Insurance Help and Referrals

Calpulli Center

If you are a student currently enrolled at SDSU, a variety of services are available to you at Student Health Services.

Basic medical services are provided at Student Health Services (SHS) under the Health and Wellness Fee, paid with each semester's tuition. The Health and Wellness Fee is not a health insurance plan, but is a great supplement. If you need healthcare coverage in the San Diego area, you can submit a request via our website, to have someone assist you in obtaining health insurance/Medi-Cal. After submitting your request, our enrollment specialists will reach out to you within 2 to 3 business days.

Augmented Services (vaccinations, medications, and lab tests) and Specialty Care (orthopedic clinic) may have additional out-of-pocket charges. To make an appointment at SDSU Student Health Services or to understand out-of-pocket pricing for Specialty or Augmented Services, please call 619-594-4325.

Though Student Health Services is an excellent resource, it does not accept health insurance. You may have to use your health insurance to access off-campus services. To understand if your health insurance will cover you, or reimburse you for out-of-pocket charges, please contact your insurance company using the following steps:

Using Your Health Care Coverage Off-Campus

Step 1: Identify Your Health Insurance Plan

Locate the phone number for your health insurance as well as your member ID number. You can find this information on the back of your insurance card. Some insurance cards provide a website where you can create an account, look for healthcare providers, and find your specific healthcare costs and benefits.

Step 2: Contact Your Health Insurance Carrier

Call your health insurance company and ask the following questions:

  • Where can I go to get  __________ services?
  • How much will this service cost using my health insurance? Is there a co-pay or a deductible associated with my _______ services?
  • What are my health insurance benefits? Will my insurance cover _______?
  • Do I need to make an appointment to get these services?

Step 3: Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

Once you have a specific healthcare provider/facility you would like to go to, call them and ask the following questions:

  • Do you take ________ insurance? (Always check with the doctor or medical facility directly to confirm that they still accept your insurance before you receive treatment)
  • May I make an appointment or can I walk-in for _______ services?
  • How much will I end up paying for these services? 
  • Where is your office located?
  • Is the check-in time different from the actual appointment time?
  • Remember, you are responsible for your medical care and its related costs. Before concluding the call, confirm the co-pay/deductible, the location, and the appointment time.

Step 4: Still Need Help?

Always bring your health insurance and/or Medi-Cal card to your off-campus health-related appointments. If you don't have the physical card, a photocopy or a picture of the front and back of the card will work as well.

For more information about where to go for health-related services using your health insurance, make an appointment with the Health Literacy and Outreach Coordinator.   


Applying for Medi-cal

The process for verifying your Medi-Cal eligibility, from the time your completed application is received to when you receive your Benefits Identification Card (BIC), normally takes 45 days. The general process for verification is as follows:

1. Apply – complete the application, and submit it either in person, by mail, by phone, or online
2. Receive a Notification of Likely Eligibility by mail
3. Your county's social services office may contact you by mail or by phone to request paper verification of income, citizenship, and other criteria that cannot be verified electronically
4. Receive a Final Notice of Action notifying you of whether or not you can receive Medi-Cal
5. Receive your BIC – when you receive your BIC in the mail, you are able to use the many Medi-Cal benefits available to you.

Please refer to page 17 of the My Medi-Cal: How to Get the Health Care You Need guide to learn about retroactive Medi-Cal.
Please refer to the Department of Health Care Services website to learn more about the steps to apply and select a plan.

Some dental and vision services are covered under Medi-Cal.

For more information, contact Denti-Cal via (800) 322-6384, by visiting their website or the Medi-Cal Dental Provider Directory.

Vision: Contact your insurance company under Medi-Cal (ex: Molina, Kaiser, Community Health Group)

The process might be completed in as little as 30 days but can sometimes take longer. Counties sometimes have different processes, so ICTs work more smoothly between some counties than others. You will continue to receive benefits either way.

Ideally, you will want to call your county’s Medi-Cal/Health and Human Services department at least 10 days before you move to San Diego. A list of Medi-Cal county offices can be found here.

F-1 and J-1 international students are required to purchase the pre-approved policy offered by JCB Insurance Solutions in order to statsify the California State University insurance requirement.

Visit the International Student Center website for more detailed information.

However, yes. In general, anyone can apply for Medi-Cal. A person on an H-1 visa is a temporary worker or trainee. Anyone living and working in California and can provide evidence of that, they can meet California residency.

Yes, you may qualify for benefits regardless of your citizenship status.

For more information about qualifying for Medi-Cal or Covered California, please visit Department of Healthcare Services website.


Health Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The California State University (CSU) does not require domestic undergraduate students to have healthcare insurance. However, international students, and American Language Institute (ALI) students are all required to have health insurance, and have it approved through their respective programs.

Also, the new laws implemented in 2010 by the Affordable Care Act require all U.S. citizens and legal residents to have healthcare insurance. 

The Health & Wellness Fee provides funding for the delivery of health and wellness services to students. This fee is included in tuition, and cannot be waived or reimbursed.

Departments funded by the Health & Wellness Fee are Student Health Services, Counseling & Psychological Services, Well-being & Health Promotion and Student Ability Success Center.

Within these departments, the fee provides funding for staff and faculty positions that include medical providers, counselors, therapists and health educators. It also provides funding for programming efforts that include support for health promotion and mental health outreach. It also provides funding for the departments to work collaboratively to provide comprehensive and holistic well-being offerings to students.

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. The law requires that U.S. citizens and legal residents have health insurance.

Having access to Student Health Services is not the same as having health insurance. If you would like more information regarding the ACA and how it affects you, or you would like to know how to obtain healthcare insurance,  make an appointment with the Health Literacy and Outreach Coordinator

SHS is a great resource for basic health care, however it is NOT considered a health insurance plan under the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) laws.

Undergraduate: No, there is not an SDSU Health insurance offered for domestic undergraduate students.

However, you can submit a request via our website to have someone assist you in obtaining health insurance/Medi-Cal. After submitting your request, our enrollment specialists will reach out to you via phone or email within 2 to 3 buisness days.

Graduate Students: Please refer to the Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP) site for information on health insurance related requirements and coverage options available for SDSU Graduate Students.

International Students (F1 & J1) and American Language Institute (ALI) Students: Please contact the International Student Center or the American Language Institute for more information. There is an international health plan, but it needs to be purchased in conjunction with enrollment as an international student. 

We have enrollment specialists who can assist students in obtaining Covered California health insurance or Medi-Cal. Submit a request to speak with one of our campus partners.

If you move to a new county to attend college, your Medi-Cal plan will cover emergency room and urgent care visits in your new county. Emergency services and urgent care services are available to all Medi-Cal enrollees statewide, regardless of the county of residence.

Routine and prevenative care are only covered in your county of residence. If you would like to continue receiving these types of benefits in San Diego County and are enrolled in Medi-Cal, you can contact the county where your policy is active and report that you are temporarily moving to attend college. You will need to provide your address in the new county.

Our Health Literacy and Outreach Coordinator is here to assist you with any additional questions you have. Please contact our offices at [email protected] or call 619-594-4133.