Special Healthcare Needs Fund

Columbia Health makes available up to $750 to students unable to afford, or who choose not to avail themselves of, benefits available to them through their health insurance for some compelling reason (e.g., on a parent's insurance plan and related to concerns about confidentiality).

These funds are available on an as-needed basis exclusively to full-time and part-time students who have paid the Columbia Health and Related Services Fee and who are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program in a Columbia school on the Morningside campus.

The Special Healthcare Needs Fund is not available to students enrolled at Columbia University Irving Medical Center schools and programs or those enrolled at Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary, or Jewish Theological Seminary.

These funds are intended to help defray expenses for specific, urgent, time-sensitive, and necessary healthcare-related services and treatments. Examples of such include, but are not limited to, elective termination of pregnancy, emergency care, outpatient substance abuse treatment, and treatments for attentional disorders and learning disabilities. This fund is not intended to defray expenses related to premiums, deductibles, co-pays, or co-insurance; nor will it be used to defray expenses associated with failure to access health insurance benefits appropriately (e.g., failing to request a specialist referral in a timely fashion).

How to Apply

Funds may be requested by completing the Special Healthcare Needs Fund application. The application and supporting documents should be submitted to Columbia Health via email (health@columbia.edu) or faxed to 212-851-9357. All applications will be evaluated by the Columbia Health Special Healthcare Needs Fund Committee, which is committed to reviewing each request in a timely and confidential manner.

The University requires all full-time students and all international students (full- and part-time) to have health insurance coverage, either through the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan or through a comparable insurance policy. The Special Healthcare Needs Fund is not intended to supplant this requirement.

The Columbia Health team welcomes all student questions and is available to help students understand their options regardless of their insurance policy.