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Student Health Service

Nine Big Misconceptions About The Stony Brook University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

The Stony Brook Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is offered by Aetna Student Health and SBU, and is an excellent plan, with better coverage than at most universities. It gives you access to quality care at the SBU Student Health Service (SHS), as well as to specialist care in the surrounding neighborhood, in your home area, at Stony Brook University Hospital, as well as in hospitals throughout the United States, and even worldwide. Even so, if you make an inaccurate assumption about your insurance coverage, you might be left holding the bill. Here is our list of the Nine Big Misconceptions about SHIP:

1) I really don't need to read that booklet with all the small print. The Stony Brook plan is probably like all those other plans anyway.
Not true. We urge you to read the booklet. It's important that you have a clear understanding of the policies and procedures of our insurance plan, since each plan is different and failure to follow the policies and procedures of the plan could lead to unexpected medical bills for the student.

2) I will have to wait 6 months for my pre-existing conditions to be covered.
No. Unlike most student health insurance plans, SHIP does cover pre-existing conditions for our students.

3) I can see an outside specialist without a Student Health Services (SHS) referral.
Yes. But one of the ways a student insurance plan, or any insurance plan for that matter, keeps rates low is by having your primary care provider see you first for an initial evaluation of your problem. With SHIP, your primary care provider is the SHS. If you wish to decrease your deductible for diagnostic testing, radiology, emergency room treatment, surgery or in-patient hospitalization, you are required to be examined by a SHS physician first. In this case the deductible is reduced to $200. If you do not come to the Health Service first, you will need to pay a $400 deductible.

4) Insurance premiums are included in my tuition.
Yes. We strongly believe that all students should have insurance, so enrollment in SHIP is required, and you are billed an additional fee for the Plan. This may be covered by financial aid or loans for which you may be eligible. You may complete an insurance waiver on your SOLAR account if you already have comparable health insurance coverage.

5) It's OK if I'm late in my payment to the Bursar. My health insurance policy won't lapse.
Don’t make this mistake. When you are billed for SHIP, as well as for University tuition and fees, it is your responsibility to pay these bills by the due date shown. If not, you will begin to see late charges on your account. If you are in arrears, your account may be sent for collection to the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

6) All services at SHS are free to me since I’m a student.
MOST services are free, but do not confuse the Infirmary Fee with the Health Insurance Plan; they are two different things. You pay a separate Infirmary Fee, and this covers the cost of being examined and treated by a nurse, physician, a physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner at the Student Health Services ONLY. Some SHS laboratory services are free, but others will be billed to you by the outside lab that does the testing. These bills are paid by your insurance plan. Using the pharmacy in the Infirmary can save you lots of money: you pay a $20 co-payment for each prescription.

7) SHIP is too expensive! My spouse pays a lot less for his/her health insurance.
This is possible, but we guess your spouse probably receives insurance coverage through a job. Insurance plan costs are often subsidized by an employer. Perhaps you can enroll in your spouse’s insurance plan, and then request a waiver from SHIP next semester.

8) I bet there’s no one to answer my questions; so I’ll assume that I know the answers.
Contact the Student Insurance Office located in the west campus Student Health Service with any questions. Don't assume you have all the answers. It's OK to ask questions. We get a lot of them!

9) When I leave Stony Brook, I'll automatically lose my insurance coverage.
Not true. You will continue to be covered for the duration of your policy (for example, if you graduate in May, your policy is good through August 15).

Please read the entire brochure at (policy number 890444.)

Jennifer Jorgensen
Health Insurance Office
(631) 632-6331 Fax: (631) 632-6567

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