SHIP Frequently Asked Questions

Your academic program and or visa status may require that you carry medical insurance.

Health insurance guarantees that you will be able to obtain necessary treatment in the event that you develop a serious illness or injury. Health insurance also guarantees that you will be able to obtain medical preventative services like immunizations, physical exams, well women's exams etc., when you obtain care from your doctor.

Yes, COVID-19 testing and treatment are covered on the Aetna Student Health Plan. Please visit the Aetna website for additional resources pertaining to COVID-19.

In addition to removing the online eligibility exclusion, and liberalizing coverage, and paying foreign claims at the in-network level, Aetna’s current COVID resources can be found at https://www.aetna.com/individuals-families/member-rights-resources/need-to-know-coronavirus.html.

Alternative personal health insurance coverage must meet the following minimum standards:

  • Undergraduate Domestic Students:
    • Must cover treatment for emergency care, medical and surgical treatment, hospitalization, diagnostic procedures, laboratory tests, specialty consultations, mental health care (including inpatient hospitalization and outpatient care), alcohol/substance rehabilitation, HIV/AIDS, and maternity benefits. 
    • Must have a maximum deductible of $2,500, or a student must have the personal or family means or a health savings account to pay for a higher deductible.
    • Must be currently active and a student must maintain coverage during the entire period they are registered.
    • Must include coverage for prescriptions (medications prescribed by a physician).
  • Graduate Domestic Students
    • Must have a medical plan that offers $50,000 benefits on an annual basis.
    • Must have an annual deductible that does not exceed $1,500.
    • Must have a policy that is valid for the entire 2020/2021 academic year.
    • Must have a plan that covers pre-existing conditions.
    • Must have a plan that covers Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Detoxification Treatment.
    • Must have a plan that covers expenses related to self-inflicted injuries (while sane or insane) and suicide.
    • Must have a plan that includes Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in the amount of at least $10,000 (medical evacuation is emergency transportation to the nearest, most qualified treatment facility).
    • Must provide coverage for Inpatient and Outpatient Care in the George Washington campus area (Emergency coverage only does not satisfy this requirement).
  • International Students:
    • Must have a medical plan that offers $50,000 benefits on an annual basis.
    • Must have an annual deductible that does not exceed $500.
    • Must have a policy that is valid for the entire 2020/2021 academic year.
    • Must have a plan that covers pre-existing conditions.
    • Must have a plan that covers Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Detoxification Treatment.
    • Must have a plan that covers expenses related to self-inflicted injuries (while sane or insane) and suicide.
    • Must have a plan that provides at least $7,500 coverage for Repatriation (repatriation provides transportation to your home country in the event of death).
    • Must have a plan that includes Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in the amount of at least $10,000 (medical evacuation is emergency transportation to the nearest, most qualified treatment facility).
    • Must have a claims office based in the continental United States and my plan covers Inpatient and Outpatient Care in the George Washington campus area (Emergency coverage only does not satisfy this requirement).

 

  • Annual: August 12, 2020 – August 11, 2021
  • Fall Only: August 12, 2020 – December 31, 2020
  • Spring Only: January 1, 2021 – August 11, 2021
  • Summer Only: May 1, 2021 – August 11, 2021

All medical, on-campus nursing, on-campus health science, international (J-1 and F-1 visa holders), and all undergraduate students are required to have health insurance while enrolled at GW.

Each mandatory student enrolled in SHIP will be charged $2,180 to their student account. The charges are split between two semesters; one will be applied in the fall and the other in the spring. 

The cost for voluntary students is $3,330 per academic year.

GW SHIP covers:

  • Hospitalization
  • Visits to the Colonial Health Center
  • Specialty care office visits/referrals, for example a Dermatologist
  • Mental health evaluation and treatment
  • Diagnostic studies, such as X-rays and Lab tests
  • Outpatient therapy/treatments
  • Prescription medications
  • COVID-19 testing and treatment, see website.

Services received at the Colonial Health Center: All CHC office visits are covered in full, no deductible or co-pays. Most other charges are also covered in full.

You may satisfy the insurance requirement through any private plan that meets university criteria for coverage. You must submit information about your insurance coverage each year.

 

If you do not wish to receive GW Student Health Insurance Plan coverage, you must opt out each academic year you remain enrolled at GW.

