Insurance Information 2014-2015

Diane Mesa
Lead Insurance Assistant

Astrid Shannon
Insurance Assistant

Phone: 831.459.2389
Fax: 831.459.4050

Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 8:00a to 5:00p

Tues 9:30a to 5:00p

Health Center


Health Insurance 101 (coming soon)



Insurance Requirement

The University of California Regents mandate that all students be covered by a health insurance plan. All full and part-time undergraduate and graduate students are automatically enrolled in and charged for the University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) unless they choose to submit an on-line insurance waiver confirming they have comparable health insurance coverage.

University of California Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP)

Important Note:  This fall, the minimum coverage criteria required to waive enrollment in UC SHIP presented new challenges for students, parents and UC administrators alike. In response, campus student health administrators, student representatives and Office of the President have developed streamlined, less restrictive waiver criteria to be effective winter quarter 2014-2015. The new waiver criteria are not retroactive. Some students whose waivers were not approved for fall may be able to waive  enrollment in UC SHIP for the upcoming winter quarter 2015.  The new waiver criteria are outlined below.

Waiver Letter

New Waiver Criteria

What is UC SHIP?

UC SHIP is an affordable health insurance plan tailored to the health care needs of UCSC students. The medical plan features year-round, world-wide coverage using the Anthem Blue Cross network, and includes prepaid access to care at the UCSC Student Health Center for illness or injury. This means students can receive convenient, high quality on-campus care when they are sick or injured without having to be concerned about cost or availability of the care they need.  Preventive health care visits are covered at the Student Health Center at 100% for one physical per year. As part of UC SHIP students have access to a comprehensive prescription drug formulary administered by Ventegra. The UC SHIP plan provides optimal coverage for services on campus and in the Santa Cruz community, and peace of mind for both parents and students. A referral is now REQUIRED for ALL off-campus care with the exception of urgent or emergent care. The dental plan is provided by Delta Dental; the vision plan is provided by Anthem Blue Cross (see plan brochures for detailed benefits). To direct access the UC SHIP web site please click here.

UC SHIP fees 2014/15

Undergraduate Students

For 2014-2015 the undergraduate plan costs just $805 per quarter, paid three quarters per year. The Spring payment covers both Spring and Summer quarters so coverage is year-round -- an affordable $201 per month for convenient, accessible, world-wide health insurance coverage, dental coverage, and vision coverage.

Graduate Students

For 2014-2015 the graduate plan costs just $1,233 per quarter, paid three quarters per year. The Spring payment covers both Spring and Summer quarters so coverage is year-round -- an affordable $308 per month for convenient, accessible, world-wide health insurance coverage, dental coverage, and vision coverage.

Voluntary Insurance Enrollment

  • Students on Planned Educational Leave (2 quarters limit)
  • Graduate students on Filing Fee status (1 quarter limit)
  • Students who have graduated (1quarter immediately following graduation only)
  • Dependents of eligible undergraduate or graduate students

Considering Waiving UC SHIP?

IMPORTANT!  UC Santa Cruz requires that all students have a primary care provider within 30 miles of their school address (on or off campus). Many students with Kaiser, Medi-Cal, or HMO insurance cannot meet this require­ment. If you cannot identify a provider within this 30 mile radius, you may not qualify to waive the UCSHIP.  If you are receiving Financial Aid, please check with the Financial Aid office to see if UC SHIP or CruzCare is included.

Students and their parents should first ask: "Are We Really Covered?" Consider the following:

  • If you have Kaiser as your insurance plan. Before waiving the UC SHIP insurance plan, we ask you to consider the distance from campus to the nearest Kaiser facility. There is no Kaiser facility in Santa Cruz County. The nearest Kaiser facility is "over the hill" in San Jose (it takes 3 bus rides and over 1 hour). There is no direct public transportation to get there, and a sick or injured student may not be well enough to spend more than a half a day on multiple bus rides just to get there. For families who live close enough to drive their student or the student has a car, Kaiser may be an option. For families not within an hour or so of Santa Cruz, UC SHIP is recommended.
  • If you have an HMO plan such as Health Net, PacifiCare, as your insurance plan. Before waiving the UC SHIP insurance plan, please note that the HMO plan only covers you for medical care from your designated primary care provider or upon referral from that person. It is not automatically a portable plan. In order to seek non-emergency care in Santa Cruz County using this plan, the student must select a new doctor in our area and transfer their care to that person.
  • Most HMOs and PPOs, including Kaiser, PacifiCare, and Health Net, will NOT cover care provided on-campus at the UCSC Student Health Center, requiring students to travel off campus even when care could be provided at the Student Health Center. The UCSC Student Health Center and UCSC health care providers are not contracted with any insurance companies. Before making a decision to waive UC SHIP, check with your insurance carrier to verify whether or not charges incurred at the UCSC Student Health Center are covered.
  • Most HMO and PPO plans will only cover laboratory tests, X-rays, or care by specialists when the order or referral is made by the student's primary care physician. Students coming to UCSC from other locations may have to return home to have care authorized.
  • Many students enroll in UC SHIP to supplement their existing coverage for services at the Student Health Center and in the Santa Cruz community that HMO plans do not cover.

