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Risk Strategies - University Health Plans

Elms College

2024-2025 Academic Year

Massachusetts requires all students registered for 75% of full-time (9 credits) to be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) or a plan with comparable coverage. Students registered for 9 or more credits must confirm enrollment or submit a waiver form to opt-out. Students who do not act by the deadline will be enrolled in the SHIP retroactively to the policy effective date and responsible for the SHIP cost. Online-only students and students taking short-term courses or less than 9 credits are not eligible for the plan.

Cost and Coverage Periods

  Annual Enrollment New Spring Students
Coverage Dates 08/15/2024 - 08/14/2025 01/18/2025 - 08/14/2025
Cost $3,024 $1,732
Enrollment / Waiver Deadline  August 30, 2024 January 31, 2025

 Plan Highlights

The SHIP is an Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant plan insured by Wellfleet and includes access to Cigna’s national Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). Students do not have to select a primary care physician, and referrals are not required.  University Health Plans works with Elms to administer the SHIP and help with any waiver, enrollment, or general benefit-related questions. For specific benefit questions or claims, students should contact Wellfleet.

Enrollment Process

Although students are automatically charged for the SHIP, student information is not transferred to Wellfleet until after the deadline. Students should submit an enrollment form as soon as possible to avoid difficulties accessing their health insurance benefits. Please allow up to 7 days after submitting the enrollment form for the student information to be active in the insurance company's database. Students who do not submit an enrollment or waiver form by the deadline will be enrolled in the SHIP retroactively to the policy effective date and responsible for the insurance premium.

All returning students submit their enrollment form at the start of the academic year. Only newly eligible spring students can submit their enrollment form at the start of the spring semester.

Waiver Process

Students opting out of the plan must submit a waiver form each academic year. Returning students submit at the start of the academic year, and only new spring students can submit at the start of the spring semester.

It is your responsibility to carefully compare your current insurance plan with that offered by Elms College to ensure the coverage is truly comparable. Refer to the waiver form for some general questions to ask your current health plan to ensure it provides adequate coverage. 

Often, situations arise in which a student requires medical or mental health care beyond what is available at the Elms College Health Center and discover that their insurance covers them only in the event of an emergency or in their home geographic region. This frequently results in students needing to take an otherwise unnecessary leave of absence from college to return home for their needed treatment.

PLEASE NOTE - INELIGIBLE PLANS: If you are currently covered under a non-US based insurance carrier, a foreign national health service program (socialized medicine), or the Health Safety Net, MassHealth Limited, and Children's Medical Security Plan, you are NOT eligible to waive the Elms College Student Health Insurance plan. These plans are not considered comparable coverage by Massachusetts State Law, and you will be required to enroll in the Elms College Student Health Insurance Plan.

MassHealth or other Massachusetts subsidized health benefits plans ARE considered comparable coverage. Students who are covered under MassHealth due to disability or other qualifying events and Students who are covered under Commonwealth Care may waive participation in the school's health insurance program.

Elms College requires all Student-Athletes to be enrolled in a health insurance plan while attending the College. While Elms maintains a separate Intercollegiate Sports Accident Policy, it is an Excess Policy, and you are required to provide Primary Coverage for the Student-Athlete.

Qualifying Event

Students who waived the SHIP during their initial eligibility may qualify for special enrollment rights if they have one of the following life events. The deadline to submit the qualifying life event enrollment form is 60 days from the event date, and supporting documentation is required. 
  • Loss of other coverage
  • No longer living in the prior plan's service area