Health & Wellness

Penn requires that all full-time and dissertation students have health insurance. Students can elect the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) or other acceptable alternative coverage.

The Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) is provided by Aetna Insurance and is available for all students, as well as their dependents (spouses, domestic partners, and children). Students will be automatically enrolled in the PSIP unless proof of acceptable alternative coverage is provided by the deadline. PSIP runs through the academic year, August 1 - July 31. Insurance for incoming Spring students begins January 1 -  July 31. 

Dependents are not automatically enrolled in PSIP; students must enroll them through the on-line system. For more information about PSIP, the costs, and how to enroll, go to the Student Health Insurance website.

  • The enrollment deadline for the fall semester is August 31.
  • The enrollment deadline date for the spring semester is January 31.
  • The enrollment deadline date for the summer semester is May 31.


The Health Insurance Marketplace helps uninsured people find health coverage, including private insurance, lower cost based on household and income, Medicaid and CHIP.

To be eligible to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace, you:

Visit to find out more about plans, enrollment, and eligibility.

Private Insurance 

There are may other health insurance options in addition to PSIP, but student's private insurance must qualify as acceptable alternate coverage. The Student Health Insurance website has more information about acceptable alternate coverage requirements and guidelines for international students seeking insurance information. 

For more information about private health insurance options, including options for low-income families, please visit the Pennsylvania Insurance Department website.

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid for low income adults are healthcare assistance programs. 

CHIP eligibility is based on your family size and income, your child or teen may be eligible if they meet the following requirements:

  • Under 19 years of age
  • A U.S. citizen, U.S. national or qualified alien
  • A resident of Pennsylvania
  • Uninsured and not eligible for Medical Assistance

Additional information about these programs and other social services for Pennsylvania residents is available through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Services (COMPASS) website. Additional useful information can be found at Covering Kids & Families.

Dependent Health Insurance Grants are available to low income PhD students at Penn. 



Students and their spouses/partners can use Penn's Student Health Service, even if they are not enrolled in the Penn Student Insurance Plan. Spouses and partners needs a PennCard and will be charged on a fee-for-service basis, they should call Student Health Service directly about new patient enrollment. The Student Health Service website has more information. Children, however, are not eligible to use Student Health, so you will need to find a pediatrician for your children. Your health insurance plan can help you identify an appropriate pediatrician.

HELP Line: 215-898-HELP

The University has initiated a HELP Line, a 24-hour-a-day phone number for members of the Penn community who are seeking time sensitive help in navigating Penn’s resources for health and wellness.

Student Health Service

Childbirth and Parenting Classes and Support

Penn Parenting University provides classes lead by specially qualified educators to help you learn what you need to know about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and newborn care. All classes are held on the campus of Pennsylvania Hospital at Solutions for Women. Online classes are now available, including hybrid solution that combines the online course with a two-hour Labor Lab. For more information, call Penn Parenting University at 215-829-5020 or send an email to

The Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support provides trained labor and birth support people (doulas) free of charge to women who would otherwise be unable to access doula care.

Pennsylvania Hospital's Solutions for Women 

A boutique that enables patients and caregivers to purchase health-oriented merchandise in a convenient, comfortable and discreet setting. They offer a wide array of products to help women achieve a positive sense of self including: outpatient lactation services, pregnancy and parenting products, and parenting classes.  

Solutions for Women
700 Spruce Street
Garfield Duncan Building, Suite B3
Philadelphia, 19107

Breastfeeding Equipment

The health care law requires most health insurance plans to provide breastfeeding equipment and counseling for pregnant and nursing women. Health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. These services may be provided before and after you have your baby. These rules apply to Health Insurance Marketplace plans and all other health insurance plans, except for grandfathered plans.


Obstetrics care is available through Penn Medicine at hospitals and clinics across the region. 

Multidisciplinary Women's Health Care is available at Penn Medicine. 

Student Health Service offers gynecological services but does not provide obstetrics care. 

Penn Medicine

Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential counseling services for Penn students. CAPS' trained clinicians offer individual and group therapy. 

Graduate and professional students have access to free memberships. Spouses/partners, and children under 18, can join Penn's gyms for a membership fee.

Penn Rec

The University of Pennsylvania provides many wellness activities and programs through the Wellness at Penn website.

Wellness Portal