 

Visit University Health Plans to opt out of the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan.

All medical, on-campus nursing, on-campus Health Science, international (J-1 and F-1 visa holders), and all undergraduate students will be automatically enrolled, and the charge will appear on your student account bill.

 

To voluntarily enroll or to enroll dependents, visit University Health Plans.

Yes, even though students are studying remotely, quality health insurance is important, particularly in the middle of a pandemic. As such, the health insurance requirement is still in effect.

While they are required to have health insurance, students who will be studying 100% remotely outside of Washington D.C. or internationally until January 2021 are able to use their home state or home country coverage to waive the plan through a fall only waiver form. They will be required to waive again for spring and will need to provide proof of comparable coverage if they are returning to campus. If their insurance already provides comprehensive coverage in Washington D.C., students are advised to submit an annual waiver form so they do not have to waive again for spring.

No. While they are required to have health insurance (including coverage through socialized programs), they are not required to prove the U.S. standards are met. However, this will be required to waive again for spring and students will need to provide proof their insurance meets George Washington’s waiver requirements when returning to the U.S.

The deadline for filing a waiver or application for enrollment is February 1, 2021

You will, by default, be enrolled in the GW Student Health Insurance Plan.

 

There is no appeal to waive coverage past the waiver deadline of September 12, 2020.

Yes, regardless of employment in the university, all students in the mandatory group are required to file a selection showing their insurance coverage to opt out.

The annual fee (premium) is billed in two (2) increments. The first will be billed directly to your account in the fall semester, and the second installment will be billed in the spring semester. If you receive funding from your school/college, you may receive refunds which include the premium to be repaid for insurance.

Be sure to monitor your student account closely to determine whether your premium has been paid, or speak to the Student Accounts Office, 202-994-7350.

Contact the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships to determine if you qualify. You can email [email protected] or call 202-994-6822.

If a student requires coverage with Aetna after the enrollment period has closed, a student can enroll in SHIP if a qualifying change of life event occurs (i.e., marriage, birth/adoption of a child, termination of coverage from parent’s plan/termination from another insurance provider). 

 

You may enroll during the academic year within 30 days of a qualifying change of life event. To enroll the dependent(s) of a covered student, please complete the Enrollment Form by visiting University Health Plans.

 

Please refer to the coverage periods section of the plan benefits and summary document for coverage dates and deadline dates.

 

Please call University Health Plans at 800-437-6448 for questions regarding enrollment instructions.

Dependent enrollment applications will not be accepted after the enrollment deadline of September 12, 2020, unless there is a significant life change that directly affects their insurance coverage.

 

The completed enrollment form and premium must be sent to University Health Plans.

 

Please call University Health Plans at 800-437-6448 for questions regarding enrollment instructions.

Please allow seven (7) days from the date of the waiver approval confirmation for GW SHIP fee to be removed from your student account.

 

If, after seven (7) days, the charge has not been removed, please contact the SHIP office by email, [email protected] or by phone 202-994-8260.

A student can enroll in the insurance plan after the enrollment deadline only if a *qualifying change of life event occurs. See details listed above in question 17.

You do not need a referral from the Colonial Health Center for care outside of the Washington area. Keep in mind that you are responsible for paying your deductible. Treatment by an in-network Aetna Preferred Provider reduces your out-of-pocket costs.

 

To find a list of participating providers, please visit the Find a Doctor, Hospital or Pharmacy tab located on the Aetna website.

For preventative, non-urgent, and nursing appointments, students should call 202-994-5300 option 1 to schedule an appointment.

 

If you are within 25 miles of the university, you should first seek treatment at the Colonial Health Center. There is no deductible or co-pay for office visits to the CHC.

 

If you need additional care outside of the CHC, you will be referred for specialty care. You are responsible for payment of deductible and/or co-pays for care outside the CHC.

The Colonial Health Center is considered your primary care provider under the GW Student Health Insurance plan.

 

If you seek medical care at another facility, you are responsible for payment of any relevant deductible and/or co-pay charges.

No, you do not need a referral to see a women's health provider. 

 

If you seek medical care at another facility, you are responsible for payment of any relevant deductible and/or co-pay charges.

