Student Health Insurance FAQs
Q: What is the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)?
A: SHIP is Fordham University’s insurance plan for students, offered through Aetna, a large national health insurer.
Q: Who is eligible for SHIP?
A: All students who attend Fordham University are eligible for SHIP.
Q: Am I automatically enrolled in SHIP?
A: Full-time and international undergraduate and graduate students are automatically enrolled in SHIP coverage. Part-time students in degree-granting programs will need to enroll.
Q: Can I waive SHIP coverage?
A: Depending on your insurance, you may be able to waive SHIP coverage if you have other coverage that meets ACA requirements. See the Affordable Care Act (ACA) section of this FAQ document to learn more about ACA requirements.
If you waive SHIP coverage, you must complete a waiver through aetnastudenthealth.com by September 10 and February 23 for all Fordham students. See Waiving SHIP section of this FAQ to learn more.
Q: Should I keep SHIP coverage?
A: Everyone must have health insurance coverage that meets Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage requirements. See the Affordable Care Act (ACA) section of this FAQ document to learn more about the ACA. Even if you have other coverage that meets ACA requirements, you may find that enrolling in SHIP is your best value. There are many advantages to keeping SHIP coverage, but everyone’s personal circumstances are different.
Q: If I need care while in another state, will SHIP still cover my health care costs?
A: Yes. SHIP is provided through Aetna, which is a nationwide health insurance provider. Use the Aetna Provider Directory to find providers throughout the United States.
Q: Can I add coverage at any time during the school year?
A: Unless you experience a qualifying life event, you can only enroll, waive, or change your coverage during the enrollment period each year.
Q: How much does SHIP cost, and when does my coverage begin and end?
A: The annual cost for SHIP is posted on our website. Coverage begins August 23 and ends August 22 each academic year.
Q: Why does Fordham University automatically enroll students in SHIP?
A: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires students to have insurance coverage; automatically enrolling students in SHIP ensures that you will meet this requirement.
Q: What is University Health Services (UHS)?
A: UHS is your on-campus resource for urgent primary care, behavioral health needs, support and advocacy for students who have suffered interpersonal violence, and assessment and brief treatment for students who are struggling with substance abuse.
Q: Should I go to UHS for all of my care?
A: For all Fordham students, UHS will be your primary care provider (PCP).
Q: Does my student health insurance plan cover all of UHS’ services?
A: Office visits for our UHS providers and nurses are offered at no charge. However, if there is an in-office test, immunization, or procedure, your student account may be billed. Please call us to verify the most up-to-date fee schedule.
Charges are posted to your student account (BURSAR). An itemized statement (receipt) is available in your Student Health Portal and can be submitted to your insurance provider for possible reimbursement, depending upon your insurance coverage.
Laboratory testing through Fordham University’s onsite LabCorp and QUEST laboratory will be billed to your insurance company—whether your coverage is through SHIP or a different plan. You are responsible for any amounts not covered by your insurance.
Q: What services are not available through UHS?
A: UHS providers do not offer ongoing or extensive management of most medical conditions. You will be referred to a non-UHS provider for any care requiring hospitalization or surgery, and may be referred to a non-UHS provider if you require ongoing care for issues such as
- Severe asthma
- Chronic depression
- Inflammatory bowel disorders
Q: Does UHS refer students to SHIP in-network providers?
A: Generally, UHS will refer students to providers in the SHIP network. However, if a student’s health need dictates care by a provider outside the SHIP network, UHS will make the referral to an out-of-network provider.
Q: If I need to see a non-UHS provider, will my parent’s health insurance cover this care?
A: If you have coverage under your parent’s health insurance, you will want to use providers in your plan’s network. If that network does not offer providers in New York City at a convenient location, you will have to pay the higher, out-of-network rate. You may wish to enroll in SHIP, rather than continue coverage under your parent’s plan and pay this higher out-of-network cost for care.
Q: What are SHIP’s main advantages?
A: SHIP is predictable and convenient.
- Predictable Costs
- If you need to see a doctor, fill a prescription, or go to the emergency room, you’ll pay a fixed dollar amount when you use an in-network provider. The plan pays the rest. Copays keep your out-of-pocket costs predictable and manageable.
- For other types of care, you may also pay a deductible and coinsurance for certain visits, procedures, and diagnostic tests like x-rays. The plan has fixed coinsurance—generally 20%—but the amount you pay will be varied.
- You’ll find a wide network of participating providers in New York City. Many are affiliated with FordhamUniversity and are just a walk, bus ride, or few train stops away.
- Search the Preferred Provider Network directory here.
Q: Does SHIP cover behavioral health?
A: Yes. Under SHIP, students pay just a $10 copay per office visit with clinicians in the Preferred Provider Network, with no limit to the number of sessions with in-network providers covered per year.
Q: If I have dependents, will SHIP cover them?
A: Dependent coverage is available and eligible dependents include your spouse and dependent children up to age 26. Students must enroll dependents online and pay directly to aetnastudenthealth.com.
Q: Will my parent’s plan cost more than SHIP?
A: It may or may not; you’ll have to take a close look at both the cost of coverage (your premium) and the potential cost of care (what you pay in deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance). The only way to know is to compare your potential costs for the types of care you may need: doctor or specialist visits, prescription medication, lab tests, and perhaps a trip to the emergency room or hospitalization. When you compare your potential costs, you may discover that SHIP coverage offers the best value. For example, your parent’s plan may have:
- A Different Network
- For many health plans—like SHIP—you pay much less for care when you use “in-network providers' '—doctors and facilities affiliated with the insurance company’s network. If you use a provider outside this network, you’ll pay more—maybe a lot more. When UHS refers you to a non-UHS provider, they will likely refer to someone in the SHIP network, keeping your costs as low as possible. However, if this provider is not in your parent’s plan’s network, your out-of-pocket costs could be much higher.
