Frequently Asked Questions

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Mercer University Student Health Insurance Program (MUSHiP)

Question & Answer (Q&A) Student Health Insurance Program

 

 

Q1.    What does the term “waive” the university provided insurance or “insurance waiver” mean?

 

          Answer: Waiving is the student’s process of providing documentation of current comparable health insurance coverage so that they may decline enrollment in Mercer Student Health Insurance Program (MUSHiP) and remove the health insurance fee from their student account.

 

Q2.    What information do I need to complete the waiver process?

 

Answer: You will need the following information BEFORE you begin the waiver process. This information is typically available on your health insurance ID card.

         Insurance Company Name (ex: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, United Healthcare.)

         Insurance Company Address

         Member Services phone number

    Name of policy holder (usually a parent), subscriber

         Group number/Plan Number

         Subscriber/Member ID number

 

Q3.    What is the cost of the student health insurance?

 

Answer: The cost of the student health insurance is age-banded per semester/session and is charged to your My Mercer account. Age-banded rates are available on the Mercer student website at http://studentplan.corehealthbenefits.com/mercer/. Choose Plan Information and select "Student Schedule of Benefits Summary" for semester/session rates and or the cost to add a dependent.

 

Q4.    Must I have health insurance?

 

Answer: Yes – All Mercer students are required to have primary health insurance.  Like other universities, Mercer operates under an insurance hard-waiver format.   

 

Q5.    Why do I have a charge for the student health insurance? 

 

Answer:  All students will automatically be charged each semester or session for the student health insurance after registering for (3) three or more credit hours. (Also See Q7) to waive the student insurance charge. (ELI) students see (Also see Q6).

 

The student health insurance charge will be applied to:

         Undergraduate Students;

         Graduate or Professional Students;

         English Language Institute (ELI) Students; and

         Regional Academic Center (RAC) - Non-Citizen Students.

 

 

The Student Insurance Charge will NOT be applied to:

         Regional Academic Center (RAC) students – Domestic; or

         English Language Institute (ELI) Students from Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission(SACM)

           

Q6.    Can English Language Institutes (ELI) students waive the student health insurance?

 

Answer:  No.  The only exceptions will be the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) may submit a waiver.

 

Q7.    How do I waive the student health Insurance?

 

Answer: CORE hosts the website for submitting waivers. The waiver process must be completed through the student insurance website each semester/session. To waive the Mercer sponsored health insurance, carefully follow the instructions listed below: WAIVERS must be completed each semester.

         Access the website at: https://studentplan.corehealthbenefits.com/mercer/.

         Before you begin the waiver process, make sure you have your current health insurance identification card available. Your insurance must be active on the date you waive.

         All students must register and create a user name and password. You must use a VALID e-mail address for your account. Once registered, then log into your account to begin the waiver process. Your email address will become your User Name.

         The online insurance waiver can be completed by clicking, "Begin Waiver Process" and following the step-by-step instructions.

                                                a.      Check the box stating, “I understand that I will be required to waive out of this plan each semester, Fall and Spring/Summer semester.”

                                               b.      Next log in with your email address and password.

                                                c.      After you have completed the form, your information will be electronically verified with your insurance carrier in real time.  

                                               d.      Your waiver will be immediately approved or denied through electronic validation.

                                                e.      If approved, print a copy of your approval for your records. No emails are sent when a waiver has been received, accepted, processed, and approved.

 

Q8.    I have health insurance and I've already completed the waiver. What's my next step?

 

Answer:  Login to your My Mercer portal and select the “Manage my account” link on the home page.  You may then select “Transaction Details” to view an updated summary of your financial information.  If your insurance waiver has been applied, you will see the premium listed a second time as a negative amount.  Please allow (5) five business days for your waiver to be reflected in your My Mercer Account. 

 

Q9.    I already have health insurance or I do not want additional insurance, what do I do?

 

Answer: Complete the steps (see Q7) to submit an insurance waiver through on our website at: https://studentplan.corehealthbenefits.com/mercer/

  

Q10.  What if I miss the waiver deadline?

 

Answer: Students who fail to complete the waiver prior to the deadline will be held responsible for the insurance premium. Students may be offered a one-time appeal if filed within (five business days after the close of the waiver deadline). Any appeals received after the appeals period ends will not be accepted. All waiver appeals must be in writing and submitted via

e-mail to: studentplan.corehealthbenefits.com no later than 5:00PM of the final waiver appeals deadline date.  


