All registered students are automatically enrolled in and charged for the Student Health Fee and the Student Health Insurance Plan. These are two very different products and students are often confused about their differences. While the two parts are meant to work together and form a comprehensive medical policy, some students choose to keep both while other students carry just the Student Health Fee with a private insurance plan.
The Student Health Fee is required for the large majority of students as part of school registration. The funding from this fee allows us to provide access to all students, including counseling and mental health services, at the on-campus Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) clinic for no additional cost. This fee does not provide coverage for any healthcare services received outside of HUHS and is not considered an insurance policy.
Massachusetts law requires every registered student to make a decision about the health insurance coverage they will carry while studying at Harvard; this must be either through the University’s Student Health Insurance Plan or the student can elect to waive (opt-out of) this coverage with a comparable alternative health insurance plan by the applicable deadline.
HUHS will likely not be able to provide all your healthcare needs during your time at Harvard. Many students end up needing care, including mental health care, that HUHS cannot or does not provide. These services can be expensive and health insurance offers a way to reduce such costs to more affordable amounts. The Student Health Insurance Plan, administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, works nationwide and abroad and provides important benefits such as emergency care, surgery, hospital visits, specialty care, and prescription medications. While students who waive the Student Health Insurance can still be seen at HUHS, their alternative insurance plan will be responsible for any healthcare services not covered by the Student Health Fee.