Charges & Insurance

Mandatory Student Health Insurance (Hard Waiver Process)

Most eligible students enrolled in the UNC System Colleges and Universities are required to have health insurance coverage. Students who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of in-person or virtual means of instruction, will have to show proof of insurance in order to waive out of Student Blue or be automatically enrolled on the deadline.

Each semester, Student Health Insurance (the insurance premium) is added to all eligible students' University accounts.  Eligible students must enroll to activate their insurance or complete the online waiver process with their own creditable insurance coverage before the deadline each semester. Once the waiver is verified and approved, the premium will be removed from the student’s account.

SEMESTER DEADLINES for WAIVE and ENROLL:

FALL - SEPTEMBER 10     SPRING - JANUARY 31

Questions about waive and enroll can be directed to Campus Health at insurancerep@unc.edu.

If you have questions about whether your financial aid package pays for the UNC System Student Health Insurance, please contact aidinfo@unc.edu.

Eligibility for Student Insurance Plans

Eligibility for the various UNC-Chapel Hill Health Insurance Plans is based on your UNC affiliation, e.g. student, RA/TA or Postdoc. Eligible students are covered by the Hard Waiver (Mandatory) Plan.

Eligibility Criteria

UNC-Chapel Hill students, who meet the following 3 criteria, are eligible for the UNC System Student Health Insurance Hard Waiver Plan (Mandatory Plan) and are required to have health insurance as of Fall Semester 2010. Listed below are the eligibility criteria:

  • Eligible to Pay the Campus Health Fee (Student Health Fee) AND
  • Undergraduate student enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours or Graduate student enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit hour AND
  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking program 

Students NOT eligible for the UNC System Student Hard Waiver (Mandatory) Plan

  • RA/TA students covered under the Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan (GSHIP)
  • PostDocs
  • Students who do not meet the credit hour requirement or do not have the Campus Health Fee calculated with their tuition
  • Most certificate program attendees
  • Students enrolled in online-only programs (does not include Carolina Away)
  • Distant Education Students
  • Any student not paying the Campus Health Fee as part of their tuition and fees

Those not eligible for the mandatory student health insurance plan can find health insurance through other means as desired. Resources are available on this website.

Enrolling in Student Blue and Plan Benefits

The UNC System endorses a cost-effective Student Health Insurance Plan that covers most health care expenses not included in the Campus Health Fee. This plan is called Student Blue and is administered by Blue Cross / Blue Shield of North Carolina.

How and when to enroll

To participate in the UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan, eligible students should ENROLL online at the Student Blue website for UNC-Chapel Hill each semester before August 1 or January 1 to activate the policy. The policy must be active if you need to see a doctor, fill a prescription or if you have an accident.

Plan benefits

To review Student Blue Plan benefits and rates go to the Student Blue for UNC-Chapel Hill website and select Plan Benefits. Student Blue can be reached with WAIVE or ENROLL questions by email at email@studentbluenc.com or by calling 1-888-351-8283.

Prescription benefit

When reviewing your pharmacy benefits, remember that your copay at the Campus Health Pharmacy and the Student Stores Pharmacy for the Student Blue plan will not exceed $15.00 for a 30-day supply regardless of which tier your drug falls into. Most contraception options are available at a $0 copay. 

The copay tier structure identified in the Student Blue, RA/TA and PostDoc benefit brochures apply only to any other pharmacy.  Some low-cost medications may be available from pharmacies at cash prices that are lower than your copay.  Please click here for the $4/$10 cash price list for Campus Health Pharmacy and Student Stores Pharmacy.

If you want more information about a specific drug, review the Student Blue Essential Prescription Formulary by visiting the BCBS / Prime website and following these steps:

  • Choose "Continue without sign in"
  • Select BCBS North Carolina
  • Select "No" for the question "Are you a Medicare Part D member?"
  • Click Continue
  • On the "Choose your drug list" dropdown, select the Essential C formulary
  • Click Apply
  • Enter the name of the medication you want to verify coverage of into the text box
  • Click Submit

Waiving Student Blue

Those students who are required to have health insurance are not required to enroll in the UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan; rather you must provide proof of active creditable health insurance. 

