Carnegie Mellon University

Students who wish to enroll in the CMU SHIP due to a qualifying event or who need to make a change to their SHIP enrollment should email for assistance.

Spring 2024 Open Enrollment: December 18, 2023 - January 31, 2024

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.

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.  

After an insurance claim is processed, you can expect an Explanation of Benefits document from your insurance plan, describing what your insurance plan paid to the health care provider on your behalf. If you have questions about what was covered by your insurance, you can call the member services phone number on your insurance card.

  • For questions about medical bills or charges:
    • From an off-campus health care provider: Contact the provider directly 
    • From University Health Services: Call 412-268-2157 option 2 or email 
    • For itemized statements from UHS: log into HealthConnect and select statements/receipts from the menu

Student Health Insurance Requirement

Enrollments and waivers do not carry over from one year to the next; completing Open Enrollment is an annual requirement. Students must enroll in, or waive,  the CMU SHIP every academic year that they are enrolled at the University. 

At the start of each academic year, all students enrolled in degree-seeking programs are assessed a default charge for the CMU Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). This is a placeholder fee until Open Enrollment is completed. Open Enrollment is the annual period in which students must either enroll in or apply to waive the CMU SHIP. 

If you receive an approved waiver, the insurance fee will be credited back to your student account. If you do not complete Open Enrollment, you will be enrolled in the CMU SHIP and the insurance fee will remain on your student account. 

Please note that invoices do not update, as they are statements that reflect a point in time. Please check your Account Activity section for up-to-date charges and credits. 

Student account or invoice questions should be directed to Student Financial Services.

No, paying the student insurance fee does not complete your insurance enrollment. In order to enroll during Open Enrollment, students must:

  • Log into SIO, go to Campus Life, then Health Insurance
  • Click any of the Highmark links to access the insurance portal
  • Follow the instructions to enroll
  • Click CONFIRM to submit your enrollment

CMU Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

Insurance ID cards should arrive 2-3 weeks after your enrollment has been processed. If your card did not arrive:

  • Check the mailing address attached to your insurance enrollment. If it has changed or was incomplete, you will need to update it. Email your new, complete address (Street Address, Apartment or SMC, City, State and Zip Code) to HUB International at
  • Check your insurance portal in SIO for your insurance member ID number. Use your member ID to register an account at There, you can access a digital insurance card and order new cards.

If you are still having difficulty, contact HUB International at 888-777-9980 or

A U.S. mailing address is required to enroll in the CMU SHIP. Enrollments submitted with a non-U.S. address or an incomplete address will not be processed. 

International students enrolling in the CMU SHIP should wait until they have secured a U.S. mailing address before submitting an enrollment. Waiting until later in the Open Enrollment period to enroll in the SHIP will not affect the coverage dates. SHIP coverage begins on August 1 each academic year, even if you do not submit your enrollment until the end of the open enrollment period.

The CMU SHIP is a full year plan with a coverage period of August 1 - July 31 each academic year. Students entering CMU in the Fall are enrolled and charged for the full coverage year.  

Students graduating in December can request to cancel the SHIP at that time; it does not cancel automatically. Students with an approved cancellation will receive a prorated refund of the remaining months' premiums on the medical, dental and/or vision plans (with adjustment for any PhD student insurance support, if applicable). SHIP cancellations are effective from the first of the month following the month in which the cancellation form is received. Cancellations are not permitted after March 31. 

If you are graduating in December and would like to cancel your insurance plan, please email for assistance.

You can only enroll outside of your Open Enrollment period if you have had a qualifying event (for example, involuntary loss of insurance, including due to turning age 26). This applies to the student medical, dental and vision plans; you cannot add the dental or vision plan outside of Open Enrollment without a qualifying event. 

If you are enrolled in a plan, you can also add dependents who have had a qualifying event (for example, birth/adoption of a child or arrival to the U.S. for the first time during the coverage year). 

For qualifying event enrollments into the medical, dental or vision plans, you have 31 days from the event to enroll and will need to provide supporting documentation . 

Removing Dependents:

Qualifying events are not required for removing a dependent from your insurance plan. Dependents cannot be removed from your plan after March 31 of the coverage year.

To make any of these changes, please email for assistance.

The CMU SHIP is a national plan, with participating in-network providers in every state. Search for medical care, dental care, vision care and pharmacies in your desired location at

Medical Care: Select the BCBS PPO Network
Dental Care: Select the Elite Plus Network
Pharmacies: Select the National Network 

Be sure to confirm directly with the health care provider you choose that they are a participating provider with your plan.  

If you are living or traveling abroad, the CMU SHIP medical plan provides members with a global network of healthcare providers through BCBS Global Core, along with 24 hour emergency medical and travel assistance through the AXA Travel Assistance Program.
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.

After graduating, students are no longer eligible to enroll in or extend the SHIP. The SHIP coverage ends on July 31 of each academic year.

COBRA is offered with employer-based plans; there is no COBRA option for the student insurance plan.

Students graduating in August are eligible to enroll in the SHIP for the month of August only. August-only enrollments can be completed by emailing for assistance.

Cancellations are only available under the following circumstances: 

  • December Graduation (or September certification for doctoral students graduating in December)

  • Formal separation from CMU (i.e. Leave of Absence, Withdrawal, Suspension)

  • Fall semester foreign exchange students returning to their university after the fall semester

  • 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 PA state information at

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 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.  The final deadline to submit a cancellation request form is March 31 and the insurance plan cannot be cancelled after April 1 (May, June & July cancellations are not permitted).