Waiving Coverage

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USC Student Health Insurance Waiver Process

Fall 2019 students will have access to the waiver website in June after they have registered for classes.

What is a waiver?

A waiver is a request to opt-out of the USC Student Health Insurance Plan. If you are covered by a comprehensive insurance plan meeting the University’s requirements (detailed below), you may submit a waiver request through our online process. All waiver requests are manually reviewed by our health insurance department and a decision will be made within 30 days of receipt and sent to you at your USC email address. 

What is the waiver criteria?

If you wish to opt out of the USC Student Health Insurance Plan, you may submit an online waiver request. Your comprehensive health insurance plan must meet the University’s general requirements listed below. Please note that additional criteria may also be necessary in order for your waiver to be approved.

General Criteria:

  • Students taking courses at our UPC or HSC campuses must have coverage that is comprehensive with no major exclusions and has in-network providers (hospital and doctors) in the Los Angeles area.
  • Satellite campus and online distance learners must have comprehensive coverage with no major exclusions and have in-network providers in the zip code where they live and take classes.
  • Provide continuous year-round coverage while you are a student at the University of Southern California.
  • Your insurance plan must meet the Affordable Care Act (ACA) criteria. Only plans in compliance with ACA criteria will be accepted. (No major exclusions such as maternity or mental health coverage allowed).
  • Cover preventive care services at 100%.
  • Your plan must have no pre-existing condition exclusion; if the plan has a pre-existing condition waiting period, that period has expired.
  • Your plan must have no per-injury or per-illness maximum benefit limits.
  • You plan must cover medical services for injury from participation in all types of recreational activities or amateur sports.
  • Have an annual combined deductible and out-of-pocket expense of $7,900 or less.

Upon request, you must be able to provide a copy of:

• Verifiable proof of coverage with student’s name (ID card, insurance policy or letter from the insurance carrier.)
• Plan document(s) in English, with currency amounts converted to U.S. dollars, and the insurance company contact phone number in the U.S. is mandatory.  All claims must be processed in the U.S. and paid directly to U.S. providers.

Some reasons why you may not be granted a waiver:
• Your coverage only provides emergency/urgent care in your location of study; or
• Your plan may be an out-of-state plan with regional coverage only (i.e.HMO or EPO); or
• Your plan may be a Medicaid plan and Medicaid insurance is not accepted (on-campus students only); or
• Your coverage may be a Healthcare Sharing Program which is not a contract for insurance nor a comprehensive insurance plan; or
• Your plan may not be compliant with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which includes providing all essential health benefits outlined in the ACA; or
• Your plan may be an international plan and most international plans are not accepted.

If you have questions regarding your request for a waiver or if you intend to keep the USC Student Health Insurance Plan and have questions, please contact USC Student Health at studenthealth@usc.edu.

Attention International Students:
If you are an International Student, please be aware that most international plans are not accepted. Your insurance plan must meet the minimum requirements to support your visa as well as the criteria above including being ACA compliant. (Plans marked as ACA “comparable” will not be approved.)

The plan must:

  • Have policy written in standard English with benefits expressed in U.S. dollars
  • Have a claims payment office with an address in the United States (All claims must be processed in the US and paid directly to US providers).
  • Pay at least $50,000 annually for medical evacuation (Also a DoS requirement)
  • Pay at least $25,000 for repatriation of remains  (Also a DoS requirement)

*NOTE: Travel insurance plans and reimbursement programs of any kind do not qualify for waiver, including reimbursement arrangements or vouchers from home governments or their U.S.-based consulates.

How often do I need to request a waiver?

You must request a waiver once a year in the fall semester.  Waivers submitted in the fall are good for the entire academic year.

If you missed the fall deadline, or if you are a new, incoming student, you may request a waiver for spring/summer beginning in early December. Waivers submitted in the spring are only good for the spring/summer term. Don’t forget to submit a new waiver request in the fall.

What are the waiver request deadlines?

The Spring 2019 deadline to waive the USC Aetna Student Health Plan is January 25, 2019.

How do I request a waiver?

Step 1: Register for classes.

You must be actively registered for classes for the 2018-2019 school year before starting the online enrollment/request for waiver process. If you are not registered for classes, you will not be able to request a waiver using the online system.

Step 2: Wait 5 to 7 business days after registering for classes.

Once you register for your classes, please wait 5 to 7 business days before attempting to go online and request a waiver.

Step 3: Read over Waiver Criteria above to make sure this is the right option for you.

Step 4: Complete your online request for a waiver

All requests for a waiver must be completed online by the student. Make sure you have all of the required information before beginning – you are not able to log out and come back to the request at a later time.

  • Have a copy of your health insurance ID card and details about your current health insurance plan available for your reference, prior to beginning the waiver request.
  •  Go to the Aetna Student Health online waiver request system.
  • Complete the waiver request before the deadline.

We may contact you at any time to request adequate proof of coverage. If your other health insurance coverage ends involuntarily—even in the middle of the semester—you may be eligible to purchase coverage through the USC Student Health Insurance Plan. Contact the Health Insurance department on your campus within 30 days of losing your coverage to find out if you are eligible to enroll.

More Information

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call us at (213) 740-(WELL)9355.


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