Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions that need answers? Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding student health insurance at SMU.

Students often need medical care beyond the capabilities of the Student 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.
To "Elect" or "Waive" health insurance, go to the Student Center component in My.SMU and select the Student Health Insurance Tile. Select the Mandatory Health Insurance Button on the upper left hand side of the screen (this component will only be available once you are enrolled in classes for the current or upcoming term).
My.SMU Waive/Elect Instructions are located on the HERE. They include step-by-step instructions.

Yes, SHIP waivers DO NOT carry over from one semester to the next.

Students who fall under the MHI policy and do not Elect or Waive by the deadline each semester will have the Student Health Insurance Plan automatically requested for them and the semi-annual premium billed to their student account for that semester. Students must waive or elect insurance each semester once they're enrolled in their classes.

There is not an option to enroll annually.  Premiums and enrollment must be paid each semester.
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.

Two times. Waivers must be submitted every semester by the deadline date. See "Do I have to Elect/Waive each semester?" above regarding electing SHIP. The deadlines for 2020-2021 are: Fall 2020: August 7, 2020 and Spring 2021: December 7, 2020.

The Elect /Waive process starts in My.SMU at the same time as Open Enrollment for classes each semester. Students must first enroll in classes before the "Student Health Insurance" button will appear on the Student Center home page. Students also receive email notification of the deadlines to waive or elect each semester.
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 Visa holders enrolled in one or more credit hours. These students will be billed for the health insurance premium specified for that term. No waivers will be accepted or reversal of charges will be made after the deadline each semester. 

The $1628.00 semi-annual premium will be charged to your student account and you will automatically be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan for the current semester. No waivers will be accepted or reversal of charges will be made after the deadline each semester. 

Yes, a student may still enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan. A student must report the change in insurance coverage to the Student Health Insurance Office at studenthealthinsurance@smu.edu This office will assist you in signing up for Student Health Insurance Plan.
The Student Health Insurance Policy allows you to add your dependents to your coverage. Students must complete a Dependent Enrollment Form available HERE. 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.
If you have other insurance you must complete the waiver process online in the Student Center component of My.smu. After students enroll for classes, they are strongly encouraged to complete the waiver process themselves at the same time they enroll in classes each semester. Please contact the SMU Insurance Office if you have difficulty or questions at studenthealthinsurance@smu.edu. Failure to waive each semester by the deadline will result in automatic enrollment into SHIP and the semi-annual premium will be incurred. No waivers will be accepted or reversal of charges will be made after the deadline each semester. 

You are not required to document 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. Domestic Students Degree Seeking Students enrolled in at least 4 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?"

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 prior to the deadline each semester and can only be completed by the SMU Insurance Coordinator. You must complete a waiver and provide proof of current comparable insurance coverage. No waivers will be accepted or reversal of charges will be made after the deadline each semester. 
No. You will need to waive online each semester. To "Waive" health insurance, go to the Student Center component in My.SMU and select the Student Health Insurance Tile. Select the Mandatory Health Insurance Button on the upper left hand side of the screen (this component will only be available once you are enrolled in classes for the current or upcoming term) Failure to provide necessary and complete documentation, and receive an approval email by the deadline each semester will result in automatic enrollment into SHIP and the premium charged to your student account.
The payment of the health center fee allows a student full access to the Student Health Center for unlimited routine physician visits, as well as access to Counseling Services, 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 with Aetna’s PPO network, designed to provide convenient and affordable access to medical care at the Student Health Center, as well as, care beyond what the Health Center can provide.
No waivers will be accepted or reversal of charges will be made after the deadline each semester.

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. It must provide coverage beyond emergency services only in the state of Texas.

All international Visa holders taking one or more credit hours are required to be enrolled in the SMU student Health Insurance plan, unless you receive a special waiver granted by the SMU Insurance Office. To review waiver exceptions, select International Students on the home page of this website. 

The premium is $1628.00 per semester for 2020-2021. ($1628.00 for Fall and $1628.00 for Spring/Summer).

