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Health Insurance

Here you’ll find information about the Student Health Insurance available to graduate students as well as Student Health Insurance Awards (scroll down), which subsidize 75 percent of the cost for SHI.

Please email with questions not addressed in the overviews and FAQs on this page.

Student Health Insurance (SHI)

TCU graduate students are not required by the university to have health insurance, but all graduate students (full and part-time) who register for and attend at least one for-credit, non-online course have the option of electing a Student Health Insurance (SHI) plan. Specifically designed for TCU students, the 2020/2021 SHI plan, which is a major medical comprehensive policy, is fully compliant with the Affordable Care Act. Benefits can be used on and/or off campus and throughout the United States. Worldwide benefits are available for students studying abroad or traveling outside the U.S.

SHI is an opt-in plan for graduate students who are U.S. citizens, meaning if you do nothing, you won’t be enrolled. Non-immigrant, international students, on the other hand, regardless of classification are required to carry the TCU Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan as a minimum standard of coverage. Enrollment is automatic for all students on F-Visas. Students in this category are unable to waive the Student Health Insurance. Exceptions are made only in the case of family members living and working in the United States. Students seeking an exemption, and those on H or L Visas, must check their status with the Office of International Student Services.

SHI is a per-semester plan. If you graduate in December or do not return for the spring semester, your coverage will end at the end of the fall-coverage period and you will not be billed for the spring. Students who graduate in May have coverage under their Student Health Insurance Plan until the end of the spring-coverage period. However, once they are no longer enrolled as students, they do not have the option of being seen at the TCU Health Center.

Total cost: $2,164 per year, divided into two bills of $1,082 (fall and spring)

Fall coverage: August 15, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Spring coverage: January 11, 2021 – August 14, 2021

You may elect coverage 24 hours after registering for classes by logging onto, selecting “Student Services,” selecting the “Health Insurance Waive/Elect” icon, and following the instructions.

For more info on SHI, see the full student health insurance benefits brochure (below), check out the Brown-Lupton Health Center website or email

SHI Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, taking one credit hour of a dissertation/thesis course means you are eligible for SHI.

If you are receiving financial aid, you will be able to wait and pay any balance on the bill after the aid is applied. For example, if you are receiving a Health Insurance Award (HIA), you do not need to pay your health insurance bill until the HIA credits your account—you will not receive a late fee as the HIA will appear as pending aid.

Send an email to Marilyn Hallam ( in the TCU Health Center with the following:

  • Brief explanation of the situation
  • Your TCU ID number
  • Spouse’s name
  • Name of the company your spouse works for
  • Health insurance Group number
  • Health insurance member number

After verifying, Marilyn will waive the SHI for you.

No, the SHI is a per-semester plan. If you elect to have SHI for the fall, your enrollment will roll over for the spring term. You don’t have to go through the election process again for the current academic year. Enrollment does not automatically roll over from year to year, though.

The elect/waive period for the Student Health Insurance ends August 27, 2018, and the website closes. Then, on either September 1 or 2, TCU’s enrollment file will be sent to Aetna Student Health for them to load into their system.  Once the file has been loaded into their system, you will be able to obtain a WEB ID Card by going to the Health Center’s website. The WEB ID Card, claim forms, and other information are found under “Insurance.”

If you have coverage for the fall, you don’t need to elect the student health insurance until spring. When students begin to register for spring classes in November the Elect/Waive link on re-opens and students can select their option. The spring charge will appear on either the December or January EZ-bill. However, we cannot guarantee the HIA will be available for spring-only electees.

Any student who has obtained private insurance can enter that information online to cancel their previously elected SHI coverage 24 hours after they have registered for classes. If insurance is waived/cancelled by the deadline to elect for that semester, the student’s SHI will terminate.

You can also check out to obtain health insurance; however, only the SHI Plan is eligible for an HIA.

In most cases, graduate students are not eligible because they are not considered full-time employees. You can check with your supervisor or contact HR to see if you are considered a full time employee and request information for the employee insurance.

No, this insurance is for students only.

Graduate Health Insurance Award (HIA)

Many graduate students may be eligible for a Health Insurance Award (HIA), covering 75 percent of the cost of the SHI Plan.

You are eligible for an HIA if you will receive one of the following awards for the 2020/2021 academic year:

  • a Fellowship (no duties) award of full tuition and at least a $9,000 stipend
  • an assistantship or instructorship with full tuition, at least a $9,000 stipend ($4,500 stipend for fall if graduating in December), and at least 10 hours of duties/week.

Total Award: $811.50 per semester
Remaining Balance: $270.50 per semester

Deadline to request Fall HIA: August 28, 2020
Deadline to request Spring HIA: January 29, 2021

If you are eligible, you will be notified via an email from at least two (2) weeks before the start of the fall semester. After you have 1) elected the SHI and 2) requested an HIA (i.e., confirmed they would like to receive the award), your account will be credited the award amount during the second week of the semester.

If your eligibility changes–if your fellowship or assistantship changes, you only register for online courses, you drop all on-campus courses, or you withdraw from your program prior to 31 days into the semester–your SHI may be revoked and the premium returned to you, less any claims paid, and you may be required to repay your HIA.

Students with assistantships that begin in the spring semester and who meet the eligibility above may be able to elect the insurance and receive HIA for spring and summer, subject to the availability of funding.

HIA Frequently Asked Questions

Contact with your full name, student id number, department, supervisor, level (MA, PhD, etc.), type of assistantship, weekly hours, and reasons you feel you meet the above eligibility criteria. You may also need to ask your graduate program coordinator to complete a Graduate Financial Aid Request Form (GFARF).

Funding for spring-only electees will be disbursed based on availability of funds. If you choose to wait until spring to elect insurance and apply for the HIA, the funds are not guaranteed. The HIA will be awarded around the second week of the spring semester.

Yes. You should first see the charge for insurance on your student account, and then the HIA award around the first or second week of classes. You will not receive an e-mail other than the SHI election confirmation.

No, do not pay your SHI bill until the HIA credits your account—you will not receive a late fee as the HIA will appear as pending aid.

After you enroll in SHI (or are auto-enrolled for international students) and request your HIA, you can expect to see your HIA award appear as pending aid by the second week of classes. It can take several days after you complete your insurance enrollment and HIA request to process your award.

TCU COVID-19 Updates and FAQs The Office of Graduate Studies is taking every effort to ensure administrative functions and operations continue during this fluid situation. While our office is open our committed staff are also available to meet with students remotely during normal business hours, 8am to 5pm CST. Please continue to monitor the TCU COVID-19 Updates and FAQs page ( and our TCU Campus Connected website ( for latest updates.

Stories highlighting some of the remarkable work that our graduate/professional students are doing COVID-19 Graduate Students Stepping Up!

Campus statement on planning for students to return to campus for in-person classes this fall