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Rice Student Health Insurance

Rice Student Health Insurance is available through Aetna. Please view their Web site for more general information about their company. Specific details about the Aetna plan for Rice University students can be found at Rice Student Health Insurance

New Students

All students at Rice are required to have health insurance. Many students choose to utilize the health insurance plan sponsored through Rice University, which is provided by Aetna. Please note that this health insurance plan is not administered by Student Health. Therefore questions regarding coverage, claims, etc. should not be directed to Student Health.

Parents

If you will be using your own health insurance plan to cover your son or daughter while at Rice, please look at the specific details of your plan. Most importantly, how much coverage does it supply and how flexible is that coverage. If you have a managed care plan (e.g., HMO) then there is significant risk that your son or daughter will experience unreasonable delay, or denial, by your healthcare insurance plan should laboratory, radiographic, or specialist services be required. Many restrictive plans will use terms such as "Emergency services are 100% covered while out of network". This sounds reassuring; however, it leaves enormous  holes in health care coverage. The most common scenarios encountered by college students are not emergencies. Furthermore the health insurance company defines "emergency" as care provided in a hospital emergency room. The following example illustrates the difficulties involved with restrictive plans.

Example:

A student suffers a knee injury in an intramural basketball game. After evaluation at Rice Student Health, it is determined that the student needs specialty care by an orthopedist. (In some cases the student may have already visited an Emergency Room). This is not the time to find out that your insurance plan will only pay for "in-network" care. Although the trip to the ER for the knee injury is covered, any and all subsequent healthcare is not--unless the student travels home to see their Primary Care doctor and then obtain a referral to an in-network orthopedist. This can impose delay (e.g., weeks or months), significant inconvenience, and missed time from classes. Although the student considers this an emergency, the HMO usually does not.

This scenario and many others like it are the most common types of situations that occur in college students with restrictive plans. If you have a managed care plan you should strongly consider purchasing a supplemental plan for your son or daughter while they are attending Rice University.