Mandatory Student Health Insurance

Student Insurance FAQ

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Why is SMU requiring students to maintain health insurance as a condition of their enrollment?

Students often need medical care beyond the capabilities of the Memorial Health Center. Examples are automobile accidents, injuries requiring sophisticated imaging (MRI & CT scans), or serious medical or surgical care requiring hospitalization. The University wants to make sure students have the necessary medical care needed in case of events such as these.

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I am a SMU employee taking classes; does the MHI Policy apply to me?

Yes. The MHI Policy applies to all Domestic Students taking 9 credit hours or more and International Students taking 1 credit hour or more, regardless of their employment status. The waive/elect process is based on your student status NOT your employee status. The SMU Student Insurance Office does not have access to employee records and therefore has no way of identifying students who are also employees.

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I pay a health fee as a part of my full-time student fees each semester. How is the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) different from those fees?

The payment of the health center fee allows a student full access to the Memorial Health Center for unlimited routine physician visits, as well as access to Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), at no charge. Students also have access to specialist visits, lab work and x-rays at reduced rates. The pharmacy is also available to students who have paid their health center fees. The Student Health Insurance Plan is a comprehensive medical insurance plan designed to provide convenient and affordable access to medical care at the Memorial Health Center, as well as, care beyond what the Health Center can provide.

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Do I have to have health insurance?

All undergraduate and graduate students taking nine or more credit hours and international visa holders are REQUIRED to have health insurance either through the Student Health Insurance Plan or through another approved individual or family plan.

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What is the cost of the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)? 

The premium is $1016.00 per semester for 2013-2014. ($1016.00 for fall and $1016.00 for spring/summer)

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What is the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and what does it cover? 

You can find more information about the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) in the Student Health Insurance Brochure.

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I will begin my classes in the summer. What is the premium and how do I elect to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)?

The Summer only premium for 2014 (5/17/2014 through 8/12/2014) is $509.00. To enroll in the Summer insurance students must print the Summer Enrollment Form on the home page of this website (www.smu.edu/healthinsurance) and return it to the address provided on the form along with the premium for the Summer only. Fall enrollment is then completed in Access.SMU, after you enroll for classes.

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I am attending SMU on a scholarship how do I know if my department pays for my insurance?

It is the student’s responsibility to contact their department to verify if they have been enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

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I have an International plan from my home country will this plan be accepted?

International Plans are not accepted. SMU requires International students taking one or more credit hours to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan, unless they have been approved for a waiver.  International plans are not approved for a waiver at any time.

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What is considered comparable insurance coverage to the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)?

Comparable health insurance means the students' insurance policy must have policy limits comparable to the Student Health Insurance Plan and the student must have coverage in the state of Texas. Examples include: $2500 maximum annual deductible, at least a $200,000 maximum benefit per policy year, emergency care, comprehensive in and out- patient hospital care, physician office visits (prior to meeting deductible), pharmacy benefits (prior to meeting deductible) and out-patient diagnostic coverage. The plan must not require that the insured meet the plan deductible before it pays any of the previous mentioned benefits.

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I am graduating before the plan ends. Will I still be covered?

Yes, the student will maintain their coverage through the termination date of the policy for which they are enrolled. For instance, the student graduates in December of 2013, but the Student Plan is set to term on January 9, 2014. The student will maintain this coverage through January 9, 2014 even though they are no longer a student.

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Is there a way to continue my insurance coverage after the term date if I have already graduated?

Yes. Continuation of Coverage is ONLY available to a covered Student who has graduated or is otherwise ineligible for coverage under the Student Health Insurance Plan. The premium must be received before the existing coverage under the Student Health Insurance Plan terminates. In no event will the covered person be eligible for Continuation of Coverage, if the premium is received after the termination date of the Policy. The period of coverage must be selected and the total premium must be paid at the time of enrollment. To set up Continuation of Coverage the student must contact Academic Health Plans at 1-888-308-7320.

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What does the term ‘waive’ mean? 

Providing documentation of current comparable insurance coverage so that a student may decline enrolling in Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

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Where do I go to Elect or Waive Health Insurance?

To "Elect" or "Waive" health insurance, go to the Student Center component in Access.SMU and click on the Health Insurance link on the right hand side. You will only see the button AFTER you enroll for classes each semester.

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Where can I get detailed instructions on how to Elect or Waive Health insurance in Access.SMU?

Access.SMU Waive/Elect Instructions are located on the home page of this website
(www.smu.edu/healthinsurance). They include screen shots and step-by-step instructions.

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Do I have to ELECT/WAIVE each semester?

Yes, SHIP waivers do not carry over from one semester to the next.

Students who fall under the MHI policy and do not make a selection will have the Student Health Insurance Plan automatically requested for them and the semi-annual premium billed to their student account for that semester.

Beginning spring 2014, your fall election of SHIP will carry over to the following spring/summer semester. If you were on SHIP for fall 2013 you will automatically be re-enrolled in SHIP for the spring/summer period and the premium will be charged to your SMU Access account. This applies only to students. You will need to re-enroll your dependents and spouse through Academic Health Plans every semester. If you were on SHIP for fall and want to waive SHIP for spring/summer you must submit a paper waiver to the Student Health Insurance office before the deadline.

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I want to enroll annually, but I am not given that option. Can I enroll annually?

Beginning spring 2014 if you were on SHIP for fall 2013 you will automatically be re-enrolled in SHIP for the spring/summer period and the spring/summer premium will be charged to your SMU Access account. This applies only to students. You will need to re-enroll your dependents and spouse through Academic Health Plans every semester.

