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a. To ensure that all students have adequate health care coverage, including ongoing primary and specialty care, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) requires all eligible students to have major medical health insurance. Students can provide proof of their own private coverage or be enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). The SHIP is a 1-year commercial policy provided by United HealthCare Student Resources and is re-negotiated annually. This policy is a comprehensive health insurance policy that is specifically designed to meet the needs of UAB Students. If you are required to have insurance but have sufficient coverage on another plan and wish to opt out of the SHIP, you are required to submit a waiver to Student Health Services at the beginning of every semester. Students enrolled in the SHIP may be seen and evaluated at SHS at reduced out of pocket expenses (no co-pays, most deductibles and coinsurance do not apply.)


Am I Required to have Insurance Coverage?

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students enrolled in a degree seeking program taking at least 9 credit hours on campus are required to have insurance. Students enrolled in a non-clinical online only program are not required to have coverage.

International Students

ALL International Students are required to have insurance.

Graduate Students

Graduate Students enrolled in a program that requires coverage are required to have insurance. Click below for a list of required programs:

  • Programs
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Biology
    • Civil Engineering
    • Computer Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Computer & Information Sciences
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Forensic Science
    • Interdisciplinary Engineering
    • Mathematics (MA and APMA)
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Medical Sociology
    • Materials Engineering
    • Materials Science
    • Multidisciplinary Biomedical Science
    • Neuroengineering PhD
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • School of Health Professions
      • Administration/Health Services Ph.D.
      • Biotechnology M.S.
      • Biomedical and Health Sciences M.S.
      • Nutrition Sciences Ph.D.
      • Rehabilitation Science Ph.D.
    • The School of Public Health
    • Vision Science
    • English (ENG_MA)

Clinical Students

ALL Clinical students are required to have insurance. Click below for a list of required programs:

  • Programs
    • Graduate students who are Postdoctoral Dentistry
    • Graduate students who are participating in the Dietetic Internship program
    • Professional Students in:
      • Medicine
      • Dentistry
      • Optometry
    • Student enrolled in the UAB PREP Scholars Program
    • Students enrolled in some programs in the School of Nursing
    • School of Health Professions:
      • Dietitian Education Program
      • Genetic Counseling
      • Health Physics
      • Nuclear Medicine Technology
      • Nutrition Sciences
      • Occupational Entry Level
      • Occupational Therapy
      • Physical Therapy
      • Physician Assistant Studies

Excludes students with the code NOAS ("Not on American Soil") 

Students who are non-clinical online only undergraduates and registered for 9+ credit hours are excluded from this requirement. 

Insurance FAQ

  • Why do I need insurance?

    Studies have shown that nearly 15 percent of individuals age 18 to 25 are uninsured, and 18.5 percent of those age 26 to 34 are uninsured which is significantly higher than the national average.

    Medical costs are high and can add a layer of complexity in recovering from illness or injury. In a study completed by Public Agenda, more than 600 young adults ages 22-30 who had some higher education coursework were surveyed. Of those who did not complete a college degree, 69 percent of them reported that having health insurance would have helped them in completing their degree.

    Without health insurance, students are at risk of high debt – even bankruptcy—from costly medical bills and unforeseen illness/accidents. Even though students have access to provider visits at Student Health Services, having health insurance allows students to have lab work, radiology, and referrals completed based on the need. Without health insurance, there would be a barrier to these services as the student would be responsible for these cost out of pocket.

  • Are there exemptions to this requirement?

    The UAB Insurance requirement ensures that students have access to the health care needed while they are on-campus students at UAB. Currently, UAB does not have exemptions to this requirement for on-campus students who are registered for 9+ hours. Students who are non-clinical online only undergraduates are not required to provide proof of coverage.

  • I am a UAB Employee. Do I need to submit an insurance waiver?

    Yes. We do not share records with the hospital or UAB Employee Benefits.

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