Student Health Insurance


All Grinnell students are required to have Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant health insurance that provides in-network benefits in the state of Iowa. You must elect to enroll in the College health insurance or waive the program if you have other insurance with adequate coverage. To waive the insurance, you will be required to provide proof of alternate insurance that has coverage in Iowa.

For the 2024–25 academic year, you are required to have a health insurance policy that:

  • is U.S. based (international policies are not accepted)
  • complies with the Affordable Care Act
  • provides coverage and in-network benefits in Iowa (out-of-state Medicaid policies are not accepted)

Important Change

The requirement for in-network benefits in Iowa is new for the upcoming academic year to protect students from the risk of incurring out-of-network charges that could cause significant financial hardship or prevent students from obtaining needed medical care. Even if you had a plan that qualified for a waiver in the past, it will not qualify this year if it does not provide in-network benefits in the state of Iowa. All students are automatically billed for the Student Health Insurance Plan that provides coverage from Aug. 14, 2024, until Aug. 13, 2025.

Important Dates

  • June 21, 2024: The student health insurance portal opens
  • Aug. 14, 2024: Last day to confirm or waive this coverage. Waiver requests will not be accepted after this deadline. Students who complete a waiver form and provide proof of insurance meeting the three criteria above will have the Student Health Insurance Plan charge removed from their bill.

Choosing Coverage  

As a student, you may maintain coverage through your existing parental or personal policy, or you may choose to purchase the College’s student group insurance. Some students elect to carry the student group insurance in addition to their parental or personal policy as supplemental coverage. 

It is a good idea to review your insurance policy so that you are familiar with what might or might not be covered while you are at Grinnell. Be aware that Grinnell does not have an urgent care clinic. The two walk-in clinics bill as doctor's offices. Insurance policies vary widely in what they cover and what they exclude from coverage. SHAW recommends your health insurance plan cover you for services beyond emergency care which includes pharmacy, physician visits, mental health, surgery, diagnostic testing, and maternity and preventive services; and does not have a high deductible. 

Unless you have confirmed that your current insurance provides excellent coverage for health and mental health services you may receive in Grinnell, we recommend that you consider purchasing the student group insurance, which is widely accepted in the community. This recommendation is based on seeing some students postpone or forego needed treatment because their insurance will not cover services here. 

College Health Insurance Plan  

Grinnell partners with Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk to provide insurance through United Healthcare. Information regarding plan specifics and answers to frequently asked questions are posted on the Gallagher Student Health website.  For the 2024–25 academic year, the plan year coverage is effective from Aug. 14, 2024, to Aug. 13, 2025. 

The College does not benefit financially in any way when students purchase student group insurance. 

Electing Your Coverage Option 

All students must either elect to enroll in the College health insurance program or waive the program by the deadline of August 14, 2024. As health insurance is required, all students are automatically billed for the Student Health Insurance Plan annually, and they must confirm or waive the coverage each year.

To waive the Student Health Insurance Plan, your private health insurance plan must be based in the United States and comply with the Affordable Care Act. International policies and out-of-state Medicaid policies are not accepted. 

Cost and Financing Options 

For 2024–25, a charge of $2,410 will be billed to the student account. The charge will be removed for those students who waive the program by the deadline with proof of proper insurance.

International students: Your original notification of financial aid eligibility included the cost of health insurance in the cost of attendance. International students with need-based financial aid receive a health insurance grant of $2,410 to cover the health insurance premium. This grant will be removed for students waiving out of the college insurance program.  

U.S. students: Domestic students who are required to enroll in the Grinnell College health insurance and have a very high level of financial need may be eligible for grant assistance to help with the cost of the College’s student health insurance. QuestBridge Match Scholars may also request grant assistance to help with the health insurance cost. If you have out-of-state Medicaid, the College does not recommend applying for State of Iowa Medicaid since it would leave you without coverage when you return home or travel out of state for breaks.

If you do not qualify for a grant to cover the health insurance, you may be offered a student loan to cover the cost. You can accept or decline the loan. Declining the loan means you will need to use other resources to pay for the health insurance premium.

Instructions to request assistance (grant or loan) are available on the Student Health Insurance Assistance page in the online financial aid office (student login required). Any student requesting assistance (grant or loan) must complete the Health Insurance Assistance Request Form, which will be available in the online financial aid office beginning in June.

How to Elect or Waive Coverage

  1. Visit the Gallagher Student Health website (This webpage is being edited by Gallagher and will not be available until June 21, 2024).
  2. You will log in with your Grinnell email address (with a .edu extension). First-time users: You will receive an email from Gallagher Student Health with a temporary password. You will be required to create a new password the first time you log in.
  3. Choose either ‘Enroll’ or ‘Waive’. 
    Note: If you have a non-U.S. address, you will need to use your Grinnell College address — 1115 8th Ave, Grinnell, IA 50112 — when completing either form. 
  4. Follow the instructions to complete the form. If waiving the insurance, have your current health insurance ID card ready as you will need this information to complete the waiver form. You will be asked to review the information provided and click ‘submit’ to complete the process. Immediately upon submitting your online form, you will receive a reference number. Please note and keep this information for your record. 
  5. When Grinnell College receives notice of a successful waiver submission, the cost of the health insurance plan will be credited back to the student billing statement. 
  6. Students who enroll in the student health insurance will be emailed instructions on how to print ID cards and verification letters from their account at the Gallagher Student Health website.  

The deadline to waive or elect coverage in the school plan is Aug. 14, 2024. 

Insurance Card and Mobile Application 

Students insured by the College will not receive physical insurance cards but can access their information through the United Health Care Student Resources’ website or download the United Health Care Student Resources app

ID cards are usually available 5–7 business days after your eligibility is confirmed. 

  1. Go to MyAccount
  2. If you have created a UHCSR Account in the past, log in. 
  3. If you have not created a UHCSR Account, click “Create Account.” 
  4. Complete the registration form using your name, date of birth, and student ID number. 
  5. Once logged in, you will have access to ID cards, claim information, explanation of benefits, and other plan-related information. 

The earlier you elect your coverage, the sooner your card will be available.  

Finding Providers 

Insured students can find a preferred provider for medical services by using the following websites: 


Direct any questions regarding the information needed on the waiver form to Gallagher Customer Service

If you have student insurance plan coverage questions, call Ramsey Weeks, 641-236-3141, and ask to speak with a health insurance representative. You may also access plan coverage information at Gallagher Student Health. If you have questions, please call 844-269-4995 to speak to a customer service representative. 

For questions about fees on your student account from Grinnell College, contact the Office of Student Accounts by email or phone at 641-269-4100.

For questions about bills you’ve received from a medical provider, please schedule an appointment with a SHAW nurse at 641-269-3230.

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