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Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) Waiver Policies

Automatic Enrollment

Degree and non-degree seeking students (excluding DUS and Consortium students) enrolled in 4+ credit hours, a 0-credit research/dissertation course, or any other course that is considered to equate to full-time enrollment are automatically enrolled in SHIP.

Waiving SHIP 

  • Maymester/Summer 2021
    • Eligible, newly enrolled Maymester/Summer 2021 students interested in waiving SHIP may complete a waiver form by visiting www.gallagherstudent.com/vanderbilt between April 19, 2021 and August 1, 2021. Please read the Waiver Requirements and Criteria for Comparable Coverage sections below. It is important to remember that waiver requests for the 2021 Maymester or Summer sessions do not apply to the 2021-2022 academic year. If you are eligible for SHIP based on your enrollment in coursework for the fall 2021 semester, you will be required to complete a separate waiver form for the 2021-2022 annual year.
  • Annual Plan 2021-2022
    • Eligible students interested in waiving SHIP for the 2021-2022 academic year may request to waive SHIP by completing a waiver form at https://vanderbilt.myahpcare.com/waiver between May 17, 2021 and August 1, 2021. Please read the Waiver Requirements and Criteria for Comparable Coverage sections below.
  • Spring 2022
    • Eligible, newly enrolled spring 2022 students interested in waiving SHIP may complete a waiver form. The form is not yet live, please check back for updates.
    • Continuing students enrolled in the annual plan are eligible to disenroll from the spring/summer portion of SHIP if they obtain comparable coverage effective on or before 1/1/22. To learn more, please read the “Obtaining Comparable Coverage” section below.
    • Graduating graduate and professional students who have their degrees conferred on or before 12/31/21 are eligible to terminate the spring/summer portion of SHIP. To learn more, please read the “Graduating Students” section below.

Spring 2021 

  • Waiver Deadline: January 4, 2021
  • Deadline to Submit Supporting Documents: February 12, 2021
  • Deadline to Submit an Appeal: March 19, 2021

Maymester/Summer 2021 

  • Waiver Deadline: August 1, 2021
  • Deadline to Submit an Appeal: August 16, 2021

Annual 2021-2022

  • Waiver Deadline: August 1, 2021
  • Deadline to Submit Supporting Documents: September 25, 2021
  • Deadline to Submit an Appeal: October 21, 2021

DOMESTIC STUDENTS

In order to waive SHIP, your private health insurance must provide comparable coverage and be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 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 1, 2021.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Newly enrolled International students studying outside of the United States 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 July 1, 2021. International students who enter the United States at any point during the 2021-2022 academic year or Summer 2022 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.

Newly enrolled International students studying in the United States may request to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan if you have a US-based, employer sponsored insurance plan offering comparable coverage to the Student Health Insurance Plan, including coverage for routine care in the region you currently reside. Please be aware that your coverage must be filed in the United States of America, and cannot be filed in another country. Individual plans purchased on the Marketplace, travel plans, or home-country employer plans are not considered comparable to SHIP.

Please email ship@vanderbilt.edu with questions.

Domestic Students

  • Domestic undergraduate, graduate & professional students eligible for SHIP and enrolled in either online or on-campus coursework can request to waive SHIP if they have comparable coverage in the area they reside. Please carefully read the Criteria for Comparable Coverage section below.

International Students

  • International undergraduate, graduate, & professional students eligible for SHIP and enrolled in either online or on-campus coursework residing in the United States can request to waive SHIP if they have comparable US-based employer coverage filed in the United States through their direct employment or through a dependent’s employer. Individual plans purchased on the Marketplace, travel plans, or home-country employer plans are not considered comparable to the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). Please carefully read the Criteria for Comparable Coverage section below.

The below criteria for comparable coverage applies to domestic and international undergraduate, graduate, & professional students, regardless of whether they are studying online or on-campus.

