Tools for making your decision

Students do not have to submit a Spring waiver if they have succesfully waived for the Fall.

Below are tools for helping you make your decision. Already know you want to waive? Start here.

I want to waive SHIP


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Am I eligible to waive SHIP enrollment?

You must have comparable health insurance coverage in order to waive SHIP.
See what SHIP covers.

I have insurance -- Why do I need SHIP?

  • While all Berkeley students have access to services at UHS-Tang Center, students with SHIP pay 10% of any fees at the time of service and UHS bills SHIP for the remaining 90%.
  • UHS will file claims only for SHIP members. If you have another plan, you must pay UHS fees for services, file a claim with your plan, and wait for reimbursement.
  • Many HMO and PPO insurance plans will not cover fees for services provided at UHS. For example, a student without SHIP has a sports injury and comes to UHS. There will be an office visit copay, plus possible additional fees for an x-ray and any supplies, such as a splint or sling. Many HMO and PPO plans will not pay for the x-ray and supply charges because UHS is a non-network provider for all HMO and PPO plans.
  • Many HMO and PPO plans require you to use a service provider within their network. Check to see if your plan's network includes providers in the Berkeley area, and that those providers are accepting new patients (many may not). The nearest Kaiser facility is 7 miles from campus, in downtown Oakland.
  • Many HMO and PPO plans provide worldwide coverage only for emergencies. When students move to Berkeley from outside the Bay Area, travel to visit family or friends, or study abroad, routine care may not be covered.
  • SHIP is a group plan, comparable in benefit levels to group plans provided to employees by employers. Individual plans, purchased directly from an insurance company by people who do not have access to a group plan, often cost more and provide fewer benefits.

Why have dual coverage?

For the reasons listed above, we recommend students keep SHIP, even if they have another plan. Because SHIP coordinates benefits with your primary plan, dual coverage results in lower out-of-pocket costs during the school year. Students also appreciate the convenience of on-campus care. Students who waive SHIP their first year at Cal sometimes struggle to coordinate care on their own.

Comparing SHIP to other plans

Compare carefully the cost, benefits, and limitations of your plan to SHIP. In general, we recommend you compare the following:
  • Cost of the plan
  • Deductibles, co-pay amounts and co-insurance amounts
  • Annual and lifetime maximum amounts for covered services
  • Scope of services covered as well as any limitations
  • Service area (will your plan cover care provided in the Berkeley area?)

Our Health Plan Comparison Worksheet can help you compare the medical, mental health, dental and vision benefits of SHIP to your plan. You may also find the Glossary of Insurance Terms helpful.

Free insurance consulting is available through Wells Fargo (the insurance broker for SHIP) to help 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 (800) 853-5899 or email

Waiver Deadlines

FALL: The Fall 2015 waiver period is April 1- July 15. Your waiver must be received by July 15 to avoid a late waiver fee of $50. All waivers received between July 16th and September 15 will be subject to a late fee of $50. No waivers will be accepted after September 15.

SPRING: The Spring waiver period is December 1-January 10. Those who waive in Fall or want to keep SHIP don't need to take any actions for Spring unless you want to change enrollment. Your waiver must be received by January 10 to avoid a late waiver fee of $50. All waivers received between January 11 and February 5 will be subject to a late fee of $50. No waivers will be accepted after February 5.



Questions Have a question? See Frequently Asked Questions About Waivers or call the Student Health Insurance Office at (510) 642-5700.





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