- High Premiums
- Chances are your parents pay additional premiums to cover you under their plan. SHIP coverage costs are generally less than what your parent/guardian pays for dependent coverage under their plan.
- A High Deductible
- Your parents may have a so-called “high deductible health plan,” and may have to pay $1,500, $3,000, or even more before their plan starts paying benefits for you. In contrast, the SHIP deductible is just $400 per policy.
Q: What happens if I want to enroll in SHIP and keep my current plan?
A: If you wish, you can continue your current coverage and enroll in SHIP for additional coverage. When you are covered by more than one plan, certain rules establish which plan pays benefits first; this is called “coordination of benefits.” The coordination of benefit rules under SHIP are as follows:
- Generally, SHIP will pay benefits first, and your plan will pay second.
Q: What if I need care when UHS is closed?
A: When UHS is closed, for minor conditions you may wish to utilize Teladoc® for a
telemedicine visit, a walk-in clinic such as CityMD, or an urgent care clinic. In the case of severe, life-threatening accidental injury or illness, visit an emergency room.
Q: How do I know if my doctor is in Aetna’s network?
A: Use the Aetna Provider Directory to search for your provider.
Q: Does SHIP cover dental and vision?
A: No, SHIP does not cover dental and vision.
Q: Where can I find details on SHIP’s policy?
A: Please visit this link to view SHIP’s details, information about coverage, benefits, deductibles and more.
Q: If I have previously waived coverage, can I later enroll?
A: You can add SHIP coverage outside of the normal enrollment period only if you experience a qualifying event.
- Aging out of coverage provided by a parent’s plan
- Loss of a job
- Changes to your parent’s or spouse’s plan
- Getting married or divorced
You must provide documentation within 31 days of the event in order to add SHIP coverage. To learn more about qualifying life events, call 718-817-4164 or email [email protected].
Q: Am I permitted to waive SHIP coverage?
A: The chart below indicates which student types may waive their SHIP coverage and under what circumstances this waiver is permitted.
Domestic (undergraduate & graduate)
Yes if ACA-compliant coverage is demonstrated
International (undergraduate & graduate)
Yes if enrolled in an ACA-compliant plan underwritten in the United States
Q: Why might I waive SHIP coverage?
A: Some students have other coverage that offers an equal or better value than SHIP.
For example, you may choose to waive SHIP coverage if:
- You pay little or nothing for coverage under your current plan. If your current coverage is free to you, or your premiums are very low, it may be the best overall value even if you pay a little more for care. However, you may also want to consider coverage under both your current plan and SHIP.
- You’re from New York, and can easily return to your home area to see a provider who participates in your parent’s plan.
- Your current plan’s network is the same as or similar to the SHIP network, and that plan’s in-network providers are close to campus.
- Your current plan has good out-of-network coverage, so the cost impact of seeing an out-of-network provider is minimal.
- Your total cost for care (the premium you pay for coverage plus your estimated out-of-pocket costs for the care you may need) is equal to or less than your total cost with SHIP coverage.
Remember, you should not waive coverage if your current plan does not meet ACA minimum essential coverage requirements. If your current plan doesn’t meet these requirements and you waive coverage, you may pay a federal tax penalty. Find out more about minimum essential coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) section of this FAQ document. You also should not waive coverage if your health plan will only cover emergency care where you are studying.
Q: Where can I waive coverage?
A: You can waive out of SHIP by going to aetnastudenthealth.com or clicking here for the instructions to waive.
Q: When is my deadline to waive coverage?
A: If you decide to waive coverage, you must do so by September 10 and February 23 for all Fordham students to be credited for the SHIP in your student account.
Q: What is the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?
A: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA, was signed into law in 2013 and provides certain requirements for health insurance, such as covering preventive care obtained at an in-network provider at no cost.
Q: What does the ACA mean for my health insurance coverage?
A: Under the ACA, everyone must be covered by a health insurance plan that meets certain minimum essential coverage requirements.
Q: What is minimum essential coverage?
A: The ACA requires all individuals to have minimum essential health coverage for each month of the year. Certain individuals may qualify for an exemption or make a payment when filing a federal tax return.
According to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, minimum essential coverage includes the following categories of health insurance:
- Employer-sponsored coverage (including Consolidated Omnibus Budget
- Reconciliation Act (COBRA) coverage and retiree coverage)
- Coverage purchased in the individual market, including a qualified health plan
- offered by the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as an Affordable
- Insurance Exchange)
- Medicare Part A coverage and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans
- Medicaid coverage in Massachusetts
- Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage
- Certain types of veterans health coverage administered by the Veterans Administration
- Coverage provided to Peace Corps volunteers
- Coverage under the Nonappropriated Fund Health Benefit Program
- Refugee Medical Assistance supported by the Administration for Children and Families
- Self-funded health coverage offered to students by universities for plan or policy years
- that begin on or before Dec. 31, 2014 (for later plan or policy years, sponsors of these
- programs may apply to HHS to be recognized as minimum essential coverage)
- State high risk pool coverage established on or before November 26, 2014 in any state
Q: Does SHIP meet ACA minimum essential coverage requirements?
If you have additional questions, contact the appropriate resource below.
University Health Services
Rose Hill Campus
RH Fax: 718-817-3218
LC Fax: 212-636-7164
University Health Services
Lincoln Center Campus
Student Health Insurance Compliance Administrator
Contact Aetna Student Health Support here online.
Mail: Aetna, Student Health
151 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06156
Aetna Student Health