Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to have insurance?• If you are a full-time, dissertation status, or exchange students (here for at least 1 term), the University requires you to have medical insurance.
• If you are a part-time student, you are not required to purchase insurance or show proof of alternative coverage. However, all degree seeking candidates, including part-time students, are eligible to enroll in the Penn Student Insurance Plan.
• If you become full-time at any point during academic year, you will have to show proof of insurance or you will be placed on the University's plan.
• If you are unsure of your registration status, please speak with your department.


Why do I have to have insurance?• Health insurance guarantees that you will be able to obtain necessary treatment in the event that you develop a serious illness or injury.
• Health insurance also protects you against potential catastrophic financial losses by limiting the extent of your fiscal responsibility for the cost of medical treatment.
• In addition to protection against catastrophic illness, many students look to health insurance to provide for an array of other medical treatment and preventive care.


Do I have to enroll in the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP)?• You may satisfy the insurance requirement through any private plan that meets University criteria for coverage or through enrollment in the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP).
• Regardless of the coverage that you select, you must submit information about your insurance coverage each year. You do this by filing either a waiver or an enrollment in PSIP to the online system.


What is the deadline for filing a waiver or application for enrollment?• The online system is open from July 1, 2014 through August 31, 2014.


What happens if I fail to waive or accept the student insurance?• If you are full-time, dissertation status, or an exchange student (here for more that at least 1 term), and do not file a selection by the deadline, you will be enrolled in the student-only insurance plan in September through the University's Default Enrollment System.


I am a full-time student. Why can't I simply ignore the process since I'll be enrolled by default anyway?• At the beginning of the semester, the university's systems may not always accurately reflect your status as a full-time student. If so, you will not be default enrolled.
• There are often delays between default enrollment in an insurance plan and registration in the insurance carrier's medical and pharmacy databases. This can impact your ability to access care if you need it.
• Changes in registration status can affect your eligibility and can result in a denial of coverage.


I have private insurance already. How can I determine if it meets the standards for alternative coverage? For 2014-2015, alternative coverage must meet these minimum standards.


When do I pay the premium for my insurance?• The annual premiums are billed in 2 increments. The first will be billed directly to your account in within a few weeks of your enrollment online, and the second installment will be billed in late in the fall term.
• If you receive funding from your school, you may receive refunds which include premium to be repaid for insurance. Be sure to monitor your account closely to determine whether your premium has been paid, or speak to an advisor in Financial Services.


Can I get financial aid assistance?• For students in graduate and professional programs, the cost of the health insurance plan is already incorporated into the cost-of-attendance budget used for purposes of financial aid and student loan eligibility.
• For undergraduates, the Federal Direct Loan Program and Parent Loan Program (PLUS) are available to help meet this expense, as long as the student has completed a FAFSA.
• If you have any questions, contact Student Financial Services.


I am covered through private insurance now, but will be in need of coverage during the academic year. How do I proceed?• You may enroll in the middle of the year within 31 days of a qualifying life changing event.
• Qualifying Life Events include: Removal from a parent's health insurance plan after achieving a landmark birthday that disqualifies you from that coverage
• Loss of private insurance through loss of employment or divorce.
• Please contact Student Insurance within 31 days of the occurrence of the event.


What if I lose my student health insurance identification card?• You may contact at 1 800 841-5374 or visit Aetna Student Health to re-order a new card.


Are my dependents required to visit SHS for a referral to see a doctor?• The referral requirement does not apply to covered dependents.


How do I contact the Student Health Insurance Office?• Email: shsinsur@pobox.upenn.edu

• Address:
Student Health Insurance University of Pennsylvania - Student Health Service
3535 Market Street Suite 100, Room B101 Philadelphia, PA 19104-3376

Phone Number: 215 746 3535, menu option #3 Fax Number: 215 746 0904