University Health Service

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Do you need health insurance?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, sometimes referred to as Obamacare) requires individuals to have health insurance.

This page can help you learn about health insurance options, and here are definitions you may need: 

  • "Marketplace" and "Health Insurance Exchange" both refer to the website Healthcare.gov, where you can learn about health insurance options, compare plans and purchase a plan.
  • "Open Enrollment" means a period of time during which people may add or change their insurance plan.

Help is available!

Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible for:

  • Health insurance through HealthCare.gov, and possibly help in paying for your insurance with subsidies or cost sharing 
  • Medicaid, which is a free, or very low cost, government-sponsored health insurance plan

For assistance, contact the Michigan Medicine Certified Application Counselors, who can answer questions about enrollment in a Marketplace plan or Michigan Medicaid. Call 877-326-9155 (9am - 8pm Monday - Friday) or email PFC-Counselors@med.umich.edu.  

If you do not have health insurance, you will want to shop for it. Please keep in mind the following key dates:

  • All year:
    • Healthy Michigan (Medicaid) enrollment is continuous; you can enroll at any time.
    • Someone who has a qualifying life event (such as the birth of a baby or marriage or ending of an insurance policy) can enroll in a Marketplace plan (an insurance plan available at HealthCare.gov), or change plans, even when open enrollment is closed.
  • November 1, 2017: Marketplace Open Enrollment begins. (Open Enrollment means a period of time in which individuals may add or change coverage.)
  • December 15, 2017. Last day to enroll/purchase insurance for 2018.
  • December 31, 2017. Coverage ends for 2017 plans.
  • January 1, 2018. New coverage for 2018 begins.

What to do for the Marketplace Open Enrollment period:

  • Start by making a list of things that will be important in your coverage decision, for example:
  • Know how your current health insurance plan (if any) works, whether it will continue, and when it will renew.
  • Know about your health insurance coverage in the Ann Arbor area.
  • For Ann Arbor students, know what your U-M student fees cover: For currently enrolled U-M students (that is, taking regular classes on the Ann Arbor campus), most costs at UHS are covered by your health service fee, paid as part of tuition. Insurance helps to pay for other costs. See How UHS works with Health Insurance.
  • Visit HealthCare.gov, answer a few quick questions and you'll get:
    • A list of coverage options 
    • Answers that will help you make good decisions
    • A personalized checklist to help you get ready to apply
    • Access to a call center and chat for help

Some states have opted for the federal government to run their Marketplace, while other states are running their own. HealthCare.gov will link you to your state's Health Insurance Marketplace.

Consider the U-M Domestic Student Health Insurance Plan (DSHIP)

Students who not eligible for subsidies on the Marketplace or expanded Medicaid may want to consider this low-cost, comprehensive plan. Only U-M offers this plan, and it was developed to meet student needs. It is an annual plan and is not refundable once purchased. Its benefits are comparable to a “gold” plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace. This plan is available for purchase only during the U-M DSHIP open enrollment periods, with exceptions for qualifying life events.  Please note student health insurance plans are not listed on the Marketplace. 

For more information: