Health Insurance is Mandatory

Your health is essential to achieving your goals at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Access to health care and adequate health insurance is important to your health. Without adequate coverage, unexpected expenses could alter your future dramatically.

That is why the university in accordance with U.S. federal law – Affordable Care Act of 2010, created a policy requiring all students to have quality health insurance.  This policy has proven to serve students well. It gives you and your family the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are well-insured.

Every year, every student is automatically charged for enrollment in the university-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) once registered for classes. Eligible students who can demonstrate they have other health insurance that meets the university’s waiver criteria may request that the requirement to enroll in the SHIP be “waived.”

U.S. Health Care Reform

As a UDC student (or the parent or guardian of one), healthcare reform may affect your thinking about health insurance coverage this year.

UDC Students & the Health Insurance Marketplaces: What You Need To Know

Check back periodically for updates.

The Health Insurance Marketplace

On October 1, 2013, the new Health Insurance Marketplace opened up across the country. The Marketplace was created to provide an option to purchase health insurance, especially for those who have not had access to health insurance in the past. It allows shoppers (individuals and families) to compare health insurance plans and choose the one that best matches their financial situation and health care needs.

Even with the opening of the Marketplace, Student Health Plans will continue to play an important role in protecting student well-being. This fact is demonstrated by research results released by Hodgkins Bleckley Consulting (HBC) on February 19, 2014, showing that “enrollment in high-quality Student Health Insurance Plans remains stable.” (Click the link to read the full article)

How this impacts University of the District of Columbia (UDC) students

All students are required to maintain quality health insurance coverage during their studies at the university. Students who are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) are fully covered until the following August and do not have to take any action until the next academic year, as the SHIP exceeds the minimum federal requirements for health plan coverage.

Students who can demonstrate they have other health insurance that meets the university’s waiver criteria may request that the requirement to enroll in the SHIP be “waived.” Submission of a waiver form is not an automatic approval. You can visit to submit a waiver form during the designated waiver period for the semester in which you start at the university and every fall semester. Once you take action to waive or enroll in the SHIP during an academic year, you are not required to take any action again until the next fall.

If students lose private coverage during the school year, they can enroll in the SHIP ( and click ‘Find your school – University of the District of Columbia’ and then ‘Enroll Now’) or go to for information about the Health Insurance Marketplace plans available.

Students and their families who have health insurance through a parent’s plan or by another means may need to review the exchanges, depending on their individual circumstances. For information about how the exchanges work and what types of plans they will offer, visit

SHIP is a comprehensive, high-value plan

The university-sponsored SHIP is advantageous for students because it provides a platinum level of coverage for less than the estimated price of a bronze-level plan in the new Marketplace. More importantly, it is especially suited to the needs of young adults at UDC. SHIP, along with other student health plans, fully achieves federal requirements for insurance and standards for essential benefits. (Review the full list of SHIP benefits by checking out the plan brochure at

When shopping for plans, UDC students not already insured by the SHIP should consider it within their range of options. Note: any selected plan will need to meet the University Insurance Waiver Criteria.

Networks and portability should be priorities for any plan selected.

Having insurance is a good start, but having insurance that works well where and when you need it is essential. Students may spend the majority of their time away from “home;” they may also take frequent trips and/or travel abroad. Any insurance decision should factor in where the student will be living most of the time and how well the plan provides out-of-network coverage.

Information overload for young invincibles

Since the first opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace, there has been a sharp rise in marketing and communications geared toward young adults (aka the “young invincibles”) from people both for and against the Affordable Care Act. Those under 30 years of age are a key focus of the law because they are currently uninsured in large numbers and are attractive to insurance companies because they represent less of a cost burden than older individuals. The flurry of mixed messages means it is critical for students to get informed about their choices and to find a plan that works for them.