Comparable Coverage Requirements
Coverage CriteriaYour 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. Telemedicine alone does not meet this requirement.
- 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.
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions without exclusions and/or waiting periods.
- Active coverage from the day you arrive on campus either through August 31 of the following year, 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 $8,700 for individual insurance plans or equal or less than $17,400 for family insurance plans.
Download the 2021-2022 Comparable Coverage Checklist (PDF) for information on requirements for current academic year.
Download the 2022-2023 Comparable Coverage Checklist (PDF) for information on requirements for new 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