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There have been some important changes made to the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for  Penn State during this COVID-19 pandemic. Please know that Penn State, in collaboration with United Healthcare Student Resources, is regularly evaluating your insurance plans and will notify SHIP students of any changes made as we move forward in these uncertain times.

Students who may need assistance should contact the Student Health Insurance staff by email at uhs-insurance@psu.edu or by phone at 814-865-7467. United Healthcare Student Resources customer service can be contacted by email at PSUInsureHelp@firststudent.org or by phone at 888-224-4810.

Students who are uninsured, underinsured, or not sure about their health insurance should visit the Student Insurance Advocate website.

Below you will find updates to and reminders of offerings through SHIP:

Telehealth

The Penn State SHIP offers access to HealthiestYou for telehealth visits at no cost throughout the policy year. In addition, cost-share waiving for telehealth services will be extended as follows:

  • COVID-19 In and Out-of-Network: for COVID-19 in and out-of-network telehealth services, cost-sharing will be waived through the national emergency period, currently set to end on October 17, 2021.
  • Non-COVID-19 In-Network: for non-COVID-19 in-network providers, cost-sharing was previously waived through September 30, 2020. As of October 1, 2020, in-network telehealth services will be covered according to the member's benefit plan.
  • Non-COVID-19 Out-of-Network: for out-of-network providers, out-of-network telehealth services will be covered according to the member's benefit plan.

Students can log onto First Student’s website or call the number on their UHCSR ID card to learn more. Information on these services is housed under the “Plan Enhancements” tab on the left side of the First Student website homepage. Telemedicine and telebehavioral health services are currently available outside of the United States at no cost for students and dependents on the Penn State SHIP.

University Health Services is now offering telemedicine services. These services are covered at 100% under the Penn State SHIP.  Please log in to My UHS or call 814-863-0774 to schedule an appointment.

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

Students and their dependents covered through the SHIP who live within or outside of the United States will have no copays, deductibles, or coinsurance for treatments or testing related to COVID-19 through the national public health emergency period.

Penn State and the United Healthcare Student Resources are continuously re-evaluating this coverage and are working to make sure students are being supported during this pandemic.

The national public health emergency period has been extended to October 17, 2021.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Cost-sharing will be waived for medically necessary diagnostic testing (ordered by a licensed physician or other health care professional) from February 4, 2020, through October 17, 2021. 

COVID-19 Antibody Testing

Cost-sharing will be waived for FDA-authorized antibody testing (ordered by a licensed physician or other health care professional) from April 10, 2020, through the national public health emergency period.

COVID-19 Testing Related Visits

Cost-sharing will be waived for visits to a health care provider’s office, urgent care center, emergency department, or through telehealth from February 4, 2020, through the national public health emergency period.

COVID-19 Treatment

No cost-share waivers are currently in effect. Coverage and cost-sharing (copay, coinsurance, and deductible), including out-of-network costs, are adjudicated in accordance with the member’s health plan.

Prescriptions and Pharmacy

For those students and dependents living in the University Park and State College area, the UHS Pharmacy is providing curbside pickup for prescriptions. For those who are not living in the area around State College, the UHS Pharmacy is providing mail order service, but can only mail to Pennsylvania and Florida. There is a $3 charge for postage. Narcotics cannot be sent via mail.

Students on the Penn State SHIP are encouraged to order a 90-day supply of prescriptions from the UHS Pharmacy. Students can save the $10/$30/$60 copays that they will pay at another pharmacy for a 30-day supply. Students will only pay the $3 shipping charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will testing and physician visits be covered for COVID-19?

Yes, we will be waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing through this national emergency. We're also waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing-related visits during this same time, whether the testing-related visit is received in a health care provider's office, an urgent care center, or an emergency department. Testing must be provided at approved locations in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines including FDA approved testing at designated labs around the country. You may search for testing facilities in your area by visiting the COVID-19 Test Center Locator

Will treatment be covered for COVID-19?

No cost-share waivers are currently in effect. Coverage and cost-sharing (copay, coinsurance, and deductible), including out-of-network costs, are adjudicated in accordance with the member’s health plan.

Does UHC cover antibody detection tests (Serology - IGG/IGM/IGA for SARS-nCOV2) (COVID-19)?

For the duration of the national, public health emergency period, United Healthcare will cover FDA-authorized COVID-19 antibody tests ordered by a physician or healthcare provider to diagnose COVID-19 at no cost share to the member. Tests will be covered in and out-of-network. 

Will cost sharing be waived for Telehealth visits?

All policies that have access to HealthiestYou will continue to provide telehealth visits at no cost throughout the policy year. In addition, cost-share waiving for telehealth services will be extended as follows:

COVID-19 In and Out-of-Network

For COVID-19 in and out-of-network telehealth services, cost-sharing will be waived through the national emergency period, currently set to end on October 17, 2021.

Non-COVID-19 In-Network

For non-COVID-19 in-network telehealth services, cost-sharing was previously waived through September 30, 2020. As of October 1, 2020, in-network telehealth service will be covered according to the member's benefit plan. 

Penn State University Park UHS is currently conducting telehealth visits, which will be covered at 100%.

All insured students also have access to telehealth (HealthiestYou) at no cost through the school insurance plan. 

Non-COVID-19 Out-of-Network

For out-of-network providers, out-of-network telehealth services will be covered according to the member’s benefit plan.



Does the plan include Telemedicine?

Yes, all insured students also have access to HealthiestYou and will continue to provide telehealth visits at no cost throughout the policy year for this service.  The HealthiestYou app provides telemedicine for students. To access these services, download the app or call 855-870-5858.

Will the SHC referral requirement apply?

The referral requirement has been reinstated as of the 2021-2022 policy year that is effective August 13, 2021

What about services performed outside of the US, will it be covered?

Services performed outside of the US, with the exception of services incurred in your Home Country, are covered subject to the policy provisions and limitations.

How can students assure they are paying the least amount for services outside of University Health Services?

Use the Find a Doctor services to assure that your provider is in-network (contracted) with the Penn State SHIP.  Students will pay more out-of-pocket if they use a provider that is not contracted with the Penn State SHIP.

Additional Support Line

Optum is opening its Emotional-Support Help Line, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. Optum's toll-free helpline number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone. 

Additional Services

Travel Assistance is available for students 24/7 in their home country for emergency and nonemergency care. Contact UHC Gkibak by calling the number on the back of your ID card (1-877-461-2273 or 1-410-453-6330) or email (assistance@uhcgloba.com). Use reference ID# 355751

Find A Doctor
Get An ID/Check Claim Status/My Account

Visit My Account. My Account is your insurance hub; you can download your ID card and check any claims statuses. 

Questions/Issues

Please reach out with any questions or issues psuinsurehelp@firststudent.com