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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

he stainless steel sculpture "Vanguard" by Bruce Beasley (1980) (foreground) and the cedar totem pole "The Stanford Legacy" by Don Yeomans (2002) are on the lawn in front of the Stanford Law School. Collection of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Frequently Asked Questions: Dependent Health Insurance

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View an FAQ that has been put together by our staff to help answer your questions.

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Why does the University offer a dependent health insurance plan? Many students need coverage for their families. As much as possible, we strive to make coverage simple to obtain, free of exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and convenient. The current Stanford Student Dependent Care Insurance Plan (a PPO) includes in network access to Stanford Medical Center, Menlo Medical Center, and to Palo Alto Medical Foundation (Sutter).

Who is eligible to purchase the Stanford Student Dependent Health Insurance Plan? Spouses/Registered Domestic Partners and dependent children of students are eligible to enroll in the Stanford Student Dependent Care Insurance Plan ('Dependent Care'). Students must be enrolled in Cardinal Care, the student health insurance plan, before their dependents can enroll in the Dependent Plan. More details are available under Eligibility.

When and how do I enroll my dependents in the Dependent Plan? New students have the option to enroll their dependents in the Dependent Plan when they first matriculate at Stanford. This is the one and only time during an academic career at Stanford when a student can purchase the plan for dependents, unless a qualifying life event occurs at a later time.  

What if I waive Cardinal Care but want to purchase the Dependent Plan for my spouse/registered domestic partner? The student must be enrolled in Cardinal Care in order for dependents (spouse/registered domestic partner/child/children) to be eligible for enrollment in the Dependent Care plan.

How will I be billed for the Dependent Plan? The subscriber/enrollee pays the monthly premium for the Dependent Care plan directly to Aetna Student Health via the website. Students enroll eligible dependents via the website and will pay two months' premium charges at the time of enrollment. The payment method submitted will be used to draw the monthly premium each month during the plan year.

Why is there only one opportunity to enroll my dependents in the Dependent Plan? Enrollment restrictions are in place to minimize revolving entry and exit. This design helps keep overall costs down and supports sustainability of the plan.

What are examples of qualifying life events? Some examples include marriage, birth of a child, and loss of prior coverage by a spouse or child(ren).

If my dependent has a pre-existing condition, is he or she eligible to enroll in the Dependent Plan? Yes. Pre-existing conditions are not a barrier to enrollment in the Stanford Dependent Care Insurance Plan. However, students must be enrolled in Cardinal Care before their dependents can enroll in the Dependent Care Insurance Plan.

Can my dependents who enroll in the Dependent Plan access services at Vaden Health Center? Spouses/Registered Domestic Partners and children of students are not eligible for care at Vaden. However, many other local options for care exist. Dependents enrolled in the Dependent Plan should utilize an in network Aetna provider in order to maximize the benefits under the plan. (Non-contracted provider coverage typically has higher out-of-pocket associated costs.) Please refer to the Plan Design & Benefits Summary for specific details of coverage. If you need to locate a contracted provider for the Dependent Care plan, please visit the Aetna website.

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If you have additional questions, please contact the Insurance and Referral Office at the Vaden Health Center at 650.723.2135 or submit a ServiceNow ticket by going to Student Health.

Submit a ServiceNow Ticket