Health insurance is required of all full time students. We want you to be able to focus on academics without suffering from an untreated medical problem or having to miss class for a trip home to see a doctor.
If you do not have acceptable health insurance or you are not covered by your parent's insurance, you will be required to purchase health insurance, either from a health insurance company of your choosing or from Gallaudet's United Healthcare insurance company.
Gallaudet's program with United Healthcare is accepted by most medical professionals nationwide. The insurance also includes mental health coverage and prescription benefits. Although Gallaudet's program does not offer dental and vision coverage, you may purchase vision coverage directly from United Healthcare. United Healthcare also makes wellness information available to you, and sees itself as a resource for you beyond just covering claims.
With United Healthcare, there are no claim forms for you to complete as the doctor's office bills the insurer directly. Other policies may require you to complete and submit claim forms yourself. Some college students overlook their medical billing statements directly billed to them from the doctor's office, which can adversely affect their credit rating.
Also, United Healthcare does not require co-pays except for emergency care and prescriptions. Lower-priced plans on the internet often provide restricted coverage (no wellness visits or payment for chronic conditions) and/or high deductibles. High co-pays or high deductibles can be difficult or impossible to pay without a steady income during the school year. With United Healthcare, the costs are built into the once-a-year premium (health insurance fee), which makes it beneficial for when you apply for financial aid, vocational rehabilitation support, or other funding for school.
Please look at more than price when you compare health insurance options. We believe that United Health care is the best option for most students because 1) they don't have to submit claim forms directly; 2) there are no co-pays except for emergencies and prescriptions; 3) there is a provision for global emergency assistance if a student participates in a study abroad or internship program or travels overseas.
Information regarding the University's health plan is available at www.universityhealthplans.com.
For instructions on waiving or purchasing United Healthcare health insurance, go to your Bison account. If you do nothing, you will automatically be billed for Gallaudet's United Healthcare insurance.
- Medicaid and Medicare Programs
Medicaid and Medicare are two different social health insurance programs. Medicare is a federal program while Medicaid is funded and managed at the state level. People who get Medicare are on Social Security. Those who get Medicaid are under welfare programs.
- Medicare (Federal)
If you have Medicare comprehensive Part A and B, you are covered for health insurance while at Gallaudet. There is no need to transfer the coverage to D.C. since it is a federal program. However, with Medicare, you are covered only within the United States so if you plan to travel to another country through an internship or "beyond-the-first-year" study abroad program, you will need to purchase insurance providing international coverage. The exception to this is students participating in the First Year Study Tour program are automatically covered for the trip through another program. If you purchase Gallaudet's United Healthcare insurance, there is a provision for global emergency assistance.
- Medicaid (State)
Like Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Medicaid varies greatly among states. Medicaid outside the D.C. area does not provide comprehensive coverage so does not comply with Gallaudet's health insurance requirement.
If you have Medicaid from another state, you will have to reapply for Medicaid benefits in D.C. since the benefits will not transfer to D.C. You may opt to change your legal residence to D.C and then apply for D.C's Medicaid program, but if you do, it could affect your eligibility for VR in your home state.
Many of your questions about Medicaid coverage may be better answered by people in your state agency. Some VR offices pay for the United Healthcare premium for the student's continued health coverage.
Health Insurance Fee
The health insurance fee for the new academic year is determined at time of policy renewal on July 15 prior to the fall semester. This is a one-year coverage from July 15 at 12:01 a.m. to July 15 the following year at 12:01 a.m. Students enrolling spring semester pay half the cost for coverage from December 15 to July 15.