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Parents & Visitors

Overview of Northwestern’s Annual Insurance Requirements

Links for Parents and Visiting Scholars
Each year all degree-seeking students* are defaulted into the Northwestern University Student Health Insurance Plan (NU-SHIP).
  • Students who are covered under an alternate insurance plan, e.g., a parent’s or spouse’s plan, must waive their NU-SHIP enrollment during the open enrollment period (typically July 1 – Oct 1).
  • To waive NU-SHIP enrollment, students must affirm active alternate insurance that meets all of NU’s comparable coverage requirements.
  • See the 2020-2021 Comparable Coverage Checklist (pdf) for details regarding what benefits plans must provide to qualify to waive the NU-SHIP.
  • If students do not waive the NU-SHIP by the enrollment deadline, they remain enrolled in the NU-SHIP for the entire academic year, and they are billed the annual premium on their student account.
  • Students who intend to use the NU-SHIP coverage are encouraged to confirm their enrollment online in CAESAR as soon as open enrollment begins.
  • It takes Aetna approximately 4-5 business days to process enrollment records in their system, after students confirm NU-SHIP enrollment online.
  • The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes requirements for student health insurance plans; the NU-SHIP is a platinum-rated plan that meets all relevant ACA requirements.
*SPS students are exempt from this process