Waiver Requirements

A completed, verified and approved waiver is required each semester if you do not wish to participate in the UNC System Student Health Insurance Plan.

To WAIVE, your insurance policy must

  • be effective (active) by September 1 for the fall semester or by February 1 for the spring semester and
  • must cover you for the entire semester you are waiving and
  • must constitute creditable coverage

If your insurance is effective after those dates, you cannot waive out using that insurance until the waive/enroll period opens for the next semester.

If you are an international student, your policy also needs to meet the minimum necessary requirements:

  • A minimum medical benefit of $100,000 coverage for each specific illness or injury.
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
  • Provide at least $25,000 in benefits for repatriation of remains to the home country in case of death.
  • Pay up to $50,000 for medical evacuation to the home country.

Creditable Coverage

Creditable coverage is defined as health insurance coverage under any of the following:

  • a group health plan
  • individual health insurance
  • student health insurance
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • CHAMPUS and TRICARE
  • the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program;
  • Indian Health Service
  • the Peace Corps
  • Public Health Plan (any plan established or maintained by a State, the U.S. government, a foreign country)
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or
  • a state health insurance high risk pool

More details https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/creditable-coverage/

Coverage for onsite medical clinics, such as UNC Charity Care, are not considered health insurance and therefore cannot be used to waive Student Blue.

Health Insurance Options

Health insurance is one of the most important investments you will ever make and is often difficult to understand. Sudden illnesses, injuries, and other medical setbacks can be expensive if hospital visits, surgery, or other serious measures are needed.  Maintaining health coverage assures that you won’t incur huge medical expenses.

Comparing insurance coverage

When comparing insurance coverage benefits, consider:

  • Prescription coverage
  • Pre-existing conditions coverage
  • Preventative care
  • Pregnancy care
  • Psychiatry
  • Exclusions
  • Waiting periods,
  • If your preferred physician participates in the plan you select

Websites to compare insurance plans include 

Researching health insurance plans

Many websites exist to help people research and find health insurance plans. 

For other options, Google ‘Student Health Insurance Plans.’

UNC System, UNC Chapel Hill and Campus Health do not endorse a specific plan. These websites are given as a resource only.   

Insurance for Remote Learners

All students who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of in-person or virtual means of instruction, will have to show proof of insurance in order to waive Student Blue, or be automatically enrolled on the deadline.

Carolina Away Students

Carolina Away students are eligible to enroll online in the Student Blue plan for UNC Chapel Hill administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Insurance will help to reduce any out of pocket costs incurred at Campus Health for Charges Not Covered by the Campus Health Fee.  

The insurance premium has been added to your student account. If you enroll in the plan, the premium will remain.  If you complete a waiver, the premium will be removed.  If you do not take an action, the premium will remain and you will be automatically enrolled in Student Blue Health Insurance on the deadline.

Students Enrolled in 100% Remote Instruction

Students enrolled in 100% remote instruction are those who are continuing their education remotely and will not be on campus. These students identified 100% Remote when enrolling in classes prior to the semester beginning.

These students are paying fees with tuition.eligible to enroll online in the Student Blue plan for UNC Chapel Hill administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina as long as you meet the eligibility criteria:   

  • Eligible to Pay the Campus Health Fee (Student Health Fee) AND
  • Undergraduate student enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours or Graduate student enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit hour AND
  • Enrolled in a degree-seeking program 

Insurance will help to reduce any out of pocket costs incurred at Campus Health for Charges Not Covered by the Campus Health Fee

The insurance premium has been added to your student account.  If you enroll in the plan, the premium will remain.  If you complete a waiver, the premium will be removed.  If you do not take an action, the premium will remain and you will be automatically enrolled in Student Blue Health Insurance on the deadline.

Distance Learners

Distance Education Learners do not pay fees with their tuition and are completely online learners. They continue to not be eligible for Student Health Insurance and are not required to meet the health insurance requirement by submitting a waiver. 

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