What is the quarterly Student Life Fee that appears on my student account? Is there a difference between the Student Life Fee and the U-SHIP health insurance fee?
The Student Life Fee is a mandatory fee, assessed each quarter of registration at the University of Chicago. The fee supports various aspects of the student life experience including certain services provided by Student Health and Counseling Services through the Student Health Service and the Student Counseling Service.
The U-SHIP health insurance premium is assessed to students who are enrolled in the University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP) which is made available to University of Chicago students through UnitedHealthcare StudentResources. Unless you specifically waive U-SHIP each year, you will be assessed this quarterly insurance premium on your Bursar account.
I already have a doctor in the Chicago area who coordinates my health care. So why should I have to pay the mandatory Student Life Fee?
Students enrolled in U-SHIP who are studying in Chicago or within 50 miles of campus must begin by going to the Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service to receive care. The Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service serve as the "primary care provider" for students enrolled in U-SHIP. The Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service will coordinate your care and give you a referral, when necessary, to a specialist. One referral is needed per medical condition. Without a referral from the Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service, you will be assessed a non-referral penalty of $50 for each outside visit.
Even students who are not enrolled in U-SHIP are encouraged to utilize the services of the Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service. Both offices provide high-quality care and are conveniently located right here on campus. The Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service have tailored their services to meet the varied needs of college and graduate students. These services include: a travel clinic for students preparing to study or conduct research abroad, a women's health clinic, nutrition/healthy eating resources, alcohol/substance abuse counseling, dissertation support groups, and health education events via the Health Promotion and Wellness office.
If I have access to the Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service because I pay the mandatory Student Life Fee, then why do I also need to purchase insurance?
The University requires all registered students to have health insurance coverage either through U-SHIP, or through an alternate comparable insurance. Having health insurance is especially important for decreasing your out-of-pocket cost for medical services that are not provided by the Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service—e.g., getting a prescription filled, seeing a specialist, in-patient or out-patient surgery, x-rays, etc.
What is the deadline for making my decision to enroll in or waive U-SHIP?
Each year, all students are automatically enrolled in the U-SHIP Basic level of coverage. Therefore, annually all students must confirm U-SHIP enrollment, upgrade to the Prescription Advantage plan, or waive enrollment in U-SHIP no later than 5pm of the second Friday of the first quarter of registration for the academic year. Failure to do so will result in enrollment in U-SHIP Basic coverage by default, and you will be responsible for paying the annual premium. Tol confirm or waive enrollment in U-SHIP go to: http://studentinsurance.uchicago.edu.
What is the difference between the two types of U-SHIP coverage (Basic and Prescription Advantage)?
The only difference is the prescription benefit. The Basic plan has an annual prescription benefit of $1,500. This refers to the maximum amount the insurance will pay for prescriptions for an individual enrollee. Beyond this point, there is no further prescription coverage. The Prescription Advantage plan has an unlimited annual prescription benefit. It is highly recommended that students on a regular medication consider enrolling in the Prescription Advantage plan, even if their current medication does not cause them to hit the Basic plan's maximum of $1,500. This would prevent these students from potentially running out of prescription benefit mid-year if they receive a new diagnosis and consequently need an additional medication. More information about the two plans can be found on the University of Chicago page of the UnitedHealthcare StudentResources website at: www.UHCSR.com/uchicago.
How do I know if I am enrolled in U-SHIP this year?
You can find this information through your cMore account under "Health Enrollments" at: http://cmore.uchicago.edu. Again, unless you take action to waive U-SHIP each year, you will be automatically enrolled in the Basic level of U-SHIP coverage and assessed the annual premium on your student account.
How do I sign up for Dental and Vision plans? Can I do this even if I am not signed up for U-SHIP?
Yes, you can sign up for dental and vision insurance without participating in U-SHIP. You can find out more by visiting: http://groupaccess.deltadentalil.com/uofchicago/
As a U-SHIP enrollee, where do I go to receive health care?
Students enrolled in U-SHIP who are studying in Chicago or within 50 miles of campus must begin by going to the Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service to receive care. The Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service serve as the "primary care provider" for students enrolled in U-SHIP. The Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service will coordinate your care and give you a referral, when necessary, to a specialist. One referral is needed per medical condition. Without a referral from the Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service, you will be assessed a non-referral penalty of $50 for each outside visit. An exception is made in emergency situations (please note there is a fee for using the Emergency Room) or if you are more than 50 miles from campus. For more details see the U-SHIP brochure at: www.UHCSR.com/uchicago.
