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Waiver Requirements

Waiver Eligibility Requirements

All registered, degree-seeking students are required to maintain health insurance coverage while enrolled at Rice University. Waivers can only be submitted during Open Enrollment and are only valid for the academic year in which it was approved.

You may waive coverage under the Rice Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan if you have health insurance that meets the ENTIRE Rice plan requirements listed in this section.

Waiver Eligibility Requirements for Exempt Students: You are considered Exempt if you are currently a Domestic student OR an International student without an F1 or J1 Visa.

  • My plan’s deductible is no more than *$5,000
  • My plan provides unlimited annual and lifetime benefits (i.e., no policy maximum)
  • My plan provides prescription coverage
  • My plan provides coverage for both emergency and non-emergency inpatient and outpatient medical and mental health care in Houston, Texas.
  • My insurance coverage is not through a medical cost sharing or co-op type program.
  • My plan has a U.S. based claim administrator, a U.S. telephone number and address for submission of claims, and the policy is issued in the U.S.
  • My plan is currently active and I agree to maintain health insurance throughout the policy year. If I lose coverage, I will notify Rice immediately.
*If your plan's deductible is more than $5000, you must have a Health Savings Account; contact studentinsurance@rice.edu 

Click HERE to see if you are considered EXEMPT or NON-EXEMPT and next steps.

The student insurance fee will be placed on your Rice student account until you satisfy the enrollment or waiver requirements during Open Enrollment. The fee on your account does not confirm enrollment until you take action on the Aetna portal to enroll. Once you satisfy these requirements, please allow 5-10 business days, processing time, for your Rice student account to be updated.

IMPORTANT: If you do not take action to enroll or waive the student insurance plan prior to the deadline, you will be automatically enrolled into the insurance plan and responsible for the full premium amount. Once you are enrolled, the coverage cannot be cancelled for any reason. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. Deadline dates for applications to enroll in or waive coverage are August 27, 2021 for annual/fall enrollment and January 14, 2022 for spring enrollment.

Student Insurance Requirement for Non-Exempt Students: You are Non-Exempt if you are currently an International Student that has a Rice-Sponsored F1 or J1 Visa

  • All Rice-sponsored F-1 or J-1 International Students are required to enroll in either the Rice Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan or the Rice Approved Alternative Health Insurance Plan for International Students by Student Assurance Services (SAS). At the close of open enrollment, Rice will audit enrollment data and any student not enrolled in one of the two available options will be automatically enrolled in the Rice Aetna Student Health Plan and responsible for full payment of the insurance charge applied to the student tuition bill. Students who enroll in the Rice SAS plan will no longer be required to submit a waiver of the Rice Aetna Student Health plan.

To learn more about Rice's International Student Health Insurance Policy, please click here.

What To Have With You Before You Start the Waiver Process:

If you currently have comparable health insurance, be sure you have the required level of coverage (deductibles, benefits provided, benefit limitations, and the coverage dates).

Before beginning this enrollment/waiver process, have the following materials with you:

  • Your current health insurance plan ID card (mandatory). You will be required to upload a copy of your ID card to submit your waiver.
  • Your health insurance brochure or plan description

Waiver submissions will be reviewed by Rice University, its insurance carrier, and/or their contractors or representatives. You may be required to provide proof that you meet the school's requirements for waiving the student health insurance plan. By submitting this waiver request, you agree that your current insurance plan may be contacted for confirmation that you have coverage for the applicable academic year and that it meets Rice’s waiver requirements.

· The university reserves the right to make the final determination regarding eligibility for initial and continued enrollment in this insurance plan.

· The waiver process is annual, but should you lose coverage mid-year, you have 30 days from the date of loss to apply for coverage through Rice.

· Students who do not actively make a selection or do not receive an approved waiver (including failure of insurance plan audit) will be automatically enrolled in the school’s insurance plan.

· Rice University reserves the right to review all waivers in order to ensure compliance with Rice’s waiver policy requirements. Please be sure to have a copy of your insurance card to upload when submitting your waiver.

Waivers can only be submitted during Open Enrollment. To being the waiver process, click here.

Please note that all waiver requests will be reviewed. If the waiver submitted does not meet Rice's waiver criteria, you will be automatically enrolled in the Rice Aetna Student Health Plan.

The audit process can take up to two weeks. You will receive an email indicating the status of your waiver.

If you have any questions about this process or about the Rice student insurance option, please contact:

Rice Student Health Insurance
Phone: 713‐348‐5544
E‐mail: studentinsurance@rice.edu

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