Waiving the SHBP

Update 8/6/2020: A confirmation email is sent within minutes of successfully completing the waiver request online, the email will include one of the following statuses:

  • Pending : You will receive this notice if you are waiving with an insurance that does not return an instant eligibility status. Wellfleet will manually check your insurance.
  • Declined: There will be a reason for the declined waiver in your email, please address the reason or call Wellfleet (800) 633-7867 if you have questions.
  • Approved: Print and save the email as proof of your waiver.

If you don’t receive a confirmation email, call Wellfleet customer service, (800) 633-7867, for help. Approval can take 7-10 business days depending on the amount of waivers received at one time. Please note that Wellfleet and UHS are working hard together to process all waivers as they come in and there may be times that processing takes longer than expected.

 

Click Here for the SHBP Waiver

UMass Amherst requires all domestic and international students taking five (5) or more credits to be covered by health insurance. All eligible domestic and international students are automatically enrolled in and billed for the Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

Domestic and international students studying in person, remotely or on-line and residing on campus or anywhere in the United States showing proof of comparable insurance coverage from a US based domestic insurance company with claims being paid within the United States can waive the UMass SHBP. Insurance plans based outside of the US are not considered comparable coverage and will not be accepted. All waivers will be audited and if coverage is confirmed, the insurance fee will be removed from their tuition bill. Waivers must be submitted before the add/drop date of 09/07/2020.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, international students studying remotely or on-line outside of the United States can waive the UMass SHBP by certifying that they have comparable insurance that provides coverage in that location. If the waiver meets the UMass requirements, the insurance fee will be removed from the tuition bill.

How to Waive the SHBP

To waive the SHBP, you have three options:

  • Go to www.spire.umass.edu
  • Select the Health Insurance Waiver link (lower right)
  • Choose the 'Waive' option
  • Complete and submit the waiver

-or-

-or-

  • For students who have a FERPA or who are unable to submit the SHBP waiver online, click here to download and print the Alternative Insurance Waiver.

A confirmation email is sent within minutes of successfully completing the waiver request online. Print and save this email as proof of your waiver. If you don’t receive a confirmation email, call Wellfleet customer service, (800) 633-7867, for help. Approval can take up to three days.

SHBP Waiver FAQ

Eligibility

Waiver Submission and Approval

More Information:

SHBP Costs & Coverage | Optional Enrollment

Eligibility

Who can waive the SHBP?

  • U.S. students with comparable coverage under another major medical insurance plan can waive the SHBP. 
  • Veterans with benefits that provide access to Veterans' Administration healthcare facilities and those with benefits through the U.S. Family Health Plan, a military coverage, can waive the SHBP.

What plans cannot be used to waive the SHBP?

  • Closed network plans, which provide coverage through a closed network of providers not reasonably accessible in the area where the student attends school, are not eligible for SHBP waiver.
  • Out-of-state Medicaid plans cannot be used to waive the SHBP.
  • International plans cannot be used to waive the SHBP. If you are an international student, see below.

I'm an international student; how can I waive the SHBP? Due to COVID-19 restrictions, international students studying remotely or on-line outside of the United States can waive the UMass SHBP by certifying that they have comparable insurance that provides coverage in that location. If the waiver meets the UMass requirements, the insurance fee will be removed from the tuition bill.

International students studying in person, remotely or on-line and 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. US-based international students seeking a waiver must complete an individual insurance plan review before the end of the Add/Drop period (9/7/2020).

To request a review, mail health plan documentation to:

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

-or-

Email documents to patientservices@uhs.umass.edu. Be sure to include your name and contact information in all emails.

UHS' 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.

Can I waive the SHBP for the fall semester only, and use the SHBP in the spring?

Yes. Students who need to enroll in the SHBP after waiving in the fall should contact Patient Services at 413-577-5192. Should your current situation change, such as losing your private health insurance or your enrollment status changes from studying remotely/online to studying on campus, then UHS will work with students to be sure they have comparable insurance coverage.

How do I know if my health insurance plan is comparable coverage to the SHBP?

Coverage Guidelines:

  • Must be a United States-based employer health plan, with claims paid in the United States; or embassy/fellowship sponsored student.
  • Cannot be travel insurance.
  • Coverage must be in force for the full time period in which the student is at UMass Amherst.
  • Student coverage cannot be a closed network of providers that would prevent reasonable access to medical services in the area, except in the event of an emergency.
  • No pre-existing condition clause.
  • Annual plan maximum: $500,000.
  • Ambulatory patient services.
  • Emergency services.
  • Hospitalization.
  • Maternity and newborn care.
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment.
  • Prescription drugs.
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices.
  • Laboratory services.
  • Preventive and wellness services, and chronic disease management.
  • Pediatric services.

Waiver Submission and Approval

How do I know if my waiver request was received? A confirmation email is sent within minutes of successfully completing the waiver request. Print and save this email as proof of your waiver. If you don’t receive a confirmation email, call Wellfleet customer service, (800) 633-7867, for help.

How long will it take for my waiver to be approved? Approval can take up to three days.

What if my waiver request is rejected? Audits are performed; students whose waivers are rejected during an audit will have an opportunity to correct the information submitted. Waivers not accepted by the university will be recharged to the tuition bill.

Do I have to submit the waiver again in the spring? Waivers submitted during the fall semester apply to the entire academic year. Only new or transfer students need to submit the online waiver request for the spring semester.

If I don't waive the SHBP in the fall, can I waive it in the spring? Only students beginning at UMass Amherst as of the spring semester have the option to waive for that semester.

What if I missed the fall deadline to waive the SHBP? Those who missed the fall waiver deadline can appeal and waive for the spring semester. Direct appeals to:

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