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About the Hard Waiver Program

Important Dates

November 20, 2017 Online site opens to students to enroll or waive.
January 1, 2018 Coverage begins for students enrolled in the spring Aetna Student Health Insurance plan.
February 5, 2018 Deadline by which students must enroll or waive coverage.
February 9, 2018 Deadline by which a student can appeal the decision if their waiver is denied.
February 26, 2018 UVa will post the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan annual premium of $1,666 to the SIS accounts of students who enrolled, failed to submit adequate documentation, or whose health plans were determined not to provide comparable coverage.
March 31, 2018 Deadline by which students must pay the spring premium for the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan.
August 14, 2018 Date that coverage ends for students enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan.

All UVA students, both domestic and international, who pay the comprehensive fee with their tuition must meet the health insurance hard-waiver requirements.

UVA implemented the health insurance hard-waiver program for these important reasons:

  • To reduce the health risk of its student population by ensuring reliable access to health care services.
  • To insulate students from devastating medical charges.
  • To ensure compliance with University policy.

Because unforeseen medical situations can and do arise over the course of an academic career, UVA requires students who pay the comprehensive fee to also carry adequate health insurance.

What Does This Mean?

Under the health insurance hard waiver program, UVA requires students who pay the comprehensive fee to:

  1. carry health insurance that meets specific coverage requirements (i.e., comparable coverage); and
  2. provide proof of this insurance on an annual basis.

If proof of comparable coverage is not submitted (whether a student fails to submit any documentation or because a student’s health plan is determined not to provide adequate comparable coverage), the student will be responsible for the full cost for single coverage under the University-endorsed Aetna Student Health Insurance plan.

Any degree-seeking students who are not in residence are exempt from the hard-waiver program during their absence from Charlottesville.

What is Comparable Coverage?

In order to be considered comparable coverage, both domestic and international student’s health plan must meet the following five specific requirements for 2017-2018:

  1. The plan is provided by a company licensed to do business in the United States with (a) a U.S. claim payment office, (b) a U.S. telephone number, (c) plan literature available in English, and (d) benefits provided in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The following programs do NOT qualify as comparable coverage:
    1. Travel insurance does NOT qualify. Travel insurance is in effect for a short period of time (60-90 days, for example) and is designed for brief trips.
    2. Reimbursement programs of any kind do NOT qualify, including reimbursement arrangements or vouchers from home governments or their U.S. based consulates.
  2. The plan provides both in-patient care and outpatient care (including visits for behavioral health care) within a 75-mile radius of the Charlottesville area. Coverage for emergency-only care does NOT satisfy this requirement.
  3. The plan provides unlimited coverage for major medical benefits per sickness or injury. Insurance that fails to cover or limits coverage for pre-existing conditions is NOT acceptable.
  4. The coverage will remain in effect for all semesters in which the student is enrolled for the 2017-2018 academic year.
  5. You or the health insurance subscriber will be held financially responsible for payment of all charges not covered by your health insurance plan.

In addition, international student's health plan must meet two additional requirements:

  1. The plan provides a minimum of $10,000 in coverage for repatriation/medical evacuation to my home country or return of mortal remains. If you have a parent or spouse who lives in the United States and will assume financial responsibility for any such costs, you may waive out of this requirement provided you are not a J-1/J-2 visa holder. Please contact for the appropriate waiver form.
  2. The plan does not have a deductible greater than $250.00 (U.S.).


For questions regarding the status of a waiver application, the online waiver site, online waiver process, or online enrollment process, please contact Aetna Student Health at 1-800-466-3027. For all other questions, contact UVa Student Health at


Hard Waiver Infographic