Palo Alto University remains open. For more information please see our Coronavirus Resource Page.


Plan information for the 20-21 acadmic year will be avaialble in July.  Students will be able to submit waivers for the 20-21 academic year by the middle of July.

  • Am I required to have health insurance?


    • All full-time PAU students enrolled in residential and hybrid programs (including those programs that only require a one-week residency) are required to have health insurance and will be automatically enrolled in the student health insurance plan (SHIP) after the waiver period unless a waiver application is submitted and approved by the established deadline dates.


      • There are two exception to this eligibility requirement:

        • PAU students who reside outside of the U.S. while they are taking classes or training do not qualify for SHIP and are not automatically enrolled.
        • MA in Counseling students, by the design of the program, go between full-time and part-time status while in their program.  Because of this, all MA in Counseling students are deemed eligible (even if they are not currently full-time), and are automatically enrolled in SHIP, unless studying or training outside of the U.S.
    • Based on the guidelines above, with the exception of those students studying or training outside of the U.S., students in the following programs qualify for, and are automatically enrolled in SHIP:

      • All Ph.D. students
      • All Psy.D. students
      • All M.A. students
      • All B.S. students in the on-campus or hybrid programs
    • Based on the guidelines above, students in the following programs do not qualify for, nor will they automatically be enrolled, in SHIP:
      • M.S. students
      • B.S. students in the online program
      • Non-matriculated  students
  • Questions about eligibility should be directed to Thom Shepard, Director of Student Affairs at
  • What is an opt-out plan?

    • Our plan is set up as an opt-out plan. This is standard in the student health insurance industry.  This means that all registered students who meet the requirements above are automatically enrolled in SHIP at the time of registration. In order to decline coverage through PAU’s plan, an approved waiver must be on file with our insurance broker, Relation Insurance Services.  For more information, please see “Waiving Out of SHIP”. 

  • Where do I get my insurance cards?

    • To access your insurance cards, please go to the Relation Insurance Portal.  There, you can access and print your insurance cards.  This is the only way to access your insurance cards, and you will need them when you attrend your medical appointments.  Insurance cards are not mailed to students.

  • How long after registering do I need to wait if I want to submit a waiver application?

    • In order for your information to register in the Relation Insurance Portal, Relation needs to be know that you are a student.  PAU send a report to them of registered students on a weekly basis. It generally takes 5-7 business days for your information to be sent to Relation and processed in their system. At that time, you can access the Relation Insurance Portal and submit a waiver application.

  • How often do I have to submit a waiver application?

    • Students who choose to waive SHIP coverage only need to waive once per acadmic year by the set deadlines; waivers will be in effect for the remainder of the academic year.  Waiver deadlines are as follows:

      • Annual 2018-19 & Fall: October 1, 2019
        Winter: January 15, 2020
        Spring/Summer: April 15, 2020
  • How do I pay for SHIP coverage?
    • SHIP charges will be added to your student account on a quarterly basis during Fall, Winter, and Spring (the Spring payment will cover Summer coverage as well) with your normal tuition/fees billing. Students are able to use financial aid funds to pay for the cost of SHIP.

  • How much does it cost?

    For 2019-20, SHIP fees are a total of $3,924 for the academic year. Payment of SHIP is broken down and billed to your student account according to the following schedule:

    • Fall: $1,308
    • Winter: $981
    • Spring/Summer: $1635
  • Is there dental/vision coverage?

    • Unfortunately, our current SHIP plan does not provide dental or vision coverage.

  • What are the effective dates of SHIP coverage?

    • For graduate students,SHIP is in effect from 9/1-8/31 each year.
    • For undergraduate students, the effective dates are 9/15-9/14 each year.
  • Are international students eligible for the plan?

    • International students who are registered for and attending classes in the United States are eligible for and automatically enrolled in the plan. International students residing in countries outside of the United States are not eligible for the plan and will not be enrolled in coverage.  If you are an international student who is registered and attending classes in the US, please be sure your US address has been updated with PAU's Registrar's Office.

  • My provider can’t find me or my plan in their system. Why?

    • It's important that providers look at the ID card to be sure they are searching in the correct system for your insurance coverage. If you are still have any trouble with this, please contact Relation Customer Service at

  • During summer, are students who are not enrolled in classes but are enrolled in SHIP still eligible for coverage?

    • Yes. If you were enrolled in and paid for coverage during Spring, you will remain enrolled throughout Summer quarter.

  • Why does my provider see that the plan is ending at the end of each quarter?

    • The provider will see a future lapse in coverage (at the end of each quarter) because we have to send the new file based on who is enrolled each quarter. There isn't actually a lapse in coverage, it just looks as if it has an end date because coverage is renewed. Students are enrolled very quickly at the start of each quarter so there will never be an actual lapse in coverage. If for some reason a claim is processed and it is denied, ask your provider to resubmit the claim a few days later as coverage will always be backdated. You should never have to pay out of pocket at the time of service (aside from patient responsibilities like co-pays).

  • If I have other coverage and waive SHIP at the beginning of the academic year, but then lose that coverage at some point, am I able to enroll in the SHIP plan at PAU?

    • Yes. That is called a qualifying event and provided the loss of coverage is through no fault of your own (i.e. you didn’t decline or cancel coverage), you are eligible to enroll in the plan. Please email within 30 days of your loss of coverage to be added to the SHIP. Premium costs will be prorated based on the number of full months remaining in the term.

  • What are the deductible and the out-of-pocket maximums for this plan?

    • The out of pocket maximum is $7,350, but the deductible is only $250 (both of these are for in-network coverage). 

  • Why can't I log in to the Relation Waiver Portal?

    • Only active PAU students are eligible for SHIP coverage. If you have not registered for classes yet, Relation does not yet know that you are officially a student. Once you register it generally takes 5-7 business days for Relation to receive the updated list of students from PAU and process that information. If you are registered and still having trouble accessing the Relation Insurance Portal, please email Relation's Customer Service Team at

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