Health Insurance

All students must sign up or waive the student health insurance plan.

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Your health and wellness is an essential part of your academic success while you are at Washington University in St. Louis. Habif Health and Wellness Center provides excellent care for the evaluation and treatment of illness or injury, preventive health care, mental health services, and health education. Some services have additional costs, such as laboratory tests, x-rays, procedures, etc.

The American College Health Association recommends that all universities require students to have adequate health insurance and what the benefit plan should include. Accordingly, WashU offers a robust student health insurance policy for your convenience. We feel confident that our plan is one of the best student plans available. View a summary of the plan​

Which plan will be right for you?

You are the best person to decide this. You should be an informed consumer. Make sure you read the details carefully for high deductible or individual plans. Understand coverage for vision/dental/prescription drug care. It is also important that you consider what benefits are available if you need specialty care and diagnostic services and what care the plan excludes. Insurance plans for families must now provide coverage for children up to age 26. Some plans may provide adequate coverage while you are in the St. Louis area, others may not. Many plans cover “emergency” only care while you are away from your network of providers. This type of plan does not meet Wash U’s coverage requirement. It is important that you have in-network coverage in the Washington University in St. Louis Physicians Network and the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Network.

Three major categories need to be considered when choosing your health plan.

Please review the waiver criteria carefully to make sure you are adequately insured under WashU’s requirements.

Network Coverage: All insurance plans have a specific network that is considered “in-network.” This means you must access certain doctors and hospitals in order to have a full benefit under your plan. You must make sure you have coverage in the Washington University Provider Network and the Barnes Jewish Hospital Network. Your coverage must include comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical and mental health care. The student health insurance plan provides comprehensive in-patient and out-patient medical and mental health care in the St. Louis area, nationwide, and for travel abroad. The plan also provides emergency assistance for medical evacuation whenever a student is 100 miles or greater from home. This includes worldwide assistance.

Financial Issues: Every insurance plan has several financial pieces that must be considered when choosing a plan. These are:

  • Premium
  • Deductibles
  • In-network and Out-of-network payments for care
  • Out of pocket expenses, including co-pays

All plans charge a premium based on the number of months you are purchasing insurance. In addition to paying this premium, you will have expenses for the care you incur.

  • A deductible is the amount of money you must pay prior to any benefits being paid by the insurance company.
  • A co-pay is generally required up front at the time of service. Co-pays vary from plan to plan and also vary by service. You will also most likely have a different payment structure for accessing doctors, hospitals, radiology, etc from a list of “in-network” providers than from those not in network.
  • An out-of-pocket maximum is the total amount of money you are responsible to pay for medical expenses you incur during a policy year. Your plan will pay 100% of all medical expenses incurred once this amount has been reached.

Privacy Concerns: In the United States, once a person reaches the age of 18, they are considered an adult and do not need consent from a parent to seek medical care. Students who participate in the student health insurance plan provided by the university will be the “owner” of that coverage. Many times students express concerns about seeking care related to their privacy while seeking health care and how this works if they are on another person’s health plan.  All financial matters between HHWC, the student and the student health insurance carrier will only be known to the student. Bills sent to other insurance carriers may be viewed by the owner of that plan, many times a parent. This should be a consideration in your decision for choosing a health insurance plan. We encourage parents and students to discuss privacy matters openly so it can be determined how to handle out of pocket costs for medical care and the explanation of benefits that will be sent from the insurance company once a claim has been paid should the student waive Wash U’s health care and remain on their parents’ insurance.

For questions concerning insurance benefits, enrollment, deductibles, claims, etc, contact UHC Customer Service at 866-346-4826.

The mandatory insurance requirement calls for “comprehensive coverage.” What does that mean?

The university has determined 9 points of criteria that your insurance plan must have. You are allowed to waive out of the University Student Health Insurance Plan if you meet all of the criteria.

Who may waive out of the University Student Health Insurance Plan?

Students may waive out of the plan if they can provide proof of adequate coverage. Students on an F-1 or J-1 visa are not allowed to waive out of the plan unless they are on a US based employer plan through a US based insurance company.

Is current coverage Medicare or Medicaid?

Medicare and Medicaid do not meet the waiver criteria.

Does the plan provide coverage for all medically necessary care while in St. Louis?

Your insurance plan must cover more than emergency care while you are in St. Louis. Emergency care ends when a person leaves the emergency room. Often students need care from another provider such as orthopedics for sprains and fractures, or other specialty care for conditions occurring while in St. Louis. You will need a plan that proves comprehensive health care while at the university to be waiver eligible.  

When will my health insurance charge be reversed after I submit my waiver?

Once your waiver is approved a credit will be applied to the student account in 1-3 business days.  Students may view this credit on WebSTAC under Billing – Account Inquiry.  Parents may view this credit on the parent portal under Your Account – Click here to view transactions since your last bill.  Please note the existing bills will not change.  The bills are a PDF of your account as of the last business day of each month.  On your next bill that will generate at the end of the month you will see your credit for the student health insurance fee.

When does my student accounting statement get charged for the student health insurance plan?

The university registrar’s system verifies a student’s eligibility based upon registration status. Students who are considered full-time, degree-seeking on the Danforth Campus are required to have health insurance coverage. The student health insurance premium will be applied to student accounting statements in July for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester. Students who register after these dates will be assessed the premium upon completion of registration. These students will still be required to complete the waiver process if they do not wish to participate in the student health insurance plan.

When does coverage begin and end?

Coverage on the university student health plan: 

  • begins on August 1 and ends on January 1 for the fall semester
  • begins on January 1 through July 31 for the spring semester
Can I enroll late?

If for any reason a student’s coverage terminates, it is the responsibility of the student to notify Wash U for enrollment on the university’s plan.

What if I drop below full-time status?

Students dropping below the full-time status prior to September 30th will not fall under the health insurance requirement and the Student Health Insurance Plan premium will be credited to the student’s account.

Students dropping below full-time status after February 28th will fall under the student health insurance requirement until July 31st.

What if I want to waive out of the plan but have claims on the plan?

Any person who has claims on the plan must pay the full premium for that year. There is no option out of the plan once claims have occurred.

When will health insurance cards arrive?

This year cards will not be mailed to students. To print out a copy of your card, you’ll need to go to and log into or create a new My Account.

How is the Health and Wellness Fee different from the Student Health Insurance Plan?

Washington University has a student health and wellness fee designed to improve the health and wellness of the entire Wash U community. The fee is billed to the student tuition statement each semester. This fee is in addition to the student health insurance requirement.

What if I submit my waiver but then later drop my health insurance plan I used to waive out of the university plan?

All students are required to have adequate health insurance coverage. Dropping required coverage is a breach of this requirement and may affect your student status under the current university code of conduct.

What if I lose my current coverage after waiving out of the university health plan?

Students may purchase the student health insurance plan at any point if they lose existing coverage under a current plan due to a life event.

I am going to travel abroad. What kind of insurance coverage should I have?

The university’s Student Health Insurance Plan provides in-network coverage while abroad. It also has a travel assistance benefit. Most U.S. insurance plans provide no coverage while a student is abroad. This is something to consider while you are exploring the possibility of travel or study abroad. You must have adequate coverage as outlined in the waiver process while abroad in order to waive out of the Student Health Insurance Plan.