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Health Insurance FAQ

Health insurance and health care are important for maintaining physical and mental well-being while in graduate school.  All of our Big Ten peers require international students to have health insurance; five of them require it of all international and domestic students.  

Every year, we learn about uninsured students who are seriously ill. Healthcare services in the United States are expensive, and the cost of getting sick without insurance can total in the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Unexpected healthcare costs of this magnitude will undoubtedly disrupt a student’s overall well-being and academic progress. 

Enrollment in an insurance plan ensures that you have access to health care.  

All full-time enrolled graduate students at College Park are required to have health insurance and will be automically enrolled into the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) in August, unless you submit a waiver showing that you already have insurance. 

Part time students, exclusively online students, Shady Grove students, non-degree seeking students, and certificate students are encouraged but not required have health insurance.  These student groups are eligbile to enroll in SHIP using the Voluntary Enrollment Process.  They are not part of the Mandatory Enrollment Process.

If you already have insurance, you can submit a waiver to avoid getting charged for SHIP.  To submit a waiver, please go to the Academic HealthPlans website or University Health Center Website.   If you have insurance and you see the charge on your student account, you can submit a waiver to get a refund.  New and returning students will be required to either enroll in SHIP or submit a waiver each year during the Fall Open Enrollment (July 15 - September 15, 2024).  New Students (who start their program in Spring 2024) will be required to waive during the Spring Open Enrollment (Dec 1 - Feb 15, 2024).

 

YES  

Graduate students enrolled in at least 48 units for the semester or 36 units for a 12-week term are considered full-time students.  All full time students are subject to the autoenrollment/waiver process.  Graduate Assistants who are appointed by PP04 are exempt from this process.

Part-time students, non-degree-seeking students, students in certificate programs, students in an exclusively online program, and/or students enrolled at the Shady Grove campus are not required by policy to have insurance.  However, they are eligible to purchase a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) as long as they are enrolled in at least one credit.  This is called Voluntary Enrollment.

Yes.  Graduate students registered for 1 or more credits are eligible to purchase SHIP.  This is called Voluntary Enrollment.

During Open Enrollment or after a qualifying life event.  For current open enrollment dates, please visit the University Health Center Website . 

Open enrollment is the period when you may purchase and enroll in a health insurance plan. SHIP Open Enrollment periods can be found on the Academic HealthPlans Website or the University Health Center Website .

If you miss Open Enrollment, you may still qualify to purchase a plan if you experience a Qualifying Event—aging off a parent’s plan, marriage, divorce, and birth or adoption of a child. Supporting documentation is required for these events.

The SHIP premium for AY 23-24 can be found at umdgrad.myahpcare.com/enrollment.    

For information about the cost of the Maryland State Employee Health plans, please visit uhr.umd.edu/benefits/.

There is no funding available to assist students with the purchase of health insurance.  If extra financial support is needed to cover this cost, students can request a reevaluation of the cost of attendance to increase their financial aid package.  More information about this can be found on the Bursar's website.  Students can also explore the possibility of applying for Medicaid from the Maryland Department of Health.  To see if you are eligible for Medicaid, please go to health.maryland.gov

The decision to have a policy that requires graduate students to have health insurance comes only after careful deliberation and with the support of students and faculty across campus.  Too many times, we hear stories of uninsured students who wind up with unexpected expenses that arise from being sick or injured. The university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is a great option and is reasonably priced.  It not only is comparable to other premium plans on the market, but it is priced at only $2,350 for an individual annual plan. 

Financial planning that includes health insurance is an important measure for everyone to undertake and will help to protect the health and well being of all students.  For guidance on financial planning matters, please visit the Bursar's Money Matters website at financialaid.umd.edu/resources-policies/money-matters.

If you have health benefits through their GAship, your health benefits will end when your assistantship ends.  

--If you end your GAship in December, your health insurance will end on Dec 31, 2023  
--If you end your GAship in January, then your health insurance will end January 31, 2024.
--If you end your GAship in May, then your health insurance will end on May 31, 2024**  

**Important note about Summer: If you have a GAship for the Spring and your GAship is renewed for the upcoming Fall, then you will have continuous coverage over the summer. However, if you are not renewed for the upcoming Fall, then your insurance will terminate on the last day of the month that your GAship ended (as shown above)

Full-time fellows are required to have health insurance.  Please see the "health insurance for fellows" webpage for more information.  As a student, you are eligible to purchase SHIP.  Some fellowships provide a reimbursement for the purchase of health insurance.  Please look at the details outlined in your fellowship offer.

  • Enroll in an external plan (i.e. spousal plan, parental plan, or SHIP etc..) using the Qualifying Event process (ending your job makes you eligible for a Qualifying Event)
  • Enroll in a short term plan.  A resource to find a short term plan is www.ehealthinsurance.com/.  This site will ask just a few questions and provide you with plan options.  It does not require your email or phone number.  Any site that requires your personal information is not recommended.
  • If you are enrolled in a Maryland State Employee Plan and become a part-time student, that will mean that your graduate assistantship will end.  When your GAship ends, your health coverage will end.  
  • If you are enrolled in SHIP, and become a part-time, your SHIP coverage will continue through the end of the plan period.  And if you graduate, SHIP coverage will continue through the end of the plan period. 
  • If you are enrolled in an external plan, and become part-time, your coverage will continue through the end of the plan period. 
  • When you lose insurance, you may be eligible to enroll in a new plan using the Qualifying Life Event process.
  • If you are enrolled in a Maryland State Employee Plan, and you are no longer enrolled as full-time student, then your graduate assistantship would end. When your GAship ends, your state health coverage will end.  
  • If you are enrolled in SHIP, your coverage will continue through the end of the plan period. The change in your student status will not terminate your SHIP.
  • If you are enrolled in an external plan, your coverage would continue through the end of the plan period. 
  • When you lose insurance, you may be eligible to enroll in a new plan using the Qualifying Life Event process.

Please consult the International Student and Scholar Services website for more information about your visa requirements.  Please note, we always recommend that you purchase a U.S. insurance plan.  Insurance from outside of the US may be insufficient.

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