About the Columbia Insurance Plan

The Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan works with the Columbia Health Program to provide consistent, efficient care that complements the programs offered on campus:

  • Medical Services providers are the primary care providers for students enrolled in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan.
  • Clinicians in both Medical Services and Counseling and Psychological Services work closely with Aetna Student Health Claims Administrators, Inc. when necessary to help arrange access to benefits available through the Columbia Plan.
  • A referral by a Medical Services or Counseling and Psychological Services clinician is mandatory when seeking off-campus services. If a referral is not obtained prior to seeking services, no benefits will be available under the Columbia Plan.   

Note: The Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan may not cover all of your health care expenses. The plan excludes coverage for certain services and contains limitations on the amounts it will pay. Please read the Student Health Insurance Plan Brochure carefully before deciding which plan is right for you. While this document will tell you about some of the important features of the Plan, other features may be important to you and some may further limit what the Plan will pay. Aetna compensates Columbia for certain medical services as well as administrative expenses associated with servicing the insurance plan (including certain personnel expenses incurred by the Columbia Health Insurance office). In addition, based on aggregate claims experience, Aetna may issue a refund to Columbia to be applied toward future premiums. For more information, please review the Student Health Insurance Plan Brochure, which you can access online at www.health.columbia.edu, or view the Master policy issued to Columbia, available at the Columbia Health Insurance Office, or you may contact Aetna Student Health at (800) 859-8471.

Benefits

The Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan includes benefits for medical and mental health conditions including (but not limited to) chiropractic care, mental health care, prescriptions, travel abroad benefits, vision and dental discounts, and more.

To review the full benefits covered under the Columbia Plan, a detailed, interactive brochure is available for download.

How to use the interactive brochure

You may navigate to specific selections of the Detailed Brochure by using the "Bookmark Pane" or the "Table of Contents." The latest version of Adobe Reader® is needed to view the brochure.

Plan Premiums

Coverage premiums are for the Morningside campus Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, student rates only:
 
 Fall
(Sept. 1, 2013 - Jan. 20, 2014)
Spring/
Summer
(Jan. 21, 2014 - Aug. 31, 2014)
Total Annual Premium
(Sept. 1, 2013 - Aug. 31, 2014)
Basic Level$892$1,399$2,291
Comprehensive Level$1,229$1,928$3,157

 
 Summer Trimester*
(May 19 - Aug. 31, 2014)
Basic Level$892
Comprehensive Level$1,229
*Applies to new summer trimester students only

Coverage While Traveling

Accessing my benefits while I am out of the country

If you have an accident or illness while traveling outside of the United States you should contact On Call International collect at (603) 328-1956 to coordinate services. On Call is a travel assistance program. Reimbursement for medically necessary care is managed by Aetna Student Health. As Aetna does not maintain a network of providers outside the U.S., services are covered at the Preferred Provider rate.

Accessing my benefits while I am traveling within the U.S.

Medical care obtained 50 miles or more away from the Morningside Columbia Medical Services does not require a referral in advance of service.

The Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan provides students access to a provider network throughout the country. It is the student's responsibility to make sure any off-campus provider is a Preferred Provider in the Aetna network, to be eligible for the highest level of benefits.

Please note: if you elect to receive care from a Non-Preferred Provider, any charges in excess of the Reasonable Charge allowance will not be covered.

Early Arrival Coverage

For students arriving on campus earlier than the beginning of classes in the fall, Aetna Student Health offers an optional Early Arrival Insurance Plan. This plan is recommended for students who will have no other coverage during this period.

The plan is offered to students planning on enrolling in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan for the benefit period from September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014. The benefits are comparable to those provided through the Basic level of the Columbia Plan. Students must confirm enrollment in the plan to be eligible for the Early Arrival Plan.


Enrollment

Enrollment is done using a credit card or e-check through the Aetna Student Health website. A student who elects this coverage must also enroll in the Columbia Plan for the fall coverage period. 
 

Premiums
 1-Month Plan
Aug. 1 - 31, 2013
2-Month Plan
July 1 - Aug. 31, 2013
Spring Only*
Jan. 1 - 20, 2014
Student only$271$542$124
* For registered students, arriving on campus earlier than January 21.

What’s New

Every year Columbia Health re-evaluates the benefits of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, making adjustments and negotiating changes as necessary so as to offer the most cost-effective appropriate coverage possible.

Below are the benefit modifications for the 2013-14 plan year:

Compliance with HHS regulations for student health insurance including the following increases

  • Basic Plan maximum up to $500,000
  • Prescription drug benefits in the Basic and Comprehensive plans up to $500,000

Benefit Change

  • $500 out-of-network deductible added to both the Basic and Comprehensive plans

Referral Change

  • Medical and mental health care obtained 50 miles or more away from Columbia Health, on the Morningside Campus, no longer require a referral in advance of service.

