Kennedy Fine Arts Building

Student Health Insurance 

Every year, the University System of Georgia and Savannah State University works hard to obtain the most competitive rates and most valuable benefits for students enrolled in the USG's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). COVID-19 has, once again, highlighted the importance of the plan as a valuable healthcare and pharmacy benefit and we are happy to provide this coverage option for all of our students. There are no changes to plan benefits for the upcoming Academic Year. There will be a premium increase of 10.5% across all categories of students and enrollees – or a $21.16 per month increase for the mandatory student only category and $29.66 per month increase for the voluntary student only category. This increase is due to the increase in claims costs related to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and pharmacy services. Additionally, utilization of benefits remained high in some categories, such as mental health, and there was an increase in costs for treatment for serious medical conditions. The University System of Georgia worked closely with our broker to negotiate the lowest premiums and our advisory committee to provide feedback on the plan changes.

Students currently enrolled in a University System of Georgia school must enroll in the SHIP if they meet these eligibility and minimum requirements. If they do not meet these requirements, students can opt-in to voluntary insurance plans (healthcare, dental, vision, and/or global travel) through the United Healthcare portal. 

All institutions of the University of System of Georgia are required to participate in the SHIP. Rates are set by the University System of Georgia, usually the first week of May for the following academic year. Coverage dates span from Summer: May 15- July 31, Fall: August 1- December 31, and Spring: January 1- May 15. United Healthcare separates their plan and waivers based on Domestic or International student status. Domestic means that you live (outside of attending the university) in the United States. 

Voluntary Plans

Voluntary plans cannot be assessed to any student account. They need to be paid at time of enrollment, via credit card or electronic check, to United Healthcare. Voluntary plans are non-refundable, regardless of enrollment status. 

To learn more about how to enroll in the SHIP, please visit United Healthcare and enter your school’s name to navigate to specific information regarding the enrollment process on your campus. Voluntary plans include dental, vision, and student health insurance for students outside of these required categories. 


The University System of Georgia requires all students in the above categories to have reasonable, comparable, creditable coverage to the current system-wide student health insurance plan provided. The following minimum benefits must be included in your plan to be considered for a waiver.

International Students in the F-1 and J-1 student or scholar statuses must have a minimum of the following benefits:

Domestic Students must have a minimum of the following benefits:

**To meet the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements, your health plan should have no annual benefit limits. (These requirements are based on the federally-mandated requirements of the ACA.)

Georgia mandates coverage for the following benefits to be paid as any other sickness:

Mammography, PAP Smears, Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Tests, Chlamydia Screening, Mastectomy, Bone Mass Measurement, Colorectal Cancer Screening, Dental Anesthesia, Diabetes, Surveillance Tests for Ovarian Cancer, Telemedicine, Drug Treatment of Children’s Cancer, Bone Marrow Transplants, Postpartum Care, and Mental Illness.

Students who already have comparable insurance coverage can apply to waive the insurance requirement. A comparable plan is one that meets the minimum requirements indicated in the above list. Your plan will be verified to determine if your coverage meets the minimum requirements.

Student Waiver Process

The following students are required to have student health insurance that meets the minimum standards set by the University System of Georgia. Students in these categories who are not covered by a policy held by a parent, spouse, employer, or if the policy does not meet the minimum standards, will be charged for a SHIP policy.

Students who fall into one of these categories and are already covered by an insurance policy (i.e. through parent plans, family plans or employer-sponsored plans) can easily opt-out of the plan through a secure online process. Once the information has been verified, all charges will be waived.

Students can request an appeal to the denied decision from United Healthcare. If your request to waive the insurance is denied, you can request to appeal the decision in the same notice you received the denial. You must complete the appeal in the United Healthcare portal. The appeal decision is the final decision on all waivers, due to its validation from a third-party source to compare your insurance with the required plans. 

Students (both undergraduate and graduate) who fail to submit creditable health insurance information will automatically be enrolled in the insurance plan. The waiver periods are strictly enforced. Waivers are valid for one semester only. Students will have to submit a new waiver each semester. 

To apply for a mandatory insurance waiver go to United Healthcare Student Resources’ website, search for Savannah State University, and select Continue. On the next webpage, there will be a Domestic or International Hard Waiver Form link, select Explore, select Get Started, select the category that best describes why you were assessed insurance, select Next, and then Continue. This logic will direct you to that category's insurance information. If you do not see your information there, review your student account to ensure you have been charged for the SHIP for more than 24 hours. Our student system updates insurance in United Healthcare every 24 hours for both uploading insurance and waivers onto a student account. 

Students can apply for an appeal of the insurance waiver decision if they feel that United Healthcare did not accurately assess their personal student health insurance or they need to update the information that was originally supplied to United Healthcare. Once a student is denied for the waiver, they will receive an automatic message from United Healthcare with directions on how to appeal. Appeals are not processed by Savannah State University. Once the appeal decision is made, it is final and cannot be adjusted by Savannah State University. 


Waivers are valid for one semester only. Students will have to submit a new waiver each semester. If you do not apply for a waiver, your waiver is declined, denied, or not submitted successfully, you will automatically be enrolled in the plan at the end of the waiver period and charged accordingly. The charge(s) will not be removed or waived at that time.  

Sports Rider Coverage 

Student athletes that do not waive the SHIP charges will be assessed an additional Sports Rider coverage that goes towards college sports injuries. This coverage is not included in the regular SHIP coverage plan. 

Enrolled in the plan... What next? 

Once you enroll in a voluntary plan or in the regular domestic/international SHIP plan for that semester, you can log into your United Healthcare account to obtain your insurance card and submit an insurance claim. 

Please note that SSU will not enroll students into the SHIP plan until after the waiver period for that semester ends. If you plan to use your coverage prior to the waiver end date, opt-in to the plan for immediate usage. If you have difficulties or your SSU coach needs validation of the insurance, please email the team at