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FAQs

What is UC SHIP?

University of California Student Health Insurance Plan. It's a health plan that's built for students, with students actively involved in it's design. UC SHIP provides affordable and convenient coverage that protects students from unexpected health care costs. UC SHIP offers medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, mental health benefits.

Can I waive enrollment in UC SHIP Coverage?

Yes, if you have coverage through a major medical insurance plan that meets the university's minimum criteria for health care.

I have coverage back home. Why do I need UC SHIP?

Your health insurance must have primary care, behavioral health, and emergency coverage within 55 miles of UC Merced.

Do I have to complete a waiver application each academic year?

Yes. Your approved waiver is effective for the current academic year only. If you want to waive UC SHIP for the next academic year, you must file another waiver application each year in the fall. Once you submit your waiver application and it is approved, it will remain in effect for the rest of the academic year.

If I waive UC SHIP, can I still use the Student Health Services?

Yes. Absolutely! All registered students at UC Merced can be seen at the Student Health And Counseling Services even if they are not enrolled in UC SHIP.

How do I submit a waiver?

Waiver applications must be completed and submitted online through your student portal. 

Do I have to complete a waiver every semester?

No, once you submit your waiver application and it is approved, it will remain in effect for the rest of the academic year.

What information is required to complete the waiver application?

You will need a copy of your health insurance card as well as your current benefit information. Use the Waiver Worksheet (PDF) to gather the needed information before you start the waiver application process. Check with your insurance company if your plan meets the Waiver Criteria (PDF) requirements.

I do not have all the information to complete the waiver application. What should I do?

Please refer to your insurance Evidence of Coverage booklet. The booklet is provided by your insurance company and describes all of your benefits and any limitations. If you cannot find your booklet, you may find it on the insurance company’s Web site or call the customer service number on your insurance card and ask for help.

How will I know if my waiver application has been approved or denied?

If you successfully submitted a waiver application online you will receive an immediate response. The last screen of the online waiver application process will provide you with an "approved" or "denied" notification. You should print this screen for your records. In addition, you will get an email to your UC Merced email. 

If you submitted a paper waiver application, you will be notified via your UC Merced email address of your approval or denial.

If my waiver application is denied, what options do I have?

If your waiver application is denied because you made an error when inputting your information, you can file a waiver appeal. Appeals must be received within  (14) calendar days of the date of denial. Appeals for denied waiver applications are accepted only for the current semester. Retroactive appeals are not accepted. This process can take 30 days to process. You will need to pay all fees, including the UC SHIP fee on your student account. If your appeal is approved, your student account will be credited for the UC SHIP Insurance fee.

I waived UC SHIP. Why do I still see a charge for the Health Insurance Fee for UC SHIP?

The Health Insurance Fee is charged to ALL students enrolled in UCSHIP as a mandatory insurance fee. If your waiver was approved, you should see a credit for the Health Insurance Fee AND a credit for the cost of the Insurance. If you do not see the credit, or if the credit was reversed, it is possible that any one of the following occurred:

  • Your waiver was submitted during the previous academic year.
  • You submitted a waiver and were selected for audit but did not respond to our request for insurance documentation. As a result, your waiver credit was reversed.
  • You submitted a waiver but it was denied because it did not meet the waiver criteria. as a result, your waiver credit was reversed.
  • Your waiver was approved, however a hold on your student account may have prevented the waiver from crediting the Health Insurance Fee.

Contact the Student Health Insurance Office to discuss the status of your waiver.

I waived UC SHIP and received an approval, but the fee is still on my Bill.

If you have successfully waived UC SHIP, any fees that have been charged will be credited to your student account within 30 days of completing your waiver. Continue to check your student account to make sure the fees have been credited.

What happens if I lose coverage under my Health Insurance Plan?

If a student involuntarily loses coverage under their health insurance plan mid-term their student must complete the Cancel Insurance Waiver Form along with an official written letter of termination from their previous health insurance carrier. The student will be enrolled in UC SHIP as of the date of their involuntary loss of other coverage if they notify the Student Health Insurance Office within 31 days of the loss of coverage. If the student does not notify the Student Health Insurance Office within the 31 days, the coverage will be effective on the date the student pays for the full premium. Mid-term enrollment does not allow for any proration of the premium.

I am on the Education Abroad Program (EAP) and I was charged for UC SHIP.

Health insurance is a requirement for ALL UC Merced students, even those on the Education Abroad Program (EAP). This is also a requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for residents who will spend any portion of the calendar year in the United States. EAP students need to have health insurance while abroad. If they have suitable health insurance, they can submit a waiver for UC SHIP and would not need to have a provider in Merced County. EAP provides travel insurance, but that does NOT qualify as ACA compliant health insurance. UC SHIP provides worldwide coverage with the Anthem Blue Card.

What does the Insurance Card look like for Merced County Central Alliance?

Can I still be seen at the student Health Center after I graduate?

No, once you graduate you will have to seek services out in town or back in your home town.

Will my UC SHIP coverage continue after I graduate?

If you are graduating, your coverage continues through the day before the next academic term begins. However, if you graduate during the spring semester, your coverage continues through the summer up to the start of the fall semester.

** It is important to plan ahead for continuing health coverage. Graduating students may purchase UC SHIP for one additional semester after coverage ends if they were enrolled in the plan during their final academic term. You must call Wells Fargo Insurance Services at 800-853-5899 before the additional semester begins to purchase coverage for that time period.

Where can a get a letter saying I am no longer covered by UC SHIP insurance?

You can contact Wells Fargo Insurance Services to get a letter of Creditable Coverage. Contact Wells Fargo at 800-853-5899.

Are UC Merced Students required to get a referral when seeking services outside the Student Health Center?

No, referrals are not required for students enrolled in UC SHIP.

Can I enroll my dependents in UC SHIP?

Yes. If you are covered by UC SHIP you can enroll your eligible dependents in the same medical, dental and vision coverage you have for yourself during the enrollment period. For more information about the cost of UC SHIP for dependents and enrollment information you will need to contact Wells Fargo at 800-853-5899.

I received a bill for a medical visit. What now?

Contact Anthem Blue Cross with any questions about bills you receive for services outside the Student Health Center. Customer Service: 866-940-8306.

What is the StudentHealth App?

The StudentHealth App is a free app that allows UC SHIP members and their dependents to access plan ID cards and benefit information from their mobile devices. Download it from Google Play or iTunes.

Why do I need the StudentHealth App?

Your member ID card is only available online. You will not receive an ID card through the mail. You need your ID card any time you visit the student health center (SHC) on campus or go to a doctor's office, urgent care clinic, hospital, pharmacy, etc.

Who can help me with questions about benefits?

Anthem Member Services can help: 866-940-8306