CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19): HEALTH INSURANCE FAQs 
 

Updated 08/31/2021

We continue to be committed to making sure you receive the care you need while you are away from campus. Due to the extraordinary circumstances that we are all facing, we have implemented temporary benefit changes to your Student Health Insurance Plan. Please review our FAQs below, which address these benefit changes. This list is not all-inclusive and will be updated as the situation evolves.

The Student Health Insurance Plan is adopting all temporary emergency measures put into place by Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA (BCBSMA) to address the COVID-19 outbreak. Students enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan can access the BCBSMA Coronavirus page for additional information and resources. 

If you waived the Student Health Insurance Plan and have questions about your coverage, please contact your waived insurance plan for information. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

  • HUHS is offering weekly vaccine clinics to the Harvard community,
  • HUHS has launched a COVID telephone line to answer your questions, which you can reach by calling the main number at (617) 495-5711.     
  • If you have already received your vaccine and are a patient of HUHS, you can let HUHS know by making a copy of the CDC vaccine card and emailing that information to mrecords@huhs.harvard.edu

Other State Vaccination Sites

HUHS is not the only source for vaccination for members of the Harvard community. It is strongly recommended that individuals seek vaccination opportunities from all sources available to them. This may include state vaccination sites, community-based sites, and other healthcare providers. Many of these locations may have a greater vaccine supply than the University does at this time.

FOR MORE CLINICAL INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT: https://huhs.harvard.edu/covid-vaccine-info

Will the vaccine be covered by my Student Health Insurance Plan?

Vaccines approved for emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be covered at no cost for Student Health Insurance members. The federal government has purchased millions of doses of the vaccine and will provide it for free. Any costs related to the administration of the vaccine will be covered by the plan, with no member cost-share.

When receiving the vaccine at state vaccination sites, community-based sites, retail pharmacies, or other clinical settings, please present your BCBSMA ID number. 

Will the vaccine be covered by my Student Health Fee if done at HUHS?

Yes. Vaccines administered by HUHS to Student Health Fee members will be covered at no cost.

Are you waiving cost-sharing for any COVID-19 related services?

If you are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, you will not be responsible for medically necessary costs related to COVID-19 testing, hospitalizations, or office visit consultations when you seek care from a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO provider or an out-of-network provider. The plan will waive member cost-share (co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles) for medically necessary COVID-19 testing, counseling, vaccines (when available), and treatment and supportive care to alleviate symptoms at doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, and emergency departments, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines. This also includes telemedicine services for those members with a COVID-19 diagnosis. Any medically necessary treatment for COVID-19 is covered under a member’s health plan within the United States or internationally.

Note: Blue Cross Blue Shield will not cover COVID-19 testing for travel or work requirements. 

Does the Student Health Insurance Plan cover telemedicine services?

Telemedicine services are normally covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan for urgent care and mental health in three ways:

  1. The in-network provider is contracted with BCBS to offer telemedicine consultations to their patients
  2. The provider offers telemedicine consultations through Well Connection
  3. The provider is out-of-network; however, they use a HIPAA compliant platform to offer telemedicine consultations to their patients
Provider Type Coverage
In-network
  • Members can meet with their provider via telephone or telemedicine consults
  • The benefit is open to all specialty types, including urgent care and mental health services
  • The provider must be licensed in the same state where the member is located
  • As of August 1, 2021: copayments will apply for non-COVID-19 related visits
Out-of-network
  • Members can meet with their provider via telephone or telemedicine consults
  • The benefit is open to all specialty types, including urgent care and mental health services
  • The provider must be licensed in the same state where the member is located
  • Out-of-network cost-sharing will apply, except for services billed with a COVID-19 diagnosis

Does the Student Health Insurance Plan cover the COVID-19 antibody test?

If you are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, you will be covered for the COVID-19 antibody test when the following conditions are met:

  • The test is ordered for medical reasons (i.e., you exhibited signs of the illness; however, you had not been tested for the illness)
  • The test is ordered by a network physician
  • The test is performed by a network lab

Consult with your physician to determine if they recommend that you be tested. 

Note: the test will not be covered if it is ordered for administrative reasons (i.e. return to work/school/public health study).

Important:
If you are currently out-of-state and the ordering provider is not located in your current state, please contact BCBS at (800) 810-2583 for a list of network labs.

I am enrolled in the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan, but I am Studying Remotely per the University guidance. Am I able to access in-network providers outside of Massachusetts?

Yes, the plan is a PPO plan, which allows members access to in-network providers throughout the United States.

