Skip to content

Your Coverage Complies with the Affordable Care Act

Weighing Your Choices
Comparing Total Costs
If You Choose Covered California

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires U.S. citizens and other lawfully present U.S. residents (including students) to have a specified level of medical coverage. UC SHIP is recognized by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) as Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC), in compliance with the ACA. This means UC SHIP members meet the ACA individual mandate.
(View a quick guide to the ACA.)

We all know how expensive health care can be. UC SHIP was developed to protect students from unexpected health care costs that could create a financial barrier to their graduation. UC makes no profit from UC SHIP, and every year we do our best to improve the plan.

Weighing Your Choices
The ACA created a marketplace of medical plans, such as Covered California. Because there are a number of factors that go into deciding which option works best for you — UC SHIP, Covered California’s four types of plans, Medi-Cal and so on — we have developed student profiles to illustrate how some students thought through their choices.

Comparing Total Costs
Here are some things to think about when choosing a plan. Be sure to look at costs from every angle.

If you are evaluating a parent’s plan, consider the following. UC SHIP may be more affordable than staying covered on your parent’s plan.

  • If you will remain covered throughout the academic year (i.e., if you will turn age 26)
  • Access to a network doctor close to where you live while in school for non-emergency and urgent care
  • Coverage when studying abroad
  • Annual deductible and out-of-pocket maximum
  • Copayments or co-insurance for services, such as:
    • Primary care and specialist visits
    • Emergency room and urgent care visits
    • Emergency ambulance transport

If you are evaluating a Medi-Cal Plan, consider:

  • Access to a network doctor close to where you live while in school for non-emergency and urgent care
  • If you will remain covered throughout the academic year
  • Coverage when studying abroad

If you are evaluating a Covered California Plan, consider:

  • Cost of monthly premiums
  • Whether you qualify for a premium subsidy through Covered California
  • The amount of the deductible you will have to pay out of your own pocket each year
  • Access to a network doctor close to where you live while in school for non-emergency and urgent care
  • How much you have to pay at the provider’s office when you receive care
  • How much you would have to pay if you are hospitalized
  • Your share of prescription costs
  • The amount you have to pay out of your own pocket before the plan begins to pay 100% of all your costs (called the plan’s out-of-pocket maximum)
  • If you will remain covered throughout the academic year
  • Coverage when studying abroad

If You Choose Covered California
If you choose a Covered California plan over UC SHIP, you can still use the SHC on campus but your coverage and fees will work differently.

  • You will pay all fees out of your own pocket.
  • You may be reimbursed for a limited portion of the fees you paid because you received care outside of your plan’s network of providers.
  • You must submit claim forms each time you receive care to be reimbursed for the allowable cost of that care.