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Health Insurance for Graduate Students

Health Insurance Requirement 

All graduate students registered full-time in a master’s or doctoral program at the University of Maryland, College Park campus must have health insurance coverage. Full-time students are those who are registered for at least 48 units for the semester or 36 units for a 12-week term.  Part-time students, non-degree-seeking students, students enrolled in certificate programs, exclusively online programs, and/or programs at the Shady Grove campus are encouraged but not required to have health insurance, unless the student's immigration status requires insurance. Please view the full policy in the Graduate Catalog.

All full time enrolled graduate students must either opt in to the Student Health Insurance Plan or submit a waiver to opt out of the Student Health Insurance Plan. There are some student groups such as part-time students, exclusively online students, and certificate students who are exempt, but they can voluntarily enroll in SHIP. 

Fall 2024:  All NEW and RETURNING students must enroll in SHIP or waive out of SHIP during open enrollment.
SHIP Open Enrollment: July 15, 2024 - September 15, 2024


Need help with paying your student bill?  Terp Payment Plan

Letters to students:  NEW Graduate Students - December 13, 2023

More information: Health Insurance FAQs


Insurance Options

Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP):  All graduate students are eligible to enroll in SHIP.  Full-time registered graduate students at College Park are required to go through the SHIP enrollment / waiver process. Students who are exempt from the SHIP enrollment / waiver process are eligible to enroll in SHIP using the voluntary enrollment process.  Academic HealthPlans (AHP) is UMD insurance broker who handles the student enrollment and waiver process. More information about SHIP benefits, open enrollment dates, and cost can be found on the AHP website.

The State of Maryland Employee Health Plan: Students who hold a graduate assistantship* are eligible to enroll in a State of Maryland Health Plan. This is different from SHIP. Enrollment in a State of Maryland Employee Health Plan is not automatic. About 3-4 weeks after the GAship starts, GA's will receive an email from the state (from the Workday system) that will provide instructions on how to opt in to a State of Maryland health insurance plan. You have 60 days after your GA start date to opt in. More information about the State of Maryland plans can be found on the UMD Human Resources Benefits website

** Please note, students who hold a graduate assistantship will need to choose either SHIP or the State of MD plan. If the State of MD plan is chosen, the graduate assistant must then submit a waiver for SHIP.

A plan external to UMD (not SHIP and not a State plan):  Students can enroll in a health insurance plan that is outside of UMD.  It must be compliant with the Affordable Care Act and it must be underwritten in the United States.  If you have a plan external to UMD, please submit your SHIP waiver as soon as you become a full-time student in order to avoid getting charged for SHIP. 


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