Carnegie Mellon University

Health insurance is important because it protects you and increases your access to care. That's why having it is a requirement at CMU.

Here are the important things you need to know:

  • As a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, you must have medical insurance that meets the university's requirements.
  • If your insurance meets those requirements, you may apply to waive CMU's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
  • If you do not have insurance that meets the university's requirements as a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, you must enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). (CMU also offers optional vision and dental insurance plans.) 
  • As an incoming, full-time undergraduate or graduate student, if you do not take action to waive the university's insurance, you will be automatically enrolled in CMU's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).  

University Student Health Insurance Requirements

In order to waive CMU's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), all full-time undergraduate and graduate students must have health insurance that meets the following seven requirements:

1. Insurance is provided by a company licensed to do business in the United States, with a U.S. claims payment office and a U.S. phone number.

2. Insurance has unlimited annual and lifetime benefits (i.e., no policy maximum).

3. Insurance will be in force for the duration of the academic year, or until their program ends.

4. Insurance has a maximum deductible of $2,500 individual/$5,000 family. If the student’s deductible is greater than $2,500/$5,000, the student must have a Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) that will allow the student to seek needed medical and mental health care that covers all deductible expenses over $2,500/$5,000.

5. Insurance covers all of the following in the city where the student is attending CMU classes (a policy that covers only emergency or urgent care does not meet this requirement):

  • Routine, urgent and emergent care for both inpatient and outpatient medical care 
  • Mental health treatment
  • Alcohol and substance abuse treatment

 6. Insurance is not:

  • a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan without an “away from home” rider.
  • an out-of-state Medicaid plan (only PA Medicaid for Pittsburgh campus, CA Medicaid for Silicon Valley campus, NY Medicaid for NYC campus accepted for waivers).
  • a catastrophic ("young invincible") plan.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Plans.
  • Kaiser Permanente

7. Insurance provides coverage for pre-existing conditions with no waiting period or limitations.

Important Waiver Information

All waivers are reviewed by University Health Services. If a waiver fails to meet the waiver requirements, the student will be enrolled in CMU SHIP.

With an approved waiver, the student is accepting full financial liability for any medical costs incurred.

Learn more about applying for a waiver