Eligibility and Enrollment

Massachusetts state law requires that all students enrolled at Berklee participate in the school-sponsored Student Health Program (SHP, previously called QSHIP), or provide proof of comparable coverage through their own or their family's insurance provider.

Eligibility Requirements

All registered students at Berklee College of Music taking credit hours are eligible to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Blue PPO plan).

Students approved for practical training are also eligible to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan on a voluntary basis. You must sign up for health insurance at the Office of the Registrar and show your Practical Training Card or I-20 form; then pay the health insurance fee to the Bursar's Office.

Automatic Enrollment

To ensure compliance with state law, all eligible students who do not submit a Health Insurance Waiver Form by the published deadline will be automatically enrolled in and billed for the Student Health Insurance Plan for the policy year.

Please note: international students cannot waive coverage unless they are currently enrolled in an insurance plan of comparable coverage through a U.S.-based insurance company.

Waiving Coverage

Students who are already covered under a comparable insurance plan must submit a waiver form to opt out of the insurance program sponsored by Berklee. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the alternate insurance is adequate and the waiver form is submitted by the deadline. Before waiving coverage, be sure to check with your insurance company to determine if your current insurance plan provides coverage comparable to the important benefits included in Berklee's Student Health Insurance Plan.

For more information on waiving the Berklee Student Health Insurance Plan, select Waiving Berklee Insurance from the links at the left.

Enrolling Family Members

Insured students may also enroll their spouse and/or children under the age of 26 who reside with the student. Dependent coverage must be purchased for the same time period as the student's period of coverage and cannot exceed coverage purchased by the student. (For example, a student enrolled for annual coverage cannot purchase dependent coverage for the spring semester unless a qualifying event, as defined below, occurs.)

Students can also add eligible dependent(s) if the student experiences one of the following qualifying events: (a) marriage, (b) birth of a child, (c) divorce, or (d) if the dependent is entering the country for the first time. If the student experiences one of these qualifying events, the Dependent Enrollment Form, supporting documentation, and payment must be received by Gallagher Student within 31 days of the qualifying event. Forms received more than 31 days after the qualifying event will not be processed. Once a dependent is enrolled, coverage cannot be terminated unless the student loses eligibility.

As of June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution grants same-sex couples the right to marry in all states. Therefore, fully insured health plans, in all states, must consider same-sex spouses eligible for the same coverage as spouses of the opposite sex. Since Berklee College of Music's Student Health Insurance Plan includes coverage for a subscriber's spouse in a legal marriage, students may add a same-sex spouse using the regular enrollment process (as outlined above). The same enrollment rules related to marriage as a qualifying event also apply.

(Please note: Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA plans currently do not offer coverage for Domestic Partners, regardless of gender.)

Students may enroll their eligible dependents online for an additional premium by visiting gallagherstudent.com/Berklee, selecting "Dependent Enroll", and completing the form by the appropriate enrollment deadline to add dependents: September 15 (fall), February 15 (spring), and June 15 (summer). For information on additional premium costs (above the student premium) and coverage dates, contact Gallagher Student at 800 391-8057 or email them at Berkleestudent@gallagherstudent.com.

Continuing Coverage after Policy Termination

Students may continue their coverage on a direct-pay basis through Blue Cross Blue Shield after their policy terminates. Go to bluecrossma.com and click on the “Find a Health Plan” box" to review and compare plans and products. You can also contact Gallagher Student at gallagherstudent.com/Berklee for other possible plan options.

Unexpected Termination of Alternative Insurance Plan

If you've waived the student health insurance plan for fall 2015 – summer 2016, but your alternative insurance plan unexpectedly terminates before August 14, 2016, you may late enroll for Berklee's plan as follows:

Petition to Add Process

Students who initially waived the student insurance plan can only petition to add coverage if they experience a qualifying event. Examples of qualifying events include:

  • Reaching the age limit of another health insurance plan
  • Loss of health insurance through a marriage or divorce
  • Involuntary loss of coverage from another health insurance plan due to a parent/guardian’s loss or change of employment

A qualifying event does not include a student who is seeking enrollment to gain access to a benefit that was exhausted under their current private insurance plan.

Students must submit a Petition to Add Form within 60 days of the qualifying event in order for the effective date of coverage to be the day of the qualifying event. If the Petition to Add Form is received after 60 days of the qualifying event, the effective date of coverage will be the date the petition is received at Gallagher Student. You can download a Petition to Add Form at gallagherstudent.com/Berklee. In addition to the Petition to Add Form, a letter from the previous insurance company MUST be provided stating the reason for the student’s ineligibility and the date the student became ineligible.

In accordance to the recently revised Massachusetts Student Health Programs Mandate (114.6 CMR 3.00), Gallagher Student will be pro-rating the premium for all approved Petition to Add requests.

If Gallagher Student approves your petition to add health insurance late, you must pay the health insurance fee to the Bursar’s Office. You will not be officially insured until Gallagher Student approves your petition, determines the (pro-rated) cost of the insurance to Berklee, and that amount is paid in full to Berklee.