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SHIP Frequently Asked Questions

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General Information 

What is the Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) for retired teachers? 
The Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a unique package of benefits developed by the Retired Teachers Chapter of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT-RTC) exclusively for its members. It provides a supplement to coverage available through city's regular health insurance providers and is activated only after those providers have paid their benefits. 

SHIP is a low-cost program to coordinate with most health plans available to retirees of New York City systems. For a modest yearly fee, SHIP will supplement certain payments provided by your New York City health coverage up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $100,000/$10,000 for pre-existing conditions. 

SHIP does not require a medical examination for enrollment. SHIP is separate from your health plan and welfare fund and therefore must be notified of any changes (i.e., death, divorce, marriage). 

Helpful links 

Do retirees enrolled in the SHIP program have worldwide coverage? 
Yes, Participants are covered under this program all over the world subject to SHIP’s requirements. 


How much does SHIP cost? How much money do I need to send when I enroll? 
Please refer to the SHIP card for the exact fees, as they depend on the time of year and whether or not you also enroll a spouse or domestic partner. You must pay upfront for the first year through December and the cost is $10.00 per month per person. 

How do I submit my SHIP application to the UFT to enroll? 
You can download the SHIP application and mail it along with payment listed on the form to: 
52 Broadway, 17th fl. 
New York, NY 10004 

What information do I need to include on my SHIP application? 
You must include: 

  • Your name 
  • Address 
  • Phone number 
  • Retirement date 
  • Social Security number 
  • A signed pension deduction authorization - please make sure to sign off on the pension deduction authorization on the SHIP application form, or you will be charged a $30 administrative fee. 
  • If you would also like to enroll a spouse/domestic partner, you must attach a copy of either your marriage certificate or domestic partner registration along with the application. 

How soon can I apply for SHIP upon retirement? 
You must first be enrolled as a UFT-RTC member (learn how to enroll in the RTC). Your SHIP application cannot be processed until your retirement date, therefore, please send your application and payment approximately one month prior to your date of retirement. 

Once I retire, can I send my Retired Teachers Chapter and SHIP application at the same time? 
Yes, you can send both enrollment applications for the RTC and SHIP together in the envelope included in the retirement packet you were given at your final pension consultation. 

How soon after receipt will my SHIP application be processed? 
The SHIP application process begins the day you retire and are enrolled as a member of the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter. We strive to have all applications processed on the day of retirement, but please allow for up to one week to complete the application process. 

How do I know if the UFT has received my SHIP application? 
We strive to have all applications processed as soon after the date of retirement as possible, but due to a high volume of applicants, please allow for up to one week's processing time. You will receive a welcome packet once your SHIP enrollment is finalized. If there are any issues with your application that may hold up your application, we will notify you via email. 

Will I be notified if my SHIP application is incomplete? 
If there are any issues with your SHIP application, we will notify you via email to resolve any issues which may hold up your approval. 


Who is eligible for SHIP coverage? 
UFT retirees, UFT retired nurses, retired employees of UFT or affiliated organizations, and their spouses/domestic partners. Children and other dependents are NOT eligible for SHIP. For detailed information, please refer to page 7 of the SHIP Booklet.

Do you have to be a member of the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter (RTC) to qualify for SHIP benefits? 
Yes. SHIP is a unique package of benefits developed by the Retired Teachers Chapter exclusively for its members. 

Can a spouse or domestic partner enroll as a dependent under SHIP? 
They can enroll as a dependent if they do not qualify for their own SHIP coverage. When your eligible spouse/domestic partner is an in-service UFT member, they may enroll in SHIP at the time of your retirement. Once they retire, they MUST enroll separately within one (1) year after their own retirement, provided they meet all SHIP requirements for eligibility at that time. For detailed information, please refer to page 9 of the SHIP Booklet. 

What happens if a UFT surviving spouse/domestic partner does not create their own SHIP account after retirement? 
They risk losing SHIP coverage in the event the primary member passes away. 


When can I file a claim? 
A completed, payable SHIP claim form MUST be filed within 1 year of the date of service or payment by health plan(s), whichever is later. The exception is for dental, emergency alert system, prescription drug and surgical stockings/sleeves benefits, which must be filed by December 31st of the subsequent year. Download a SHIP claim form » 

What documents are required to accompany a SHIP claim form? 
You must include the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements from your primary health plan(s) and proof of payment for the claim submitted. If you fail to include the required supporting documents with your SHIP claim form, your claim may be denied. Please reference the back of the SHIP claim form for all the necessary documentation or refer to page 12 of the SHIP Booklet.

Can I file multiple claims using a single SHIP claim form? 
No, you must complete a separate SHIP claim form for each claim. Please send a separate email or fax for each claim. 

How long does it take to receive a SHIP reimbursement? 
It takes approximately four weeks from the date we receive the claim.

What is the status of my SHIP claim? 
To review the status of your claim, log in to the UFT Member Hub, go to your profile and select the claims tab. 


What is the purpose of the dental stipend benefit offered by SHIP? 
The dental stipend benefit is designed to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses for dental services. 

What is the maximum amount that SHIP will reimburse for dental services per calendar year? 
SHIP will reimburse up to $400 per calendar year for dental services. 

What types of dental services are eligible for reimbursement under SHIP? 
Dental services must be partially covered by dental insurance, such as the UFT Welfare Fund Dental plan, in order to be eligible for reimbursement. 

Can dental services be reimbursed if they are not partially covered by dental insurance? 
No, dental services must be partially covered by dental insurance, such as the UFT Welfare Fund Dental plan, to be eligible for reimbursement.

Is there an exception to the requirement of having dental insurance for dental services under SHIP? 
The only exceptions to the requirement of having dental insurance is for endosteal/surgical placement of implant(s) or procedures that are denied by insurance due to frequency. 

What is the limitation on the number of dental claim submissions per calendar year? 
Only one dental claim submission per calendar year is allowed. 

When is the deadline to file a dental claim for reimbursement? 
Dental claims must be filed by December 31st of the following year.