  • Members can search for in-network medical providers online (Select Blue Card PPO/EPO as your plan’s network) or by calling BCBS at 800-810-2583. Additionally, members may call BCBS at 877-566-2583 for assistance locating in-network mental health providers.  
  • If you are relocating to another country, you may call BCBS Global Core at 800-810-2583 for help locating providers in the area where you will be residing. You will likely be required to pay out-of-pocket for services and file for reimbursement. You must obtain itemized receipts for any care that you receive.   

Familiarize yourself with plan benefits before needing care.

How can I file for reimbursement for medical and prescription services received outside of the United States?

Medical care:

Most countries do not bill international health insurance carriers so you may have to pay out-of-pocket and file for reimbursement; however, there are some hospitals around the world that will work with BCBS Global Core rather than having you pay upfront. Please contact BCBS Global Core at 800-810-2583 or 804-673-1177 (collect from outside of the U.S.) for more information.

If you are required to pay out-of-pocket, follow these steps to apply for reimbursement:

  1. Obtain an itemized receipt from the provider; a copy of your medical records is important if you become hospitalized and/or have surgery.
  2. Complete an International Claim form and send it to BCBS Global Core with your itemized receipts. You do not need to have the documents translated.
  3. Save a copy of the documents for your records.

Prescription medications:

If you purchase a prescription abroad, follow these steps to obtain reimbursement:

  1. Obtain an itemized receipt from the pharmacy; the receipt will need to include detailed information about the medication (see prescription claim form for details).
  2. Submit a prescription claim form to Express-Scripts along with the receipt.
  3. Save a copy of the documents for your records.

You have two years from the date of service to file for reimbursement for medical claims, and one year from the date of purchase to file for prescription claims.

Visit our travel webpage for more detailed information on how the Student Health Insurance Plan works abroad.

What happens if I exceed the twelve-visit limit because I am residing outside of Massachusetts?

If you need more than twelve visits, please consult the Hardship Fund page to see if you qualify for further assistance.

What happens if I exceed the fifty-two visit limit for mental health visits because I am residing outside of Massachusetts?

Through dates of service July 31, 2021, if you need more than fifty-two visits, please consult the Hardship Fund page to see if you qualify for further assistance. 

Starting with dates of service August 1, 2021, this temporary funding assistance will expire.

Will I be covered for routine care outside of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) if I am residing outside of Massachusetts?

If you are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan and have not yet had your routine physical at HUHS this current academic year, please contact Member Services for assistance on how to get a routine physical covered through July 31, 2021

As of August 1, 2021, we will be returning to our pre-COVID-19 policy where routine or preventive medical exams for members who are age 18 or older are only covered at HUHS clinics.

ACA vaccines, such as the flu shot and pneumonia vaccine, will continue to be covered as part of your pharmacy benefits if you receive the services at a participating Rite Aid or Walgreens pharmacy. An immunization at a CVS or CVS Minute Clinic is not covered and you will receive a bill for the service. Age restrictions may apply per CDC guidelines. Note: some pharmacies may charge an administration fee for the vaccine.

What if I need prescriptions?

The Student Health Insurance Plan includes a prescription drug benefit, including a mail order option. Learn more about filling prescriptions.

Where will insurance communications be sent if I am no longer residing on campus?

Most of our communications are sent via email to your Harvard email address; however, Blue Cross Blue Shield uses the local address that you have on file with your school for any mailed communications. Please update your local address online to ensure that you continue to receive any mailed communications.  

Can I access Blue Cross Blue Shield claims information online?

Yes, you may access your claims information online through the MyBlue Mobile App. You will need the following information to complete the registration process:

  • BCBSMA ID Number
  • Harvard ID number
  • A password that is 8 or more characters long
  • Email address

I waived the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan as I was studying outside of Massachusetts. I am required to return to campus and my waived insurance will not adequately cover me any longer. Can I re-enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan?

A student who experiences a loss of other health insurance can re-enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan within 60 days of their loss of coverage date by following the waiver rescind process.

I am enrolled in the BCBSMA Student Dental Blue Plan. Am I covered for virtual consultations with participating providers?

BCBSMA will cover virtual consultations, by phone or video, between Dental Blue members and their participating dental providers with no member cost share (copayment, coinsurance deductible up to the member's existing annual dollar maximum) effective March 23, 2020, and until further notice. These additional virtual dental exams are available to all members who already have coverage for this service in a dental office setting.

WHAT IF MY QUESTION IS NOT ADDRESSED BY THESE FAQS?

We recognize the stress you may be feeling as a result of these circumstances. Please contact Member Services by phone at (617) 495-2008 or via email at Mservices@huhs.harvard.edu should you have additional questions.  We’re always glad to help!