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Remember... it is okay to not be okay.

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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 (CoveredCA.com 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 2021-22

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Important Deadlines

Important deadlines that we recommend familiarizing yourself with so that you can be as informed as possible during your time with Stanford.

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All Students

Retaining Cardinal Care

If you decide you want to retain health insurance coverage through Cardinal Care, you must acknowledge your understanding that coverage will remain in effect through the academic year in Axess by the applicable deadline (see below). The decision made at the start of the first registered quarter of each academic year (Autumn Quarter for most students) is binding for the remainder of that academic year. This means that if you choose to be in Cardinal Care, you will not be able to leave the plan until the end of the plan year (August 31). The process for retaining Cardinal Care coverage is the same for domestic and international students.

 New undergraduate students – first-year and transfers – await the start of the 131st Opening Convocation Ceremony at Frost Amphitheater. Credit: Andrew Brodhead
Domestic Students

Waiving Cardinal Care

Once you’ve evaluated your options, you may decide that you do not wish to remain enrolled in Cardinal Care. The process for waiving Cardinal Care coverage differs for domestic vs international students. Please read the information below for domestic students carefully.

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International Students

Waiving Cardinal Care

Once you’ve evaluated your options, you may decide that you do not wish to remain enrolled in Cardinal Care. The process for waiving Cardinal Care coverage differs for domestic vs international students. Please read the information below for international students carefully.

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