COVID-19 Student Health Insurance Updates
There have been some important changes made to the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 the Penn State SHIP:
- 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.
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 the national public health emergency period.
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.
If treatment occurs under a COVID-19 admission or diagnosis code, cost-sharing will be waived from February 4, 2020, through October 22, 2020. This includes office, urgent care, and emergency department visits, observation stays, inpatient hospital episodes, acute inpatient rehab, long-term acute care, and skilled nursing facilities.
- 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.
- International Students
International students and their dependents who are in their home country and enrolled in the Penn State SHIP can use the Penn State SHIP in their home country for medical services through December 31, 2020. If you need assistance on how to submit claims and to be reimbursed, please contact United Healthcare Student Resources as 1-888-224-4810 or email PSUInsurHelp@firststudent.com.
Referral restrictions have been lifted through the remainder of the calendar year (December 31, 2020). Students and their dependents do not need a referral for services outside of 25 miles from University Park. If students are within the 25 miles from University Park, they will still need a referral (if they do not already have one) to continue to see a specialist after December 31. Students can contact the University Health Services front desk at 814-865-4182 for more information.
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 22, 2020.
- Non-COVID-19 In-Network: for non-COVID-19 in-network providers, cost-sharing will be waived through September 30, 2020.
- Non-COVID-19 Out-of-Network: for out-of-network providers, the expansion of telehealth access will apply through July 24, 2020. As of July 25, 2020, 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.
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?
If treatment occurs under a COVID-19 admission or diagnosis code, cost-sharing will be waived from February 4, 2020 through October 22, 2020. This includes office, urgent care and emergency department visits, observation stays, inpatient hospital episodes, acute inpatient rehab, long-term acute care, and skilled nursing facilities.
*Please note that during this pandemic, the deadlines and coverage are being continuously reviewed and may change at any time as necessary.
- 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 22, 2020.
For non-COVID-19 in-network telehealth services, cost-sharing will be waived through September 30, 2020.
Penn State University Park UHS us 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.
For out-of-network providers, the expansion of telehealth access will apply through July 24, 2020. As of July 25, 2020, 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 provision will be waived for the COVID-19 tests and/or treatment through the end of the policy year, December 31, 2020. In the event a claim is denied for no referral, it can be appealed for reconsideration by reaching out to email@example.com.
- What about services performed outside of the US, will it be covered?
Yes, the exclusion will be waived for the remainder of the 2020-2021 policy year (ending August 12, 2021). The claim will be subject to policy provisions and limitations.
You can submit the claim via My Account. If you need help, view this.
Additionally, HealthiestYou, our telehealth product, will now allow free visits outside of the U.S. Contact the Customer Services number on your insurance ID Card for more information.
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Use reference ID# 355751
- 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.
Please reach out with any questions or issues email@example.com