Suspension of SHIP for AY 21-22

July 7th, 2021

Dear Students:

I am writing today to let you know that PAU has suspended the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) program for the 21-22 academic year (AY).  This was not an easy decision to make, but one that became necessary due to the rising cost of SHIP and the many frustrations we have all had with the student health insurance.

PAU has worked with Relation Insurance Solution for over five years for our SHIP program.  With the exception of one year, Relation, and the insurance companies they work with, have proposed increases in the insurance premium students are required to pay.  Last year (AY 20-21), the increase was around 6%, resulting in the premium being $4,140.  For AY 21-22, the proposed rate was over $5,500, an over 30% increase in one year.

We explored other options besides Relation, but the rates quoted by other companies were even higher than Relation. One particular challenge for PAU in terms of the high rates is that we have so few students enrolled in the program. This year, we had around 300 students enrolled in SHIP.  In order to get better SHIP rates, we would have to have at least 500 students enrolled.  That is not a threshold we can meet.

Also, for the past five years, the insurance companies working with PAU’s SHIP program have paid out well over 100% in claims compared to what they collected in premiums from PAU students.  When that happens, premium rates for the plan are increased in the next year.  We have been on this trend line for several years.

We know many of you rely on the SHIP program for health insurance, and we are committed to assisting you in making the transition to other coverage.  We are planning to bring in a Health Navigator to assist those students who may need to transition to Covered California, part of the federal government’s American Cares Act (ACA) program. More information will be shared later this summer about that.

In the meantime, you will not see any SHIP charges on your fall student billing statement available later this week (although you may still see this in your financial aid calculations, as health care expenses, like housing and food, can be used to determine financial aid eligibility).  Because the program has been suspended, no one needs to submit a waiver for the 21-22 AY.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Student Affairs at


Thom Shepard, M.Ed.

Dean of Students

Palo Alto University-Allen Calvin Campus

1791 Arastradero Road

Palo Alto, CA  94304

Office: Building 3, Room 353

Phone: 650-433-3814

"Courage Not Courtesy" -Kamala Harris