Waiver Criteria Changes

  • Policy year maximum benefit level increased from $300,000 to $500,000
  • Plan deductible cannot be more than $2,000 per individual or $4,000 per family
  • Inpatient mental health and substance abuse must be covered for a minimum of 30 days
  • Outpatient mental health and substance abuse must be covered for a minimum of 20 visits per year

Basic versus Comprehensive

Basic Level of the Plan

The Basic level of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan is designed to provide a level of coverage that is adequate for many people attending college or graduate programs. It is appropriate for students who:

  • Do not expect to need health care services frequently
  • Are interested in utilizing a "pay-as-you-go" strategy: participants pay a lower insurance premium at the outset but a higher proportion of the cost of any services that may be utilized

The total maximum per condition/per policy year benefit available in the Basic Level of the Plan is $500,000 and the Out-of-Pocket Limit $6,000.

Comprehensive Level of the Plan

The Comprehensive level of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan includes all of the benefits provided by the Basic level of the Plan; however the total maximum per condition/per policy year benefit available in the Comprehensive Level of the Plan is $1,000,000 and the Out-of-Pocket Limit is $4,000.

This plan is designed for students who have chronic health conditions, this level of the Plan may be appropriate. Students will:

  • Pay a higher insurance premium up front
  • Pay less in out-of-pocket expenses as services are actually used
  • Receive enhanced physical therapy benefits

General Policy Provision

The Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan will always pay benefits in accordance with any applicable New York State Insurance Laws. Any questions regarding this content should be addressed to Aetna Student Health.

To review the full policy under the Columbia Plan, a detailed, interactive brochure is available for download.

How to use the interactive brochure

You may navigate to specific selections of the Detailed Brochure by using the "Bookmark Pane" or the "Table of Contents." The latest version of Adobe Reader® is needed to view the brochure

Provider Network

You can visit the Aetna Student Health website for a full listing of providers nationwide. Click on "DocFind®", enter your zip code, and indicate that you belong to a "Student Health Plan.”

After obtaining a referral from a Columbia Health provider to see an off-campus clinician, you may want to select a Preferred Provider from the Aetna network in order to maximize your savings and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. It is to your advantage to utilize a Preferred Provider because significant savings can be achieved due to their agreement with Aetna regarding rates of payment for their services.

The Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan provides students access to a provider network throughout the country. It is the student's responsibility to make sure any off-campus provider is a Preferred Provider in the Aetna network, to be eligible for the highest level of benefits.

Please note: if you elect to receive care from a Non-Preferred Provider, any charges in excess of the Reasonable Charge allowance will not be covered.

Students can access healthcare while traveling outside the United States. Please refer to Accessing my benefits while I am out of the country for more information.

Please contact Aetna Student Health Claims Administrators, Inc. for more detailed information.

Using the Directory of Providers

Participating Providers are independent contractors in private practice and are neither employees nor agents of Aetna Student Health or Columbia University. The availability of any particular provider cannot be guaranteed for referred or in-network benefits, and provider network composition is subject to change without notice.

Certain primary care physicians may be affiliated with an Independent Practice Association (IPA), a Physician Medical Group (PMG), an integrated delivery system, or one of other provider groups.

Not every provider listed in the directory will be accepting new patients. Although Aetna has identified providers who were accepting patients as known to Aetna at the time the directory was created, the status of a provider's practice may have changed.

For the most current information, please contact the selected physician or Aetna Student Health.

In the event of a problem with coverage, students should contact Aetna Student Health on how to utilize the complaint and appeal procedure when appropriate. All care and related decisions are the sole responsibility of Participating Providers. Aetna does not provide health care services and, therefore, cannot guarantee any results or outcomes.

Plan IDs

Students can expedite receipt of an insurance ID card by actively confirming automatic enrollment in the Basic level of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan or by upgrading coverage to the Comprehensive level of the Plan prior to the specified deadline. After an online selection has been entered, a card is normally issued within 14 days.

Prior to receiving an insurance ID card, some services are available to students enrolled in the Columbia Plan. Healthcare providers may require that students pay for the services and then seek reimbursement from Aetna Student Health (medical claims) or Aetna Pharmacy Management (pharmacy claims).

Please know that students who utilize the Columbia Plan benefits (for prescription coverage, specialist services, etc.) before the enrollment/waiver period has ended, will no longer be eligible to request a waiver from the Columbia Plan. The student's account will be charged for the applicable premium.

A temporary insurance ID card is available by accessing the Aetna Student Health website.

 

 

Last updated April 11, 2014