Insurance Information

On behalf of University of Pennsylvania's Student Health Service, we look forward to your arrival on to campus. As a Penn student, or Penn parent or guardian, we wanted to bring your attention to some of the policies that the University of Pennsylvania has established regarding health insurance coverage. Please review the following items and reach out to our office with any questions.


What is the University's policy regarding health insurance?

All full-time and dissertation-status students, as well as exchange students here for a semester or more, must carry comprehensive health insurance as a condition of student enrollment at the University of Pennsylvania. If you have your own insurance coverage, you may waive enrollment in the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) if your plan meets the certain minimum criteria.


What is the University's Insurance criteria for Academic Year 2014-2015?

If you are covered under your own health insurance or that of your parents, you may maintain your coverage if it meets the following criteria:

  1. Your insurance plan must be provided by a company licensed to do business in the United States, with a U.S. claims payment office and a U.S. telephone number.  The company must have a process to remit payments to providers within the U.S.
  2. Your insurance plan must provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, or have been in effect long enough that any waiting period has passed.
  3. Your insurance plan must offer an annual maximum benefit of at least $2,000,000.
  4. Your insurance plan must provide for both in-patient and out-patient mental health care in the Philadelphia area.  A policy that provides only emergency or urgent mental health care services in this area does not meet this requirement. *
  5. Your insurance plan must provide coverage for both in-patient and out-patient medical care in the Philadelphia area, including routine office visits, specialist office visits, diagnostic testing, imaging and physical therapy.   A policy that provides only emergency or urgent medical care in this area does not meet this requirement.*

*If you are insured with an out-of-area managed care plan (i.e. HMO or similar plan), you should be aware that most managed care plans do not cover any care outside of the plan network other than urgent and emergency services. Unless your insurance carrier provides you with a rider for out-of-area coverage in the Philadelphia area, your waiver will not be approved.


What is the Clinical Fee?

Student Health Service is located on campus and committed to partnering with you to treat illnesses and injuries, promote wellness, and provide you with health education and information. All full-time and dissertation-status students, as well as exchange students here for a semester or more pay a Clinical Fee as part of tuition, which allows full access to our health services. A full list of our services can be found here. The 2014-2015 Clinical Fee is $500 ($250 per term), and is billed directly to the student's bursar account.


How do I compare my current insurance to the Penn Student Insurance Plan?

Aetna Student Health has created a calculator tool that let's you compare health insurance plans. Click here to compare your plan.


What do I need to know before I enroll into or waive out of the Penn Student Insurance Plan?

  1. You will need to have a PennKey and password to access the insurance selection system. The PennKey is your link to most of the electronic resources that you will need while here on campus. If you are a first year student, contact your school to find out how to obtain a PennKey (or visit the PennKey web site.)
  2. IMPORTANT: If you receive a message stating that "The information you have provided does not match our database", in most cases this is because we have not yet received your registration information from the University. Please try back in few days. If the problem persists passed the first week of January, please contact us at 215 746 3535 option #3 or email us at shsinsur@pobox.upenn.edu.
  3. You MUST have an email address on file with the University's student registration system to access this site. To add your email address, please go to the Penn Directory at  https://directory.apps.upenn.edu/directory/jsp/fast.do?fastStart=profile. It will take approximately 5-7 business days for this change to take effect.
  4. Once you have made and confirmed your selection, any additional changes to your coverage must be processed in person in the Penn Student Insurance Office. You cannot change the date of enrollment. Once you have completed your selection, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. PLEASE SAVE THIS E-MAIL, AS THIS WILL BE YOUR CONFIRMATION THAT YOU HAVE VISITED THE SITE.
  5. This system is open to incoming spring students ONLY. If you are a continuing student and wish to update your insurance status, please contact us at shsinsur@pobox.upenn.edu or 215 746 3535 option #3.


How do I enroll into the Penn Student Insurance Plan?

The online enrollment system for incoming 2015 students opens December 15, 2014 and closes January 31, 2015.

If you are enrolling in PSIP, please make certain your preferred address is up to date in the Penn registration system. This is where your insurance card will be sent. To update your address information, please go to Penn In Touch or contact The Office of the Registrar. This will take approximately 5-7 business days for this change to take effect.

Click here to enroll in the Penn Student Insurance Plan.


How do I waive out of the Penn Student Insurance Plan?

The online enrollment system for incoming 2015 students opens December 15, 2014 and closes January 31, 2015.

Please obtain a copy of your plan's benefits and review them to ensure your plan meets these criteria. Please note that all waiver requests must be approved by the University. The University audits waiver requests and may contact your insurance company to verify your plan meets the University's insurance criteria. Alternate insurance plans found to not meet these criteria will not be approved.

Click here to waive out of the Penn Student Insurance Plan.


Tips for International Students

In addition to the Penn Student Insurance Plan, international students may be eligible for plans offered by PSI and ISO. While these plans are generally accepted by the University and meet the waiver requirements, they are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the University of Pennsylvania:


Other important information