Waiving NU-SHIP Enrollment with Medicaid

View of Rubloff internal garden on the Chicago campus


Students covered under Illinois Medicaid plans qualify to waive enrollment in the Northwestern University Student Health Insurance Plan (NU-SHIP). However, waiver applications are not accepted from students enrolled in out-of-state Medicaid plans, because these plans do not meet Northwestern’s comparable coverage requirements (i.e., they do not provide routine, non-emergency care in the Evanston/Chicago area). Students who are Pell-eligible should download the 2017-18 application for financial support for the NU-SHIP premium, to ensure they have effective coverage while at they are studying at Northwestern.

Further, Northwestern strongly encourages students to evaluate whether Illinois-based Medicaid plans appropriately address their medical and mental health needs. The Univesity has extensive experience with students covered under Illnois Medicaid plans, who face significant challenges accessing services in the Chicagoland area, especially for mental health needs. It is Northwestern’s position that Medicaid is not commensurable to the coverage provided by the NU-SHIP. 

Students also need to be aware that within Medicaid, the various Medicaid Managed Care plans will provide access to different providers and may provide different levels of benefits. The selection of a specific plan will impact the care you are able to receive.

Should you elect to waive the NU-SHIP with an Illinois Medicaid plan, you will not be eligible for emergency enrollment in the NU-SHIP if Medicaid does not meet your future healthcare needs*. Students accept full financial responsibility for hospital, laboratory, physician, diagnostic testing and other medical costs not covered by their insurance.

*Degree-seeking students are eligible to enroll each year during the regular open enrollment period, July 1 through October 1. Students experiencing qualifying life events may qualify to add the NU-SHIP mid-year; see here for additional information on allowable mid-year changes.