Accepting or Waiving UC SHIP

To accept enrollment in UC SHIP no action is necessary; you will automatically be enrolled and billed for the Fall quarter premium in August and coverage will begin 9/27/14. A booklet describing the plan benefits and conditions is available.

To waive out of the UC SHIP plan for 2014-2015 you must complete an on line waiver. Note: Once accepted, the waiver is in effect for the current quarter and the remainder of the academic year.  A new waiver must be submitted at the beginning of each academic year.

If you have comparable health insurance coverage and are sure that you want to waive the UC SHIP plan, follow these instructions:

  1. Review and complete the On-line Waiver Questions worksheet before beginning the waiver process.
  2. Navigate to the UCSC Waiver Site and complete the on-line waiver.

If you do not have access to a computer, or for waiver assistance, please contact the Student Insurance office at 831-459-2389 or email

If you are on someone else's insurance you have privacy rights. See this website on how to Keep It Confidential( to learn more about your privacy rights.

Waiver deadlines for 2014-2015:

Fall: 9/1/14
Winter: 12/1/14
Spring: 3/1/15

UC SHIP and Financial Aid

If you wish to discuss your options for covering the cost of UC SHIP premiums, you may contact the Financial Aid office at 831-459-2963.

Financial Aid will need to know that our office has reviewed and denied your request to waive UC SHIP.

The Student Health Center cannot advise you on the various ways to cover the cost of UC SHIP.  Please discuss this question with Financial Aid and be sure to let them know that your request for a waiver has been denied.

CruzCare - Prepaid Access to the Student Health Center (available only for students who successfully waive UC SHIP)

If you choose to waive UC SHIP coverage consider purchasing CruzCare, an inexpensive pre-paid access plan for busy students seeking on-campus health care. For $90 a quarter (applied automatically to the student's account) CruzCare provides unlimited Student Health Center visits for care of illness or injury, including in house Health Center laboratory and X-ray. For students waiving UC SHIP, CruzCare is the best and most cost effective way to take advantage of the on-campus convenience and college health expertise available at the UCSC Student Health Center.  Because the cost of a simple visit for a common student health problem like sore throat, urinary tract infection or sprained ankle exceeds $100 with physician visit, laboratory or X-ray charges, CruzCare pays for itself with a single visit to the Student Health Center.

What is covered by CruzCare:

  • Unlimited health center visits for care of illness or injury
  • Unlimited in-house health center laboratory tests for illness or injury
  • Unlimited in-house health center X-ray exams for illness or injury

What is not covered:

  • Off campus care, including laboratory tests sent to the off campus lab
  • Medications, supplies, and immunizations
  • Special or elective procedures and tests
  • Prescriptions and Over-the-Counter medications
  • Routine clearances and health maintenance visits
  • Off campus referrals for specialist care

How do I enroll in CruzCare? Is there a deadline?:

  • Enrollment in CruzCare is part of the on-line waiver process.  If you were unable to enroll through the on-line waiver – or you wish to cancel CruzCare, please submit the CruzCare Enrollment/Cancellation Form via fax or mail by the deadlines posted below
  • Once you enroll you will be billed each subsequent quarter.
  • Only registered students who successfully waived USHIP/GSHIP are eligible to enroll in CruzCare
  • The deadlines to purchase for the 2014-2015 Academic Year (summer excluded)*:

    Fall: 9/1/14
    Winter: 12/1/14
    Spring: 3/1/15

*NOTE REGARDING LATE CRUZCARE ENROLLMENT: We will accept one late CruzCare enrollment during your academic career and you will be enrolled for the remainder of the academic year (summer excluded).