Important Waiver Change Effective August 1, 2021

  • We have returned to our pre-COVID waiver options, with the expectation of a return to on-campus studies for the 2021-2022 academic year. 
  • In the event that there is a sudden unexpected shift in the dynamics related to on-campus studies, HUSHP may adjust these eligibility options. An email communication would be sent out.
  • To waive, you must meet the criteria defined below. Regarding the Student Health Fee, students who are studying remotely but are not officially classified with one of the required waiver criteria registration statuses below, will not be eligible for a waiver.

Deadlines and Process Information

We appreciate your concern to obtain coverage that meets the Massachusetts regulations for waiving health coverage. Harvard University Student Health Program office does not review alternative health insurance plans, nor do we confirm whether your non-Harvard coverage meets the requirements for waiving the Student Health Insurance Plan. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to determine whether their coverage is comparable. For assistance, review the waiver checklist. 

Dates of Coverage Waiver Deadline Late Waiver Deadline*
Fall: August 1 - January 31 July 31 August 1 - September 30*
Spring: February 1 - July 31 January 31 February 1 - March 31*

*Late fee applies

HUSHP has Two Parts Waiver Criteria
Student Health Insurance Plan
Cost: $2,020/term
  • Provide reasonably comprehensive health coverage throughout the school year, including preventive and primary care, emergency services, surgical services, hospitalization benefits, ambulatory patient services, mental health services, and prescription drugs; and
  • Be reasonably accessible in the area where you are located for the term 
  • If the waiver is approved, the student will receive a credit to their student account in the full amount (before any applicable late fees)

Student Health Fee
Cost: $621/term

Student Health Fee waivers will be automatically approved to clear registration holds.  

If you are not eligible your waiver will be denied, and the charge will be placed back on your student account.

  • Traveling scholar/study abroad student studying outside the country
  • Enrolled half time or less (must also waive the Student Health Insurance Plan)
  • A non-resident student who resides outside of Massachusetts, and has no activities on campus for the entire term (students who live out of state but attend class on campus do not qualify to waive)
  • Enrolled in the Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP) employee plan
  • On active military duty and prohibited from receiving health care from any facility other than Hanscom Air Force Base (requires an active duty attestation form)

Waiving the Student Health Insurance Plan

It is the student’s responsibility to determine whether their coverage is comparable. Please take the time to make an informed decision using the tools and resources available to you on this website. Once you make the decision to waive, your ability to re-enroll will be limited to open enrollment periods or with a valid qualifying event (e.g., loss of other health insurance coverage).

 Per Massachusetts regulations, your coverage must:

  • Provide reasonably comprehensive health coverage throughout the school year, including preventive and primary care, emergency services, surgical services, hospitalization benefits, ambulatory patient services, mental health services, and prescription drugs; and
  • Be reasonably accessible in the area where you are located for the term 

 Your coverage cannot be:

  • Through the Health Safety Net, MassHealth Limited, or the Children's Medical Security Program
  • From an insurance carrier outside the U.S. or coverage by foreign National Health Service programs, unless you are studying outside of the United States and the insurance provides coverage in that location
  • From a health benefit plan that provides coverage through a closed network of providers, not reasonably accessible in the state in which you are located, for all but emergency services
AT-A-GLANCE
Students Residing Student Health Insurance Plan Waiver
In the U.S. To be eligible to waive, the student must have coverage comparable in the state where they are located during their studies.
Outside of the U.S. To be eligible to waive, the student must have comparable coverage in the country where they are located during their studies.

TAKE ACTION
  • Carefully read through the terms of the waiver application
  • Familiarize yourself with plan benefits through the Student Health Insurance Plan and your other coverage
  • Review the waiver checklist to ensure your coverage is comparable under state law, but also see how it compares against the Student Health Insurance Plan
  • If applicable, submit a waiver application by the deadline

WAIVING (opting out of) THE STUDENT HEALTH FEE

A limited number of students who meet certain criteria are eligible to waive the Student Health Fee. Coverage by other health insurance coverage does not qualify as a reason to waive the Student Health Fee, even if it allows you to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan.

To be eligible to waive the Student Health Fee, the student must meet one of the criteria below:

  • Traveling scholar/study abroad student studying outside the country
  • Enrolled as a half-time or less student (must also waive the Student Health Insurance Plan)
  • A non-resident student who resides outside of Massachusetts, and has no activities on campus for the entire term (students who live out of state but attend class on campus do not qualify to waive)
  • Enrolled member of the Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP); a health insurance plan available to Harvard employees and their dependents
  • A student on active military duty and prohibited from receiving health care from any facility other than Hanscom Air Force Base (requires an active duty attestation form)

  Student Health Fee waivers will be automatically approved to help clear financial registration holds. However, all waivers will be subsequently audited with a student's school after the registration period to ensure eligibility to waive. If the student is found not to be eligible the waiver will be denied, and the charge will be placed back on the student's account. This can result in a new invoice from the University with the Student Health Fee owed as an outstanding balance.


Coverage Away from Home

Not all plans offer coverage for services reasonably accessible to you in Massachusetts. Although your other insurance may meet the definition of comparable coverage, we recommend you review the waiver checklist to help you assess whether your insurance would provide coverage for you while away from home.

Keeping your insurance and the Harvard Student Health InSURANCE Plan?

When you are enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan and another health insurance plan, the Student Health Insurance Plan is always a secondary payer. This means that all claims are processed first through your other insurance and then processed by the Student Health Insurance Plan. To avoid any claims issues, please notify your providers of both plans. Please contact BCBS Coordination of Benefits at (888) 799-1888 for more information.

How do I update my alternate insurance online?

  1. Log in to the student insurance portal
  2. Select "Waive coverage"
  3. Select "Student Health Insurance Plan"
  4. Click the "Update information" link
  5. Select "I have a new insurance company"