Skip to main content

UC SHIP Medical Plan

The UC Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) combines primary care services offered by UCSD Student Health Services (SHS) with medical benefits for services not available at SHS. The insurance coverage is provided by Anthem Blue Cross.

The following documents can be accessed through the UC website:

  • UC SHIP Medical Benefits Summary
  • UC SHIP Brochure
  • UC SHIP Benefits Booklet

Please also see the instructions for downloading the UC SHIP mobile app for additional info and resources.

How to use the UC SHIP Medical Plan

For all non-emergency care, you must first be seen at SHS. SHS will diagnose and treat most illnesses, coordinate all of your health care and provide a written referral to a non-SHS provider if additional care or a specialist is needed. The UC SHIP plan requires that you obtain a written referral from UCSD SHS prior to receiving any non-emergency care outside of SHS. Retroactive referrals will not be provided.

To schedule an appointment to be seen at SHS, call (858) 534-3300.

If you are outside the San Diego area and are unable to delay care until you can be seen at SHS, you may call the SHS Insurance Office at (858) 534-2124 and an insurance coordinator will assist you in obtaining a referral.



Emergency Services

If you are experiencing a medical or psychiatric emergency, go to the nearest emergency facility for treatment. You do not need a referral from a SHS provider. Payment of emergency room claims is subject to review by Anthem Blue Cross. Anthem Blue Cross will make the final determination regarding whether services were rendered for an emergency (see the UC SHIP Summary Plan Description for definition of "emergency").

If follow-up care is required after the emergency room visit, a written referral from a SHS provider is required. A referral from an emergency room doctor is not a valid referral.

Read this resource sheet (PDF) which contains helpful information about campus resources you may need after you've been to an emergency room, such as Student Health, Dean's Offices, Res Life, Counseling & Psychological Services, Sexual Assault Resource Center and Disabled Student Services.

How do I find an Anthem Blue Cross Participating Provider?

UCSD Medical Center facilities and UCSD medical offices are participating providers in the Anthem Blue Cross PPO network. UCSD students are encouraged to use the UCSD provider network for all services outside SHS.

To find other participating providers outside the UCSD network, go to the Anthem Blue Cross provider directory.

Does UC SHIP provide coverage for mental health services?

UC SHIP includes benefits for mental or nervous disorders and substance abuse. A written referral from SHS or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is required prior to all non-emergency treatment. You will incur some out-of-pocket expenses for services rendered outside SHS or CAPS. Please refer to the UC SHIP benefits booklet for benefit information.

Does UC SHIP provide coverage for prescription drugs?

Optum (formerly Catamaran) is your UC SHIP pharmacy benefit administrator. Be sure to download the Student Health app from the App Store or Google Play for the most updated insurance card information.

For your convenience and to maximize the UC SHIP prescription drug coverage, students are encouraged to use the SHS Pharmacy to fill their prescriptions whenever possible. The SHS Pharmacy can also fill transferred prescriptions and prescriptions written by non-SHS providers. While the SHS Pharmacy carries a wide range of medications, note that not all medications are available at the SHS Pharmacy. You may contact the SHS Pharmacy at (858) 534-2135 for availability of specific medications, refills, transferring prescriptions, etc.

Students may also have their prescriptions filled at a non-SHS Pharmacy using their Anthem Blue Cross insurance card. To locate a participating pharmacy, use this link:

You can access the UC SHIP Prescription Benefits Summary through the UC website: You may also call Optum at 1-844-265-1879 for questions about your pharmacy benefit.

I have other insurance coverage in addition to UC SHIP. Which is primary?

UC SHIP is secondary coverage to all other policies except TriCare, Medi-cal and Medicare.

If you have waived out of UC SHIP, take a moment to read about transferring your insurance coverage to San Diego.