Need health insurance? Not sure? Read more about SHIP

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Who needs health insurance?

EVERYONE! Unfortunately, unexpected accidents and illnesses do occur and students without comprehensive insurance are more likely to drop out of school for financial or health-related reasons.

What about University Health Services?

All enrolled students are eligible for the medical and counseling care available at University Health Services, but UHS is not a substitute for health insurance. UHS is not open evenings and weekends and does not provide emergency care, hospitalization, or specialty care for complex problems.

I already have health insurance. How can I tell if it is good enough?

Even if you already have health insurance, you need to be aware of the following:

  • Employer plans typically limit coverage to emergency room care while you are out of the plan area, and you may have to take time off school to return to your hometown for treatment.
  • Even in their home area, some plans have increasingly narrow provider networks. As a result it can be difficult for enrollees to access key services such as mental health.
  • Many plans require enrollees to pay a large portion of their medical costs. High deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance can make enrollees reluctant, or unable to seek medical attention when they need it.

Five reasons to choose the UW-Madison Student Health Insurance Plan

  1. SHIP is designed specifically for UW–Madison students. Meeting the needs of our students is our motivation—not profit.
  2. UHS provides primary and preventive care on campus, keeping costs as low as possible.
  3. SHIP travels with you. SHIP members are protected by a nationwide network of hospitals, clinics, and specialized medical services.
  4. SHIP has a low member out-of-pocket max of $2,000 ($400 in-network deductible and 20% coinsurance combined).
  5. Value. SHIP offers “Gold +” level coverage at a “Bronze” price.

Other SHIP benefits include:

  • Preventive care, including 100% coverage for:
    • Meningococcal vaccine
    • HPV vaccine
    • Travel immunizations
    • Contraceptive benefit
    • Annual eye exam
  • Prescription drug benefit (including specialty medications)
  • Available coverage for spouse, domestic partner, and children
  • Worldwide assistance
  • On-campus customer service team
  • And much more!

Enrollment and Rates

Click here to view the 2014-15 domestic student plan benefits and premium rates »

Fall coverage is effective from August 15, 2014 and enrollments must be received by September 14, 2014.

Registered students can enroll online, in the SHIP office, by telephone, or by mail.

Parents can enroll their registered student in the SHIP office, by telephone, or by mail.

Click here for additional information and to enroll online »

How to Stay Stress-Free the Week before Finals


So, Badgers. It’s the last week of classes. As you’re handing in projects and wrapping up lectures, it starts to sink in: finals are next week. Before things get hectic, take this last week to plan some relaxation strategies that will keep you at your best next week.

1. Make an Oasis. After spending hours crouching over your laptop and text books, you’ll need a comfortable place to retreat to. Make your own oasis this week. A place waiting for you to cuddle up into when you need a break. Your oasis can be anywhere or anything. It can be a bench outside, a favorite blanket, a walk in a park or a Group X class at the SERF. Anything that lifts your mood. Also, try out a few deep breathing techniques this week so you have a relaxation game plan ready for when things get tough next week.

2. Feeling Good. To do your best, you’ve got to feel your best. During finals week, studying is a higher priority than heading to the gym or eating three balanced meals, but if you spend the week before finals making healthy choices you can boost your energy and increase your focus for next week, and it may be easier to follow through and keep eating healthy. Plus, if you spend the week before being healthy, you will have a stock of healthy snacks to bring to the library with you.

3. Be Kind to Yourself. You’ll be going through a lot next week. Take some “me” time before finals and do something special. Cross a few activities from your bucket list before the semester is over. Celebrate your semester accomplishments and treat yourself to a UHS massage or do something that you’ve been wanting to do. You’ve earned it!

Other tips for finals: (Find tips for before, during and after finals here>>)

• Do small amounts of work this week so you are not swamped during finals.
• Get things in order for summer this week so you can focus on school next week.
• Plan three top tasks to accomplish each day.
• Reflect on your study habits. Utilize what works best for you!
• Libraries will be packed. Brainstorm a few unique study spots.

You’ve got a big week ahead of you, but you can do it! With a little planning, you will go into finals week feeling fresh and ready to take on anything. Good luck, Badgers!


April showers bring May flowers (and horrible allergies)

When many people think of allergies, they often think of spring. After all, trees are starting to bloom and pollen (so much pollen) is in the air.

If you suffer from allergies, you may be in for a rough spring. Allergy specialists are warning the annual season of sniffling and sneezing may be especially severe this year.

The most common symptoms of spring allergies include a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing. It’s like having a bad cold but having it last for months rather than a week. It’s a miserable state to be in.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to minimize the effects on your everyday life.

If you’re hoping to avoid a trip to UHS, consider trying out a few over-the-counter medications first. Nasal steroids like Nasacord and eye drops like Alaway (Ketotifin) are both effective at reducing allergy symptoms. Alaway eye drops differ from other brands like Visine in that they are antihistamine, no decongestant drops, meaning you won’t get red eyes from overuse like you sometimes can from Visine.

We get lots of questions about allergy shots around this time of year.  Althought some people with severe allergies may benefit from allergy shots, keep in mind that shots must be given once or twice a week year round for 2 to 3 years in order to be effective.  If you are not already on a treatment program, you will need to be referred to an outside allergist before you can get started.  If you’re already on a regular treatment program, we can continue your program at UHS.

For more information, including our allergy and immunization hours, visit

Your Guide to the UHS Summer Health Fee

Staying in Madison this summer? It’s important to realize that your student status changes after the semester ends. Although you’re feeling great now that exams are over, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Before you head to the terrace and enjoy the sunshine, consider the UHS Summer Health fee.

What is it? The Summer Health fee is $86 and provides access to UHS’s usual services—including medical care, mental health, counseling and pharmacy—between May 25th and August 31st.

Students who were enrolled through the Spring 2014  can use UHS until May 24th, 2014 without paying a fee.

Who is it for? Any student who was enrolled during the Spring 2014 semester is eligible to pay the Summer Health Fee, including recent graduates.

If you are taking classes over the summer, the Summer Health fee is included in your tuition. If you have the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), the summer fee is included in your health insurance. Guest students are not eligible to use UHS because they do not pay segregated fees during the academic year.

UHS services become available to all students enrolled for the Fall semester on August 15, 2014. However, students may continue to use the UHS pharmacy throughout the summer. Students can also purchase massage therapy appointments throughout summer without paying the Summer Health fee.

Why do I need this during summer?

  • On-campus resources if you get sick.
  • Access to student-friendly clinics such as Mental Health, Sexual Health, Women’s Health.
  • Continuation of any services you use during the semester.

You can purchase the Summer Health fee beginning May 1, 2014. You can pay online or in person at the cashier in Room 8501, 333 East Campus Mall, Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4pm. Cash, checks with ID and credit cards are accepted.

For more information, click here.