Q11.  If I attend both Spring Semester and Summer Session will my Spring waiver also satisfy my   Summer waiver requirement?

 

Answer: Yes.

 

 

Q12.    I originally waived but now I want to enroll in the student insurance. Can I cancel my original waiver?

Answer:  Yes, during the waiver period the student must call Core to have their waiver canceled. Once the waiver is canceled the student account will automatically update and enroll the student in the student health insurance plan. Check after five (5) business days to ensure the insurance premium charge has been added to your account. The premium is due at the time it is posted to your account.  Please remit payment to Mercer University. 

However, if a student waived and needs health insurance after the waiver/enrollment period, the student must have a qualifying event to purchase the student health insurance. (See Q13.)

 

Q13.   Will students need to provide proof of a qualifying event to enroll after the wavier period?

 

Answer: YES, if a qualifying event occurs the student must submit application and premium directly to Core at P.O. Box 90, Macon GA. 31201; (Also see Q14). Self-terminating your coverage is not a qualifying event. Qualifying events are marriage, divorce, loss of job, etc.

 

Q14.   I waived the Student Health Insurance Program, but have recently lost my insurance coverage after the waiver/enrollment period. Can I still enroll in the student insurance plan?

 

Answer: Yes, a student may still enroll in the Student Health Insurance Program (MUSHIP), but the premium charge will not be prorated for late enrollment. If coverage is lost during the enrollment periods, see (Q12). You can request the Enrollment Application by emailing us at studentplan@corehealthbenefits.com or calling our toll-free number 888-741-2673.  You must submit the entire premium with your application and qualifying event information (See Q13).  We will confirm receipt of your application and premium by mailing you a welcome package and identification card.

  

Q15.   Will Regional Academic Center students be eligible to purchase the insurance on a voluntarily    basis?

 

Answer: NO.  EXCEPTIONS:  Regional Academic Center (RAC) Non-Citizen Students are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance; however, they have the option to submit a waiver.

 

Q16.   What does the plan cover?

 

Answer:  Please see the Schedule of Benefits Summary for details.

 

Q17.    Are pre-existing conditions such as pregnancy covered?

 

Answer: YES.

 

Q18.    I do not have health insurance, what should I do?


Answer: ENROLL. Each semester, you must go to the student plan website and enroll/re-enroll in the student health insurance in order to be active on the first start day of the new policy. If you do not waive OR enroll, you will be automatically enrolled, HOWEVER, your insurance will not show as active until the end of the enrollment/waiver period. It then takes up to three weeks for your automatic enrollment to be processed. Also, by not completing the waiver, the health insurance will remain on your account after registering for (3) three or more credit hours. Please see the Schedule of Benefits Summary for details.

 

Q19.   When will I receive my health insurance card?

 

Answer: 10-15 business days after close of the waiver period.  You may also enroll and print your identification card online at https://studentplan.corehealthbenefits.com/mercer/ during each waiver period. (Also, see Q20)

 

Q20.   How can I get my health insurance card sooner?

 

Answer: The coverage period for fall semester is August 1 to December 31. The coverage period for spring semester is January 1 to July 31. Coverage period for spring semester is January 1 to July 31 (if purchased in January). Coverage period for summer semester is May 1 to July 31 (if purchased in May).  If you need to use your health plan prior to the start of classes, you will need to take the following steps to activate your account and print your identification card:

         Access the https://studentplan.corehealthbenefits.com/mercer/ during each waiver period

         First time users must register or click Enroll to begin enrollment process.

         Read and click to acknowledge that you will be charged by Mercer University. Next, click on Paid University at the bottom of the page.     

         Complete the enrollment form by entering your demographic information and then print your insurance card.

 

Q21.    Will I need a referral from the Student Health Center (SHC) to receive benefits?

 

Answer: Yes, a referral from the Student Health Center is required before benefits are payable. This provision does not apply if:

         Emergency: Call 911 or go to the nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Room. The student must return to the Student Health Center for any necessary follow-up care.

