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Summer Coverage

Having continuous health insurance coverage is important, so it is critical to understand the options for summer coverage.  

First, it is important to know when coverage starts and when it ends. Coverage periods will vary according to the plan.  Graduate Students may have health insurance through the University's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), a state of Maryland Employee health plan (through an assistantship), or an external plan (e.g., spouse’s plan, parent’s plan).  More details about these plan options are below. 

University's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): 
There are four different coverage periods available for graduate students.

UMD Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)


Open Enrollment

Coverage Period

Annual Plan

July 15 - Sept. 15     

Aug. 1 - July 31

Fall 2020, only

July 15 - Sept. 15

Aug. 1 - Dec. 31

Spring & Summer 2021

Dec. 1 - Feb. 15

Jan. 1  - July 31

Summer 2021, only

May 15 - June 30

June 1 -  July 31

For SHIP, there is no automatic process that re-enrolls students at the end of the coverage period.  In order to maintain continuous coverage, students must actively take steps to enroll (or re-enroll) in a plan. 

SHIP summer coverage includes June and July.  August is part of the next academic year, so August coverage is part of the Fall plan or the Annual plan.  

The State of Maryland Employee Insurance Plan (option for Graduate Assistants, only):
Students who hold a graduate assistantship are eligible to enroll in a State of Maryland Employee Health Insurance plan.  If the assistantship continues from one academic year to the next, the health insurance coverage will continue uninterrupted through the summer.  However, if an assistantship ends in Spring and there is not are-appointment in the Fall, then there is no summer coverage.  

Without a reappointment in the Fall, the State of Maryland health insurance coverage will end when your Spring assistantship ends. Your state health plan will be canceled as of the last day of the month that your Spring GAship ended (For example if your assistantship ended on May 15, your health insurance will end on May 31). 

To purchase a summer plan you have a few options.  

  • Enroll in SHIP either during their Summer Open Enrollment Period or through their Qualifying Event process. Students who lose insurance because of job loss are eligible to enroll in most insurance plans using the Qualifying Event process.  

  • Enroll in an external plan (i.e., spouse's plan, parent’s plan) using the Qualifying Event Process

  • Enroll in a short-term plan.  A resource to find a short-term plan is  This site will ask just a few questions and provide you with plan options.  It does not require your name or email or phone number.  Any site that requires your personal information is not recommended.

External Plan:
If you have health insurance coverage from a plan external to UMD, contact your carrier to learn about or to confirm plan coverage periods.  

Contact Information

The Graduate School, University of Maryland

2123 Lee Building
7809 Regents Drive
College Park, MD 20742