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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

Insurance Requirements

The primary responsibility for insurance coverage for injuries incurred while participating in intercollegiate athletics rests with the individual student-athlete and his or her family.


What is the insurance requirement at the University of Chicago?

In addition to providing Athletics and Recreation with information on each student-athlete's health insurance information, all students, including student-athletes are required to enroll in the University Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP) or waive U-SHIP by providing proof of comparable coverage. Students wishing to waive out of U-SHIP must affirm enrollment in alternate comparable coverage before the enrollment/waiver deadline.

The comparable coverage checklist can be found here ( Students who do not enroll in or waive U-SHIP by the deadline will be default enrolled in U-SHIP and remain enrolled in U-SHIP through the end of the plan year, and thus will be responsible for the annual premium, which is billed in three installments.

For more information or to confirm enrollment in/waive U-SHIP, please go to:

If you have questions about your enrollment/waiver decision, please feel free to contact the UniteHealthcare on-campus insurance coordinators at (773) 834-4543 (Option 2) or


How do I check my insurance for comparability with the University of Chicago insurance requirement?

The first thing you and your parent/guardian should do is call your current insurance plan and ask the following questions:

  1. What are my benefits at the University of Chicago? (i.e., Will I have coverage for both emergency and non-emergency care at the University of Chicago Hospitals?)
  2. Is the University of Chicago Hospitals a contracted provider (in-network provider)? If not, are there any contracted providers in the Chicago area? You should then investigate how close the provider is located to the University of Chicago campus.

Additional important questions to ask your current insurance plan are:

  1. Am I required to establish a Primary Care Physician in the Chicago area? If so, are there plan contracted Physicians at the University of Chicago Hospitals? If not, where in the Chicago area are there contracted physicians? Again, how close to the University of Chicago campus are they located?
  2. Must I enroll in an "Away From Home" coverage plan since I am going to school in another state than my insurance plans, i.e. Blue Cross/Blue Shield?

After speaking with your insurance plan representative to gather the information noted above, please also check whether your plan provides coverage that is comparable to U-SHIP. You can check comparability of coverage here.

* Please note that some health insurance plans may not provide coverage (beyond emergency care) outside the individual's home state. As such, it is important that you determine that your plan provide non-emergency care in the Chicago area.


What is the Athletics & Recreation insurance requirement for participation on an intercollegiate athletic sports team and how can I satisfy this requirement?

Every student-athlete must have medical insurance that is comparable to the University of Chicago Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP). The insurance requirement for participation in intercollegiate athletics may be satisfied in one of two ways:

  1. Enroll in the University of Chicago Student Health Insurance Plan (U-SHIP). Refer to for more information regarding University-wide insurance requirements.
  2. Carry insurance coverage that is comparable to U-SHIP and effective September 1 – August 31.


If I chose the U-SHIP plan, how do I get coverage for the period prior to September 1 for a fall sport athlete participating in pre-season practice?

A supplemental two-week policy is available for purchase to athletes arriving on campus in August. Information about the Early Arrival insurance plan, as well as how to sign up, will be available in late July at:


What is the University of Chicago Athletics & Recreation insurance agreement?

In order to assure that student-athletes seek prompt care for any injuries sustained while participating on an intercollegiate athletic team, Athletics & Recreation will reimburse the student-athlete a maximum of $1,500 for out-of pocket (deductible or co-pay) expenses per school year only if (1) the insurance is comparable to the University of Chicago U-SHIP plan, (2) the injury occurs while participating in a sanctioned varsity practice or competition and (3) the student-athlete has been evaluated by a member of the University of Chicago Sports Medicine staff (athletic trainer and/or team physician).


Does this reimbursement policy apply to illnesses or medical conditions that may affect athletic participation?

The $1,500 maximum for out-of-pocket expenses is only for injuries. Many medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, allergies, eating disorders, etc. and illnesses such as flu and strep throat may affect a student's ability to continue practicing and competing. Tests, treatments, prescriptions, etc. for medical conditions and illnesses are the sole responsibility of the student-athlete and are not covered under the $1,500 reimbursement coverage.


What happens if my son/daughter waives their U-SHIP coverage (or I do so on behalf of my under-18 child) with an alternate insurance policy that is later determined not to be comparable to the University of Chicago U-SHIP plan?

The University requires alternate insurance policies to provide comparable coverage to U-SHIP. If it is determined that an alternate insurance plan is not comparable to the University of Chicago U-SHIP plan, your son/ daughter will be default enrolled into U-SHIP. Students (or their parents/guardians, if the student is under 18) will be required to notify Athletics and Recreation if there are any changes to their insurance coverage.


How is my son/daughter covered if there is a catastrophic injury while participating in intercollegiate athletics at The University of Chicago?

Athletics & Recreation participates in the "NCAA Catastrophic Athletic Injury Insurance Program". This program provides lifetime medical benefits to student-athletes who are catastrophically injured during competition, practice or travel related to intercollegiate athletic participation. More information on this program may be found on the NCAA's web site at


What injuries are covered by University of Chicago Athletics & Recreation?

The Athletic Training Department will treat any injury directly related to intercollegiate sport participation that occurred during team travel, scheduled contests, supervised practice and supervised strength and conditioning sessions.


What is not covered by University of Chicago Athletics & Recreation?

Athletics & Recreation does not and cannot cover any personal illnesses (chronic or acute - at any time), any infection, diagnostic tests or surgery for preexisting conditions, or injuries incurred by a student-athlete outside of team travel, scheduled contests, supervised practice and supervised strength and conditioning sessions. This includes injuries incurred prior to enrolling at the University, recreational or intramural sports participation and any personal fitness activity. Any expense for second opinions or treatment sought that was not referred by the University of Chicago Sports Medicine staff (athletic trainer and/or team physician) is not covered by Athletics & Recreation.


What do I need to provide if my son/daughter has an insurance claim directly related to an injury sustained while practicing or competing in a University of Chicago intercollegiate sport sponsored event?

If there is a balance due on any bills from an injury that falls within the "Covered Injuries" category after the student/athlete's insurance company has made payment to the maximum allowable limit, the student and parents must provide the athletic trainers with copies of all original itemized bills and copies of all insurance company Explanation of Benefits Statement (EOBs) within 90 days of treatment. The EOBs should indicate original charges, amount paid by the insurance company and balance still due. Any bills and EOBs submitted after 90 days of the date of treatment will be the responsibility of the student/parents. Itemized Bills and Insurance Explanation of Benefits Statements must be submitted to:

Athletic Trainers - Insurance Claims
5530 South Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

To apply for reimbursement for medical expenses you have paid, you must: (1) provide proof of payment (copy of endorsed check, credit card statement, or receipt showing payment and a "0" balance) and (2) provide the following signed statement: "My bank only provides photo copies of endorsed checks. We are not seeking reimbursement from any other source other than The University of Chicago."


What must I do if my son/daughter's insurance policy changes at any time throughout the school year?

If at any time during the school year there are any changes in insurance coverage, the student-athlete must notify the athletic training staff immediately. A new Emergency Contact and Insurance Information form must also be submitted within 30 days of this change. You also are required to notify the on-campus Insurance Representatives for the University within 30 days of your insurance changing. Please email updated documentation to or fax 773-753-4544.


What must I do if my insurance policy requires pre-certification or pre-authorization for any services?

If the student-athlete's insurance requires pre-authorization for any (outpatient/inpatient) services, the student-athlete or parents are responsible for obtaining this approval.