         Student lives more than 40 miles from the Macon or Atlanta Campus

         Student is traveling more than 40 miles from Macon or Atlanta Campus (vacation, school assignment, semester break)

         for maternity (obstetrics) care

         for mental health care

 

Benefits for Eligible Expenses incurred for medical care or treatment rendered for which no referral is obtained will be excluded from coverage. Benefits for Emergency Medical Condition will be payable at the PPO level, whether treatment is received from a PPO provider or Non-PPO provider.

 

Q22.    After enrolling in the Student Health Insurance Program, will I have an option to continue seeing my personal physician?

 

Answer: A referral from the Student Health Center (SHC) is required before benefits are payable. Once an evaluation is completed SHC will refer you to an In-Network provider/specialty, with an appointment time that is agreeable to both you and the provider.

 

Q23.    Can I add my dependents to my insurance/coverage?

 

Answer: Yes. The Student Health Insurance Program (MUSHiP) allows you to add your dependents to your coverage. Please email us for the enrollment form at studentplan@corehealthbenefits.com.  Students must complete the Dependent Enrollment Form, and mail it, along with the dependent premium only, to the address provided on the form. Unlike your student premium, premiums for dependents cannot be billed to your student account and must be paid in their entirety at the time of dependent enrollment. You must repeat this process every semester, as dependent coverage will not carry over from semester to semester. Enrollment is only allowed during Open Enrollment Periods.  Open Enrollment for students, other than students enrolled in Session classes, ends approximately 31 days after the start of the Fall and Spring/Summer Coverage Terms.  Open Enrollment for students enrolled in Session classes will be determined by the University at the beginning of each semester.  Open Enrollment for spouses and dependent children will end at the same time as the covered student.

Eligible dependents are:

1.     The Covered Student's spouse residing with the Covered Student;

2.     The Covered Student's or spouse’s child until the date such child attains age 26. A dependent may become eligible for coverage under the Plan only when the student becomes eligible; or within 31 days of marriage, birth, or adoption.

3.     Enrollments for dependents cannot be accepted unless it is accompanied with full premium during the enrollment period.

4.     Qualifying Events: Students and Deps can enroll if either have a qualifying event.  The completed enrollment form, full premium and official documentation of qualifying event must be received within 31 days of qualifying event (marriage, divorce, child birth, loss of coverage, etc.).

 

 

Q24.   Why does CORE manage the waiver process?

 

Answer: As a health plan administrator, CORE has access to national health insurance carriers to validate the insurance policy information entered as current and adequate.

 

Q25.   Does Mercer receive any funds from the student health plan?

 

Answer: Mercer does not receive any portion of the student’s premium payment.

 

Q26.   What does CORE do with the information on their -website?

 

Answer: The information is used to verify that the student’s primary health insurance coverage meets Mercer's minimum requirements and is currently active. No information is shared with third-party vendors.

 

Q27.   Is COBRA available through the Mercer University Student Health Insurance Program(MUSHIP)?

Answer: No. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) is a federal mandate requiring employers to offer extension of health care benefits to their employees after termination of employment. Mercer University Student Health Insurance Program (MUSHIP) is not an employer plan and therefore, COBRA is not available.

 

Q28.  What are the phone numbers and where are the Student Health Centers located?

 

Answer:  Macon SHC is 478-301-2696 and located on the first floor of the Mercer School of Medicine.  Atlanta SHC is 678-547-6130 and located at 206 Sheffield Student Center.


 

Q29.  What are Mercer’s minimum insurance requirements for individual health insurance plans?

 

Answer:  Your individual or family plan should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • All Plans must satisfy Minimal Essential Coverage as defined under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Obamacare.
  • Annual Plan Deductible of no more than $5,000;
  • Unlimited annual and lifetime medical benefits;
  • Coverage for mental health & substance abuse;
  • Coverage for prescription drug benefits;
  • Unlimited number of office visits per policy;
  • Coverage for preventive care;
  • Adequate selection of medical providers to include a participating hospital within 15 miles of Mercer University Campus.  For example, for non-resident students, we are unable to accept a plan that only covers you in another state.
  • Non-Domestic Policies (purchased outside the USA), Travel Policies, and Accident Policies are not acceptable forms of medical insurance.

NOTE:  International students on a J-1 or J-2 visa must be insured with a plan that includes:  $50,000 for medical evacuation, $25,000 for repatriation benefit and a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness (per US Department of State Exchange Visitor Program).