About the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan

The Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan works with Columbia Health to provide consistent, efficient care. The plan will always pay benefits in accordance with applicable New York State insurance laws.

Medical Services provides primary care for students enrolled in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan. Clinicians in Medical Services and Counseling and Psychological Services work closely with Aetna Student Health claims administrators to arrange access to benefits available through the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan.

The Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan may not cover all of your health care expenses. Read the Student Health Insurance Plan Brochure carefully before deciding which plan is right for you.

About Enrollment

Open enrollment for new incoming Spring students - December 15, 2018 through February 15, 2019 (Coverage begins January 1, 2019)

Each academic year, all registered full-time students must make an insurance selection. They must either:

Full-time students will be enrolled in the 90 Plan if they do not make an enrollment selection or if no waiver request has been submitted by the open enrollment deadline.

Funded graduate students should contact their departmental administrator, financial aid office, or fellowship office for information about whether their school provides funding to cover any portion of The Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan premium for the student and eligible dependents.

Students at Teachers CollegeUnion Theological SeminaryJewish Theological Seminary, and Columbia University Medical Center should contact their school for health insurance information.

Part-time domestic students may request enrollment in either level of the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan and are encouraged to do so. Enrolling also requires payment of the Columbia Health and Related Services Fee, which provides access to the services offered by Columbia Health.

Navigating the US Health Care System can be complex.  To help ensure that international students have access to the highest quality of care on- and off-campus, Columbia University requires all international students to enroll in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan.

All international students, regardless of the number of enrolled credits, will be enrolled in the 90 Plan with the option to upgrade to the 100 Plan before the published enrollment deadline.

On a case-by-case basis, international students may be considered for an exemption to this requirement when covered by a US-based group health insurance plan.  Examples of what will be considered as an exemption for international students are:

  • New York State Medicaid, or
  • a US-based, employer-sponsored, ACA-Compliant group plan.

Any plan being considered for an exemption to the requirement must meet all of the Columbia University waiver requirements.  All exemptions requests are considered though no approval is guaranteed.  All determinations regarding exemptions are made by the Student Health Insurance Office on the Morningside Campus and shall be considered final.

Student-veterans may be eligible for health care benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs for illnesses and injuries related to their service. Columbia Health recommends that student-veterans confirm their status with Veterans Affairs and, if necessary, complete the paperwork needed to receive benefits in the New York City area. All students will be default enrolled into this plan unless a waiver request is submitted and approved by the appropriate deadline.

For additional information about health care coverage for Columbia student-veterans, visit the Student Financial Services Veterans & Service Members website.

About the Plan

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

Read a detailed plan comparison that illustrates benefits and key differences between the two plan levels. Review all of the benefits covered at Aetna Student Health.

The 90 Plan

The 90 Plan is designed to provide a level of coverage that is adequate for most people attending college or graduate programs. It is appropriate for students who:

  • Have relatively predictable health care needs
  • Are interested in utilizing a pay-as-you-go strategy: Participants pay a lower insurance premium at the outset but a proportion of the cost of any services that may be utilized

The 90 Plan in-network highlights:

  • $200 deductible
  • 10 percent coinsurance after deductible
  • $30 office copay
  • $150 emergency room copay
  • $60 urgent care center copay
  • $20 mental health copay
  • $15/$50/$75 prescription copays
  • $4,000 in-network annual out-of-pocket maximum

The 100 Plan

The 100 Plan is designed for students who have ongoing health-care needs or may have chronic health conditions. Students will:

  • Pay less in out-of-pocket expenses as services are used
  • Pay a higher insurance premium up front

Platinum plan in-network highlights

  • No deductible
  • No coinsurance on most services
  • $20 office copay
  • $150 emergency room copay
  • $40 urgent care center copay
  • $20 mental health copay
  • $10/$35/$50 prescription copays
  • $3,000 in-network annual out-of-pocket maximum

The Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan year is effective from August 15 to August 14 contingent on student registration and tuition charges.

