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 email@example.com 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. Testing is covered at 100%, through June 18, 2020, up to $51.33. COVID-19 treatment is covered at 100% through May 31, 2020.
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.
- Prescriptions and Pharmacy
Students and their dependents covered under the Penn State SHIP can obtain prescription refills through the University Health Services (UHS) Pharmacy without a waiting period through the policy end date of Aug. 12, 2020.
For those 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 are encouraged to order a 90-day supply of prescriptions from the UHS Pharmacy. Students can save the $10/$30/$60 copay 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 have left the U.S. can use the Penn State SHIP in their home country for medical services through the policy end date of Aug. 12, 2020. Specific instructions will be sent via email on how to submit claims and how to be reimbursed.
Referral restrictions have been lifted through the remainder of the policy year (August 12, 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 August 12. Students can contact the University Health Services front desk at 814-865-4182 for more information.
The Penn State SHIP offers telehealth services for medical and behavioral health. 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.
University Health Services will be offering telehealth in the near future. When those services are available, they will be covered at 100%.
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?
Yes, we are waiving member cost-sharing for the treatment for those diagnosed with COVID-19 through July 24, 2020. Following this date, all treatment will be paid according to policy provisions.
*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?
We will also be waiving cost-sharing for telehealth services by in-network providers, for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 telehealth visits.
For COVID-19 out-of-network telehealth services, cost-sharing will be waived until the end of national emergency period, currently set to end on July 24, 2020.
For COVID-19 in-network telehealth services, cost-sharing will be waived through September 30, 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.
- 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.
- Can students obtain early refills on prescriptions?
Students and their dependents covered under Penn State SHIP can obtain prescription refills through the University Health Services (UHS) Pharmacy without a waiting period through the policy end date of August 12, 2020.
For those living in the University Park and State College area, the UHS Pharmacy is providing curbside pick-up for prescriptions. For those who are not living in the area around State College, UHS Pharmacy is providing mail order service. At this time, the UHS Pharmacy can only mail to Pennsylvania and Florida. There is a $3.00 charge for postage per month. Narcotics cannot be sent via mail.
Insured students who need an early prescription refill to ensure they have sufficient medication on hand may request one through their current pharmacy, Consider your current supply, as well as near-term medication, needs to determine if you should refill early.
- Will the SHC referral requirement apply?
The referral provision will be waived for the COVID-19 tests and/or treatment through the end of policy year, August 12, 2020. In the event a claim is denied for no referral, it can be appealed for reconsideration by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What about services performed outside of the US, will it be covered?
Yes, the exclusion will be waived for the remainder of the 19-20 policy year (ending August 12, 2020). 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.
- 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 (email@example.com). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org