• Kevin L.

UCSB insurance waiver guide: How to save $2,651/year?


Attending a US college can be financially stressful. The average fee to attend a private non-profit four-year university is $48,510 per year. For international students, the costs are even higher.


But do you know that you can save up to $2,651 a year with insurance waiver? Simply submit your waiver by 9/21/2019.

What is an insurance waiver?


On your tuition bill, you will see that UCSB has automatically enrolled you in the university’s Student Health Insurance Plan for UCSB (UCSHIP).


However, international students can enroll in a surprisingly more affordable plan designed specifically for them. Whereas the UCSHIP is $3,537/yr for undergraduate students and $3,798/yr for graduate students, health coverage for international students can be as low as $1,147/yr.


An insurance waiver is an application to switch your plan that better fits your needs. Simply enroll in an insurance plan that meets the school’s waiver requirements and submit an insurance waiver on the school’s website.

Why are alternative health insurance plans more affordable?


The insurance costs are calculated based on the risks of the demographics. University health plans are usually more expensive because the plans serve a broader range of the population, including international and domestic students.


How to pick a health insurance plan?


A good insurance plan protects you from minor illnesses to serious injuries and diseases. When you’re looking for a plan, consider these factors:

  • The Costs Some plans are much more cost-effective than others. But the cost is the only factor you need to take into consideration. A plan with limited coverage can lead to catastrophic financial loss.

  • Insurance benefits Read the insurance policies carefully. A good insurance plan should have a low deductible, a high coinsurance, low copays, and a low out-of-pocket maximum.

  • Provider network Provider network is a group of care providers partnering with the insurance company to provide you with pre-negotiated rates. A powerful network allows you to find trustworthy doctors and hospitals wherever you need.

Eligible insurance plans recommended by UCSB

Student Medicover, a partner of UnitedHealthcare, offers the most cost-effective and reliable health insurance plans for international students in the market.


UCSB has recently recommend Student Medicover's Prime and Elite as insurance plans compliant with the UC Waiver guidelines on its website.


  • Reliable Coverage: Their coverage features low deductibles, high coinsurances, low copays, and low out-of-pocket maximums. Their plans offer substantial coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency care, prescription drugs, and many other treatments found in the policy brochures.

  • Find a trusted doctor anywhere in the country With Student Medicover, you can access accredited care providers in the nation’s leading network – UnitedHealthcare Options PPO. You will enjoy lower costs for in-network medical services with pre-negotiated prices.

  • Visit Student Health Center: Student Medicover offers in-network benefits for treatments received in any student health centers in the country, including Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center.

  • 24/7 Customer Service If you have any questions, you can always ask a customer service representative through email, phone, WhatsApp, Facebook, and online support center.

Here is a brief comparison between UCSHIP and Student Medicover’s plans:



The chart is only a brief overview. Please refer to the policy brochures to learn more about the plans.


How to waive health insurance?


Completing an insurance waiver is very simple. It takes you only 15 minutes.


STEP 1: Enroll in an insurance plan

Visit Student Medicover, scroll down to “Enrollment”.


STEP 2: Download your confirmation letter and temporary insurance ID card

Click "login" at the top right corner and log in with the email and password you set when you enroll. Click "MY ENROLLMENTS" for your confirmation letter and "DOWNLOAD ID CARD" for your temporary insurance ID card.

Please be mindful that the temporary insurance ID card is for insurance waiver purposes. For official insurance ID card, please refer to smcoverd.com.


STEP 4: Submit your waiver

Download the policy brochure of the plan you enrolled.

Choose "Insurance Waiver">"Proceed">"Proceed". Then fill in the form with the following information, upload your temporary insurance ID card, and submit.


Policy Holder information:

Insurance Term:Fall (F-19)-Spring(S20) UC SHIP Waiver

Insurance Carrier: United Healthcare

Insurance Plan: United Healthcare

Policy Number: The policy # on your temporary insurance ID card

Start Date: 9/22/2019

End Date: 9/21/2020

After your application is approved, the school will either refund you or remove the health insurance fee on your tuition bill.


#WaiverGuide #UCSB

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