Students with alternate health insurance may be eligible to waive the Student Health Insurance Plan, and in very limited cases, waive the Student Health Fee. 

Gather your Harvard credentials, your insurance ID card, and if applicable, the amount of your insurance deductible before starting the Student Health Insurance Plan online waiver application. Incomplete information will result in administrative processing delays. You will receive a confirmation email after you submit your online waiver application. Keep a copy of this email for your records. Member Services does not review any disputed fees without a copy of this email.

Waiving the Student Health Insurance Plan

You must present evidence of comparable coverage as defined by the Massachusetts Qualifying Student Health Insurance Program in order to submit a waiver application. It is your responsibility to determine whether your coverage is comparable. You can only re-enroll during open enrollment periods or with a valid qualifying life event (e.g. loss of other health insurance coverage).

Per Massachusetts regulations, your coverage must:

  • Provide reasonably comprehensive health coverage to the student 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 the student attends school.

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 of Massachusetts, for all but emergency services

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.

Waiving 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.

A student must meet one of these criteria to submit a waiver application:

  • 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 Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP)
  • On active military duty and prohibited from receiving health care from any facility other than Hanscom Air Force Base (requires an attestation form)

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.

Don't have insurance information yet?

These instructions are for students who know they will have insurance that begins in August or September, but do not have all the information required to complete the waiver. Students are charged for one or two months of the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and waive the rest of the term(s). Follow the steps below to file a pending waiver.  All waiver eligibility rules apply.

Step 1: Submit a pending waiver before the waiver deadline

  • Login to the waiver portal 
  • Select "pending enrollment" from the drop-down menu
  • Continue and submit your application
  • An email confirmation is sent to you after you submit your pending waiver

Step 2: Finalize waiver (both parts must be complete before the documentation submission deadline)

a. Provide proof of insurance

You must submit an official proof of insurance (from your insurance carrier or human resources department) before the documentation submission date to Member Services. Proof of insurance must include your name, the name of your insurance plan and the effective date of your policy. 

b. Update your pending waiver 

Gather this information to finalize your waiver: 

  • Name of Insurance
  • Claim Submission Address (city/state/zip/country)
  • Customer Service Phone
  • Policy/Member ID
  • Group Number
  • Subscriber Name                
  • Relation to Subscriber
  • Coverage Start Date
  • Amount of Deductible    


Waiver Deadlines

Fall July 31
Spring January 31
How it works

Waivers submitted and approved before the waiver deadline 

Charges are removed from the student term bill


Waivers submitted and approved after the waiver deadline Charges are removed and late fees are applied to the student term bill


Pending Waiver How it works

You must submit a pending waiver before the waiver deadline(s) and provide us with your insurance information before the documentation submission deadlines below to avoid a late fee.


When you provide all the information before the documentation submission deadline, we process your refund based on your alternate insurance start date.

  • The start date of your alternate insurance determines whether your SHIP insurance is refunded in full or prorated.
  • Waivers submitted after the documentation submission deadlines are subject to late fees and guidelines.


Pending Waiver Documentation Submission Deadline(s)

August 31

(for August start date)

When your alternate insurance starts between August 1 - August 31, we charge you for one month of SHIP coverage.

September 30 

(for September start date)

When your alternate insurance starts between September 1 - September 30, we charge you for two months of SHIP coverage.

February 29

(for February start date)

When your alternate insurance starts between February 1 - February 29, we charge you for one month of SHIP coverage.