Student Health Insurance FAQs
- How is the UT System-sponsored Student Health Insurance (SHI) vendor selected?
UT System drafts a request for proposal (RFP) to invite insurance companies to submit competitive bids to provide insurance to students and eligible dependents attending UT System Institutions. UT System staff meet with the Student Advisory Council to discuss coverage and benefits to be offered under the plan. The various RFPs are systematically reviewed and a vendor is selected based upon specific criteria and the vendor’s ability to provide comprehensive care at an affordable cost.
- What company provides student health insurance (SHI) for UT System students and eligible dependents?
AcademicBlue℠ Health Plans , a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, provides the insurance.
- As a student, am I required to have health insurance?
The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System requires all international students holding nonimmigrant visas and living in the United States to maintain approved health insurance while enrolled at component institutions.
In addition, every student at a UT System health-related institution is required to have health insurance coverage. This coverage may be with the UT System-sponsored plan or comparable coverage from another provider.
- Do I have to enroll in the UT System sponsored SHI plan?
No. Students who are required to be enrolled in an insurance plan do not have to enroll in AcademicBlue℠ Health Plans as long as proof of comparable coverage can be provided.
Enrolling in AcademicBlue
- How do I enroll in AcademicBlue℠?
You will be automatically enrolled in AcademicBlue℠ Student Health Plan, Medical Coverage only, unless you submit a waiver.
- When should I enroll in AcademicBlue℠?
You will be automatically enrolled in AcademicBlue℠ Student Health Plan, Medical Coverage only, unless you submit a waiver.
- Can I add dependents or dental insurance to my insurance coverage?
After you receive enrollment confirmation from UTSW, you may contract for additional coverage directly through AcademicBlue℠ for:
- Dental – Self, spouse, children, and/or family
- Medical – Spouse, children, and/or family
Enrollment and customer service contact information is at AcademicBlue℠. Unlike your medical premium, premiums for dental or dependent coverage must be arranged directly through AcademicBlue℠ and fully paid at the time of dependent/dental enrollment.
Complete a Dependent Enrollment Form. This process must be completed each semester for dependent/dental coverage.
- What is the cost of the health insurance from AcademicBlue℠?
See details about cost. You will be shown the premiums for your particular student group:
- MS1, MS2, MS3, MS4
- Health Professions Student
- Graduate Student
Coverage details are available in the AcademicBlue℠ Student Health Insurance Plan Brochure.
- I waived the student health insurance plan but have recently lost my insurance coverage. Can I still enroll in the student insurance plan?
Yes, losing insurance coverage is deemed a qualifying event, so you may still enroll in AcademicBlue℠ student health insurance plan within 30 days of the qualifying event. Please contact AcademicBlue℠ customer service at 1-855-247-7587 for guidance on the steps to sign up.
- As a qualified student enrolled at a UT System institution, am I guaranteed coverage under the student health insurance plan?
Yes. Students meeting enrollment requirements are guaranteed coverage.
- Leave of absence and student health insurance – Am I covered?
If you enrolled and paid for student health insurance through AcademicBlue℠ and then go on a leave of absence during your coverage period you will retain your student health insurance until the end of the coverage period.
- How do I find a provider who accepts the AcademicBlue℠ Student Health Plan?
After creating an online account on AcademicBlue℠, you will have access to the plan’s network provider locator under the Quick Links section (right sidebar on the home page). Click on the Find a Doctor or Hospital link.
- How do I contact AcademicBlue℠?
- Where is UT Southwestern’s Student Health Center?
The Student Health Center is located on the 2nd floor of POB I. Suite 204.
- Where is UT Southwestern’s Student Wellness Center?
The Student Wellness Center is in the S Building that is adjacent to the Bryan Williams, M.D. Student Center.
- If I do not seek care from the Student Health Center, how do I find a provider who accepts the SHI plan?
After creating an online account, you will have access to the plan’s network provider locator.
AcademicBlue℠ ID Cards
- Where or when will I receive my insurance ID card?
New Students: If you are enrolling in AcademicBlue℠ for the first time, your ID card will be mailed to the address on record on file with AcademicBlue℠ within 7-10 business days after enrollment in the health insurance plan. Insurance cards will not be mailed to international addresses. It is important that you keep your address updated in PeopleSoft Student Center.
Temporary ID Cards for New Students: You should receive your insurance card within 7-10 business days of enrollment in AcademicBlue℠. In the interim, you can find your Group and Member ID on AcademicBlue℠ to setup an account with BlueCross BlueShield of Texas to print your temporary ID card.
Continuing Students: Continuing students retain their ID card. The ID number and policy number will remain the same and a new ID card will not be issued.
Temporary ID Cards for Continuing Students: If you need a temporary replacement ID card, you can visit BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, log in, and print your temporary ID card.
Submitting Health Insurance Waiver
- Do I have to enroll in the UT System sponsored plan?
No. Students do not have to enroll in AcademicBlue℠ as long as proof of comparable coverage is provided to and verified by AcademicBlue℠.
- How do I know when it’s time to submit a waiver?
