instructor giving lecture
Home › About › Departments and Offices › Student Services › SHIP FAQ's


  • Am I required to have health insurance?

    • All PAU students registered for 9 or more credit hours are eligible for coverage under the SHIP and therefore automatically enrolled upon registration for classes each quarter.

    • Because online masters students are not considered full time students, they do not qualify for SHIP and are not automatically enrolled.  There is no need to submit a waiver for online masters students.

  • What is an opt-out plan?

    • Our plan, like most student health insurance plans, is set up as an opt-out plan. This means that all registered students who are full time are automatically enrolled in the 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, Ascension Benefit Solutions (see “Waiving Out of SHIP”). 

  • How long after registering do I need to wait to waive?

    • In order for your information to register in the waiver portal, Ascension needs to be told that you are a student, so we 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 Ascension and processed in their system. At that time, you can access the waiver 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 year by the set deadlines; waivers will be in effect for the remainder of the academic year. Waiver deadlines can be found on the “Waiving Out of SHIP” page.

  • How much does it cost?

    • For 2017-2018, SHIP fees are a total of $2,004 for the academic year. The payment schedule is as follows:

      • Fall: $540
      • Winter: $540
      • Spring/Summer: $924
  • How do I pay for SHIP coverage?

    • Registered students enrolled in the SHIP will be charged on a quarterly basis during Fall, Winter, and Spring (the Spring payment will cover Summer coverage as well) with their normal tuition fees billing. Students are able to use financial aid funds to pay for the cost of SHIP.

  • 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, the 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 the Registrar's Office.

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

    • As far as providers not being able to find the plan in the system, it is likely due to providers looking up students under United Healthcare and not under United Healthcare Student Resources. It's important that providers look at the ID card to be sure they are searching the correct system. If you are still having trouble, please contact

  • 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 with United Healthcare Student Resources on a quarterly basis. 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 $6,850, but the deductible is only $250 (both of these are for in-network coverage). 

  • Why can't I log in to the waiver portal?

    • Only active PAU students are eligible for SHIP coverage. If you have not registered for classes yet, we don't yet know that you are officially a student and therefore cannot send your information to Ascension. Once you register it generally takes 5-7 days for Ascension to receive the updated list of students; you should be able to access the portal at that point. If you are registered and still having trouble accessing the portal, please email Ascension's customer service team at



1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Phone: (800) 818-6136 Fax: (650) 433-3888





Twitter Icon Facebook Icon LinkedIn icon YouTube icon Tintup icon