Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Why does Rice University require me to have health insurance?

While the Student Health Center on campus can provide primary care for students, sometimes students require additional care for hospitalizations and specialty care. It is important that students are able to receive appropriate health care when necessary, which may be considered non-emergency care.

Am I eligible for Student Health Insurance?

All registered, degree seeking students are eligible for student insurance and are required to enroll or submit a waiver during Open Enrollment. Students enrolled in a traditional online program or the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies (excluding the students enrolled in the MAT for new teachers’ program) are not eligible for Student Health Insurance or required to submit a waiver.

What is a qualifying life event?

Students who have a waiver on file or dependents that are not enrolled, can enroll in the student insurance plan due to:

  • Involuntary loss of current coverage
  • Turned 26 and aged off of parents plan
  • Spouse/Child moving to the US from another country
  • Marriage/Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child


What is the Open Enrollment Period?

Open Enrollment occurs each Fall and Spring. ALL students must take action during the Fall Open Enrollment Period to Enroll or Waive. If a student elects to enroll in Fall Only coverage, during the Fall Open Enrollment Period, they will then need to participate in the Spring Open Enrollment Period as well. If a student submitted an approved waiver in the fall, the student does not need to take action during the Spring Open Enrollment.

Why am I receiving an error message when I try to access the enrollment or waiver application?

You could be receiving and error message for a variety of reasons. If your registration for Rice is not complete, Aetna will not have your information to process your enrollment or waiver.
• Are you a returning student enrolled in courses for the upcoming semester? You MUST be enrolled in courses in order to be eligible to enroll or waive coverage.
• Are your tuition and fees assessed on your student bill? Your registration must be complete on Rice's records in order for Aetna to receive your information.
• Are you including the "S" when you enter your student ID number?
• Are you typing in your date of birth or using the calendar icon? Sometimes the calendar will default back to the current year, try typing in your DOB (mm/dd/yyyy).

If you still are unsure why you are not able to enroll or waive coverage, please email: for assistance

What happens if I do not elect to enroll or waive coverage by the set Open Enrollment deadline?

You will be automatically enrolled in annual coverage and charged the full premium amount. You will not be able to cancel this coverage for any reason. This process requires additional processing time. The process could take up 10 business days after the open enrollment deadline date to be considered active. If you do not enroll yourself in coverage, you will need to pay out of pocket until your enrollment has been processed. Once processed, you will be able to file a claim for reimbursement. The coverage will not be prorated and will be effective as of the policy start date. Please understand the risk of not electing to enroll yourself in coverage during the open enrollment period.

Do I have to waive coverage every semester?

Waivers are valid for one academic year. If you submit a waiver in Fall 2022, you will not need to submit another waiver until Fall 2023. If you submit a waiver in the Spring 2023, you will need to submit another waiver for Fall 2023. All waivers expire at the end of the policy period.

I waived coverage, why do I see the insurance fee for student health insurance on my student account?

All active and eligible students will have an insurance fee placed on their student account until a student's waiver is approved. If your waiver is approved, your account will be updated within a few business days. If you do not enroll or waive coverage by the deadline, you will automatically be enrolled in coverage and charged the annual rate. You will be unable to cancel coverage for any reason. For more information on your tuition bill, please contact the Cashier’s office.

If I waive health insurance in the fall, can I enroll in coverage for the spring?

A waiver is valid for the academic year it was submitted. However, if you waived coverage in the fall but need to enroll in coverage beginning January 1, please do so during spring open enrollment. Please note that if you lose coverage for any reason during the year, you must contact us to provide your new insurance information or to submit a qualifying life event to enroll in the student insurance plan.

Who qualifies as a dependent?
  • Spouse
  • Domestic Partner
  • Biological Child
  • Adopted Child
  • Foster Child
  • Step-Child
What qualifies as a domestic partnership?
  • Neither party is married or legally separated from anyone else.
  • You both must be 18 or older and mentally competent to consent to the contract.
  • You are not in the relationship solely for the purpose of obtaining coverage.
  • You are not related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit legal marriage in the state in which you reside.
  • You must have a committed relationship of mutual caring.
  • Your relationship must be mutually exclusive and will remain so indefinitely.
  • You must have lived together for a period of at least six consecutive months and intend to do so indefinitely.
  • You are responsible to each other for your household and its financial management and intend this to remain the case indefinitely.
  • You are financially responsible for each other to third parties.
  • Neither party has had a different domestic partner in the last six months. This does not apply if you had a partner who died.

If enrolling in coverage due to a qualifying life event, you will be required to complete a Domestic Partnership Affidavit and provide appropriate documentation. This is not necessary during open enrollment.

I enrolled in coverage. How long do I have to wait until I can see the doctor?

After you take action to enroll in coverage on the Aetna website, please allow 3-5 business days for processing. Once your application is processed, you will be able to print out your insurance card here.

If you need to seek medical attention immediately, please go to the doctor. You will be able to file a claim with Aetna after your application has been processed.

Does my insurance cover dental?

No. The Aetna student health insurance plan does not include Dental Insurance; however, all students that are enrolled in the Aetna health plan are automatically enrolled in the Vital Savings Discount Program for Dental care. Here is a link to more information on that program: You should receive a Vital Savings discount card in the mail after you enrolled in coverage with Aetna. On this website you will find a list of dentists that accept this program. When you make an appointment with the dental office, make sure to inform them that you will be using the Vital Savings program. If you are NOT enrolled in coverage through Aetna student health, you can still elect to enroll in the Vital Savings discount program for a monthly charge. Visit the website for more details and to enroll in this program.