  • If a student enrolls during the fall term and continues as a registered student in the spring term, coverage becomes effective at 12:00 a.m. on August 15, 2018 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on August 14, 2019.
  • If a student completes an academic program in December in anticipation of a February graduation, or does not register for Spring courses, coverage continues through 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2018 and will be billed the fall 2018 premium.
  • If a student is an October 2018 graduate, coverage eligibility ends on Aug. 14, 2018.
  • For all students enrolling in their first term of classes for the spring term, coverage becomes effective at 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 2019 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on August 14, 2019.

For students entering in the fall term who have not actively enrolled in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan, registered for classes and been charged tuition, may need to submit expenses for covered prescriptions filled before their coverage has been activated to Aetna Pharmacy Management for reimbursement. For more information, see Aetna’s Commercial Prescription Drug Claim Form.

Once an insurance coverage decision has been determined for the fall term, that decision will automatically be continued in the following spring term as long as the student remains registered at the University. It is not possible to change the level of coverage in the spring term or after the open enrollment period has ended.

The total health insurance premium includes fee-for-service items provided by Columbia Health, a preventative dental benefit, 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, contact Aetna Student Health at 800-859-8471.

Funded graduate students should contact their departmental administrator, financial aid office, or fellowship office for information about whether their school provides funding to cover any portion of The Columbia Plan premium for the student and eligible dependents.

Note: The Columbia University Student Health 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 Columbia University 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.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.

If you are enrolled in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan, your primary care provider is at Columbia Health Medical Services and your initial mental health provider is at Counseling and Psychological Services. A referral by a Medical Service or Counseling and Psychological Services clinician is mandatory when seeking non-emergency off-campus services. If a referral is not obtained prior to seeking care, services will be reimbursed at the out-of-network benefit level at a higher out-of-pocket cost.

Note: Referrals cannot be issued after a student has received off-campus services.

The Columbia University Student Health 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.

Read the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan brochure carefully before deciding which coverage level of the 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.

It is the student's responsibility to make sure an off-campus provider is a preferred provider in the Aetna network to be eligible for the highest level of benefits. If students elect to receive care from an out-of-network provider, charges in excess of the allowed amount and applicable deductible or co-insurance will not be covered, and students will be financially responsible for those charges.

If students have an accident or illness while traveling outside the United States, they should call On Call International collect at 603-328-1956 to coordinate services.

On Call International is a travel assistance program that facilitates medical services while traveling. outside the U.S. Students will need to pay out of pocket for services, then submit receipts along with an itemized bill to Aetna Student Health for reimbursement.

Reimbursement will not be processed for any services not provided and arranged through On Call.

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 in-network rate.

Students can visit the Aetna Student Health website for a full listing of providers nationwide. Click on “Find a Doctor,” enter the local zip code, and indicate membership in a "Student Health Plan.”

After students obtain a referral from their Columbia Health primary care or mental health provider, they should select an Aetna in-network provider to maximize savings and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Students can achieve significant savings through the agreement with Aetna regarding rates of payment for services.

It is the student's responsibility to make sure an off-campus provider is a preferred provider in the Aetna network to be eligible for the highest level of benefits. If students elect to receive care from an out-of-network provider, charges in excess of the allowed amount and applicable deductible or co-insurance will not be covered, and students will be financially responsible for those charges.

Using the Provider Directory

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. Provider network composition is subject to change without notice.

Certain primary care physicians may be affiliated with an independent practice association, a physician medical group, an integrated delivery system, or one of other provider groups.

Not every provider listed in the directory will accept new patients. Although Aetna has identified providers who were accepting patients at the time the directory was created, the status of a provider's practice may have changed. For the most current information, contact the selected physician or Aetna Student Health at 800-859-8471.

In the event of a problem with coverage, contact Aetna Student Health to learn how to utilize the complaint and appeals 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.

Students can expedite receipt of their insurance ID by actively confirming enrollment in the 90 Plan or by upgrading to the 100 Plan prior to the open enrollment deadline. After an online selection has been entered, a card is normally available to print by accessing the Aetna Student Health website 14 business days after registering for classes and being charged tuition & fees. Physical ID cards are only mailed upon request. To obtain an ID card by mail please call Aetna Customer Service at 800-859-8471.

Students can also access their insurance information through the Aetna Mobile app.

Prior to receiving access to print an insurance ID card, 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).