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Health Insurance for International Students

COVID-19 Updates:

SHIP Office Closed to Visitors
We regret to inform you that due to recent developments in the situation concerning the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the SHIP Office will be closed to visitors until further notice. SHIP staff will continue to respond to emails ( and phone calls (608-265-5232) during this period. If you were planning on visiting our office, please call or email for guidance regarding alternative means of enrollment and payment, or for assistance with any other inquiry you have. If you are unable to reach a member of SHIP staff when you call, please leave a message and you will receive a call back as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

SHIP Benefits
In addition to primary care services at UHS, SHIP will cover all member costs for COVID-19 testing (when prescribed) and antibody testing (when prescribed) at all facilities, including emergency room, urgent care, office visits, and telemedicine. SHIP will cover treatment based on the specific plan benefits. SHIP will cover treatment based on the specific plan benefits.  Call Wellfleet (the SHIP claims administrator) at 1-833-343-5338 if you have additional coverage questions about Coronavirus.  This dedicated hotline is open Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 AM to 6 PM, and Friday, from 7:30 AM to 4 PM.

SHIP is also waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescriptions for maintenance medications for at any in-network pharmacy.
For questions about prescriptions please call 1-866-818-6911.  Please also note that many pharmacies – including CVS and Walgreens, offer various home delivery options.

SHIP members (primary members and spouse/partners) who cannot access UHS for primary and preventive care at this time, should refer to our Find In-Network Providers page to locate an alternative SHIP provider that is in-network. In addition to allowing members to seek primary care at an in-network provider, the preventive care benefit has been temporarily enhanced so that eligible preventive services can be received at an in-network provider. Please note that in-network member cost sharing still applies where applicable (as detailed in the plan benefits).

If you have difficulty locating an in-network provider, or have any other questions about SHIP, please contact the SHIP office at 608-265-5232 or email

Free COVID-19 testing is also available at the Alliant Energy Center with drive-thru, walk-up, and bike-up access. More information is available on Public Health Madison Dane County’s website. UHS will offer no cost, unlimited testing to students starting in August.

For the latest information related to COVID-19, please visit the UHS COVID-19 FAQ page.

Compliance Deadlines for International Students

The SHIP office must receive a completed enrollment application and full payment or a Waiver Application (pdf), on or before the posted deadlines.

Enrolling in SHIP

The open enrollment deadline for Annual and Fall enrollments has now passed (see “Failure to Comply” section below).
SHIP will accept Spring/Summer enrollments from registered students beginning December 15, 2020.


Automatic Waivers

You do not need to file a Waiver Application if you a UW–Madison employee and receive health insurance benefits that are effective on or before September 1, 2020, for fall, or February 1, 2021 for spring. If you meet these criteria, the SHIP office will file an Automatic Waiver on your behalf.

If you are employed at UW–Madison and receive health insurance benefits, but are registered for summer classes only, you must file your own Waiver Application with the SHIP office.

Dependents of UW–Madison employees who are also international students must file their own Waiver Application with the SHIP office.


Waivers will only be approved for international students and visa dependents who meet one of the qualifying criteria listed on the Waiver Application (pdf). Please read the Waiver Application carefully to ensure that you understand the requirements and do not purchase insurance which does not meet the SHIP waiver requirements. If you do not qualify for a waiver, you are required to enroll in SHIP.

Failure to Comply

International students who fail to purchase SHIP or file a qualifying waiver by the compliance deadline will be automatically enrolled in SHIP.

International students who make payment after the compliance deadline will be charged a $100 late fee and required to pay SHIP premiums from the beginning of the initial compliance period.

International students who file a qualifying waiver after the compliance deadline will be charged a $100 late fee in addition to any required premiums.

International students who fail to meet the compliance deadline will be considered non-compliant with the health insurance requirements of UW–Madison and an academic hold will be placed on the student’s academic record.

An academic hold prevents students from adding classes, dropping classes or obtaining a copy of their transcripts or diploma.

An academic hold will not be removed until the international student is compliant. Outstanding balances must be made by VISA/MasterCard/Discover or exact cash. If the outstanding balance remains unpaid, the account will be referred to a collections agency.

The SHIP office is currently closed to visitors, so outstanding balances can only be accepted by phone 608-265-5232, Mon-Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m or online.