Carnegie Mellon University

Student Health Insurance Updates

The Fall 2022 Open Enrollment period to either enroll in or apply to waive the CMU SHIP closed on August 29.

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 during Open Enrollment, 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 (the company processing CMU student insurance enrollments and waivers) will email you with that request. 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. 

To apply for a waiver in SIO, you will need to complete a medical insurance attestation and provide proof of active medical coverage.

The waiver application in SIO includes an insurance attestation; you'll be asked to verify that your health insurance meets all university requirements, so please review it carefully. 

For proof of active coverage, you may upload a screen shot of current medical insurance benefits. Log onto the insurance or benefits portal and take a screenshot 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

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

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.

A waiver may also be denied if a student applies for a waiver but does not provide the proof of active coverage documentation outlined above. 

International students enrolling in the CMU SHIP should wait until they have secured a U.S. mailing address to enroll, and have until August 29 to do so. A U.S. mailing address is required for health insurance enrollment; this is where all personal health insurance documents, including insurance ID cards, will be mailed. SHIP enrollments submitted with a non-U.S. address will not be processed. 

International students arriving into the U.S. after July 15 will have until August 29, 2022 to submit their CMU SHIP enrollments, with insurance coverage still effective starting August 1, 2022. 

After enrolling in CMU SHIP and receiving confirmation from HUB International that your enrollment is complete, you should expect a Highmark insurance card at your mailing address in approximately 14 days.

  • If you never received an insurance card, you may need to update the mailing address in your Highmark account. You can do this in the insurance portal in SIO, by updating your mailing address in the Personal Information section.
  • To access your insurance member ID, request a replacement insurance card, or access a digital card:

Log into SIO, go to Campus Life, then Health Insurance and follow the Highmark link. Your member ID will appear to the right (after name, birthdate, etc.). Use this number to register an account at https://www.highmarkbcbs.com/home/#  to view your insurance details, order a new insurance card or access a digital card.

  • If you are still having difficulty obtaining this information, you can call HUB International at 888-777-9980 or email them at CMUSHIP@hubinternational.com. If you need additional assistance, email our student health insurance team at shinsure@andrew.cmu.edu

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 directly and give them your insurance information.  

You can also expect an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance plan. 

Each time you receive medical services and a claim is submitted to your insurance plan, you should receive 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 portion is not covered and the explanation for it. An EOB is not a bill. Typically, if you are responsible for any remaining portion of the charges, you will receive a bill from the medical provider after you receive the EOB.  

Cancellations are only available for the following circumstances*: 

  • Graduation 
  • Leave of Absence
  • Withdrawal
  • Exchange students in Pittsburgh for one semester
  • Removing a dependent
  • Enrollment in Medicaid in the state in which you are studying (e.g., a Pittsburgh campus student approved for enrollment into PA Medicaid). Enrollment is based on eligibility and the application process can be lengthy – you can find information at https://www.dhs.pa.gov/Services/Assistance/Pages/MA-General-Eligibility.aspx).

The option to join a new plan does not make a student eligible to cancel their current insurance enrollment.  

If you meet this criterion, email us at shinsure@andrew.cmu.edu when your university enrollment status has been updated to reflect one of the statuses listed above (or when you wish to remove a dependent or have been approved for Medicaid) and we can assist you. You may be eligible to receive a pro-rated refund for the remaining months' premiums.  Cancellations will only be accepted before March 31, 2023.

You may update your personal information, including adding a family member who has had a qualifying event to your plan, via the health insurance portal in SIO:

Log into your SIO, go to Campus Life, then Health Insurance, and follow the Highmark link under “SHIP Enrollment Changes”. From there, update your personal information in the Student Information section or add a dependent in the Submit Enrollment section. 

Please then allow a several business days for processing. If you're enrolling a dependent, HUB International (the company processing CMU student insurance enrollments) will reach out to you to request documentation (i.e. birth certificate, marriage certificate) to complete your enrollment. Please note that you have 30 days from the qualifying event date to add your dependent to your plan.

The CMU SHIP Highmark plan works across the U.S., with participating in-network providers in every state. You can search for providers in your desired location at https://www.highmarkbcbs.com/login/#/find-a-doctor (select Medical, then choose the BCBS PPO network). Additionally, we recommend confirming directly with the health care provider you choose that they are a participating provider in the Highmark BCBS PPO network. You can find a list of in-network pharmacies here:  https://www.cmu.edu/health-services/student-insurance/pdfs/highmark-bcbs-pharmacies.pdf.  Ask your prescribing provider to verify insurance coverage with your preferred pharmacy. 

All students are default charged for the CMU Student Health Insurance Plan, so any student who is taking coursework will see the medical insurance plan charge in their SIO student account.  That charge is processed UNLESS you are approved to waive the CMU SHIP during the open enrollment period.  If you do not waive the insurance, you will be charged and enrolled in the CMU SHIP.  

If you were granted a waiver, and still see that charge applied, please email the student insurance office at shinure@andrew.cmu.edu and we will assist.  

All students are default charged in the CMU Student Health Insurance Plan, so any student who is taking coursework will see the medical insurance plan charge in their SIO student account.  But you still must go through the enrollment process to generate a SHIP number and be entered into the Highmark system.  So, even if you are charged for the plan you must also enroll.  You are not considered to have the insurance coverage until your enrollment has been processed.

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 https://www.express-scripts.com/consumer/site/oepharmacysearch?memtype=HMKBPremier (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. 

 

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. For new summer enrollees, the coverage period is May 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 can log into SIO, go to Campus Life then Health Insurance and follow the Highmark link under "Need to update your insurance information?". From there select the option to enroll due to your qualifying event (i.e. loss of covereage, birth of a child). 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.