The Summer only premium for 2020 (5/01/20 through 7/31/2020) is $749.00. To enroll in the Summer insurance students must print the Summer Enrollment Form and return it to the address provided on the form along with the premium for the Summer only. Fall enrollment is then completed in My.SMU, after you enroll for fall classes.
It is the student’s responsibility to contact their department to verify if their department pays for their Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
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. To view the only two exceptions for an International waiver return to the homepage of this website and select "I am an International student".
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 beyond emergency services only in the state of Texas. Domestic students may have insurance coverage through the Market Place as long as it is a Silver PPO plan or above. We cannot accept insurance through the Market Place for International students. International insurance plans are not accepted for domestic or international students. Examples include: $5000 maximum annual deductible, 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.
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 May of 2020, but the Student Plan is set to term on July 31, 2020. The student will maintain this coverage through July 31, 2020, even though they are no longer a student. December Graduates’ insurance will term on December 31.
Typing in information from the students insurance card into my.smu/studentcenter. Then provides SMU with proof of current comparable insurance coverage so that a student may decline enrolling in Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

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

  • A digital copy of the front and back of your insurance card
  • Student’s Date of birth and Social Security Number (if you have one)
  • Insurance Company Name (ex: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna...)
  • Member Services phone number
  • Name of policy holder (usually a parent)
  • Group number
  • Subscriber/Member ID number
  • Click Student Health Insurance tile in My.SMU
  • Click the Mandatory Health Insurance Button
  • Enter your Date of Birth
  • A page will appear with your waiver history

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 1-855-357-0242 to verify the status of your enrollment and to request a temporary card be emailed to you.

Your insurance card and any correspondence from the insurance company will be mailed to the HOME address you have listed in My.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 Student 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 Student Health Center.
The Marketplace is where individuals may go to purchase health insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires, with few exceptions, individuals to have health insurance. Under ACA, individuals who don’t have health insurance beginning  Jan.1, 2014, may have to pay a federal tax penalty. These penalties grow each year. Your SMU Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) meets this requirement, so you will not pay a penalty.
Yes, the SMU Student Health Insurance Plan meets the ACA requirements and provides all mandated benefits.
No, you cannot buy the SMU Student Health Insurance Plan on the Marketplace, nor can you get a premium tax credit or cost-sharing assistance for the SMU Student Health Insurance Plan. Student plans under ACA are treated separately because the cost of coverage and benefits reflect the student population and should be more affordable than many of the individual plans on the Marketplace.
There may be low-or no-cost choices if you qualify for assistance based on earnings, but the Marketplace plans may not offer the same level of benefits you get on the SMU Student Health Insurance Plan. In other words, even though the monthly cost for an individual plan could be less, the amount you pay if you need services could be higher due to higher deductibles and higher coinsurance.

With the SMU Student Health Insurance Plan, you have the benefit of having an insurance plan that the University endorses that will cover 80 percent of eligible services with no deductible at the student health center(s) on campus.

This gives you easy access to basic health care services along with office visits, prescriptions and many preventive services at a low out-of-pocket cost.  Also, if you need to see a doctor off-campus, you have the assurance of the comprehensive network of doctors, hospitals and specialists provided by Aetna’s PPO Network. The SMU Student Health Insurance Plan includes global emergency services, (evacuation, repatriation and AD&D coverage) which are valuable to students traveling abroad.

The plan must have coverage in the state of Texas. Many Silver level plans with the lowest rates (although often still greater than SHIP) are either HMO’s or EPO’s that have very limited networks which likely will not cover you at home or school.  It must have a maximum annual deductible of $5000.00 or lower. It must also include the following benefits: emergency care, comprehensive in- and out-patient hospital care, physician office visits (prior to meeting deductible), pharmacy benefits (prior to meeting the deductible), mental health parity benefits (in and outpatient) and out-patient diagnostic coverage. 
Open enrollment periods do not necessarily coincide with the academic semester meaning students may be uninsured at points during the year.