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Insurance: FAQs

Why does UVA require all students to have health insurance?

UVA implemented the health insurance verification program for these important reasons:

  • To reduce the health risk of its student population by ensuring reliable access to health care services
  • To insulate students from devastating medical charges
  • To ensure compliance with University policy

Because unforeseen medical situations can and do arise over the course of an academic career, UVA requires students charged the full comprehensive fees with their tuition to also carry adequate health insurance.

What does the requirement entail?

Under the health insurance verification program, UVA requires students charged the full comprehensive fee to:

  • Carry health insurance that meets specific coverage requirements (i.e., comparable coverage); and provide proof of this insurance on an annual basis.
  • If proof of comparable coverage is not submitted (whether a student fails to submit any documentation or because a student’s health plan is determined not to provide adequate comparable coverage), the student will be responsible for the full cost for single coverage under the University-endorsed Aetna Student Health Plan.
What does comparable coverage mean?

In order to be considered comparable coverage, both domestic and international students' health plans must meet the following specific requirements for 2021-2022:

  • The plan provides in-patient care and outpatient care (including visits for behavioral health care) within a 75-mile radius of the Charlottesville area. Coverage for emergency-only care (out of state medicaid) does NOT satisfy this requirement.
  • The plan provides unlimited-medical benefits per sickness or injury. Insurance that fails to cover or limits coverage for pre-existing conditions is NOT acceptable.
  • The plan is provided by a company licensed to do business in the U.S. with (a) a U.S. claims office, (b) a U.S. phone number, (c) plan literature available in English, and (d) benefits provided in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The following programs do NOT qualify as comparable coverage: Travel insurance & Reimbursement programs of any kind.
  • The plan provides in-patient treatment and outpatient treatment for substance abuse (both alcohol and drug abuse) within a 75-mile radius of the Charlottesville area. Coverage for emergency only care (out of state medicaid) does not satisfy this requirement.
  • My coverage will remain in effect for all semesters in which I am enrolled for the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • I will be held financially responsible for payment of all charges not covered by my health insurance plan.
How do I submit proof of my current health insurance coverage?

To get started, visit the Aetna Student Health Plan "Enroll/Waive" webpage.

How do I know if I'm required to complete the health insurance verification process?

UVA requires students charged for the comprehensive fees with their tuition to also carry adequate health insurance. If you qualify for this requirement, a "To-Do" item called "Insurance Verification" will be added in SIS. Here is an example:

Screenshot of SIS page showing the health insurance requirement
What happens if I don't submit proof of my current health insurance or enroll in the Aetna Student Health plan?

Any student who fails to demonstrate comparable coverage by the deadline will be automatically enrolled into the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan after a review process. UVA will post the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan premium in the SIS accounts of students who have not submitted comparable health insurance verification. If the premium payment is not made by the due date, a hold will be placed on the student’s SIS account and they will be unable to register for the next semester of classes. Once a student is enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Plan, the coverage cannot be cancelled.

We strongly encourage students to determine if their current health insurance has comparable coverage and make a decision on insurance as soon as possible. UVA will make every effort to enroll students in the Aetna Student Health Plan as quickly as possible, but it typically takes 2-3 weeks from the appeal deadline before Aetna Student Health will receive an enrollment file from UVA. This processing time may necessitate students paying for prescriptions or medical services (such as immunizations, x-rays, and laboratory services) out-of-pocket until the enrollment in the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan has been completed. Once the enrollment in Aetna Student Health is complete, coverage will be retroactive to the coverage start date.

What happens if I missed the Aetna enrollment deadline but need health insurance?

UVA will post the Aetna Student Health Plan premium in the SIS accounts of students who have not enrolled or submitted comparable health insurance coverage. If the premium payment is not made by the due date, a hold will be placed on the student’s SIS account and they will be unable to register for the next semester of classes. Once a student is enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan, the coverage cannot be cancelled except for reasons provided in the Aetna plan design and benefit summary.

We strongly encourage students to determine if their current health insurance has comparable coverage and make a decision on insurance as soon as possible. UVA will make every effort to enroll students in the Aetna Student Health Plan as quickly as possible, but it typically takes 2-3 weeks from the appeal deadline before Aetna Student Health will receive an enrollment file from UVA. This processing time may necessitate students paying for prescriptions or medical services (such as immunizations, x-rays, and laboratory services) out-of-pocket until the enrollment in the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan has been completed. Once the enrollment in Aetna Student Health is complete, coverage will be retroactive to the coverage start date.

Can I appeal the decision if my submission of health insurance coverage is denied?

A student may appeal a denied insurance verification decision by contacting Student Health and Wellness at sth-ins@virginia.edu on or before the appeal deadline. This deadline will be strictly enforced. If a student obtains new alternate health insurance coverage and wishes to submit new health insurance documentation, they must contact SHW at the email above to receive further instructions.

I'm a transfer student starting in the spring - do I still need to submit proof of or enroll in health insurance?

Yes - if you are a student charged the full comprehensive fees with tuition, you need to either submit proof of health insurance or enroll in the Aetna Student Health Plan. Spring enrollment deadlines and guidelines can be found on our key deadlines page.

How can I learn more about the Aetna Student Health Plan?

Please visit the Aetna Student Health Plan information page on our website, or visit Aetna's dedicated UVA student website.

How can I use my health insurance in the community?

Please view this PDF for more details on receiving care in the community and using your health insurance. This information is for subscribers of any health insurance plan, Aetna or otherwise.

Can the Aetna Student Health Plan be extended after graduation?

Graduating students cannot extend coverage beyond the plan year end date. An end of coverage letter may be obtained from Aetna Student Health by calling (800) 466-3027. For more information on the plan year end date and options for coverage, please view this PDF.

If you have a question that is not answered by these FAQs, please email sth-ins@virginia.edu or call (434) 243-2702.