Comparable Coverage Requirements

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Coverage Criteria

Your alternate insurance plan must meet all of the following criteria for you to waive NU-SHIP enrollment. Your waiver application will be denied if your insurance plan does not provide:

  • Routine, non-emergency care, in addition to emergency care, in the Chicago area – must have local access to in-network providers.
    • If you will be studying abroad, or out of the Evanston area, routine / emergency care – and all coverage requirements noted here – must be provided in the local area where you will be studying / residing.
  • All "essential health benefits" per the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – see details below.
  • No exclusions for pre-existing conditions, or any waiting periods for pre-existing conditions applied before coverage is active.
  • Active coverage from the day you arrive on campus either through August 31, 2019, or the end of your academic program (whichever comes first).
  • A claims administrator based in the U.S., and a U.S. telephone number and address for submission of claims; in addition, the insurance policy must have been issued within the U.S.
  • Coverage for medical evacuation and repatriation expenses:
    • Required if you are an F1 or J1 student (no exceptions).
    • If you are a domestic student (or have a different visa status than noted above), required if you will be studying / traveling / doing research outside of the United States during this academic year.
  • Annual out-of-pocket maximum equal or less than $7,900 for individual insurance plans or equal or less than $15,800 for family insurance plans.

Download the 2019-2020 Comparable Coverage Checklist (PDF) for information on requirements for the upcoming academic year.

Please note: per University policy, international students – students holding a J-1 or F-1 U.S. visa – may not waive enrollment in the NU-SHIP.

Essential Health Benefits, per the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

In addition to the criteria noted above, all alternate insurance plans must include the following benefits, as required by the ACA:

  • preventive services, wellness services, and chronic disease treatment
  • outpatient care (ambulatory patient services)
  • emergency services
  • hospitalization (treatment for inpatient care)
  • inpatient & outpatient mental health services and addiction treatment
  • prescription drug coverage
  • rehabilitative services and devices
  • laboratory services
  • maternity and newborn care
  • pediatric services