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Welcome New Students!

We hope you are staying healthy during these unsettling times. As you can imagine, with so many unknowns about how physical presence will be achieved on campus in Autumn, it’s hard to provide definitive information about many things at this time. 

That being said, it IS important that you become familiar with this Health Insurance section; there are decisions to be made and deadlines to meet regardless of whether you will be on campus or off for 2020-2021. Failure to make a timely decision and take the necessary action can result in added costs and enrollment in annual coverage you may not need. Please read the sections carefully, note the deadline by which you need to take action, and be sure to let us know if you have questions or need assistance.  

Our 2021-2022 edition of Student Health Matters can be found here.

Health Insurance Overview

The Importance of Health Insurance

A variety of health care services are available at Vaden Health Center on the Stanford campus and many are covered under the Campus Health Service Fee ('Health Fee'). For the services that Vaden can’t or doesn’t provide, such as emergency care, hospitalization, or care when a student is traveling away from campus, or for those services that are offered at Vaden but not covered under the Health Fee, such as specialty care, physical therapy, or prescriptions, health insurance is needed.

Because no one can accurately predict what type of medical care might be needed in the future, and because unforeseen scenarios can crop up in the course of an academic career, Stanford University requires that every registered student carry adequate health insurance. This requirement can be met either through Cardinal Care, Stanford’s student health insurance plan, or through an alternative insurance plan that has comparable benefits. The key is deciphering whether coverage you may already have, or are planning to purchase, will serve you well in the Stanford vicinity and/or wherever else you may be studying or traveling.

In the next sections, we will introduce you to Cardinal Care. We will also provide some information on alternative options for health insurance coverage.

As you explore these options for coverage, it is important to note that, as part of the university's requirement that all students have adequate health insurance coverage, every registered student is automatically enrolled in Cardinal Care in his/her first registered quarter of each academic year. This means that whatever you decide about coverage, you will need to take action in Axess by the applicable deadline to either 

  • acknowledge enrollment in Cardinal Care or
  • waive coverage in Cardinal Care


Please note that as of June 1st, 2021, MHN will no longer cover the copay for telehealth services as they have done since the start of the pandemic.  The mental (tele)health copay will be $25.00 as of June 1st, 2021 for each appointment with an MHN provider.


2021-2022 Student Health Matters


Questions?  Contact us at here.