Frequently Asked Questions
- UNC System-Wide Student Health Insurance Plan
- I pay a health fee on my UNCG bill each semester. How is health insurance different from that?
- Why is UNCG requiring health insurance?
- I am covered already by health insurance. What do I need to do so I don’t get billed?
- Do I have to verify my insurance each semester?
- I worry about identity theft. Why do I have to provide my private information?
- What happens when I graduate before the plan ends?
- Commonly Used Health Insurance Terms
UNC System-Wide Student Health Insurance Plan
In August 2009, the UNC Board of Governors approved the implementation of a “hard waiver” student health insurance plan on all sixteen 4-year campuses beginning in fall 2010. The term “hard waiver” means any student meeting three specific criteria is required to show evidence of an existing “creditable coverage” health insurance policy OR enroll in the UNC system-wide plan.
“Hard waiver” does not mean a student must enroll in the UNC system-wide plan; it means a student must show evidence of creditable coverage health insurance, and enrolling in the UNC system-wide plan is one means to meet that requirement. A student is encouraged to compare the UNC system-wide plan against other options, e.g., being a dependent on a parent’s health insurance plan, having an employer’s health insurance plan, having individual plan coverage through another source.
The system-wide plan provides a common set of base benefits with several options for campus-selected plan enhancements. The UNC system-wide plan has a robust set of benefits at an affordable premium. The plan’s coverage can be expanded by a student to include a spouse/domestic partner and/or child(ren). The plan’s coverage is from August 1st – July 31st and is billed by semesters (defined as August 1st – December 31st and January 1st – July 31st).
I pay a health fee on my UNCG bill each semester. How is health insurance different from that?
If you are enrolled for nine or more on-campus credit hours, you are required to pay a student health fee. It is not insurance. This fee covers the basic care offered at Student Health Services, including Medical Clinic, Sports Medicine Clinic and Women’s Health Clinic office visits. Charges for laboratory procedures, x-rays and prescriptions are provided at a discounted cost. Your student health fee also pays for wellness programs to enhance your personal health and well-being.
Health insurance offsets the cost of services not covered under the student health fee. It also gives students access to services not available on the UNCG campus and covers a portion of the cost for services not provided at the Student Health Services, such as hospitalization, required surgery or specialty services for illnesses or injuries.
Why is UNCG requiring health insurance?
Unexpected health care expenses such as those associated with unexpected illness, accidents, or mental health care can destabilize a student’s financial situation and derail his/her progress toward a degree. These potential barriers to attendance and degree completion are reduced when students have health insurance. Conversely, students without health insurance who do not have access to needed specialty care or hospitalization may attempt to continue their academic pursuits but fail to reach their full potential due to their untreated illness.
I am covered already by health insurance. What do I need to do so I don’t get billed?
Students who are already covered by an insurance policy (i.e. through parent plans, family plans, employer-sponsored plans, or student health insurance), submit their insurance policy number for verification through a secure website. The charge will be removed from the student’s bill once their policy is verified.
Do I have to verify my insurance each semester?
Yes. When students register for classes they will simply verify their insurance policy information using the online verification page.
I worry about identity theft. Why do I have to provide my private information?
We understand that concern. This is why Student Blue, the designated agent of record for the UNC system’s domestic student health insurance “hard waiver” plan, will not sell our students’ information to anyone, including direct mail marketing vendors. They also use the most stringent, HIPAA-compliant web security currently available. Great care is taken to minimize the potential for security breaches that might lead to fraud or other malicious use of personal information. The university also takes steps to protect student information. All data transfer processes go through rigorous review by the campus Banner Security committee. No data can be transferred to or from the university without this committee’s approval. (Our thanks to Mary Griffin, Nursing Ph.D. student, for bringing this concern to our attention.)
What happens when I graduate before the plan ends?
When a student graduates, they are no longer eligible to be seen by Student Health Services, however they are still covered by the Student Health Insurance until the expiration date of their plan. Due to being ineligible, the student will not have to receive a referral before being seen by a community physician.
Commonly Used Health Insurance Terms
- A deductible is the amount of out-of-pocket expenses the insured person (you) must pay for health services before benefits become payable by the insurance carrier.
- Co-payments are payments made by the insured person (you) toward the cost of a particular benefit. For example, the current student insurance plan requires a $10 co-pay for each office visit for services received outside the UNCG Student Health Services. An emergency room visit has a $150 co-pay. This discourages students from making inappropriate medical visits out in the local community.
- Coinsurance means the insured person (you) and the insurance carrier share costs according to a specified ratio (e.g. 80%: 20%) of the hospital or medical expenses resulting from a sickness or injury.
- Covered Illness/Sickness
- A covered illness/sickness is any disease, infection, or condition other than injury that is first treated or diagnosed by a doctor on or after the effective date of coverage under the insurance plan, unless pre-existing condition waivers apply.
- Covered Injury
- A covered injury is an accidental body injury that causes loss – directly and independently of all other causes – and is sustained on or after the effective date of coverage under the plan, unless pre-existing condition waivers apply.
- PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. These are networks formed from different health care providers and facilities who agree to accept a discounted payment level for charges incurred by patients insured under a plan with that specific PPO. The campus-endorsed plan uses MedCost as their PPO because it has the highest number of providers and facilities in their network.
- Pre-Existing Condition
- A pre-existing condition is an injury, illness, or pregnancy for which medical care or treatment or diagnosis or medical advice was received or recommended or medication was prescribed prior to the effective date of the insured person’s coverage under the insurance plan. The current student insurance plan limits pre-existing conditions to within six months prior to the plan effective date.
- A referral happens when students require services that cannot be provided in the UNCG Student Health Services. The Student Health Services staff arranges the referral with service providers in the student insurance’s PPO network, if possible.