CSU Policy: Mandatory Student Health Insurance

Policy Title: Mandatory Student Health Insurance Category: Student Affairs
Owner: Vice President for Student Affairs Policy ID#: 8-1005-001
Graduate School
Web: http://graduateschool.colostate.edu/
Email: gradschool@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6817

Also Contact:
CSU Health Network
Web: http://health.colostate.edu/
Phone: (970) 491-7121
Original Effective Date: 8/30/2011
Last Revision: 10/18/2019
Print Version: Click Here to Print


Colorado State University has a strong commitment toward student success, growth, and development. To further this goal, the University embraces the rationale that catastrophic financial risks--those that may impact a student’s ability to complete their studies while attending the University--should be minimized. To this end, the University embraces a policy of mandatory demonstrated student health insurance.. Students will be enrolled in the University’s health insurance program, which will provide a plan designed to meet most students’ needs, or they may elect comparable coverage under their own insurance or through another employer.


This policy applies to all CSU resident instruction graduate and undergraduate students enrolled for six or more credits.


Domestic students are exempt from this policy during any semester in which they are enrolled for fewer than six resident instruction credits. All international students are subject to this policy, regardless of credit load.

Students may request an exemption, or waiver, to opt out of the CSU health insurance plan by demonstrating that they have health insurance coverage at a comparable level.


Comparable Health Insurance Coverage: a health insurance plan obtained by a student, other than the CSU Student Health Insurance Plan, that meets both the minimum coverage levels provided by the CSU Student Health Insurance Plan and the mandatory requirements specified by Colorado law for certain coverage for group insurance plans.

Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): A university –sponsored health plan designed specifically for CSU students to include fully comprehensive coverage that complies with state and federal laws and provides access to a full range of medical care on and off campus.


Colorado State University requires all students, except for those who are exempt as stated above, to carry health insurance as a way of protecting the student’s educational investment.  Students must meet this requirement their first semester at CSU and every fall semester thereafter. Students must elect the SHIP coverage or show proof of comparable coverage.

In addition, it is the policy of the University that all international students, regardless of enrollment status, must demonstrate comprehensive health insurance coverage through either the SHIP or a comparable plan.


  1. The University will provide the SHIP coverage to all domestic and international undergraduate and graduate Students.
    1. Domestic students must elect the SHIP coverage through the insurance waiver/enrollment portal available on the Health Network website or show proof of comparable coverage. Failure to provide proof of comparable coverage within the enrollment and waiver period will result in a default enrollment in the SHIP.
    2. International students will be automatically enrolled in the SHIP unless a waiver has been granted on the basis of comparable coverage.
  1. Waivers and Appeals

A student may request a waiver by completing the online waiver process by the specified deadline for the academic year. Current deadlines and contact information for the waiver and enrollment process can be found on the Health Network website, linked below.

  1. The waiver request must demonstrate that the student has obtained Comparable Health Insurance Coverage as described in this policy. Minimum coverage requirements are subject to change at any time.
  2. The waiver request will be reviewed, and the waiver will be granted or denied, by a third party insurance waiver company within 10 business days of receipt of all necessary insurance information..
  3. If the waiver request is denied and the student believes that the decision is wrong, the student may appeal the decision to the Insurance Appeal Committee, whose decision shall be final and unappealable. The Student Insurance Appeal Form is also available on the Health Network web page as linked below.
  4. Further procedures and forms pertaining to this policy provided by the CSU Health Network and can be found at the Health Network website.


  • C.R.S. § 23-5-106(3)
  • Board of Governors’ Resolution dated February 6, 2008, Approval of a Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage Policy for Graduate Students at Colorado State University Fort Collins for FY09
  • Health Insurance Questions: If you have questions regarding the CSU health insurance including waiver requests, appeals, and the related forms, please contact the Student Insurance Office at the CSU Health Network at 970-491-2457.
  • Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page of the CSU Health Network website.
  • You may also check to see if your current insurance coverage is at the comparable level to the CSU health insurance on the Health Insurance Requirement page of the CSU Health Network website.
  • If you have an assistantship, visit the Assistantship Health Contribution



Effective August 30, 2011

Revision approved October 18, 2019 by Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations


Print Version: Click Here to Print

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