Carnegie Mellon University

Open Enrollment Period

Spring 2022 Open Enrollment for the Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP): December 20, 2021 - January 31, 2022. 

Health Insurance Basics & Frequently Asked Questions

Health insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You enroll in a plan and the company pays part of your medical costs when you get sick or hurt. Many plans also cover preventive services. Learn more about why health insurance is important.

The cost of healthcare in the United States is high, so insurance helps protect you from serious health and financial risks.

Yes. University policy requires students to apply each year that the student is in attendance at CMU. Circumstances, policies, criteria, and benefits may change from year to year, so insurance re-enrollment or waiving is required for each coverage year.

To enroll in CMU SHIP or to submit a waiver application, log into your SIO account, go to 'Campus Life',  select Health Insurance and follow the Highmark link. 

If you submit a form and later need to edit or add information, you may log back into the student insurance portal and upload your information or submit a new form. 

Enrollments take a few business days to process and waivers can take longer to process; if additional information is needed, HUB International will email you. For timely processing, include all required documentation with your waiver application. You will receive a confirmation email from HUB International once your enrollment or waiver is complete. 

CMU is committed to ensuring that students have quality insurance coverage that reduces barriers to accessing care both regionally and nationally. In order to qualify for a waiver from the insurance requirement, insurance must meet these requirements.

There are two items needed with a waiver application: 1) proof of active coverage and; 2) coverage details for the plan. 

For proof of active coverage, you may upload a screen shot of the benefits website showing the student is a currently insured dependent, with the effective date of coverage clearly shown and the date the image was made (i.e., the date as shown either in your browser or on your computer task bar).

Alternatively, you may also prove coverage with:

  • A letter (not more than 30 days old) from the parent/spouse/partner's employer or from the insurance plan showing the student is an active dependent on the insurance policy or are covered individually through military or Medicaid
For coverage details, you may upload the plan Summary of Benefits & Coverages (SBC) or the Benefits Grid.

A Summary of Benefits/Coverage is a document that US insurance plans are required to make available to members. It lists all specific healthcare services that are covered by the plan, as well as the portion of costs that you must pay for those services (including deductible amounts). An abbreviated version of this document is a Benefits Grid. If you have an online account with your insurance plan, you may be able to find this information there. If it is an employer-sponsored plan, you may be able to access the information through the employer's Human Resources office/website. Alternatively, you may call your insurance plan and request the document. 

You can log back into the same link where you applied for a waiver in SIO and upload your additional documentation.

Once you receive a confirmation email from HUB International that your enrollment is complete, you can log back into the student insurance portal (log into SIO, go to Campus Life, then Health Insurance and follow the Highmark link) to view your insurance member identification number. Use this number to register an account at and obtain a digital copy of your insurance card/s.

CMU is not using Social Security Numbers for student insurance enrollment, but Highmark is required by law to send letters on an annual basis to members requesting their Social Security/Tax Identification Number. Members who do not provide this information will not be penalized, nor are they required to provide the information. Students may disregard the letter.

CMU SHIP members need to fill prescriptions at in-network retail pharmacies. You can search network pharmacies at (nearly all pharmacies except for Walgreen's are in-network).

If you have a chronic medical condition that requires specialty medications, those are available through Alliance Rx / Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, phone number 888-347-3416. 


Depending on the treatment you received, you may have a co-pay or an amount not covered by your insurance plan. The bill from the medical provider will show the charges for the treatment, what your insurance plan has paid and what you may owe. If the bill does not show that insurance was applied to your bill, please contact the medical provider and give them your insurance information.  

You can also expect an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance plan. An EOB shows what the insurance company has paid on your behalf for a claim, what is not covered and the explanation for it. An EOB is not a bill.

If you received a bill from Quest Diagnostics, please see an important update from Highmark

The annual coverage period of the CMU SHIP is from August 1 through July 31, each academic year. For new spring semester enrollees, the coverage period is January 1 through July 31, 2022.

CMU SHIP does not offer partial or monthly insurance plans. If you enroll during Fall Open Enrollment, you will be enrolled and charged for the full coverage period.

A student may need to enroll in CMU SHIP after Open Enrollment, for example due to a qualifying event. In this case, the insurance premium is pro-rated according to the month that the student is enrolled.

The CMU SHIP is always effective at the beginning of a month and expires at the end of a month.

UHS does not have a dentist on staff. A CMU dental insurance plan is offered during Fall Open Enrollment (coverage August 1 - July 31) and Spring Open Enrollment (coverage January 1 - July 31).

We can offer a list of local dentists. Please verify with the dentist that your insurance is accepted.

Involuntary loss of medical coverage, including turning age 26, is considered a qualifying event to get enrolled into CMU SHIP.  To enroll, you must provide:

  • A loss of medical coverage letter from your insurance company.
  • A completed partial-year enrollment form. Please email to request this form.
If you are enrolling during Open Enrollment, you do not need to notify the UHS insurance department.

You can enroll your dependent(s) - domestic partner, spouse and/or child/children - through your SIO account during the Open Enrollment period. Select the plan level that meets your needs: Student +1, Student +2 or Student +3 or more.

Outside of Open Enrollment, you will need to email to request an enrollment change form. Please note that your dependent(s) will need to have a qualifying event in order to be enrolled into your CMU SHIP. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation.

Turning 26 years old, getting married or entering a domestic partnership, and involuntarily losing medical coverage are examples of qualifying events. Review a full list of qualifying life events.

Please note that a qualifying event allows for enrollment in the CMU SHIP outside of Open Enrollment. It cannot be used as a reason to cancel the CMU SHIP.

To enroll in the CMU SHIP due to a qualifying event, please log into your SIO, select Campus Life, then Health Insurance and follow the Highmark link. On the New Coverage screen, make the selections appropriate for your qualifying event, including: reason for enrollment, date you need coverage to begin and coverage tier for the number of people who will be on your plan. Sign, date and submit your form and allow 3-5 business days for processing. HUB International (not CMU HUB) will reach out to you to confirm your enrollment and advise on any documentation that is required. 

You have the option to remain on the CMU SHIP until the coverage period ends on July 31 of the current academic year. Or, if you have been officially certified by your department and have other medical insurance, you have the option to cancel your CMU SHIP so long as no significant claims have been paid on your behalf.

Please note that even if you have employment, you are not required to cancel the CMU SHIP. You may tell your employer that you already have medical insurance in effect through July 31 (current year). They can then help you enroll in their plan effective August 1, because you would then have a loss of coverage, which is considered a qualifying event for enrollment in a medical insurance plan.