Before Contacting ISHIP

Students are strongly encouraged to review the information on this website and the below FAQs prior to contacting ISHIP. Ninety percent (90%) of the inquiries received via email can be addressed by reviewing the various pages within and ultimately students will be redirected to this website in those instances.

Insurance FAQs

How do I get verification that I am enrolled in ISHIP?

Contact LifeWise for the following verifications:

  • You want a copy of the verification
  • A program outside UW requests verification
  • To waive your spouse’s insurance because they already have coverage through ISHIP
  • You have annual insurance and need documentation of it for a summer program
  • Another insurance carrier requested proof that you, your spouse, or your children are currently enrolled in ISHIP

Contact the ISHIP Office for the following verifications:

  • Waivers of community college coverage when attending during summer quarter
  • Verification for a UW sports team

I logged into the LifeWise website to add dependents but I received a message that enrollment is closed. What do I do?

This message is generated on the LifeWise website for one of two reasons:

  1. MyUW Registration: The number of new or additional dependents was not indicated in MyUW during the registration process and therefore was not submitted to LifeWise for enrollment. Adding dependents via MyUW is only available through the third Friday of the quarter. After the third Friday, dependents may be only be added the following quarter.
  2. Dependents enrolled via MyUW but not the LifeWise portal: Students who fail to enroll their dependents on the LifeWise portal by the 3rd Friday of the quarter must complete the Dependent Enrollment Form (pdf) on the LifeWise website and mail it to LifeWise to complete your dependent’s enrollment. You may bring your completed Dependent Enrollment Form to the ISHIP Office at Hall Health for quicker service.

I'm an international student. I have other coverage and tried to cancel my ISHIP coverage but I couldn't. Why can't I cancel it?

UW international students are required to enroll in ISHIP and are automatically enrolled for student-only coverage each quarter they register for classes. Students may waive ISHIP coverage only under certain criteria. See the Waiver Eligibility page for more information.

If International Students Services grants your waiver request, they will cancel your current quarter’s ISHIP coverage.

I am graduating this quarter and I purchased the annual plan. Are there any changes in the care or coverage once I graduate?

Any non-ISHIP related subsidized services offered to registered students are not available once a student graduates.

Please note: Students not registered for classes must pay a $100 quarterly deductible for care at Hall Health Center. Students registered in classes will have the deductible waived for most services at Hall Health Center.


Does ISHIP cover Coronavirus testing and treatment?

LifeWise Assurance Company is currently waiving cost shares including copays, deductibles, and coinsurance for all COVID-19 related treatment (both inpatient and outpatient). Check the LifeWise website for updated information on when cost-share waiver expires.

How can I access a medical/mental health provider remotely during the period of social distancing?

Medical Services: Students can utilize Doctors on Demand and 98point6, two app-based video and text remote medical services partnered with LifeWise. Refer to LifeWise – Find a Doctor for additional information.

Mental Health Services: Students can access a mental health counselor remotely with the Talkspace app-based program. Go to the LifeWise Talkspace website for more information.

If I am studying online from my home country, can I waive the ISHIP requirement?

All F-1 and J-1 visa status international students are required to enroll each quarter in ISHIP during their time at the UW. International students who are in their home country and taking online-only courses at the UW are eligible to waive the ISHIP requirement and the associated fee.

How to waive the fee: Go to the How to Apply to Waive ISHIP section of the ISHIP Waiver page to submit a waiver request. Waiver requests are due by the third Friday of each quarter, but students may submit a waiver request at any time after registering for quarterly classes.

If I am covered under ISHIP but am studying outside of the U.S., will ISHIP cover my medical expenses?

Students do have some coverage outside of the U.S. Students who incur medical expenses abroad will need to pay for it out of pocket and submit an itemized receipt with a completed Medical Claim Form to Lifewise upon returning to Seattle.

Non-emergent visits are covered under the out-of-network benefit (60% covered after $100 quarterly deductible is met) to an allowed amount (not necessary what is billed).
Emergency visits are covered as in-network (75% covered after $100 copay and $100 quarterly deductible is met) to the amount billed.