Emergency services are covered under the GW SHIP, with a copay of $100 due at the time of service. A referral is not needed for services rendered at the ER.

Yes, both treatment for mental health and substance abuse services are covered under SHIP and a referral is not needed.

Yes, while specimens for lab tests are obtained at CHC, they are sent to outside labs for processing and are subject to the deductible and applicable co-pay. 

 

X-rays are ordered and scheduled by CHC but are performed by outside radiology offices, and are subject to the deductible and applicable co-pay.

To find a list of providers in-network with Aetna, please visit the Aetna website.

Yes, no matter where you travel as a student, you are covered under GW SHIP worldwide 24 hours a day, under the Worldwide Medical Information and Assistance portion of the plan. Please visit On Call International Travel Assistance or call 1-866-525-1956 for more information.

If you visit an in-network preferred provider, they will file a medical claim on your behalf. If you visit a non-preferred provider, please request that they do so. If they decline, it will be your responsibility to do so. Please provide your insurance card at the time you receive services.

University Health Plans (UHP), a division of Risk Strategies, is a leading benefit brokerage/consulting firm specializing in the design, placement, and service of college and university student health insurance programs. GW partners with UHP to provide Aetna Student Health Insurance to students.

Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan is a PPO. A PPO is a Preferred Provider Organization that allows members flexibility to see any health care provider in the insurance company’s network, without a referral, even specialists.

 

PPO plans also allow its members to see providers that are out-of-network.

In-network means providers that accept your insurance and bill them directly.

 

Out-of-network means providers that do not accept your insurance, and you typically have to submit the reimbursement request yourself.

If you visit an out-of-network provider, higher out of pocket costs will apply and claims are subject for reimbursement under the out-of-network benefit level.

Some examples include:

  • If medical services were provided by an out-of-network provider;
  • If your student coverage is terminated;
  • Services rendered were considered investigational or deemed not medically necessary;
  • An incorrect or outdated diagnosis or procedure code;

Yes, please notify your provider’s office that you are insured with Aetna.

A student can check the status of a claim submitted, by calling Aetna directly at 1-800-213-0579 or logging in to the Aetna member website.

The Colonial Health Center is considered your primary care provider under the health insurance and should be your first point of contact in the event of an illness that is non-emergent.

 

If you are referred outside of campus to an alternate medical facility, you are responsible for payment of any relevant deductible and/or co-pay charges.

 

In the event of an emergency, call 911.

Yes, the plan covers maternity and prenatal care services. Deductibles may apply to non-preventative care services. More information can be found on page

No, Aetna encourages students to print your Aetna medical insurance card via their website or access your digital ID card on the Aetna HealthSM app, as Aetna is no longer issuing plastic or paper member ID cards.

The registrar office should be contacted at 202-994-4900 or via email at  [email protected], to update your mailing address, name, etc., as Aetna obtains student demographic information directly from the University. 

If you visit a non-preferred provider, please request that they complete a claim form for you. If they decline, it will be your responsibility to do so. Claim forms can be found on the Aetna site. If you visit an in-network preferred provider, they should file a medical claim on your behalf. In the event that the provider does not submit a claim for you, see your plan brochure on how to file a medical or prescription drug claim.

If you withdraw from classes under a school-approved Leave of Absence before your program’s add/drop date deadline, your coverage will remain in force through the end of the period for which payment has been received and no premiums will be refunded.

 

Other than leave of absence: If you withdraw before your program’s add/drop date deadline, from classes for any reason other than a school-approved leave of absence, you will be considered ineligible for coverage, your coverage will be terminated retroactively, and any premiums collected will be refunded.

 

If the withdrawal is after your program’s add/drop deadline, your coverage will remain in force through the end of the period for which payment has been received and no premiums will be refunded.

 

If you withdraw from classes to enter the armed forces of any country, coverage will terminate as of the effective date of such entry and a pro rata refund of premiums will be made if you submit a written request within 90 days of withdrawal from classes.

Yes, students have the option to purchase a voluntary dental plan via UHP’s website.

Yes, students have the option to purchase a voluntary vision plan via UHP’s website.

Coverage and benefit information can be found on the Aetna website, calling Aetna directly at 1-800-213-0579, contacting the SHIP office at 202-994-8260 or emailing [email protected].