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Waiver Process

  • Eligible domestic students interested in waiving the Student Health Insurance Plan may request to waive SHIP by visiting www.gallagherstudent.com/vanderbilt and clicking Waive.

Waiver Deadlines

  • The deadline to waive annual coverage is August 10, 2020.
  • The deadline for newly enrolled Spring Semester 2021 students to waive Spring 2021 coverage is January 4, 2021.

Waiver Eligibility 

Given that students may be studying remotely in Fall 2020 due to COVID-19, the waiver process has been amended for the 2020-2021 academic year. Students studying in the United States who waive SHIP must be covered by a plan that provides comparable coverage in the location where they will be studying. These policies are effective only for the current academic year.

Wavier Requirements:  Domestic Students

In order to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan, your private health insurance must provide comparable coverage and be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act and all state and federal mandates. You need to have access to health care providers and routine services wherever you are studying. Specifically, your plan must cover you for both emergency and routine care in the region you currently reside, including prescriptions, physician visits, mental health, surgery, diagnostic testing, maternity services, preventive services, and hospitalization. The deadline to submit your waiver form is August 10, 2020.

Waiver Requirements: International Students

It has been Vanderbilt’s policy for all international students to be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan on a mandatory basis. However, to accommodate those students who will be studying remotely as a result of COVID-19, international students will be able to submit a waiver form.

  • International students studying outside of the United States in Fall 2020 will be able complete a waiver survey sent to your Vanderbilt email account to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan without evidence of comparable health insurance coverage. The deadline to submit your waiver survey is August 10, 2020. International students who enter the United States at any point during the 2020-2021 academic year or Summer 2021 as a full-time student will be required to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan. Specifically, you will be required to email ship@vanderbilt.edu two weeks in advance of your arrival date to the United States and provide your date of entry to the country so that we may enroll you in coverage. Your Student Health Insurance Plan coverage will be effective retroactive to the first day of the month that you arrive in the United States, and your premium will be prorated to reflect your active coverage period. You will be required to pay for your premium through your Student Account on YES.
  • International students studying remotely in the United States outside of Tennessee may request to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan. In order to waive, your private health insurance must provide comparable coverage and be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act and all state and federal mandates. The insurance company must be based in the United States. International policies will not be accepted. Your plan must cover you for both emergency and routine care in the region you currently reside, including prescriptions, physician visits, mental health, surgery, diagnostic testing, maternity services, preventive services, and hospitalization. Please submit a waiver form by visiting www.gallagherstudent.com/Vanderbilt. Please be aware that you will receive a denial, and then be required to submit an Appeals Form at https://bit.ly/AppealsForm with evidence of comparable health insurance coverage. The deadline to submit your waiver form is August 10, 2020. The deadline to submit your Appeals Form is October 21, 2020.
  • International students studying in the state of Tennessee in Fall 2020 – regardless of whether you are attending in-person classes on campus or studying remotely – will not be allowed to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan. If you are an international student studying in Tennessee with US-based health insurance coverage, please email Elizabeth Boyd to discuss the appeals process.

Criteria for Comparable Coverage

Students studying in the United States must have insurance coverage that meets the below criteria:

  1. Be fully compliant with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and all state and federal mandates;
  2. Be underwritten by an insurance and claims company based in the United States (no international insurance companies, travel insurance or short term medical plans);
  3. Provide access to doctors, specialists, hospitals and other health care providers in the area the student resides;
  4. Cover accident and sickness at a minimum of 85% with no lifetime maximum (i.e. unlimited benefit) per accident or sickness;
  5. Cover inpatient and outpatient hospital expenses, outpatient surgical expenses, inpatient and outpatient mental health, prescription drugs, laboratory tests and x-rays, physical therapy, maternity, and home health care;
  6. Provide coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains;
  7. Provide coverage for the period of August 12, 2020 to August 11, 2021;
  8. Have an in-network deductible no greater than $250 per policy year;
  9. Provide immediate coverage for pre-existing conditions with no waiting period for services;
  10. Provide coverage for preventative care, including physicals, physician visit exams, gynecological exams, and preventative laboratory tests, immunizations, and vaccinations;
  11. Provide coverage for emergency room visits.

Waiver Denials & Missed Deadlines 

  • Students who submitted an online waiver form with Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk and received a denial will have the opportunity to submit additional documentation in support of their waiver request.
  • Students who miss the August 10, 2020 deadline to submit an online waiver form may submit a Petition to Waive Form by September 25, 2020 by logging in to their Gallagher account and clicking Waive.

Waiver Appeals

If a student has met all applicable deadlines and received a waiver denial from Gallagher, they may appeal the decision to Vanderbilt’s Student Health Insurance Appeals Committee (SHIP Appeals Committee).

Appeals must be submitted using the online SHIP Waiver Appeals form on or before October 21, 2020. Appeal forms received after October 21, 2020 will not be accepted. Using this form, clearly outline the rationale for the appeal and include all supporting documentation relevant to the request. A Vanderbilt representative will be in touch with the student regarding the Committee’s decision. All decisions by the Appeals Committee are final. Students may not submit additional appeals.

It is important to note the following:

  • Missed deadlines will not be a sufficient basis for an appeal. Gallagher communicates deadline information via email with students. For an overview of Gallagher’s planned communications, click here.
  • Missed email communications from Gallagher or Vanderbilt will not be a sufficient basis for an appeal. Per the Student Handbook, students are required to be familiar with the contents of official University notifications, and to respond to instructions and other official correspondence requiring a response.
  • Health cost sharing plans are not considered comparable coverage as all plans must be fully compliant with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and provide access to local primary care providers in the Vanderbilt University area. The SHIP Appeals Committee will not approve waiver appeals based on coverage through a health cost sharing plan.
  • International students with comparable United States-based coverage studying in Tennessee may request to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan by completing an Appeals Form.
  • International students studying remotely in the United States outside of Tennessee may request to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan by completing an Appeals Form.

Students with questions about the appeals process should email the Chair of the Student Health Insurance Appeals Committee, Elizabeth Boyd.

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