Graduate Student Health Insurance Program

Life without health insurance carries serious risk to your health, wellness, and personal finances.  To ensure that all graduate students carry adequate health coverage, San Diego State University has introduced the comprehensive Graduate Student Insurance Program (GSHIP). GSHIP expands your coverage options to include an excellent health insurance plan the university has contracted with the insurance carrier Anthem, designed and priced for our graduate student population. 

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires taxpayers and their dependents to carry health insurance. In California, those who have not obtained health care must pay a $750 tax penalty. Beginning with the Fall 2021 semester, all SDSU graduate students will be required to provide proof of ACA-compliant health insurance coverage. Students with existing health insurance through an employer, family member, or any other source are required only to provide evidence of coverage once per year. 

Dedicated SDSU staff are available to counsel students without health care coverage (or temporarily between plans), and provide advice on selecting among a range of health insurance options. Those struggling to afford any of the available options may be eligible for financial support from SDSU ECRT.

If you are an SDSU graduate student, consider which of the following best describes your situation:

1.     I already have good health insurance and am not interested in switching to an SDSU plan

Excellent. The only GSHIP requirement is to provide evidence of coverage – an image of your current insurance card – once each academic year, in a quick and easy online process through JCBins.comSearch for San Diego State University, select the 2021-2022 plan year and “Domestic Graduate Students”, and follow the prompts. You will need to create an account.

2.     I am interested in SDSU graduate student insurance for my health coverage. How do I get more information? 

Information about the Anthem Student Advantage insurance plans – the provider network, pricing, session dates, and more –  are also available at, select the 2021-2022 plan year and “Domestic Graduate Students”. Look for the Plan Information section. To enroll, you will need to create an account. 

3.     I am not sure what to do. I don’t have health insurance (or my current insurance is soon expiring). I need advice about what subsidies I’m eligible for, and options available to me.

To request a one-on-one appointment with our Healthcare Coverage Coordinator, please fill out the online Healthcare Connection Coordinator Virtual Assistance form. With questions about the web interface, please email [email protected] or call the JCB/SDSU Student Help Line at (619) 415-0233. 

4.     I have health insurance benefits from my employment at SDSU as a TA, Research Fellow, or from the San Diego State University Research Foundation (SDSURF).

This will not change. University employment of graduate students that includes health benefits will continue to do so. You will provide evidence of this coverage through the online process described in item 1 above.

2021-2022 Plan Information

Graduate Health Insurance Plan

Dental and Vision add-on plans are also available.

For Faculty

SDSU faculty interested in sponsoring a graduate student's health insurance with SDSURF funds should complete a GSHIP Authorization Request

  • Fall: Please submit form by August 15 *
  • Spring/Summer: Please submit by January 15

* The form permits committing to both Fall & Spring/Summer periods at the start of the academic year. 

Sponsored graduate students will be enrolled in the insurance plans directly, please advise them not to take action through

GSHIP Frequently Asked Questions

A: Students enrolled in graduate or post-baccalaureate programs on the San Diego or Imperial Valley main campuses, and post-doctoral scholars employed by the SDSU Research Foundation, are required to carry health coverage.

You are subject to the requirement if you are 

  • enrolled in an SDSU main campus or Imperial Valley master’s or doctoral program
  • enrolled in an SDSU main campus or Imperial Valley post-baccalaureate credential or advanced certificate program
  • employed as a postdoctoral scholar by the SDSU Research Foundation

You are not subject to the requirement if you are

  • enrolled in an SDSU undergraduate program
  • enrolled through SDSU Global Campus
A: International students continue to be required to carry health insurance as a condition of their F1 Visa.  International student plans are already being coordinated through JCB Insurance, so no new actions are needed.
A: Graduate students have the option of enrolling in the Anthem Student Advantage health insurance plan offered through San Diego State University. Only the SDSU graduate student is covered with a GSHIP plan (dependent benefits are not available). For specific information about the terms of coverage, refer to

A: The Fall semester coverage session is from August 15, 2021 to January 20, 2022. The Spring/Summer coverage session is from January 21, 2022 to August 14, 2022.

A: Even when you are young and healthy, insurance provides financial protection in case of serious accident or illness. Securing health insurance can be complicated and overwhelming, but SDSU is here to help. Staff are assigned to advise you on all available insurance options and financial support.

Two essential things graduate students should consider about why you need health insurance

  • Without insurance, health emergencies can be financially catastrophic. With insurance, they are manageable. 
  • Regular preventative care is inexpensive or no-cost, and it keeps you healthy.
A: Yes, there is a simple waiver process if you already have health insurance through an employer (including SDSU), family member, the Covered CA exchange, or another source of ACA-compliant coverage. To opt out, visit, search for San Diego State University, select the 2021-2022 coverage year and “Domestic Graduate Students”, and follow the prompts. You will need to create an account.
A: If you are struggling to afford health insurance, you should first explore your eligibility for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal insurance. Covered CA (the U.S. Affordable Care Act exchange in California) also offers subsidies to assist with monthly costs. If you are not eligible for these options, or if the cost creates a financial hardship for you, you can reach out to the Economic Crisis Response Team (ECRT) to learn about financial assistance that may be available to you from the university.
A: Submit a request to speak with a campus partner, who can assist you in obtaining insurance through Covered California or Medi-Cal by visiting online:
A: No. Only domestic students enrolled in main campus graduate or post-baccalaureate programs are eligible to enroll in a graduate student plan. Other groups (such as undergraduates, graduate students not currently registered for courses in a main campus graduate program, graduate students in Global Campus degree programs) are not currently permitted to opt in.
A: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that U.S. citizens and legal residents have health insurance. The health and wellness fee you pay each semester provides access to Student Health Services (SHS), but is not a health insurance plan under ACA guidelines. SHS is a healthcare facility that can address basic health care needs while on campus, in Calpulli Center. SHS offers quality and convenient healthcare by certified healthcare professionals. The health and wellness fee also supports Well-being & Health Promotion, Counseling & Psychological Services, as well as Student Ability Success Center.

A: A Healthcare Coverage Coordinator is here to assist you with additional questions about health insurance options or referrals. To request a one-on-one appointment with our Healthcare Coverage Coordinator, please fill out the online Healthcare Connection Coordinator Virtual Assistance form. With questions about the web interface, please email [email protected] or call the JCB/SDSU Student Help Line at (619) 415-0233.