Health Insurance

NurseAndDoctor350x312If you are going to attend a Boston-area college, you are required to have health insurance. There are four basic options:

Coverage by parent’s plan  - You can stay under your parent’s plan until the age of 25. This may be the most convenient option and often the cheapest too since many of these plans are subsidized by the employers.

School provided insurance -  All colleges in this state offer Student Health Plans (SHP) that you can join. These plans are often very inexpensive and tailored to students. They can cover individuals or families.  It is important to find out the exact details of these plans and make sure you are covered when away from school or during vacations or going abroad. Colleges require that you join their plan or provide proof of sufficient insurance.

Commercial Student Health Plan - You can purchase an individual student health plan. These are commercially available plans that provide student-type coverage independent of what college you attend.

Other Individual or Family plans - You can purchase an individual or family plan from the open insurance market.  This option can provide a lot of flexibility but has generally a high cost.

International students can’t use their own or their parent’s insurance coverage based in another country.  

Getting health care in college

During your first week on campus, take a copy of your medical records (including immunization and vaccination records and prescriptions) to the school's health care center or infirmary. Most colleges offer basic health care on-campus. Generally, this covers only minor ailments or first aid treatment, but some colleges have full medical staff and facilities with access to specialists. 

If you want to visit a doctor outside of college make sure it is covered by your insurance. Most insurance cards have a phone number you can call to verify. You need to schedule an appointment first by calling the appropriate doctor’s office. Minor emergency clinics do not require appointments and are usually open on weekends and holidays.

In case of a serious emergency, go to the nearest hospital emergency room, by ambulance if necessary. Hospital emergency rooms are designed to treat life-threatening ailments.