Graduate Student Health Insurance

Welcome to UMass and to University Health Services! Our Patient Services staff are here to support you in understanding and navigating your health insurance options. If, after reviewing the information at the links below, you have questions or need assistance, contact us at patientservices@uhs.umass.edu or 413-577-5192.

Get health insurance information for…

Have you printed your 2021-2022 insurance card yet?
SHBP members must print out a new insurance card every academic year!

The deadline to waive the Student Health Benefit Plan,
or to enroll yourself or family members, is 9/15/2021.
Enrollments and waivers may take up to 2 weeks to process.

Patients who pay out of pocket for services or for prescriptions can fill out the Wellfleet Reimbursement Form and send it to Wellfleet. Questions? Call Wellfleet at 1-877-657-5027.

Graduate students taking 5 or more credits

Massachusetts requires full-time college students to have primary health care insurance. Graduate students taking 5 or more credits in an academic semester are automatically enrolled in, and billed for, the UMass-sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). This is an excellent option for students who need insurance. A waiver system is in place for students already covered under another insurance plan. For plan details, visit the Wellfleet website.

The SHBP Family Plan is available to students whose spouses/domestic partners and/or children need health insurance coverage. Family plan enrollments must be renewed each semester by the add/drop deadline.

Eligible GEO members receive an exemption of 95% of the plan rates for the Individual SHBP and Individual Graduate Student Health Fee, as well as the SHBP Family Plan and Family Student Health Fee for those electing family health plan coverage. New in 2021: Eligible GEO members will automatically receive the 95% exemption; you no longer need to opt-in in SPIRE.

 
Graduate Student Health Fee: The mandatory Graduate Student Health Fee is not insurance. This fee is charged to all graduate students enrolled in 5 or more credits, and entitles the student to be seen at University Health Services (UHS) without paying co-pays and co-insurance for visits with UHS providers. Patients are responsible for any required insurance plan deductibles. The fee supports an array of programs and services, including health education and promotion services, four (4) initial visits for mental health crisis management, public health, and emergency preparedness activities.
 
 

Waiver System

Domestic graduate students taking 5 or more credits: Between mid-July and the add/drop deadline, go to the Wellfleet website. Choose the “Waive” option, and follow the instructions to complete and submit your waiver request. For students who have a FERPA or who are unable to submit the SHBP waiver online, download and print the Alternative Insurance Waiver.

International graduate students taking 5 or more credits: International students residing on campus or anywhere in the United States are not automatically eligible to waive the SHBP. However, international students enrolled in an employer- or embassy-based health insurance plan from the United States may be eligible for a waiver. Eligibility is based on federal and state guidelines for the minimum essential coverage needed in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. International students seeking a waiver must complete an individual insurance plan review before the end of the add/drop period. To request a review, email documents to patientservices@uhs.umass.edu or mail health plan documentation to:

Patient Services
University Health Services, UMass Amherst
150 Infirmary Way, Amherst, MA 01003

Be sure to include your name and contact information in all emails. UHS's Student Health Benefits Coordinator will review the health plan documentation and notify applicants of their status via email. If approved, UHS will process a paper waiver allowing removal of SHBP charges from the tuition bill.

 

Graduate students taking under 5 credits/Graduate CE students

Graduate students taking fewer than 5 credits in an academic semester, and graduate CE students, are not automatically enrolled in the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP). If you are in need of insurance coverage, you may be eligible for optional enrollment in the SHBP. Eligible graduate students can also enroll their spouse/domestic partner and/or children in the SHBP Family Plan. Enrollments may take up to 2 weeks to process.

For any optional enrollment, the Enrollment Form must be completed each semester by the add/drop deadline. For plan details, visit the Wellfleet website.

Eligible GEO members receive an exemption of 95% of the plan rates for the Individual SHBP and Individual Graduate Student Health Fee, as well as the SHBP Family Plan and Family Student Health Fee for those electing family health plan coverage. New in 2021: Graduate students will automatically receive the 95% exemption; you no longer need to opt-in in SPIRE.

 

Optional Enrollment Eligibility

Optional enrollment is available for graduate students who are:

  • Matriculated in a day academic program and who have paid the Continuous Enrollment Fee for the semester
  • Matriculated into a graduate program through Continuing Education, are legal residents of Massachusetts, and are taking six or more credits per semester
  • Online students matriculated into a graduate program through Continuing Education, are legal residents of Massachusetts, and are taking six or more credits per semester
  • Matriculated Continuing Education students participating in off-campus programs

Non-matriculated students are not eligible for health plan enrollment.

 

When to Enroll

If you need to enroll in the SHBP for the fall semester, it's highly recommended that you submit the Enrollment Form to patientservices@uhs.umass.edu in late June or early July. Fall semester coverage begins August 1. For the spring semester, it's best to submit the enrollment form in December; coverage begins mid-January.

Please Note: You must be registered for at least one credit or have paid the Continuous Enrollment Fee for your enrollment form to be processed. If you haven't registered yet, Patient Services will hold your enrollment form until you do, but processing will be delayed. Processing can take up to 20 business days. If you submit the enrollment form before the semester's add/drop deadline, enrollment will backdate to the start date of that semester's SHBP. You'll be able to be seen at UHS right away; if you're seen elsewhere or try to obtain prescriptions, you may encounter difficulties until the enrollment is fully processed.

 

Family Plan Enrollment

The available SHBP Family Plan covers a student’s spouse or same-sex domestic partner, and/or unmarried dependent children under age 26. To purchase the family plan and enroll eligible family members, you must be personally enrolled in the SHBP. A marriage certificate and birth certificates for qualifying dependents are required to enroll in the family plan. Enrollments may take up to 2 weeks to process.

Family plan enrollments must be renewed every semester by filling out the Enrollment Form and the Affidavit of Domestic Partnership. Send these forms to patientservices@uhs.umass.edu by the end of the add/drop period.

Eligible GEO members receive an exemption of 95% of the plan rates for the Individual SHBP and Individual Graduate Student Health Fee, as well as the SHBP Family Plan and Family Student Health Fee for those electing family health plan coverage. New in 2021: Eligible GEO members will automatically receive the 95% exemption; you no longer need to opt-in in SPIRE.

 

 

SHBP and Student Health Fee Rates - Graduate Students

 

Student Health Benefit Plan Rates: 2021-2022

  • Fall 2021 Individual SHBP: $1,597.50
  • Spring 2022 Individual SHBP: $1,597.50
  • Fall 2021 SHBP Family Plan: $3,000.00
  • Spring 2022 SHBP Family Plan: $3,000.00

Graduate Student Health Fee Rates: 2021-2022

  • Fall 2021 Individual Graduate Student Health Fee: $407.50
  • Spring 2022 Individual Graduate Student Health Fee: $407.50
  • Fall 2021 Family Student Health Fee: $1,348.00
  • Spring 2022 Family Student Health Fee: $1,348.00

Student Health Plan Totals: 2021-2022

  • Fall 2021 Individual Plan Total: $2,005.00
    • Includes Individual SHBP + Individual Graduate Student Health Fee
  • Spring 2022 Individual Plan Total: $2,005.00
    • Includes Individual SHBP + Individual Graduate Student Health Fee
  • Fall 2021 Family Plan Total: $6,353.00
    • Includes Individual Plan Total, SHBP Family Plan + Family Student Health Fee 
  • Spring 2022 Family Plan Total: $6,353.00
    • Includes Individual Plan Total, SHBP Family Plan + Family Student Health Fee