What if I am enrolled in U-SHIP, but I am physically off campus (e.g., studying abroad, or at home during an academic break)? Where do I receive my health care?
If you are more than 50 miles away from campus and you need health care, you should find a physician who is in the UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus national network by going to https://www.uhcsr.com/uchicago. You do not need a referral from the Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service if you are more than 50 miles from campus. However, please note that even if you are more than 50 miles from campus, preventive care is not covered by U-SHIP (exclusion #22). Rather, preventive care is provided at the Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service through your payment of the Student Life Fee. During the summer, if you would like to access the Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service, you will need to pay the summer Student Life Fee.
If you are outside of the United States, then you should go to a local physician or hospital in the country in which you are residing. Most likely, you will be expected to pay the doctor in full at the time of service. After receiving care, you can seek reimbursement from UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR) by contacting one of the University of Chicago U-SHIP insurance coordinators. It is recommended that you contact UHCSR before you leave to obtain any needed prescription and to learn about your benefits while abroad and what you will need to collect in order to be reimbursed. You may also want to seek preventive care (e.g., annual exams) at the Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service before you leave. Even if you are more than 50 miles from campus, preventative care is not covered by U-SHIP (exclusion #22).
How do I find out if I owe money for services I have received, or how much of my prescription benefit I have used?
Students can check their UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR) account balance, as well as prescription benefit balance by visiting www.UHCSR.com/uchicago and creating an account. You may also visit one of the on-campus insurance coordinators.
I was examined in the ER and referred to a specialist. Why did I get a referral penalty for seeing a specialist?
The Student Health Service and Student Counseling Service serve as the gatekeepers for students covered under U-SHIP. Therefore, students covered under U-SHIP must obtain a referral from a Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service provider first before seeking specialty care. One referral is needed per medical condition. An exception is made in an emergency or if you are physically more than 50 miles from campus. For more details see the U-SHIP brochure: www.UHCSR.com/uchicago.
Can you back-date my referral because I was not aware of the referral policy?
It is not the policy of the Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service to back-date referrals. You must make an appointment to see a Student Health Service or Student Counseling Service provider to discuss your situation and obtain a referral in advance.
If I have further questions about U-SHIP, who should I contact?
The University of Chicago has two on-site insurance coordinators. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (773) 834-4543 (option #2). Their offices are located in the Administration Building, Room 231/232.
For answers to other questions specific to the U-SHIP plan, please also visit: www.UHCSR.com/uchicago .
What should I know about using the Emergency Room (ER)?
1. ER services are NOT COVERED under the Student Life Fee; these services will be charged to the student and/or their insurance.
2. The ER is not appropriate for most ear aches, stomach flu, or sore throats.
3. If you are unsure whether you should go to the ER, call the Student Health Service Nurse Advice Line at (773) 702-1915 to determine if emergency treatment is necessary. The Nurse Advice Line is available to take your call 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
4. If you do go to the ER it is important that you tell the ER staff you are a student, and that you take your insurance card with you.
What is "Urgent Care"? When should I use it? When should I NOT use it?
Urgent Care is an appointment-based clinic for students with urgent medical needs. This clinic is available to you Saturday mornings when the Student Health Service is closed and you have an urgent medical need, such as a sprain, fever, severe pain, etc. Do NOT use the Urgent Care clinic for annual check-ups, travel visits, immunizations, or starting birth control. The Urgent Care clinic number is (773) 834-4630.
*Saturday clinic during the summer is available to students who have paid the summer Student Life Fee.
When should I use the Nurse Advice Line? What number do I call?
The Nurse Advice Line can address urgent medical concerns that cannot wait until the Student Health Service opens or an appointment is available. The nurses will be able to provide advice for alleviating symptoms, shortening the length of your illness, and to screen for indications that are more serious. The Nurse Advice Line will be able to contact the Student Health Service Physician-on-Call through an after-hours paging service for University of Chicago students if deemed necessary.
To contact the Nurse Advice Line, call (773) 702-1915. (If you have a severe emergency, please go directly to the ER and do not call this number.)