Health Insurance

Students are strongly encouraged to carry health insurance, since Student Health Services is NOT health insurance.  Please see below for information on the Affordable Care Act.

If students are currently covered by health insurance, they should check with the carrier to see what arrangements need to be made so coverage continues while at college.  All students should carry health insurance cards with them. Participation in the University of Wisconsin System Student Health Insurance Plan (see below) is required for international students. Additional coverage must be purchased for Varsity Athletic coverage, for both domestic and international students. Please see below for additional information.

From UW-River Falls Risk Management web page: "UWRF does not provide any type of compensation for injuries that occur on campus. Each student and visitor is expected to have their own health insurance to cover personal medical costs."

University of Wisconsin System Student Health Insurance Plan
(designed especially for students in need of health insurance)

Information on the 2014/2015 annual insurance plan for UWRF students (including information about the provider network) is available at and under "College" click on "Find My School" or call 651-439-7098.  Please note that for the 2013/2014 domestic student policy, this policy has a $500,000 limit, has a $300 in-network and $500 out-of-network per policy year per person deductible, but does have a $5,000 for PPO providers and $10,000 for non-PPO providers limit per policy year on out-of-pocket expenses.  Preferred provider benefits are paid at 80% until $5,000 in out-of-pocket expenses have been met, then 100% up to $500,000.

You will notice significant changes in the new policy, as noted below which were made to improve the service provider and remain compliant with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  This plan balances overall cost of plan with out-of-pocket costs.  

Summary of Changes: 

  • The benefit maximum is now unlimited.The rate structure is no longer age-rated.
  • The pre-existing condition exclusion/limitation has been removed; pre-existing conditions are now covered immediately.
  • The Pharmacy Network is now Catamaran.
  • The out-of-pocket maximum for In-Network charges is $6,350/individual and $12,700/family.
  • There is no out-of-pocket maximum for Out-of-Network charges.
  • Your Insurance ID card and Pharmacy card will be combined on one card instead of two.
  • Quarterly premium payments are available for those purchasing the plan on an annual basis.
  • The deductibles are $500 In-Network and $1,000 Out-of-Network.
  • The Hospital Inpatient copayment per confinement is $250.
  • The Physician Visit coinsurance has changed from 100% to 80%.
  • The Dental Injury benefit maximum has changed from $500 to $3,000.
  • The Prescription Drug copayments have changed from $15/$30/$50 to $20/$50/$100.
  • Includes Intercollegiate Sports coverage up to $5,000. Additional optional coverage is available up to $90,000 at the cost of $1,000.  

The annual cost of the 2014-2015 Student Health Insurance Plan is $3,986 for students, $11,598 for spouses, and $6,384 for children. This increase is partially due to a restriction on the University's ability to age-band its student population and in part due to the voluntary nature of the plan.  Please call (800) 328-2739 if you would like to discuss the new plan offered by Student Assurance Services or refer to their website at to view the complete policy and enrollment information.

To find a PPO provider:
  • Go to the SAS web site above and find UW-River Falls and the plan you are enrolled in, then click on "Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)," which will take you to
  • Click on the green box that says "Search for a Doctor or Facility"
  • If searching for a provider in Wisconsin click on HealthEOS (from the front of your card) and then "Continue"
  • If searching for a provider outside Wisconsin click on MultiPlan (from the back of your card) and then "Continue"
  • Then continue your search for either a doctor or facility.  Please be aware that even though some facilities are PPO providers, they may not be listed as a facility, but rather by individual providers under "Doctor or health care professional"
  • You can always call 651-439-7098 to check about PPO providers or to confirm a provider

Information on the Affordable Care Act

Enrollment in the 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace began on November 15, 2014.  Local press releases and information:  Information/enrollment sessions for Pierce and St Croix Counties 2015document and Press Release Marketplace Has Good News For Western WI Nov 2014document

You have probably heard in the media that a new online Health Insurance Marketplace launched on October 1, 2013 as part of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Students may wish to consider new health insurance options available due to the ACA, a federal law passed in March 2010 which phases in over several years.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way for individuals and families who meet certain income requirements to buy private health insurance plans.  Four levels of plans are offered through the Marketplace.  The plans vary from each other based on the amount of out-of-pocket medical expenses that are covered.  For example, the lowest cost "bronze" plans only cover 60% of medical expenses, "silver" plans cover 70%, "gold" plans cover 80%, while the highest tier "platinum" plans cover 90% of medical expenses.  Individuals may be eligible for a subsidy (depending on their income) that will reduce the cost of a Marketplace plan.

Information on the Affordable Care Act is expected to change, so please visit for more information and updates and to sign up for email or text updates.

One provision of this law that has already benefitted many students allows dependent children (including students) to remain on their parents' insurance until their 26th birthday.  Under the ACA dependent children can remain on a parents' plan even if they no longer live with their parents, are not a dependent on a parent's tax return, are no longer a student, or are married.

Starting January 1, 2014, the federal Affordable Care Act requires most individuals to have health insurance.  Enrollment in the 2015 Marketplace began on November 15, 2014.

If you do not have health insurance, you will want to shop for it, and there may be restrictions for when you can apply for coverage.  Please see web pages below for more information about this.  The law also provides new opportunities to acquire affordable health insurance.  As an example, you may be eligible for coverage through the new online health insurance exchanges (also called the Health Insurance Marketplace).  Exchanges can help you locate and compare plans, including coverage, benefits, premiums (purchase price), deductibles, and co-payment costs.

You may find that you qualify for a premium subsidy (assistance) that will reduce the cost of an exchange plan.  In some cases you may also qualify for a cost-sharing subsidy that will lower your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.  Whether you are eligible for a subsidy depends on your income.  To learn what coverage and the level of assistance that might be available to you, visit the web page.

What to do now:

Start by making a list of things that will be important in your coverage decision, for example:
  • Know how your current health insurance plan (if any) works, whether it will continue, and when it will renew.
  • Know about your insurance coverage in a given area, since many health insurance plans provide more limited benefits when you are away from your home or "out-of-area."
  • When purchasing a health insurance plan, you should not consider premium cost alone.  Plans with higher out-of-pocket expenses may have lower premiums, but a high deductible and high member coinsurance can make members reluctant or financially unable to receive necessary medical treatment.

You may also wish to look at insurance plan options outside of the marketplace, including the UW System student health insurance plan (see above) as a student health insurance plan (SHIP) may provide better coverage at lower cost (but would not be eligible for any subsidy).

Many benefits of the ACA may vary from state to state.  See where your state is in the roll-out process.  Some states have opted for the federal government to run their exchanges (including Wisconsin), while other states are running their own (including Minnesota).  Expansion of the Medicaid program also varies by state.

 For More Information:

Links to Other Health Insurance Resources

BadgerCare Plus State of Wisconsin health care planlink: Including applying for Badger Care Core Health Care For Adults With No Dependent Children
MinnesotaCarelink: Minnesota residents who do not have access to affordable health insurance
Family Planning Only Serviceslink: Reproductive health services. View instructions for enrollingdocument in this program.

Contact Us

Student Health and Counseling Services
Student Health Services: 715-425-3293
Counseling Services: 715-425-3884
M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
211 Hagestad Hall