Health Insurance for Dependents of Students

Health Insurance Workshops for Students with Dependents
The Student Health Insurance Office at UC Berkeley offers insurance workshops twice a year at the beginning of each semester. These workshops provide a general overview of the individual health insurance market for adults and children.

See box at right for upcoming workshops-->

Choosing the right plan for your family is an important decision. University Heath Services (UHS) can help you learn about and get connected to health coverage for your family. Families have a choice of health insurance plans, including individual commercial insurance plans, publicly supported plans, and non-profit community-based plans. See below for contact information.

Voluntary Dependent Plan for UC Berkeley Students
SHIP offers a dependent health insurance plan for spouses, partners and children of UC Berkeley students enrolled in Berkeley SHIP. This plan is a comprehensive major medical Aetna insurance plan, providing medical, counseling, and prescription services, the dependent plan also includes dental and vision; see more details here.

Enrollment period for SHIP Voluntary Plans: Fall semester enrollment period is July 15-September 15 with an effective coverage date of August 15 and Spring semester enrollment period is December 15-February 15 with an effective coverage date of January 15.

Dependent coverage is available only if the student is also enrolled in Berkeley SHIP. Dependents will be enrolled for the same eligibility period the student is enrolled (Fall: 8/15-1/14; Spring:1/15-8/14) This is limited term coverage only. Coverage will end on the last date of the specified eligibility period, unless enrolling to continue insurance for an additional term. Premiums are calculated based on the plan term and will not be pro-rated based on the enrollment date (monthly premiums are not available).

Selecting a Plan The major carriers in California — including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser, and Health Net — offer many plans with different combinations of premiums, deductibles and benefits (see definitions below).Please Note: This site is provided as a service to students. It is not meant as a University endorsement of any insurance company, plan or broker. The information provided is a summary only and is subject to change. Contact the insurance company or a broker for additional plan details and the most current information about eligibility and benefits.
Contact Information

Health Reform Affordable Care Act Plans:

  • Within California is California’s health benefit exchange marketplace.  You can use the Shop and Compare Tool to find out if you are eligible for Medi-Cal or subsidies for a variety of plans.  Subsidies are based upon income.
  • Outside California is the federal health benefit exchange marketplace.  You can select the state you consider your primary residence to find if you are eligible for Medicaid or subsidies for a variety of plans within that state.  Subsidies are based upon income.

Also visit out our Health Reform Webpage.


Barney and Barney LLC
  • Barney & Barney LLC, which is the insurance broker for SHIP, can provide personalized assistance to help you make an informed decision on a health plan that meets your needs. There is no fee for using their services. Please call them at 855-251-9094 or email them at
E-Health Insurance
  • E-Health Insurance is a licensed online broker site that allows you to get quotes, compare plans, and apply for health insurance online. Visi t or call (877) 731- 9560.

Private Insurance Companies:

  • Aetna
    Aetna offers "Open Access Managed Choice" high deductible PPO plans for individuals, with optional dental coverage. Visit or call (800) 217-2386.
  • Anthem Blue Cross
    Visit or call (800) 777-6000. Anthem Blue Cross offers PPO and HMO plans for individuals and families. Some plans include optional dental and vision coverage.
  • Blue Shield of California
    Visit or call (888) 568- 3560. Blue Shield offers PPO and HMO plans for individuals and families. Some plansinclude optional dental and vision coverage.
  • Health Net
    Visit or call (800) 909-3447. Health Net offers PPO and HMO plans for individuals and families with optional dental and vision coverage.
  • Kaiser Permanente Northern California Region
    Visit or call (800) 488-3590. Kaiser offers both deductible and copayment HMO plans for individuals and families. An optional Dental Assistance Plan is also available. Kaiser has a Child Health Plan for low-income familieswith children who meet income requirements and are not eligible for government-sponsored programs.

Publicly Supported Programs:

  • Healthy Families
    Visit or call (800) 880-5305 for enrollment, residency and eligibility requirements. The Healthy Families program is for children in low income families up to age 19.
  • Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM)
    Visit or call (800) 433-2611 for enrollment, residency and eligibility requirements. AIM provides low cost health coverage for pregnant women.
  • Medi-Cal (also see )
    Visit or call (800) 430-4263 (Health Care Options) to find out more about eligibility for state-sponsored programs for families, children, and pregnant women. You may also visit the Alameda County Social Services Agency at or call (510) 263-2420 (toll free number ( 888) 999- 4772) for Alameda County Medi-Cal enrollment information.
  • Major Risk Medical Insurance Plan
    Visit or call (800) 289-6574. The state-funded Major Risk Medical Insurance Plan (MRMIP) is a program that provides health insurance to Californians who are unable to obtain coverage in the individual health insurance market (usually due to pre-existing health conditions).


Co-Insurance Percentage of fees for services you must pay for a service, in addition to what the plan pays. Note that some plans may not pay for some services until after you meet your deductible.
Co-pay This is a fee charged to a person for Covered Medical Expenses.
Covered Medical Expenses Those charges for any treatment, service or supplies covered by the policy which are not in excess of the reasonable and customary charges; or not in excess of the charges that would have been made in the absence of charge
Deductible The amount of Covered Medical Expenses that are paid by each covered person during the policy year before benefits are paid.
HMO Health Maintenance Organization. A pre-paid health plan in which you must choose a primary care physician who coordinates all your care with providers in the plan network.
Negotiated Charge The maximum charge a Preferred Care Provider has agreed to make as to any service or supply for the purpose of the benefits under the policy.
Non Preferred or Out of Network Care Provider A health care provider that has not contracted to furnish services or supplies at a negotiated charge.
Out-of-Pocket Limit The amount that must be paid; by the covered student and their covered dependents; before Covered Medical Expenses will be payable at 100%; for the remainder of the policy year.  The following expenses do not apply toward meeting the Out-of-Pocket Limit: Expenses that are not Covered Medical Expenses, penalties, expenses for prescription drugs; and other expenses not covered by the policy.
PPO Preferred Provider Organization. A plan in which you have direct access to providers in the plan network, as well as other providers at a higher cost.
Preferred or In-Network Care Provider A health care provider that has contracted to furnish services or supplies for a negotiated charge; but only if the provider is included in the plan directory as a Preferred Care Provider for the service or supply involved and the class of covered persons of which you are a member
Premium The rate you pay to be enrolled in an insurance plan, usually monthly.  The SHIP premium is assessed per semester.
Recognized Charge Only that part of a charge which is recognized is covered.  The recognized charge for a service is the lowest of: The provider’s usual charge for furnishing it; and the charge determined by the plan to be appropriate; based on factors as the cost of providing the same or a similar service or supply; and the manner in which charges for the service or supply are made.
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