UC grant for health insurance--is this normal?

My son was accepted to multiple UCs and was given a grant for the full cost of the health insurance plan at UCLA, UCSB, and maybe Davis (I need to double-check). The financial aid offer said the $ would be forfeit if he doesn’t accept the student health plan. We weren’t planning to get the health insurance but if it’s fully covered we might (however, it might be an unnecessary headache to navigate).

Is this something all students (or most students) are given? My son has multiple (and expensive) health issues. This caught us off guard. As a point of reference, he didn’t receive much else in the financial aid dept besides federal loans and the middle class scholarship (I know this is projected and TBD).

I think it is not unusual. Those schools may have a special grant for insurance to be paid from, since it is paid to an outside source and not just a waiver like another student fee would be.

A lot of Californians have Kaiser and students can’t use their parents’ policies if there isn’t a Kaiser facility in the area. This was a big problem at UCSB as the closest facility was more than 40 miles away, thus requiring student to buy the school’s policy.

I don’t think it is much hassle to accept the offer of ‘free’ healthcare If he has other health insurance, the insurance companies will work it out as to who is primary insurer and who is secondary. My daughter had the school’s policy (in Florida not Cal) and a second policy from Colo. It wasn’t a problem and the companies took care of bill negotiations.

Because our family has a host of medical issues, we hit our out-of-pocket max every year. I need to do some homework since we haven’t navigated double coverage in nearly 20 years; I’m not sure how my son having an additional policy would complicate things.

That makes total sense about Kaiser!

I’ve been stalking CC for nearly a year–particularly the UC and CSU boards and haven’t seen posts about student health plan grants so this caught me off guard (in a good way!). I’m still curious if everyone was offered the grant or if my son’s PIQ about his health issues played a role (or something else entirely).

I’ve heard of getting the Health Grant, but most UC students I know do not get the Health Grant. There may be a tie-in with being eligible for the Middle Class Scholarship.

For non-Kaiser insurance, you should do some thorough investigation with your family insurance company to see what their coverage options are near the campus you may choose (doctor office, emergency room, hospital). In some cases, there may be an advantage to on-campus health center access for those who take the UC health plan.

As I remember there are differences in health insurance policies between the UCs. Some have grants that pay it, and some require you to a pay thousands of dollars per year (unless you obtain a wavier based on a qualifying health insurance plan). Good to see that you have choices for your son’s coverage.

Be sure to investigate whether your existing health plan has conveniently available providers on or near the campus in its network. As others have mentioned, if you have Kaiser, it is not very practical at UCSB due to the distance to the nearest Kaiser facility and providers. Also, there are separate Kaiser organizations in northern and southern California.

My student got it from UC Davis ($2,900 in health insurance grant).

We have a BCBS HMO and only live 1.5 hours from UCLA (give or take 40 minutes based on traffic :roll_eyes:). Right now UCLA seems like my son’s top choice and I originally assumed he could do routine medical appts closer to home (although I guess it’s time to transition to a grown-up doctor!). I’m concerned about having my son find new doctors near campus based on the student health plan unless I get a better sense of why we got this waiver and the odds of getting it in the future. Best case scenario, we find doctors that overlap with both medical plans in case he loses the health department insurance grant but that’s probably a pipe dream.

On a semi-related note, he was awarded work-study at 1 (maybe 2?) UCs but I don’t see it listed at the others. Does that seem plausible? I assumed federal aid would be more or less the same at all UCs (so far he hasn’t received any other scholarships, just federal loans, middle class scholarship, and this health insurance grant so cost and aid should theoretically be similar).

Work study is school specific. Some schools have a lot and if there are a lot of higher paying jobs in the area that students take, they may know that they can award more because they know in the past that some students don’t use their rewards.

Really, if he’s looking at the big UCs, there are always going to be jobs in the area so if he doesn’t get WS it is not a big deal; he can just get a job near campus if he needs to have a job.

My daughter was awarded WS but I don’t think she ever got a job on campus. She got it in her mind that she wanted certain jobs and never applied to the WS jobs. She’s now worked at Starbucks for a few years and finds that fits into her schedule pretty well. She also is a TA now (grad student) and the department often asks her to do special assignments (for which she is well paid) and it is not considered work study. Other daughter didn’t have WS but still got a job on campus doing a project for a professor, and I think she was paid out of his grant for some project.

Really, don’t worry too much about WS

Be aware that scholarships that are not for tuition would be taxable. Shouldn’t be an issue unless taxable scholarships plus any earnings go over the standard deduction of $13K, but definitely worth keeping an eye on this.