Carnegie Mellon University

University Health Plan Option for Students

The university requires all full-time students to carry health care coverage that meets certain criteria. If you are an international student, on a non-immigrant visa, you are required to have coverage on your first day of school to meet visa requirements.

  • University Health Services offers and administers a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), which is available to all Carnegie Mellon Students.
  • Additionally, students who meet certain eligibility requirements are eligible for a Student Health Plan offered by the university as part of the Carnegie Mellon University Benefit Plan (University Plan).

If you are already covered by insurance outside the university, you are not required to enroll in either option offered by Carnegie Mellon.


Eligibility for the University Plan is limited to:

  • Salaried/exempt graduate students (regardless of hours)
  • Resident assistants
  • Any student employee who works an average of 30 hours per week over a period of time (excluding work study)

Plan Comparison

View a Comparison of the SHIP and the University Plan [pdf]

There are important differences between the SHIP and the University Plan:

  • Deductible: The University Plan has a very high deductible (in-network you pay $6,350 out-of-pocket before the plan pays anything). In-network, the SHIP has a $0 deductible, copays for office visits and prescriptions, and covers expenses at 100%. You'll want to make sure you understand how the plan works and what your total out-of-pocket expenses might end up being.
  • CMU University Health Services Clinic Access: One main difference between the SHIP and the University Plan is services at the CMU University Health Services Clinic are free if you are enrolled in the SHIP. If you are not enrolled in the SHIP, the charges would need to be submitted through your alternative insurance (i.e., the University Plan) and would be subject to those plan provisions (deductible, coinsurance, etc.).
  • Visa Requirements: Certain visa types require that you maintain health insurance that includes coverage for certain international services, such as medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. The University Plan does not include this type of international coverage.
  • Network Access: The SHIP offers access to Highmark’s national network of providers. The University Plan uses the regional UPMC network. If enrolled in the University Plan, network access outside of Western PA will be limited to emergency services only. With the SHIP, you would have nationwide network access for all covered services.


Important Documents