You will receive an email from the Student Accounting Office with details and timelines for submitting a waiver indicating you have health insurance through another provider.
- What if I’m covered under my parent’s or spouse’s health insurance, or I have other coverage?
- How do I submit a waiver showing evidence of alternate insurance coverage?
If you have health insurance coverage from another provider for the full coverage period, you may submit a waiver showing evidence of health insurance coverage at AcademicBlue℠ Waiver.
To submit a waiver:
- Log in at AcademicBlue℠
- For your initial login, you will need your Student ID Number (digits only; do not include the “S”) and your date of birth
- Select the Waiver tab at the top of the page
- Once you have completed the waiver form, you must click the submit waiver button at the bottom of the page.
Domestic students must have a scanned copy of the insurance card (both front and back) to upload to the AcademicBlue℠ website so the preferred insurance can be verified.
International students will be required to upload to the AcademicBlue℠ website the full policy document showing medical evacuation and repatriation insurance as well as the front and back of the insurance card. Please access the following link to view the requirements for submitting a waiver: AcademicBlue℠ Waiver then click the link below International Medical, and Health Professional Students Only.
Your alternate insurance plan must be Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant.
Waivers must be renewed each term.
- What happens if I cancel my waiver?
If you request to cancel your waiver (this request has to go through Student Accounting), the waiver status will be changed to Canceled (For example: if your alternate coverage becomes inactive). The waiver system will send an auto-generated Canceled email advising you your waiver is no longer Verified, and you will be enrolled in AcademicBlue℠.
- What happens if my waiver is denied?
If the submitted alternate insurance plan is verified as inactive coverage or no coverage exists, AcademicBlue℠ will change the waiver status to Denied. The waiver system will send an auto-generated Denied email advising you that your waiver has been denied and you will be enrolled in AcademicBlue℠.
- How do I know if UT Southwestern will accept my alternate insurance coverage?
Visit Insurance Plans
- Are there other requirements that I must meet for my alternate insurance coverage to be approved?
Your alternate insurance plan must be Affordable Care Act compliant.
- Do I have to submit a waiver each semester?
Yes, waivers must be submitted each term. Waivers do not carry over from one semester to the next even if your insurance remains the same. Please note the student agreement on the waiver site:
I request a waiver of participation for the University Student Health Insurance Plan. I acknowledge that I am legally responsible for any and all medical expenses during my enrollment at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and that UT Southwestern Medical Center will not be responsible for any medical expenses I may incur. By electronically submitting this form, I attest that the information provided about my health insurance coverage is true and correct.
- What happens if I do not waive the Student Health Insurance by the first class day of class for the term?
Students who do not submit a waiver by the first day of classes will be enrolled in AcademicBlue℠ and are responsible for the cost the insurance premium for the term.
- Can I change my option from automatic enrollment to waive?
If you are going to submit a waiver, we recommend that you do so at least three weeks before the first day of classes for the term, so the AcademicBlue℠ premium can be removed from your student account once the waiver is verified.
If you miss that priority deadline, you can still submit a waiver until the first class day and the AcademicBlue℠ premium cost will be removed from your student account.
Students who do not submit a waiver by the first day of classes will be enrolled in AcademicBlue℠ by UT Southwestern, and are responsible for the cost of the semi-annual AcademicBlue℠ insurance premium.
- I am a UT Southwestern employee taking classes. Does the student health insurance policy requirement apply to me?
Yes. The student health insurance policy requirement applies to all students regardless of their employment status. The waive/elect process is based on your student status, not your employee status. We do not have access to employee records and therefore have no way of identifying students who are also employees.
- I have an international plan from my home country. Will this plan be accepted?
International plans are usually not accepted. UT Southwestern requires international students to enroll in the AcademicBlue℠ student health insurance plan, unless they have been approved for a waiver. The only non-U.S. plans that may be accepted are those sponsored by an entity that has guaranteed payment of all health expenses, as well as repatriation and evacuation expenses in writing.
Medical Insurance 101
- What is an insurance premium?
The amount that must be paid for the health insurance or plan.
- What does in-network mean?
The facilities, providers and suppliers your health insurance or plan has contracted with to provide healthcare services.
- What is allowable?
The charges third party payers are contractually obligated to pay the provider of services.
- What is a deductible?
The portion of your health care fees that you pay before insurance coverage kicks in.
- What is a co-payment?
A fixed dollar amount you pay when services are rendered. Office visits, prescriptions, or hospitalizations typically require co-pays.
- What is a co-insurance?
A specified percentage of the cost of treatment the insured is required to pay for all covered medical expenses remaining after the deductible has been met.
- What is an EOB?
Explanation of Benefits. Written statements sent from the payer to the member which explains the benefits that were paid and/or charges that were denied or rejected.
- What is out-of-pocket maximum?
The expense of the deductible, coinsurance, and any copayments added together is considered what you pay out-of-pocket. (Does not include your premium) Once the out-of-pocket maximum threshold is reached, the health insurance will pay 100% of all further allowed medical costs.
- What is balance billing?
When a provider bills you for the difference between the provider's charge and the allowed amount.