Your Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP) coverage is impacted when taking a leave of absence (LOA) or withdrawing (WD) from Harvard. 

The official last date of attendance as recorded by the Registrar’s office will determine the HUSHP coverage end date.

Students expecting to take a leave of absence or to withdraw from the University should contact Member Services as early as possible with any questions or concerns regarding their health insurance coverage. 

You can purchase four months of HUSHP coverage. You must take action –coverage is not automatic.

You have the option to purchase HUSHP coverage so that you have time to secure other insurance coverage outside of Harvard, and to transition your care.

 

End dates of your current coverage
  • The last day of the month of the official last date of attendance as recorded by the Registrar’s Office
  • January 31 coverage ends, if the last date of attendance recorded by the Registrar’s Office is either in December or January
     
  • July 31coverage ends, if the last date of attendance recorded by the Registrar’s Office is  May 1through July 31
Insurance options
  • Purchase four months of HUSHP leave of absence/withdrawal coverage to help transition from HUSHP to another insurance plan
     
  • Purchase health insurance through Mass Health Connector or Healthcare.gov (link to Securing Coverage after the four months of HUSHP coverage ends)
     
  • Check to see if you qualify to be added to your parent/spouse’s health insurance plan

Deadlines to purchase HUSHP leave of absence/withdrawal coverage

  • 30 days from the date of loss of coverage
  • If you are  going on leave/withdrawal before a new term starts, Member Services must receive your enrollment application by:
    • September 15: Fall term deadline
    • March 15: Spring term deadline

Purchase leave of absence/withdrawal coverage

  • You can purchase the same coverage that you had prior to the time of your leave
  • The coverage effective date will be the first day of the month without coverage
  • Submit an LOA/WD HUSHP application prior to the applicable deadline
  • Payment is by check only and must accompany the application.  Checks should be made payable to Harvard University
   

Checklist

Review this checklist to confirm that you have covered all the necessary steps when preparing for insurance coverage on a leave/withdrawal. Remember that deadlines apply and you should begin to prepare for your leave as soon as possible.

  1. Contact your school to confirm your last date of attendance

  2. Review HUSHP Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy to understand how your HUSHP coverage will change

  3.  Submit a paper enrollment application along with payment to purchase four months of additional coverage 

  4. Start researching alternate insurance coverage for when your 4 month coverage ends

Securing Coverage After Your Four Months Ends

Prepare now! The four months of HUSHP coverage gives you time to transition to another insurance plan. Do not wait until your HUSHP insurance coverage ends before securing other coverage.

Many insurance companies have enrollment deadlines. It is your responsibility to begin preparing early enough in the process to ensure you do not have a break in coverage.

Additional options after your 4 month coverage ends

Your Parents/Guardians

If your parents have health insurance coverage, you may qualify to enroll under their policy. 

Massachusetts Residents

Massachusetts Health Connector 
The Health Connector is an independent state agency that helps you find the right health insurance plan. mahealthconnector.org
877-­-623-­-6765

Mass Health
You may be eligible for subsidized coverage through Mass Health if you meet income and other eligibility requirements.  massresources.org  
800-­-841-­-2900

Residents outside of Massachusetts

Healthcare.gov
This website is managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. This online tool provides information on health insurance options throughout the United States.
healthcare.gov

 

Appeal to Extend Coverage Beyond Four MonthS 

In very limited cases, we may grant an extension beyond the four months of leave of absence/withdrawal coverage.

All students, including international students, who intend to reside in Massachusetts during their leave of absence/withdrawal, may purchase coverage through the MA Health Connector. In these cases, we do not approve an extension of coverage. We will notify the student with a decision on the appeal. If approved, payment is required within 10 business days. 
 

To Extend Coverage:

  • Students must make at least two attempts to purchase another insurance plan.  Denial letters are required as part of the appeal.
  • Submit the appeal application with denial letters at least 10 business days before their HUSHP leave of absence/withdrawal coverage ends.

Appeal form

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an option to extend HUSHP coverage after a leave or withdrawal? 
Yes. However, you may only continue HUSHP enrollment for up to four months after your coverage ends. In order to secure continuous coverage through HUSHP, you must request enrollment and pay the premium within 30 days of your last day of coverage. Enrollment in this plan is NOT automatic. 

Is LOA/Withdrawal insurance the same coverage under the four month extension?
Yes, if you choose to extend your HUSHP coverage, the plan benefits will remain the same. View plan benefits and limitations in the student handbook.

Am I covered out of state?
The Student Health Fee offers no benefits outside of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). The Student Health Insurance Plan (BCBS and prescription drug coverage) covers you throughout the United States and abroad.  For information regarding plan benefits and limitations, please visit hushp.harvard.edu.

Why is COBRA not available through HUSHP?
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) is a federal mandate requiring employers to offer extension of health care benefits to their employees after termination of employment. The Harvard University Student Health Program is not an employer plan and therefore, COBRA is not available.