Stanford University has hired Health Net of California Inc. to provide health coverage for the university’s undergraduate and graduate students.

A Health Net of California affiliate, Health Net Life Insurance Company, will replace Aetna Inc., Hartford (NYSE:AET), as the administrator of Cardinal Care, Stanford’s medical and prescription benefits health plan.

The plan has about 8,000 student participants, according to Health Net.

Health Net of California is part of HealthNet Inc., Woodland Hills, Calif. (NYSE:HNT).

Starting in the 2010-2011 school year, the university will make the health plan available to spouses, domestic partners and children of Stanford students.