A Health Plan Students Can Count On
The successful inaugural year of UC SHIP for graduate students on six University of California campuses in 2010 resulted in the collaboration of all UC campuses to join UC SHIP and cover graduate and undergraduate students for the 2011-12 academic year. Over 135,000 graduate and undergraduate students now participate in UC SHIP.
The plan is off to a great start. Utilization data for this academic year attests to the value of UC SHIP; students are actively using the plan benefits, particularly the medical plan, which covers preventive and primary care at campus student health centers and medical care off-campus when necessary.
Campuses report that UC SHIP is having a strong positive impact on students:
- Students on all campuses are enjoying 100% coverage of preventive health care services, such as physical exams, immunizations and certain screening tests.
- UC Davis reports that students are more willing to get prescriptions filled with the $5 copay for generic drugs, which is lower than the campus’ benefit prior to UC SHIP. In addition, having a low set-dollar copayment for office visits off-campus allows students to know their out-of-pocket expenses in advance of seeking care.
- New dental benefits at UC Santa Barbara have made regular preventive care at the campus dental clinic possible for undergraduate students who had never, or rarely, visited a dentist.
- UC Berkeley reports seeing higher numbers of students following through on referrals for outpatient mental health care and for specialty care, perhaps because the cost to students is lower: the annual deductible does not have to be satisfied for office visits and UC SHIP offers stronger coverage for some procedures.
These comments demonstrate that UC SHIP has helped remove cost barriers to care and that means more timely intervention and better outcomes to keep UC students healthy and on track with their academic goals.