A student’s health insurance coverage must:

  • Be fully compliant with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and all state and federal mandates;
  • Be underwritten by an insurance and claims company based in the United States with a U. S. telephone number and address for submission of claims (no international insurance companies, policies issued outside of the U. S., travel insurance, or short-term medical plans);
  • Students (with the exception of those who are fully online in a distance learning program) must have access to doctors, specialists, hospitals and other healthcare providers within 25 miles of campus;
  • Cover accident and sickness at a minimum of 80% with no lifetime maximum (i.e. unlimited benefit) per accident or sickness (this will be waived for US employer-plans);
  • 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;
  • Provide coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains;
  • Provide coverage for the period beginning August 12, 2020 with the expectation of continuing coverage through August 11, 2021;
  • Have an in-network individual deductible no greater than $1,000 per policy year (this will be waived for US employer-plans);
  • Provide immediate coverage for pre-existing conditions with no waiting period for services;
  • Provide coverage for preventative care, including physicals, physician visit exams, gynecological exams, and preventative laboratory tests, immunizations, and vaccinations;
  • Provide coverage for emergency room visits.

While not an exhaustive list, the following plan types do not meet Vanderbilt’s criteria for comparable coverage:

  • Short-term Duration Plans
  • Medical Cost Sharing Plans
  • Healthcare Sharing Ministry Plans
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans
  • Medisave Plans
  • Out-of-state Medicaid Plans with only emergency coverage
  • Children’s Health Insurance Plans
  • Travel Plans
  • Plans filed outside of the United States of America
  • Individual plans (international students)
  • Home-country employer plans (international students)

Students who submitted an online waiver form and received a denial will have the opportunity to submit additional documentation in support of their waiver request.

If a student has met all applicable deadlines and received a waiver denial, they may appeal the decision to Vanderbilt’s Student Health Insurance Plan Appeals Committee (SHIP Appeals Committee). Please see deadline schedule above.

Appeals must be submitted using the online SHIP Waiver Appeals form. 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 about the SHIP appeals process:

  • Missed deadlines will not be a sufficient basis for an appeal. Gallagher and AHP communicate deadline information via email with students. For an overview of Gallagher’s planned communications, click here.
  • Missed email communications from Gallagher, AHP, 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.
  • Students with questions about the appeals process should email SHIP@vanderbilt.edu.

You will be covered under SHIP until the end of the policy period for which you are enrolled and your premium has been paid.

Spring Graduates:

  • Spring 2022 graduates will be covered through August 11, 2022, which is the end of the Plan policy period. You will no longer be covered under SHIP after this date.

Fall Graduates & Visiting Exchange students

  • Graduating graduate and professional students are eligible to request to terminate their spring/summer SHIP premium and coverage if your degree is conferred prior to December 31, 2021. Details on this process will be posted prior to August, 25th.
  • Undergraduate, graduate, and professional visiting international exchange students may also submit a Request to Terminate Form if you are leaving the United States. You will be required to show proof of departure from the U.S. (i.e. boarding pass and/or passport exit stamp). Coverage will be terminated as of the last day of the month you resided in the United States. Details on this process will be posted prior to August, 25th.

Obtaining Comparable Coverage

  • When a student obtains comparable insurance coverage from a U.S. based insurance company, a student can complete the Spring/Summer Disenrollment Request Form.
  • Coverage must be effective on or before January 1, 2022.
  • In order for the request to be approved, the other insurance plan must be fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and comparable to the Vanderbilt University Student Health Insurance Plan. Requests will be audited to confirm coverage is comparable.
  • Students who incur claims on or after January 1, 2022 will not be permitted to disenroll from spring/summer coverage.

Leave of Absences (PLOA/MLOA) & Withdrawals

  • If you take a leave of absence within the first 31 days of the start of the coverage period, you will be automatically terminated from the SHIP plan (and no longer have SHIP coverage).
  • If you take a leave of absence after being enrolled for 31 days, you will remain enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan until the end of the plan year. If you have been enrolled in SHIP for longer than one year, you may request to extend your enrollment under SHIP while on a MLOA for a maximum of one year. Complete and submit a MLOA Enrollment Form through AHP's student Portal with a copy of your MLOA letter from your Dean to Academic Health Plans no later than August 1, 2021 to ensure timely enrollment.
  • Upon returning from a leave of absence, if you are enrolled in four or more credits, you will be automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan.
  • Students on a leave of absence are not eligible to be treated at the Student Health Center or at the University Counseling Center.

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