LifeWise Talkspace FAQs

We believe when it comes to mental health, healthcare is important, but it’s only one part of the equation. Mental health shouldn’t be treated any differently than other medical conditions.

Talkspace is a tele-behavioral health provider that offers outpatient therapy and psychiatric services. LifeWise has recently partnered with the Talkspace Mental Health app to provide in-network video conferencing and text-based therapy services.

What is Talkspace?

What services are available?

  • Behavioral health counseling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Therapy
  • Prescribing of behavioral health medications in some states (including Washington)

Are these credentialed providers?

Yes, Talkspace has an extensive, nationwide network of 4,000+ licensed mental health providers.
All Talkspace providers:

  • Have have an average of 10 years of experience providing therapy
  • Go through the same credentialing process as any other LifeWise-contracted provider

Getting care with Talkspace

How do I register?

Visit and select Get Started. You will be prompted to provide your health plan information during enrollment, so have your ISHIP card ready.

How do I choose a therapist?

After registering you will be asked a few questions that will help match you to a handful of providers. You can then read their biographies and choose the therapist best fit for you.

How quickly can I get an appointment?

You can immediately start texting your selected Talkspace provider. You will typically get a text response within 24 hours.
Initial appointments are usually available within 1 to 3 days.
Therapy or counseling can usually start within 4 to 7 days.

How do I work with my therapist?

After you register, all communication is handled through the Talkspace platform, which ensures secure, confidential communication.

  • Video: You and your therapist will establish an appointment schedule for live, face-to-face video appointments.
  • Text: No appointment is necessary. Texts can happen 24/7. Your therapist will respond quickly, usually in less than a day. It isn’t live chat, though, where a member can expect an immediate response to their text.

How does Talkspace handle emergencies? What if I’m in crisis?

Talkspace isn’t a crisis hotline. If you need immediate help, call:

  • 911
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255)

Once I sign up for therapy, will I have the same therapist?

Yes. You will have an ongoing relationship with the same therapist unless you request a change.

If my therapist doesn’t feel like a good match, can I get matched with a different therapist?

Yes, you can switch therapists. You can do this online through the secure Talkspace interface.

How often should I have an appointment with my therapist?

You can meet with your therapist as often as needed based on your medical need.

What languages are supported by Talkspace?

The Talkspace platform is only available in English. The Talkspace therapist network covers over 25 different languages, including:

Chinese (Mandarin)

Can I cancel at any time?

Yes. You can stop using services at any time you choose.

Payment information

How are Talkspace sessions billed?

Equivalent sessions
30-45 minute traditional in-person session (not offered by Talkspace) = 30-45 minute video session = 1 week text session

The exact number and duration of texts will vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature of the specific interaction with each individual.
Members are billed when the therapeutic equivalent of a 30- or 45-minute therapy session is met.

How much does a session cost?

Through June 30, 2020, Talkspace services are FREE to ISHIP members.
Starting July 1, 2020, you will pay 10% of the cost of the service. The deductible does not apply to this service.
Approximate costs*:

Service Full cost* Your cost
Initial psychiatric assessment $180 $18
45-minute therapy session (by text or video) $105 $10.50

* Prices shown are approximate. Your exact cost depends on specific service and provider type.

How do I pay?

You can pay through the app using a credit or debit card.

Technical information

Is the Talkspace service secure?

Yes. On the Talkspace platform, privacy and safety are always our first consideration.
Talkspace uses these methods to ensure you and your data are always kept safe and confidential:

  • Talkspace technology is fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • All data is encrypted on the servers
  • All communication between our software and the servers is encrypted.
  • You are required to enter your password and a unique passcode on the Talkspace app
  • Fingerprint authentication is also available on supported devices
  • All chat data is encrypted on the servers
  • All communication between Talkspace software and servers is encrypted

Who do I contact if I’m having technical difficulties with the website or app?

Contact Talkspace at