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Frequently Asked Questions: Dependent Health Insurance

Why are you offering a dependent health insurance plan?

Many students need coverage for their families. Coverage should be simple to obtain, free of exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and provide security for students' families. We have been able to develop a dependent insurance plan that meets those needs.

Who is eligible to purchase the Dependent Health Insurance Plan?

Spouses and dependent children of students are eligible to enroll in the plan. Students must be enrolled in Cardinal Care, the student health insurance plan, before their dependents can enroll in the Dependent Health Insurance Plan. More details are available under Eligibility.

When and how do I enroll my dependents in the Dependent Health Insurance Plan?

New students have the option to enroll their dependents in the Stanford Dependent Health Insurance 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.

Further details are available under Enrollment.

What if I waive Cardinal Care but want to purchase the Dependent Health Insurance Plan for my spouse?

You must be enrolled in Cardinal Care in order for your dependents (spouse/child/children) to be eligible for enrollment in the Dependent Health Insurance Plan.

How will I be billed for the Dependent Health Insurance Plan?

The subscriber/enrollee pays the monthly premium for the Dependent Health Insurance Plan directly to Health Net. In order to enroll, you must complete the Stanford Student Dependent Health Insurance Plan enrollment application and submit it to the Vaden Health Insurance and Referral Office.

Why is there only one opportunity to enroll my dependents in the Dependent Health Insurance Plan?

Enrollment restrictions prevent dependents from going on and off the plan. This design provides a measure of financial stability and sustainability for the dependent health insurance plan.

What are examples of qualifying life events?

Some examples include marriage, birth of a child, and involuntary loss of prior group 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 Health Insurance Plan?

Yes. Pre-existing conditions are covered by the Stanford Dependent Health Insurance Plan available to dependents of Stanford students. Students must be enrolled in Cardinal Care before their dependents can enroll in the Dependent Health Insurance Plan.

How has Stanford been able to maintain a dependent health insurance plan?

To maintain the plan, the university implements enrollment restrictions designed to keep the number of participants predictable and stable, thereby reducing the adverse selection that caused the previous plan to become unsustainable. After the enrollment period, participants are able to add the plan only in the case of a major life change, such as the birth of a child. In addition, the university and the student insurance plan contribute a subsidy. The current plan also benefits from more cost-effective pricing than the previous plan had.

Can my dependents who enroll in the dependent plan access services at Vaden Health Center?

Spouses and children covered under the Stanford Dependent Health Insurance Plan are typically non-students and cannot be seen at Vaden. To maximize the benefits under the plan, dependents should utilize a Health Net contracted provider. (Non-contracted provider coverage is typically has higher out-of-pocket associated costs.) Please refer to the dependent plan summary for specific details of coverage. If you need to locate a contracted provider for the dependent plan, please visit the Health Net website.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Insurance and Referral Office at the Vaden Health Center at 650-723-8416, Monday–Friday 8 am–5 pm. You may also submit a ServiceNow Ticket to the insurance office.