Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gaucho Health Insurance | UCSB Student Health

Let's talk about health insurance options for UCSB students.The UC System requires all students to have health insurance which meets a minimum set of criteria before they can enroll in classes. We must verify that every student has health insurance to meet this important need.A student may remain on their parent's health insurance plan until age 26, which can bea great option if your home is near campus. However, if your permanent residence is outsideof Santa Barbara, your insurance may not cover medical expenses you may incur while in school.

There are two options of independently purchased health insurance plans which are availableto students.Let's compare them to see how they differ and we'll offer a few considerations tohelp you pick the right plan for your needs.UCSB provides a comprehensive plan called"Gaucho Health Insurance- or"GHI,-which includes local and international coverage for medical, vision and dental needs.

Because student health insurance is mandatory at UC, this premium is assessed along with registration and other fees. It appears on your July billing statement and coverage begins the first dayof Fall quarter.If students purchase their own health insurance, or use their parent's coverage while at UCSB,and do NOT want to be in GHI, they can apply for a WAIVER of GHI premiums throughthe Student Health website, with a September 1st deadline to avoid late fees.If your waiver is approved, you may not enroll in GHI until the next annual open enrollment or if you lose your current coverage.Students in UCSB's Gaucho Health Insurance (GHI) are attracted by the following benefits:You are automatically enrolled in this option as a UCSB student. The cost is included infinancial aid awards.

 No need to do anything if you want to keep GHI insurance.There is no charge for visits to Student Health with GHI, allowing unlimited access includingthe Dental Care and Eye Care Centers. Labs, Xrays and immunizations are covered by insurance,and pharmacy is provided with small co-payments.If referred to a specialist by a doctor at Student Health, medical services providedin the Aetna network are offered at a substantial savings.GHI covers you when you're at home during breaks as well as when you are traveling anywhere in the world, and no Student Health Service referral is needed if more than 50 miles fromSanta Barbara.Students who purchase their own insurance policy, usually do so for the following reasons:Individual Covered California health insurance plans can be affordable and include federal subsidies. However, be sure that you understand the deductible(amount you must pay before insurance pays anything) and the various out-of-pocket costs.Other plans may provide access to local off-campus practitioners and hospitals, but are often very limited. 

UCSB requires that your insurance cover your medical expenses with providerswithin 50 miles of campus, including both routine and emergency care.These plans rarely include vision and dental coverage, which may be a significant expenseto students in their college careers.NOTE: If students choose this private insurance option, it is very important you understandthat all students can be seen at the Student Health center; however, the health centerdoes not bill any insurance other than Gaucho Health Insurance. All charges are billed tothe student's BARC account, and students may request an itemized billing statementto submit to their private insurance carrier, if your coverage includes that.If you're trying to choose a health insurance plan that's right for you,understanding the differences and types of coverage available will help you make an informed decision. More information on UCSB's GHI Plan and Student Health charges are available on theStudent Health website, or by calling or emailing the Student Health Insurance Office.

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