UC Student Health Insurance Plan

UC SHIP is a “shining example of what self-funding can accomplish.” - An ACHC Board member commented at the 2012 annual ACHA meeting in Chicago

UC SHIP Director Heather Pineda and student health representatives Barbara Rabinowitz from UCLA and UC Merced’s Greg Spurgeon gave a presentation at the annual meeting of the American College Health Association (ACHA) in June. Attendees from U.S. colleges and universities expressed admiration for UC’s student health insurance plan as an example of the power of systemwide collaboration and self-funding. UC SHIP is the largest student health plan in the U.S.

The University of California is setting an example for other colleges and universities with the implementation in 2011 of UC SHIP, comprehensive health care mandatory for all UC students: self-funded to keep costs low; carefully crafted benefits focused on student needs; staying responsive to current federal health care legislation. 

UC SHIP is not just another insurance plan.  It is a systemwide health plan for all UC students with unique features, highlighted below:

  • At the core of UC SHIP is the student health clinic:
    • Staffed with medical clinicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, pharmacists, and insurance staff to serve students, all located right on campus.  Most illnesses and injuries can be treated at student health services
    • Free preventive exams, immunizations, and certain screenings
    • Low set-dollar copays for office visits and other services
    • Guidance for off-campus care for specialty or inpatient care whenever needed.  Anthem Blue Cross covers medically necessary services
  • UC SHIP is comprehensive:
    • an excellent medical and behavioral health benefit plan,
    • dental benefits, and
    • vision care rolled into one low-cost package
  • An affordable $5 copayment for generic drugs
  • Excellent vision care benefits that cover annual exams and eyewear, regular care that most students need
  • Family benefits.  UC offers a health care plan to UC SHIP student members’ families

In 2012/13, UC SHIP will launch key benefit enhancements:

  • A customized pharmacy formulary put together by UC pharmacists especially designed to take care of students
  • Free generic or single-source contraceptives obtained on-campus or at Anthem network pharmacies.
  • Free preventive Tuberculosis screening at student health centers
  • Testing to assess for learning disabilities and determine academic accommodations, as part of UC SHIP’s mission to serve students and maximize each student’s ability to pursue their academic goals
  • Enhanced dental coverage through Delta Dental, including 70% coverage for expensive major services in 2012/13.

In the fall of 2011, UC SHIP enrolled 135,000 students systemwide.  2012/13 promises to be even more successful.