Health Equity Fund FAQ

January 19, 2024

Who is eligible to obtain assistance from this fund?

All graduate and undergraduate students who are currently enrolled at UCSC before the date of the medical service. The medical service date must be during the academic year that you apply for the fund. Students must have no outstanding financial balance with their campus and have applied for charity care from the provider of service. The services need to be obtained outside of Student Health Services. 

How much money is available? 

Each student is eligible to receive $300.00 to $1,000.00 dollars for each academic year as funds are available. 

What types of services are available for assistance?

The following services are available for assistance, but services must be medical necessary:

  • Hospitalization
  • Outpatient Surgery
  • In-patient care (includes mental health/substance abuse)
  • Out-patient care  (includes mental health/substance abuse)
  • Hospice Care
  • Physician/Surgeon Services
  • Diagnostic Testing
  • Imaging Services (MRI/CT/PET Scans)
  • Ambulatory Transportation
  • Durable Medical Equipment
  • Childbirth/Delivery Professional Services
  • Childbirth/Delivery Facility Services
  • Skilled Nursing


* This fund cannot be used for dental, pharmacy, or optometry  in addition to other services not listed.  

How do I apply for assistance?

Complete the Health Equity Fund application through Health e-Messenger by selecting Messages; New
Message; Health Equity Fund. Submit your application, the response from the facility/provider for the charity fund request, and a copy of your Explanation of Benefits (EOB). 

What is Charity Care and how do I apply for it?

Charity Care is health care provided for free or at reduced prices to low income patients. Please contact the provider’s office that is billing for these services in writing to ask if they have any form of Charity Care. Some providers have applications, some require a letter of request, while others may not offer any sort of charity care.  For those that do allow for Charity Care, they may review your request and offer to write off the amount owed, they may write off a portion of the billed amount, or may determine you are not qualified for Charity Care. If your provider does not offer charity care, please provide a letter or email from them indicating they do not offer charity care. Please provide their written response to your request/application along with your Health Equity Fund Application. 

What happens after I submit my application?

Your Student Health Center (SHC) representative will review your application and supporting documents to ensure that you have provided the necessary information.   

How long will it take before I receive payment to pay my provider?

The SHC representative will notify you if your application is complete and will provide this information to the Financial Aid Office for payment processing. If you have an outstanding balance or missing information, the representative will make you aware that they cannot process your application until your University account is paid in full.

Will I be taxed on this payment?

Assistance from the Medical Care Assistance Fund will be included on your 1098-T form. Included in the 1098-T form are qualified charges that were paid and financial assistance received for the corresponding tax year. Please consult with a tax professional for any tax related questions. 

Who can I ask if I have questions about this?

Please contact the Insurance Department at 831-459-2389 for any questions about this fund.