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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Illustration: Doctors standing in front of a stack of medical IDs. Credit: grivina / Deposit Photos

Choosing Your Insurance

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Health insurance plans vary in the coverage they offer. Cardinal Care has broad, comprehensive coverage that has worked well for our students in many diverse scenarios over time. 

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Other ways in which the university's requirement for adequate health insurance can be met

  • Coverage through a parent's employer plan.
  • Coverage through a spouse's plan.
  • Coverage with a plan purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace ( in California).

The worksheet below can be used to help you compare Cardinal Care benefits with those offered by the alternative plan you are considering so that the best decision can be made to protect your health while at Stanford. The questions assume that the plan you are comparing to meets minimum essential coverage, as defined under the Affordable Care Act.

International plans may not adhere to the minimum essential coverage mandates that U.S. plans are subject to, so international students must have health insurance that meets minimum standards outlined by the university in order to waive coverage through Cardinal Care. Many managed health care plans typically provide only for emergency care outside their local service area. Check your policy carefully before deciding to waive Cardinal Care.

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Health Insurance Comparison Worksheet 2023-2024

Campus scenes / Jasmine Rodriguez, Grayson Armou, Sidd Wali and John Kohler. Credit: Andrew Brodhead /

Cardinal Care Enrollment Policy 2023-2024 and Waiver Request Process

All students are automatically enrolled in Cardinal Care health insurance coverage. By the applicable deadline: all students must take action to acknowledge the Cardinal Care enrollment policy. Students who wish to waive Cardinal Care coverage must submit their request to waive.

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Students who have questions should submit a Help Ticket to the Health Insurance and Referral Office via ServiceNow. 

Spring Fest, 2023. Credit: Nikolas Liepins / Ethography