Overview of Northwestern’s Annual Insurance RequirementsEach 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 2021-22 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
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Waiving NU-SHIP Coverage
- All degree-seeking students must carry good health insurance. To qualify to waive NU-SHIP enrollment, alternate insurance plans must meet all of NU’s comparable coverage requirements.
- Download the 2021-22 Comparable Coverage Checklist (pdf) to review the benefits all plans must provide to meet Northwestern’s annual insurance requirements.
Alternate plans must cover routine, non-emergency medical and mental health care in addition to emergency care, provided in the Evanston / Chicago area.
- Out-of-state (non-Illinois) HMO plans, as well as out-of-state Medicaid/Medicare plans, do not qualify to waive the NU-SHIP, because they do not offer routine, non-emergency medical and mental health care in Evanston / Chicago.