Funding Options

Cardinal Care Subsidy

The University’s Cardinal Care student health insurance plan is managed by the Vaden Health Center.  The Financial Aid Office administers an automatic University-wide subsidy program for Graduate students.

The annual cost for Cardinal Care for the 2016-2017 academic year is $4,968. The annual plan, which runs from September 1 through August 31, includes coverage in Summer quarter (whether you are registered that quarter or not).  See the Cardinal Care Overview and Benefits for information about the plan.  Students with questions may contact Vaden's health insurance office at 650-723-2135 or submit a HelpSU ticket

Stanford subsidizes the Cardinal Care premium for graduate students who are employed in Research or Teaching Assistantships, and for graduate students receiving an equivalent level of fellowship support. The 2016-2017 Cardinal Care Cost and Coverage Table provides information about the charges you will see on your university bill, as well as an example of the Cardinal Care Subsidy, by quarter, based on when your enrollment begins at Stanford.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How much is the subsidy? 
    The FULL benefit consists of a payment of 50 percent of the Cardinal Care premium. For 2016-2017, the full subsidy is $828/quarter for Autumn, Winter and Spring.*

    The PARTIAL benefit consists of a payment of 25 percent of the Cardinal Care premium. For 2016-2017, the partial subsidy is $414/quarter for Autumn, Winter and Spring.*

    *For the purposes of calculating the amount of the subsidy, the Cardinal Care premium is defined as the cost of the 12 month coverage, divided by three academic quarters. 

  2. Who qualifies to receive this benefit?
    Enrolled graduate students who do not waive Cardinal Care and do not have an outside fellowship source paying the full cost of health insurance will receive the subsidy at the following levels:

    • FULL subsidy for those with a Research or Teaching Assistantship appointment of 25% or more or those with a fellowship paying a non-tuition stipend at or above the minimum salary for a 25% assistantship (CA or RA). For 2016-17 the minimum 25% salary is $4,644.00.

    • PARTIAL subsidy for those with a Research or Teaching Assistantship appointment of less than 25% or those with a fellowship paying a non-tuition stipend at or above the minimum salary for a 10% assistantship (CA or RA). For 2016-17 the minimum 10% salary is $1,857.00.

    Students not meeting the above criteria are not eligible for a Cardinal Care subsidy. 

  3. Will eligibility be determined on an annual or quarterly basis?
    Eligibility will be determined each quarter based on the financial assistance received for that quarter. Likewise, the subsidy is paid on a quarterly basis. To be eligible, aid must be entered by your department by the first payroll deadline each quarter.

  4. When will the subsidy appear on my account?
    The subsidy payment will be applied to your student account as soon as the qualifying financial aid (e.g., the fellowship or assistantship appointment) is approved.  It will appear as "anticipated aid" until the start of the quarter and until you have enrolled in the appropriate level of units (typically full-time).  The subsidy may be withdrawn entirely or amounts adjusted if your financial support is withdrawn or reduced prior to the first payroll deadline each quarter (usually the third week of the quarter).

  5. Do graduate students who are employed in jobs that pay hourly wages qualify for this subsidy?
    No. Graduate students will qualify for the Cardinal Care subsidy if they have either a Research or Teaching Assistantship (an RA or TA appointment) or an equivalent level of fellowship.  Other student jobs on campus will not qualify the student for the Cardinal Care subsidy.

  6. Are co-term graduate students eligible for this subsidy?
    Yes, if the co-term student has reached graduate student status (i.e., earned 180 units) and meets all other eligibility requirements. Co-term students still receiving undergraduate need-based aid will not be eligible for the subsidy.

  7. How does Cardinal Care subsidy work during the Summer?
    If you are enrolled in Cardinal Care during the academic year you will automatically be enrolled in Cardinal Care for Summer quarter at no additional cost (whether you are enrolled as a student in the Summer or not). Since there is no charge posted for Cardinal Care during Summer quarter, a corresponding Cardinal Care subsidy is not applied in Summer quarter.

  8. Do I have to apply to receive a Cardinal Care health insurance subsidy?
    No. All graduate students who are enrolled in Cardinal Care and who qualify for the subsidy will automatically receive the subsidy for which they are eligible as soon as their qualifying aid has been approved. In order for the payment to be applied, you must be enrolled in at least 8 units (or TGR status) during each academic-year quarter (Autumn, Winter and Spring). 

  9. What happens if I enroll in Cardinal Care late?
    If you enroll in Cardinal Care after the deadline due to a Qualifying Life Event, and you otherwise qualify for the subsidy, you may be eligible. You will need to request a review by emailing cardinalcaresubsidy@stanford.edu before the end of the quarter in question.

  10. I didn’t get the subsidy during the academic year, but now have support during the summer. Can I be considered?
    If you were ineligible for the subsidy during either Autumn, Winter or Spring quarters and paid the Cardinal Care charge out of pocket and now have assistantship or fellowship support for Summer quarter that would qualify for the subsidy, but don’t have a summer charge, you may be given the subsidy "retroactively" for one of the previous quarters. You will need to request a review by emailing cardinalcaresubsidy@stanford.edu.
Updated on September 21, 2016 2:21 PM