Student Health Services Provides Insurance For Mason Students

Vijay Iyer/Fourth Estate

SHS partners with UnitedHealthcare StudentResources


Student Health Services (SHS) offers insurance to students at Mason. Any student taking three or more credit hours is able to purchase the insurance plan, provided by UnitedHealthcare StudentResources, the college sector of UnitedHealthcare.

Della Jarrett, an insurance program administrator at Mason, explained that all international students are required to have health insurance in order to attend the university. Typically, such students go through SHS in order to secure a provider.

Those who have difficulty securing a plan have issues with the plan’s monetary elements. They are not denied coverage for any medical reason.

“It’s an Affordable Care Act-compliant plan, so they can’t be turned down for any preexisting conditions,” Jarrett said. “They just have to be able to pay for the plan.”

She continued, “It’s an 80/20 plan, where the insurance pays 80 percent and you pay 20 percent for coverage services after you’ve met the deductible, which is $200.”

According to Jarrett, this 80/20 plan is used for those who go with a preferred provider option (PPO). If students seek out a physician without the UnitedHealthcare contract that allows them to be a PPO, the student receives 60/40 coverage, meaning the insurance pays 60 percent and the individual pays 40 percent for services.

In addition to receiving medical attention via an in-person PPO, UnitedHealthcare StudentResources provides a 24/7 toll-free number that connects students to physicians, counselors and nurses for help with either physical or mental health. Through the UnitedHealth Allies discount program, additional services―such as gym memberships and skin care products―can be discounted for students.

Jarrett explained how great of a deal the plan is for the money. She recounted the story of one student here at Mason who is taking the three credits required to be on the plan provided by SHS. It ended up being a cheaper option with better coverage than the insurance the student received through the Affordable Care Act, which was $1,500 a month for services. For domestic students, insurance through SHS is $2,466 for a year of coverage, according to its website.

Jarrett went on to explain the importance of healthcare and why students should use the SHS plan.

“It’s used very frequently by the students who purchase it,” she said. “Students who have health conditions or who have families with health conditions generally really understand the need for health insurance, but since most people that are in their 20s don’t have huge health issues, students don’t understand how expensive healthcare can be and how important it is to have coverage even if you don’t use it.”

Students are not required to purchase the healthcare plan in order to receive help from SHS for any illnesses or injuries.