What does my medical insurance plan cover or not cover?

Please visit the Aetna Benefits tab to view the full benefits booklet for a list of


If I have questions regarding the details of the Rice Alternate Plan by SAS/Wellfleet, who can I contact?

Please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars or Wellfleet.

Can you help me compare the Rice’s Alternate Plan (SAS/Wellfleet), and the Aetna student health plan?

To compare the two plans, please click here

How do I get the Insurance fee removed if I want to enroll in the Rice Alternate Plan(SAS/Wellfleet)?

Upon enrolling in the Rice Alternate Plan, SAS/Wellfleet will provide Rice a confirmed enrollment report; please note this may take a few days. Student Insurance will update your Rice student account once the report is received from SAS/Wellfleet; the student does NOT need to submit a waiver. If the insurance fee is not removed from your Rice student account after 5 business days, please contact

What do I do if I am an international student and do not yet have a local address?

Aetna can only send mail (ex. ID cards, explanation of benefits, claim reimbursements) to domestic addresses. Once you have a local address, please provide that information to as soon as possible.

Doctoral Student/ Graduating

Am I eligible for the insurance payment plan?

If you are a graduate student on a university stipend of $5,000 or more per year and select the annual student health insurance plan, you may be eligible for your insurance premium to be paid in monthly installments. Students who are eligible, can have their insurance fee split into 8 monthly payments (4 payments per semester) and have the installment $75 fee waived. The sum of these deductions will equal your total insurance premium less your medical insurance doctoral subsidy, if eligible. Please visit to view the criteria. The payment plan application is only available during the fall open enrollment period.

I am a Doctoral student. Do I qualify for a subsidy?

A medical insurance subsidy is available for eligible full time doctoral students in their first 8 years of doctoral study. Please visit for more information.

If I am a doctoral student and choose to waive, do I still qualify for the subsidy?

No. You must be enrolled in Aetna student health plan in order to qualify for the subsidy. If you are enrolled in Rice’s alternative plan (SAS/Wellfleet), you do not qualify to receive the subsidy.

I am graduating before my plan ends. Will I still be covered through the summer?

Students will maintain their coverage through the termination date of the policy in which they enrolled. Example: Student is graduating May 2022, but the plan ends on July 31, 2022. The student will still remain on the student insurance plan until July 31,2022.

I am finishing my thesis, but will not enroll in any courses. Can I enroll in insurance?

All students who in enroll in DSRT 999 are considered eligible for insurance and must enroll or waive the student insurance. If you are finishing your thesis submission, you can enroll in the course DSRT 999. This course code will allow you to remain an active student in the system, allowing you to be eligible for insurance. The cost of the course is $100. If you are finishing your thesis, and do NOT enroll in DSRT 999, you will NOT be eligible to enroll in insurance through Aetna Student Health if you also withdraw from Rice before the 31st day from the policy start date (fall - 8/31; spring - 1/31).

However, if you enrolled in Annual coverage and you are finishing your thesis submission in the Spring, you will not need to enroll in this course. Your annual plan will remain active for the full policy year. For questions about enrolling in the course code, please contact the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Can I continue my current coverage plan after I graduate or if I am taking a Leave of Absence?

Students will maintain coverage through the termination date of the policy in which they enrolled. Please note that the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan does NOT offer a Continuation Plan, similar to Cobra.

Filing A Claim

How do I file a claim for foreign medical services?

All customer Service inquiries, including Provider network questions, should be directed to Aetna Student Health by calling 1-877-375-7908 or emailing Customer Service.
If the Provider does not file the claim directly with Aetna Student Health, then you must file the claim by submitting an Aetna Claim Form and itemized bill immediately after treatment. Your name, social security number and Rice University should be written clearly on all medical bills. Always retain copies for your records. To receive reimbursement, you will need to submit a claim form and the prescription receipt to Aetna. Fax your completed Aetna Prescription Drug Claim Form and receipts to Fax (888) 472-1128 or mail it to:

Aetna Pharmacy Management
P.O. Box 52444
Phoenix, AZ 85072-2444

How do I file a claim for foreign medical services?

When you receive treatment outside the United States: Most providers outside the United States will not file a medical claim for you. If that's the case, you'll need to pay the provider in full for your treatment and then file a claim with Aetna Student Health.

What you will need to do:

STEP 1 - Get an itemized medical bill from the provider-in English, if at all possible-before you leave the country you received medical services.

STEP 2 -Send Aetna Student Health the itemized bill, along with the following information:

Mail the bill to:
Aetna Student Health Claims Administrators, Inc.
P. O. BOX 981106
El Paso TX 79998

The bill should include these details:

  • The full name and address of the provider
  • The date that services were provided
  • A detailed listing with separate charges for each service provided
  • A notation that you paid the bill in full (This is very important so that we'll know to send any payment to you, not to the provider.)
  • Student's name Patient's name (This is especially important if the patient is the student's spouse or dependent)
  • School name
  • Student's identification number or Social Security number
  • You may write this information right on the bill, if there's space, or attach a separate piece of paper, if necessary.