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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Arts Track student Brady Magaoay visits the the Rothko room at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., where he is an intern as part of the Stanford in Washington program. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Insurance Requirements

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Students have diverse, individual needs, but the student community has a great deal in common, too. One need shared by all is the need for protection against unanticipated or excessive health care expenses. Accordingly, Stanford requires that all students have adequate health insurance coverage.

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To help students meet this requirement, Stanford University offers Cardinal Care, a comprehensive health insurance plan that covers a wide range of services. Stanford automatically enrolls its students in Cardinal Care at the start of each academic year (or quarter of entry).

Domestic students with alternative health insurance may waive enrollment in Cardinal Care in Axess. The waiver must occur by the applicable deadline (see deadline section). Students may waive out by documenting adequate coverage from another health insurance carrier in Axess.

International students with alternative health insurance may request an exception to enrollment in Cardinal Care if the alternative insurance plan has benefits that meet or exceed minimum standards set by the university. The request must occur by the applicable deadline (see deadline section)

  • Find more details about the minimum standards and how to apply for the exception, here 
Columbae. Students dine together al fresco as the weather stays warm into the evening in April. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service
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Stanford University’s Health Care Resources

While at Stanford, your health care resources include

  • Care through Vaden Health Center under the Campus Health Service Fee ('Health Fee'): As a registered student, you have access to Vaden Health Center services during your academic career at Stanford.  Vaden offers primary care, counseling and psychological care, and well-being services as part of the Health Fee assessment..
  • Care available through health insurance: You will need health insurance when using health care services that are not covered by the Campus Health Service Fee. Examples of services that require health insurance include care that’s been referred to a specialist, inpatient care, emergency care, and care provided while away from campus (such as when traveling either within the U.S. or internationally).