Penn State shares Student Health Insurance Plan updates amid COVID-19 pandemic

April 10, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has announced updates to the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) regarding testing and treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Penn State SHIP is a comprehensive health insurance plan offered at a competitive price with a wide network of providers at all campus locations and throughout the United States, as well as worldwide coverage. This plan was designed specifically for Penn State students with input from Penn State students. This plan is offered through First Risk Advisors, underwritten by United Healthcare Student Resources. It is offered as a service to our students and Penn State does not profit from the plan.

Below you will find updates to and reminders of offerings through the Penn State SHIP:

COVID-19 testing and treatment

Students and their dependents covered through the SHIP who live within or outside of the United States will have no copays, deductibles, or coinsurance for treatments or testing related to COVID-19. Testing is covered at 100%, through June 18, 2020, up to $51.33. COVID-19 treatment is covered at 100% through May 31, 2020.

Penn State and the United Healthcare Student Resources are continuously re-evaluating this coverage and are working to make sure students are being supported during this pandemic.

Prescriptions and pharmacy

Students and their dependents covered under the Penn State SHIP can obtain prescription refills through the University Health Services (UHS) Pharmacy without a waiting period through the policy end date of Aug. 12, 2020.

For those living in the University Park and State College area, the UHS Pharmacy is providing curbside pickup for prescriptions. For those who are not living in the area around State College, the UHS Pharmacy is providing mail order service, but can only mail to Pennsylvania and Florida. There is a $3 charge for postage. Narcotics cannot be sent via mail.

Students are encouraged to order a 90-day supply of prescriptions from the UHS Pharmacy. Students can save the $10/$30/$60 copay that they will pay at another pharmacy for a 30-day supply. Students will only pay the $3 shipping charge.

International students

International students and their dependents who have left the U.S. can use the Penn State SHIP in their home country for medical services through the policy end date of Aug. 12, 2020. Specific instructions will be sent via email on how to submit claims and how to be reimbursed.


Referral restrictions have been lifted through May 12, 2020. Students and their dependents do not need a referral for services outside of 25 miles from University Park. If students are within the 25 miles from University Park, they will still need a referral (if they do not already have one) to continue to see a specialist after May 12. Students can contact the University Health Services front desk at 814-865-4182 for more information.  


The Penn State SHIP offers telehealth services for medical and behavioral health. Students can log onto First Student’s website or call the number on their UHCSR ID card to learn more. Information on these services is housed under the “Plan Enhancements” tab on the left side of the First Student website homepage. Telemedicine and telebehavioral health services are currently available outside of the United States.

University Health Services will be offering telehealth in the near future. When those services are available, they will be covered at 100%.

Students who may need assistance should contact the Student Health Insurance staff by email at or by phone at 814-865-7467. United Healthcare Student Resources customer service can be contacted by email at or by phone at 888-224-4810.

For more information about student health insurance at Penn State, visit the Penn State Health Insurance website.

Students who are uninsured, underinsured or not sure about their health insurance should visit the Student Insurance Advocate website.

Last Updated April 16, 2020