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.

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 "Update information" link
  5. Select "I have a new insurance company"