplace plans must provide comprehensive coverage, including hospitalization, prescriptions, and doctor visits and subsidies, and cost-sharing reductions may be available to help make coverage and care more affordable.
  • Your state Marketplace can help you compare health insurance plans based on your zip code, age, and income level.
  • Typically open enrollment is Nov 1 – Dec 15; however, new graduates may have a qualifying life event that allows them to enroll in special enrollment periods. These events may include:
    • Moving to or from the place you attended school
    • Losing your student health insurance plan or dropping off your parents’ plan
    • Other life events, like getting married or having a baby

State Medicaid Plan
If your income is low or you have certain life situations, you may qualify for free or low-cost insurance coverage through your state’s Medicaid program. If you have children, they might qualify for coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) – even if you do not qualify for Medicaid. To find a state’s Medicaid plan, visit

Private Insurance Market
The Plan Finder is available to help you find private health plans available outside of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Employers often offer two common medical plans, including a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan or a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan.

Employer-based Plan
You may have the option to enroll in a new insurance plan through your employer.

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plan
    An HMO is a type of managed care health plan consisting of a network of doctors and hospitals dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable health care. When enrolled in an HMO, a primary care physician (PCP) coordinates all of your care and refers you to network specialists when needed. HMO plans usually limit coverage to care from doctors who work for or contract with the HMO. It generally won’t cover out-of-network care except in an emergency. An HMO may require you to live or work in its service area to be eligible for coverage. HMOs often provide integrated care and focus on prevention and wellness.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan
    A PPO plan is a type of managed care health plan that allows you to see any doctor of your choice, offering both in-network and out-of-network coverage. Under a PPO plan, your out-of-pocket costs will be lower when using in-network providers.


  • Typically, losing insurance will qualify you for a special enrollment period to buy new insurance. It may take several weeks to complete the enrollment process, so begin your search early and do not miss your enrollment window.
  • Note that state laws regulate health insurance plans, and not all state policies are the same.
  • Maintain an updated mailing address to ensure you receive important information in order to enroll in new insurance coverage.
  • It may be helpful to fill your prescriptions before you leave.
  • It may be helpful to request copies of your medical records before you leave.