SHIP -- What is it and why is it provided by the University?

To understand how SHIP works, it is important to understand that your health plan at UC Berkeley consists of two parts:

1. University Health Services (UHS) 

University Health Services is a complete outpatient health center for students, providing medical, mental health, and preventive care. Our clinicians serve as your primary care provider or "PCP" while you're at UC Berkeley. All eligible registered students may use the services of UHS, regardless of what type of major medical insurance they have. Services are supported by registration fees and are provided at moderate prices.

2. Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

The University of California requires all students to have major medical insurance and provides the Berkeley Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) to meet this requirement. SHIP covers services at UHS including primary care and services outside UHS including hospitalization, off-campus or out-of-area care while traveling and some specialty services not available at UHS. SHIP also provides dental and vision coverage. Students are automatically enrolled in SHIP and the premium is charged to the CalCentral account.

How does SHIP work?

Please see How to use SHIP for medical care. Visit the SHIP dental page for dental benefits and visit the SHIP vision page for vision benefits. 

When does SHIP coverage begin and end?

Fall 2023 August 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023
Spring 2024 January 1, 2024 - July 31, 2024

Registered UC Berkeley students who do not waive SHIP for the Fall and Spring semesters have year-round health insurance coverage.  

Can I waive SHIP coverage?

Yes, if you have other major medical health insurance that meets the SHIP waiver criteria and do not wish to have dual coverage. For the waiver period, waiver application, instructions, forms, and FAQs, please see Waiving SHIP

When is the SHIP coverage and waiver period for Special Summer Programs?

Please see Special Summer Programs

Special Summer Programs include:
  • Master of Financial Engineering (incoming March class only)
  • Master of Laws (Executive Track LLM)
  • Incoming students in the following programs:
    • Master of Public Affairs
    • Masters of Arts in Teaching (BTEP & PLI)
    • Master of Real Estate Development + Design (MRED+D)
    • Master of Urban Design
    • 11-month Master of Public Health
    • Master of Biotechnology
    • Master of Computational Social Science 

If I waive SHIP, can I still use University Health Services at the Tang Center?

Yes, all eligible registered UC Berkeley students can be seen at University Health Services. Please see the sample fee chart for more details on UHS fees.

If I am enrolled in SHIP can I go to any doctor I want?

University Health Services is the primary care provider for students enrolled in SHIP. This means that you should see a UHS clinician when you need medical attention unless you are away from campus or need to visit an emergency room or urgent care. We encourage students to see the same doctor or nurse practitioner for each visit, if possible. Knowing your clinician makes visits more comfortable and contributes to the most healthful outcome.

As of March 16, 2020, and until further notice, a referral is not needed for medical or mental health care outside of the Tang Center.

We strongly recommend SHIP students visit providers that are within the Wellfleet network (Blue Shield of California PPO for services in California & Cigna PPO for services outside California) to receive the maximum benefits. Please use the Wellfleet Find a Doctor tool to locate in-network providers. 

Can I use my SHIP at other UCs?

The Student Health Center (SHC) at each University of California campus gladly offers reciprocal access to its student health services to currently registered students from all other UC campuses under the same conditions that apply to its students who are not enrolled in its campus Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

UC Berkeley students may need to pay for medical care and submit a claim to Wellfleet for reimbursement. Visit How to use SHIP to learn more about filing for reimbursement.

Are there deductibles with SHIP?

There is a $450 plan year deductible for some services provided outside UHS. SHIP members are responsible for the first $450 of qualified charges outside UHS each plan year. Once the deductible is satisfied, SHIP insurance coverage resumes. In-network medical and mental health office visits, emergency room visits, network urgent care center visits, and prescriptions are not subject to the annual deductible. See SHIP benefits for more details. 

Is there an annual limit to my out-of-pocket payments?


The individual in-network out-of-pocket maximum is $3,200. Applicable deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurances paid to in-network providers will accumulate towards the in-network out-of-pocket maximum. When the in-network out-of-pocket maximum is satisfied, SHIP will pay 100% for covered services with in-network providers for the remainder of the plan year.


There is a separate individual out-of-network out-of-pocket maximum of $6,500. Applicable deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurances paid to out-of-network providers will accumulate towards the out-of-network out-of-pocket maximum. When the out-of-network out-of-pocket maximum is satisfied, SHIP will pay 100% of the usual and customary charge for covered services with out-of-network providers for the remainder of the plan year. Non-covered services and charges over the usual and customary fee do not accumulate towards the out-of-pocket maximum and are the responsibility of the patient.


1. The plan year is August 1 to July 31.
Out-of-pocket expenses for in-network providers do not count towards the out-of-network out-of-pocket maximum. 
3. Out-of-pocket expenses for out-of-network providers does not count towards the in-network out-of-pocket maximum.  

Do I need proof of coverage (also called a Certificate of Coverage)?

The SHIP office can provide you with a Certificate of Coverage or Insurance Verification Letter.  

What do I do if I have to go to the emergency room?

Please provide the facility with the physical or electronic version of your SHIP member card. See Emergency/Urgent Care resources.   

How do I obtain medical care if I am outside of the Bay Area?

See How to use SHIP.  

What do I do if I receive a medical visit bill?

If you receive a medical bill for services outside UHS and the provider has not billed the plan, please call the number on the bill. Provide your SHIP member ID and ask the provider to re-bill the claim directly to the claim address found on your ID card. Please see below to obtain your SHIP ID card. 

How do I obtain an insurance card?

Enrolled students may access their ID card on the Wellfleet Student website and the Wellfleet Student mobile app.

Log into your Wellfleet account or create a new account using your email registered with campus, student ID, and date of birth.  

Still have questions?

Please contact the SHIP office at (510) 642-5700 or email at Enrolled students can also send a secure message through the eTang portal. Please do not email personal health information as email is not secure.