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Health Insurance Overview

The Importance of Health Insurance

Many types of health care are available at Vaden Health Center on campus and much of it is covered under the Campus Health Service Fee. For the services that Vaden can’t or doesn’t provide, such as emergency care, hospitalization, or care when a student is traveling away from campus, or for those services that are offered at Vaden but not covered under the Health Fee, such as specialty care, physical therapy, or prescriptions, health insurance is needed.

Because no one can accurately predict what type of medical care might be needed in the future, and because unforeseen scenarios can crop up in the course of an academic career, Stanford University requires that every registered student carry adequate health insurance. This requirement can be met either through Cardinal Care, Stanford’s student health insurance plan, or through an alternative insurance plan that has comparable benefits. The key is deciphering whether coverage you may already have, or are planning to purchase, will serve you well in the Stanford vicinity and/or wherever else you may be studying or traveling.

In the next sections, we will introduce you to Cardinal Care. We will also provide some information on alternative options for health insurance coverage.

As you explore these options for coverage, it is important to note that, as part of the university's requirement that all students have adequate health insurance coverage, every registered student is automatically enrolled in Cardinal Care in his/her first registered quarter of each academic year. This means that whatever you decide about coverage, you will need to take action in Axess to either 

  • acknowledgement enrollment in Cardinal Care or
  • waive coverage in Cardinal Care