UC Student Health Insurance Plan

How UC SHIP Works to Protect Our Students

The UC Regents require registered students to have adequate health insurance, so UC SHIP (UC Student Health Insurance Program) was specially designed to serve our students, to provide an integrated health care program that protects students’ health and financial security. Serious illness or injury can interrupt a student’s path to their educational success; and the cost of care can sometimes be catastrophic.

UC SHIP is designed with a primary care system to manage care which links to a network of specialists, hospitals, and other providers accessed only with a referral from a primary care clinician. A student’s care begins at the student health center on campus. The UC Student health center is the core of UC SHIP and source of primary care for students, providing an emphasis on prevention and wellness while helping to keep students’ out-of-pocket costs low. UC SHIP engages Anthem’s broad PPO network of providers when a student health clinician issues a referral for care outside the student health center.

UC students have convenient access to primary medical care and psychological services and free preventive services right on campus where students attend classes. Student health clinics are located on each University of California campus, including UC Hastings College of the Law.

Most health care needs of students can be attended to right at the student health center. Campus student health clinics serve as students’ medical home and are staffed with physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professional health care providers.

Annual wellness exams, certain cancer screenings, and immunizations are provided there as well as a wide range of medical services to diagnose and treat illness and injury, and other services, such as physical therapy or acupuncture at some locations. Some student health centers also offer lab and imaging services. As well, most campus health centers provide an on-site pharmacy just for students.

The student health “referral” is the link to access benefits for care outside the student health center. If medical services are accessed outside student health without a referral, there is no coverage under the Plan.

When a student needs medical or mental health care that is not provided at student health, the treating clinician will write a referral for the student to obtain services in the community. The referral is bound by visit limits or time limits which define the period in which medical services will be eligible for benefits under UC SHIP. The student chooses a doctor in the community to obtain the services with the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost.

Students locate an Anthem PPO provider with student health staff assistance, by searching Anthem’s online provider directory, or by calling Anthem’s Customer Care line for assistance. The Anthem network provider will submit claims for payment on the student’s behalf. Non-PPO providers are also covered if a referral was issued for covered services under UC SHIP, but out-of pocket-costs will be higher and the student will be required to submit claims to Anthem for payment. When students use non-PPO providers, they may be responsible for charges exceeding Anthem’s maximum allowed amount. UC SHIP benefits for students cover 90% of the maximum allowed amount for network PPO provider services, and 60% of maximum allowed amount for non-network providers.

The information above pertains to the medical coverage only; dental and vision covered services may be accessed with no referral. Please visit http://www.ucop.edu/ucship to learn more about UC SHIP, review plan benefits, including dental and vision benefits and many other topics related to student health care resources.