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Office of Campus Life

July 12, 2019

Dear AU Students,

We are writing today to share important information with you about student health insurance. All full-time AU students are automatically enrolled in the AU Student Health Insurance Plan. However, it is possible to opt out if you have comparable coverage, and this email explains how to do that.

Please know that

  • AU requires all full-time students, all students who live in AU housing, and all full-time, degree-seeking international students to be covered by health insurance.
  • Students in these categories are enrolled automatically in the AU Student Health Insurance Plan, provided by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield. The annual premium of $1,890 is charged automatically to your student account.
  • If you have another health insurance plan that provides comparable coverage that meets our criteria, you can waive (decline) the AU Student Health Insurance Plan by submitting a waiver request before September 20, 2019.

The following FAQs explain key aspects of AU’s health plan, including the waiver process:

Q: Do I need to do anything to use AU’s Student Health Insurance Plan?

Because enrollment in this coverage is automatic, you won’t need to take any additional steps to be covered. More information (such as how to download your ID card) will be available at CareFirst’s site for the AU Student Health Insurance Plan when it goes into effect on August 1.

Q: I have other health insurance coverage. How do I opt out of AU’s plan?

If you want to opt out, you must submit a waiver request before September 20, 2019. (No waivers are possible after that date.) The earlier you request a waiver, the sooner the charge can be removed from your bill, so please try to do this before August if possible! The process is now open.

Here are the steps:

  1. Visit the CareFirst registration page for AU
  2. Follow the directions to create an account. (Although the page is called Registration, please be assured that this does NOT enroll you or make you a CareFirst member; it creates an account that enables you to waive.) Create an Alternate ID/Student ID by entering the letter A, the number 0, and your 7-digit AU student ID number in the box (A0*******); your date of birth; and continuing the steps.
  3. You then must submit proof of coverage by another health insurance provider. You do this by uploading either a copy of your insurance card or a document from your insurance carrier showing you have coverage.
  4. You will receive a message from CareFirst that you’ve submitted the waiver. This does not mean that it was approved; that decision will be made within 5 business days.

You can find detailed instructions on how to waive your AU health plan coverage.

Q: How do I know if I received a waiver?

Not everyone who applies for a waiver receives it. For instance, if your health insurance covers you at home but not in Washington DC, it would not meet our criteria and the waiver cannot be granted. You can check if your request has been approved or denied by going to the CareFirst AU Student Health Insurance Plan site and logging into the account you set up.

Q: What happens if a waiver is granted?

The fee will be removed from your student account within a week of your waiver being approved.

Q: What happens if a waiver is denied?

If your request for a waiver is denied, you may upload additional documentation verifying your current coverage. However, if your coverage does not meet the criteria for comprehensive coverage in Washington DC, you cannot opt out and will be covered by AU’s Student Health Insurance Plan.

Q: I went to the site and tried to enter my AU ID and date or birth, but couldn’t log in. Why?

If this happens, there are two possible reasons.

One is that you haven’t been billed. (You need to be charged before the charge can be waived. There is no way to waive a charge that hasn’t been made.) Find out if you’ve been charged by going to your student portal and looking under Finances (Eagle Service).

It could also be possible that the charge was just added to your account within the last few days and the systems haven’t synced with each other yet. Please be assured that if this happens, it will resolve automatically within a few days and you will see the charge, at which point you can submit a waiver request.

Q: I want to enroll in AU’s Student Health Insurance Plan, but I’m in a category, such as part-time student, that isn’t automatically enrolled or billed. Can I still enroll?

If you are taking at least 6 credit hours, you are eligible for AU’s Student Health Insurance Plan. To request enrollment, please send an email to shc@american.edu with your name and AU ID number. We’ll verify the number of credits you’re enrolled in and then guide you through the process.

Q: I’m an international student. Can I waive?

Most international students cannot waive. For details, please see this Important Information on Health Insurance for International Students.

Q: I’d like to read more about the health plan.

You can learn more online about the AU Student Health Insurance Plan provided by CareFirst.

Q: I have other questions.

Please contact CareFirst at 1-844-898-3332 or the Student Health Center at shc@american.edu

We hope this information has been helpful! We know this process can feel complicated, but it’s very important for the health and security of our students that you have access to comprehensive health coverage.

Please submit the waiver request as soon as possible if you have other insurance and are eligible to opt out. If you will utilize AU’s Student Health Insurance Plan, you will be covered automatically beginning on August 1, 2019.

Sincerely,
Fanta Aw
Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence
American University
campuslife@american.edu