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How many times per academic year do I need to Elect/Waive insurance?

Waivers must be submitted every semester by the drop add date. See "Do I have to Elect/Waive each semester?" above regarding electing SHIP.

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How do I know when it’s open enrollment and time to Elect/Waive each semester?

The Elect /Waive process starts in Access.SMU at the same time as Open Enrollment for classes each semester. Students must first enroll in classes before the "Health Insurance" button will appear on the Student Center home page. Students also receive email notification of the deadlines to waive or elect by each semester.

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What happens if I don't make an Elect/Waive selection within the specified time frame?

SMU will make the selection of "Electing" the Student Health Insurance Plan for all Domestic Students who are enrolled in 9 credit hours or more and for all International F-1 Visa holders enrolled in one or more credit hours. These students will be billed for the premium specified for that term.

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If I do not Elect or Waive the Student Health Insurance Plan by the set deadlines each semester what will be the outcome?

The $1016.00 semi-annual premium will be charged to your student account and you will automatically be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan.

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I was automatically enrolled into the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and my student account has been charged, but I already have insurance coverage. What are my options?

A student MUST contact the Insurance Department within 30 days from the first day of classes and provide current health insurance information for the premium to be removed. After 30 days into a semester, the student’s enrollment into the Student Health Insurance Plan cannot be cancelled and the premium will not be removed. Students may contact the Insurance Department via email at studenthealthinsurance@smu.edu .

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I waived the Student Health Insurance Plan, but have recently lost my insurance coverage. Can I still enroll in the student insurance plan?

Yes, a student may still enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan, but the premium charge will not be prorated for late enrollment. A student must report the change in insurance coverage in the Student Center component of Access.SMU by selecting the Health Center button, and then select the term in which the changes need to be made and enter the date their policy will terminate. The Insurance Coordinator will be notified of the termination of coverage.  After reporting the change in coverage, a student will need to contact the Insurance Department at studenthealthinsurance@smu.edu to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan.

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Can I add my dependents to my insurance/coverage?

The Student Health Insurance Policy allows you to add your dependents to your coverage. Students must complete a Dependent Enrollment Form available at www.smu.edu/healthinsurance and mail it along with the dependent premium only, to the address provided on the form. Unlike your student premium, premiums for dependents cannot be billed to your student account and must be paid in their entirety at the time of dependent enrollment. You must repeat this process every semester, as dependent coverage does not carry over from semester to semester.

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What if I’m covered under my parents or spouse’s health insurance?

If you have other insurance you must complete the waiver process online in the Student Center component of Access.smu. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the waiver process themselves at the same time they enroll in classes each semester. Please contact the SMU Insurance Department if you have difficulty or questions at studenthealthinsurance@smu.edu. Failure to waive each semester will result in automatic enrollment into SHIP and fees incurred.

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If I’m taking less than 9 hours, do I have to purchase health insurance?

You are not required to purchase health insurance if you are taking less than 9 credit hours, unless you are an International Student. However, all students are strongly encouraged to have health insurance for themselves and their dependents. Students enrolled in less than 9 credit hours have the option of electing the Student Health Insurance. Follow the instructions under the FAQ "Where do I go to Elect or Waive Health Insurance?"

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If I made a selection of Elect, can I change it to waive?

If you made a selection and wish to change it, you must contact the SMU Insurance Office at studenthealthinsurance@smu.edu. Changes are only permitted within 30 days from the first day of class and can only be completed by the SMU Insurance Coordinator. You must complete a waiver and provide proof of current comparable insurance coverage. No changes can be made after the 30th day of classes.

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I am an International student covered by my embassy plan, am I automatically waived?

No. You will need to print and complete the International Waiver Form and email it along with a copy of the front and back of your embassy provided insurance card to studenthealthinsurance@smu.edu. Failure to provide necessary and complete documentation by the 30th day of class will result in automatic enrollment into SHIP and the premium charged to your student account.

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It is past the 30 days into a term, can I change my election from Elect to Waive?

No, waivers are NOT permitted after 30 days into a term.

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What information do I need to complete the waiver process?

You will need the following information on hand BEFORE beginning the waiver process.

  • Insurance Company Name (ex: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna...)
  • Insurance Type (HMO, PPO, POS)
  • Member Services phone number
  • Name of policy holder (usually a parent)
  • Date of birth of policy holder
  • Group number
  • Subscriber/Member ID number

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Where can I see a summary of my selection for the semester?

Click the green Health Insurance button on the right side of the Student Center homepage of
Access.SMU
Click the Term and Year (Open Enrollment)
Click Next
Click Next
A page will state that you have Successfully Elected Coverage or will display the Insurance Company Information you entered, which indicates you Waived the Student Health Insurance for the selected semester.

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When will I receive my health insurance card?

You should receive your insurance card within 3 weeks of enrollment, however; if you want the insurance and wait to be automatically enrolled it will take considerably longer to receive your card.
If you do not receive your card contact Academic Health Plans at 1-888-308-7320 to verify the status of your enrollment and to request a temporary card be emailed to you.

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Where will my insurance card be mailed? 

Your insurance card and any correspondence from the insurance company will be mailed to the HOME address you have listed in Access.smu. Insurance cards will not be mailed to international addresses. Therefore, it is vitally important that you ensure the correctness of your U.S. home address every semester. If there is not a valid U.S. address listed under Home Address, your mail will be delivered to the Memorial Health Center and held in the Insurance Office for you to pick up. The Insurance Office will notify you, by email to your SMU email address that your card is at the Memorial Health Center.

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[last updated April 2013]