Health Insurance While at School

State Requirements
  • Massachusetts law requires all students registered for 3/4 time or more to carry health insurance
  • Students may be covered by individual or family coverage, or may participate in the College's Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) offered through University Health Plans and provided by Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
  • To ensure compliance with the law, all undergraduate and graduate students registered for 9 credits or more are enrolled in and billed for the school plan at the beginning of the academic year.
    • Although students wishing to be covered by the plan will be enrolled automatically (after the allowable waiver period is over), to avoid any interim coverage issues between the beginning of the plan year on August 15th, and the time the automatic enrollment lists are sent by the College to Blue Cross in mid-September, students should fill out the enrollment form on line. Even if you are currently enrolled in the plan, you will get your new insurance card more quickly if you enroll on line.
  • Students wishing to substitute other individual or family coverage for the school plan must demonstrate comparable coverage by filing a waiver on line or at the Student Financial Services' office at the beginning of the academic year.
  • It is the policy of the College that all international students be enrolled in the school plan to ensure accessible coverage
  • The law does not allow out of state Medicaid coverage as comparable insurance, although MassHealth qualifies
  • School insurance coverage is also available to
    • Students entering in January or the summer
    • Part time students and dependents are not eligible for the College's Student Health Insurance Plan
      • Part-time students and dependents should investigate market rate plans and subsidized plans offered through the Massachusetts Health Connector (
Comparing the School Plan with Other Coverage

Coverage Under the College Student Health Insurance Plan : Blue Cross Blue Shield

The Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan year begins August 15th each year and continues to August 14th of the following year. It's an excellent plan with comprehensive benefits including the following :

  • Wide range of treatment and prevention services
  • Nationwide PPO network that includes worldwide coverage
  • $250 deductibles that does not apply to in-network preventative health services and prenatal care, diagnostic tests, most office visits, mental health visits, therapy visits, emergency room services, emergency transportation.
  • $30 co-pay for most visits if provided in network including mental health visits
  • Prescription drug coverage with co-payments based on "tier" for each prescription; no co-payments for tier 1 contraceptive prescriptions or birth control devices.
  • Covers student wherever she/he is geographically located for the period enrolled
  • No overall plan maximum

The plan has a 20% co-insurance requirement for in-patient admissions up to an out of pocket maximum of $5,350 per policy year. Receiving care out of network has higher co-insurance. Click here to read the plan on line.

Comparing the School Plan with Other Individual or Family Coverage

Benefits to enrolling in the school plan:

  • Offers a wide range of services at a reasonable cost (for the '14-'15 academic year $2,655 annually for undergraduates; $4,365 for graduate students
  • Modest co-pays if care is provided in network--network very broad
  • Facilitates access/, including mental health providers as Blue Cross Blue Shield is widely known and accepted by providers
  • Is easily transportable during vacations/summer
  • Provides extra privacy when compared to being covered as a dependent under family plan as "explanation of benefits" forms noting visits/tests charged to plan are not sent to home address of family
  • May eliminate need for family, rather than individual or "employee plus one" coverage for parent(s)

Benefits of other coverage, such as coverage under your family's plan

  • Saves extra cost of school plan if your family needs a family plan in any case
  • Provides option of continuing coverage under family plan until age 26

If you choose family or other individual coverage check with your insurer about the following

  • Be sure your plan will cover you in an emergency while at school or traveling
  • If you plan to use mental health services outside of the school Counseling Center, check the coverage of your family plan
  • Know whether your plan requires prior approval before referral to a specialist (e.g., dermatologist) or diagnostic testing and where to call to get approval
  • Know the prescription benefits of your plan. If the prescription coverage requires you to lay out the money and get reimbursed, be sure you have a way of doing that (e.g., credit card)
  • Be sure you have the name, policy number and phone number of your plan. Know who the primary "insured" is under your plan (Mother? Father? Self?). Have a copy of your insurance card.