About UC SHIP
What You Need to Know
The University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) provides high-quality, affordable and convenient coverage that protects students from unexpected health care costs. The plan is built especially for students, and students are actively involved in its design.
Because all UC students are required to have medical insurance, registered students are automatically enrolled in UC SHIP.
Your health and health needs come first — always.
This has been the UC SHIP guiding principle since its inception.
UC SHIP covers medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, and mental health and substance use disorder services for UC undergraduate and graduate students and their eligible dependents.
The plan meets the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that everyone either have minimum essential coverage for each month of the year, qualify for a coverage exemption, or pay a penalty when they file their federal income tax. This is known as the individual mandate. The penalty was eliminated in 2019.
Proof of Insurance (IRS Form 1095-B)
Under the federal reporting requirement, health care plans and insurance companies must report member information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that can be linked to a health plan that is certified minimum essential coverage. Member information includes the name, address and Social Security number — including covered students and dependents.
UC SHIP’s enrollment administrator, Academic HealthPlans (AHP), may contact you via email to get important information that is not on file with the registrar’s office. You can also email AHP to provide the requested information.
For proof of coverage, all UC SHIP members can electronically access their IRS Form 1095-B — the form that proves you have the minimum essential coverage required by the ACA. To access your 1095-B, follow the instructions in the 1095 User Guide [PDF].
How the Plan Works
Under the UC SHIP plan guidelines, the first place you should seek care is your campus student health center (SHC). Many services, including preventive care, are offered there at no cost or for a low copay.
Depending on the services you receive outside the SHC, you may need to pay an annual deductible before UC SHIP begins to share costs with you. Once you meet that deductible, you’ll pay coinsurance for services, and UC SHIP will cover the remainder of the cost, up to the maximum allowable amount for that service.
You’re protected financially with an annual limit on your out-of-pocket costs. Once you reach this limit, the plan picks up 100% of the costs for that year.
For details, review the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) [PDF].
You can make a difference in the health services offered on campus as a representative to the UC SHIP Executive Oversight Board (EOB).
As members of the UC SHIP EOB, students join university administrators and staff in reviewing and evaluating the benefits UC SHIP offers and the plan’s financial performance. This shared governance structure ensures there is organized dialogue between students and administration about UC SHIP. Here’s how you can get involved.
Start With the SHAC or Student Government
Your campus Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) advances student input on the health and counseling needs and the health services offered on your campus. The SHAC and/or student government selects one graduate and one undergraduate student representative to the UC SHIP EOB.
As EOB members, student representatives review and vote annually on the UC SHIP benefits (including medical, pharmacy, dental, vision and behavioral health coverage) and meet each month during the academic year to review the financial performance of the plan. They also make recommendations about how to balance requests for new benefits and maintain affordable health plan costs for students.
EOB student representatives may receive stipends as compensation for participation on the EOB and its committees.
To learn more about the UC Merced Student Health Advisory Committee — including how to get involved — visit the Social Justice Initiatives & Identity Programs webpage.