Enrollment in Vanderbilt’s Student Health Insurance Plan is mandatory for all international students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional). International students may not waive Vanderbilt’s Student Health Insurance Plan. Mandatory international student enrollment is designed to better protect international students from undue financial burden due to illness, to ensure that international students are compliant with and have insurance coverage that meets federal regulations for their visa status, and to facilitate access to worldwide coverage – regardless of whether students are in Nashville or travelling home or abroad. If an international student has been granted permanent U.S. residency, they may follow the waiver process outlined below for domestic students.
All students in degree programs registered for four or more credits — or who are actively enrolled in research courses (including, but not limited to dissertation or thesis courses) and are designated by Vanderbilt University as maintaining full-time enrollment – are required to be covered by a health insurance plan that is comparable to or exceeds the Vanderbilt Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
Domestic students who are currently enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets or exceeds the Student Health Insurance Plan offered through Vanderbilt University, and do not wish to enroll in the student plan, must complete an online waiver form with Vanderbilt’s insurance broker – Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk — documenting their other insurance information..
Each submitted waiver will be audited to ensure the student is actively enrolled in the plan stated on the waiver form and that the student has access to providers and services within the Nashville area.
Students must complete the waiver form at the beginning of each academic year in order to waive SHIP coverage for that year. Students enrolled in summer courses must also submit a separate summer waiver form by August 1, 2019.The academic year online waiver form must be completed no later than August 1, 2019. Students newly enrolled for the spring semester must submit their spring waiver form by January 6, 2020.
In order to be able to waive coverage, a student’s current insurance plan must:
- Be fully compliant with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and all state and federal mandates;
- Be underwritten by an insurance and claims company based in the United States (no international insurance companies, travel insurance or short term medical plans);
- Provide access to local doctors, specialists, hospitals and other health care providers in the Vanderbilt University area;
- Cover accident and sickness at a minimum of 80% with no lifetime maximum (i.e. unlimited benefit) per accident or sickness;
- 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 (international student requirement only);
- Provide coverage for the period of August 12, 2019 to August 11, 2020;
- Have an in-network deductible no greater than $250 per policy year;
- 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.
Waiver Appeals with Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk
Students who submitted an online waiver form with Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk (Gallagher) on or before August 1, 2019, and received a denial will have the opportunity to submit additional documentation in support of their waiver request through Gallagher’s appeals process. The deadline to submit additional documentation is September 27, 2019.
Students who miss the August 1, 2019 deadline to submit an online waiver form may submit a Petition to Waive Form by September 27, 2019. The Petition to Waive Form will be made available on the Gallagher website once the waiver deadline has passed.
Waiver Appeals with Vanderbilt’s Student Health Insurance Appeals Committee
If a student has met all applicable deadlines and received a denial through the Gallagher appeals process, 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, 2019. Appeal forms received after October 21, 2019 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.
- There will be no waiver exceptions for international students, apart from those students who have been granted permanent U.S. residency.
Students with questions about the appeals process should email the Chair of the Student Health Insurance Appeals Committee, Elizabeth Boyd.
Deadlines for Spring 2020 Waivers and Appeals
- Gallagher’s spring online waiver form is due January 6, 2020; final supporting documentation is due by February 28, 2020.
- Gallagher’s petition to waive form is due February 14, 2020; final supporting documentation is due by February 28, 2020. Students only need to submit the Petition to Waive Form if they miss the January 6, 2020 deadline.
- If a student has met all applicable deadlines and received a denial through the Gallagher appeals process, they may appeal the decision to Vanderbilt’s SHIP Appeals Committee on or before March 23 using the online SHIP Waiver Appeals form.