Carnegie Mellon University
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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 is required for each coverage year.
CMU SHIP covers you abroad, however, claims will be processed at the out-of-network level of coverage since there are no Aetna providers outside of the United States (US).

If you receive treatment outside of the US, most providers will not file a medical claim for you. If that is the case, you'll need to pay the provider in full for your treatment and then file a claim with Aetna Student Health.  What you will need to do:

1.  Get an itemized medical bill from the provider -- in English, if at all possible. The bill should include:
  • Full name and address of the provider
  • Date that services were provided
  • A detailed listing with separate charges for each service provided
  • A notation that you paid the bill in full (this is very important so that Aetna will know to send any payment to you, not to the provider)

2.  Mail Aetna the itemized bill, along with the following information (you may write this information on the bill, if there is space, or attach a separate piece of paper, if necessary):

  • Student's name
  • Patient's name (especially important if the patient is the student's spouse or dependent)
  • School name
  • Student's identification number
  • Your current mailing address, so Aetna will know how to reach you 

Mail the bill to:
Aetna Student Health
P. O. BOX 981106
EL PASO TX 79998

If you have not received a card two weeks after enrolling in CMU SHIP, check your Andrew email. At the time of enrollment, Aetna sends a confirmation email that contains the web address and confirmation number to obtain a copy of your medical insurance card.
If you are enrolled in the CMU SHIP, Aetna will mail the 1095 form to the mailing address that Aetna has on file for you. If you need a new copy, call Aetna at 877-437-6535 or 877-410-6560 (or the number on the back of your insurance card).

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.

For details on covered services and associated co-pays for the CMU SHIP, learn more about our plans.

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 offer a list of local dentists that accept the Aetna dental insurance plan. However, you should still verify with the dentist that the insurance is accepted.

The CMU SHIP can be used for pediatric dental care only through the end of the month in which you turn 19 years old. However, if you have impacted wisdom teeth, the medical insurance will cover at any age. You would need to see a dentist first to confirm that your wisdom teeth are impacted and if their office will accept the insurance. You and the dentist should contact Aetna Student Health about filing a claim and to determine to what extent it will be covered: 877-410-6560.

The coverage period of the CMU SHIP is from August 1 through July 31, each academic year. 

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 terminates at the end of a month.

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.  

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 email to request an enrollment change form.

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.

Because everyone in the U.S. is required to have insurance or qualify for a waiver, health plans are required to send the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information about their members, including social security or other tax identification numbers.  Learn more about this IRS requirement.

If you do not have a social security or other tax identification number, you can disregard the request. However, please note that health plans are required to request the information three times. If no response is received after the third request, the plan can provide the member’s date of birth.

Unless it is an emergency, students are strongly encouraged to see a provider at UHS first, before seeking out an outside provider. With the CMU SHIP, most visit and service fees are covered by the plan. 

To find in-network medical providers for the CMU SHIP, use Aetna's provider search tool and select Open Choice PPO under Student Health Medical Plans.