Waiving Berklee Student Health Insurance
Massachusetts law requires all students enrolled in colleges and universities located within the state to either participate in a school-sponsored Student Health Program (SHP, previously called QSHIP), or provide proof of comparable coverage through their own or their family's insurance provider. To ensure compliance with the SHP law, all Berklee College of Music students registered for credits who do not submit an insurance waiver by the published deadline are automatically enrolled in and billed for Berklee's Student Health Insurance Plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Blue PPO Plan).
A student may waive (decline) participation in the plan and have the health insurance charge removed by submitting a Health Insurance Waiver Form by the posted deadline. If you waive Berklee's student health insurance, you are stating that you are already enrolled in a health insurance plan at a level that meets the state's minimum coverage requirements.
The Waiver Process
To waive the health insurance fee, you must submit an online waiver form by logging in to my.berklee.edu and selecting the “Waive My Health Insurance” link under the Financial Information submenu no later than August 1, 2015 for fall 2015.
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 carrier. A U.S.-based carrier means that the insurance carrier issuing the plan is a U.S. or domestic company, regardless of where the policy is purchased or where the claims are processed. Carriers outside of the U.S. mean foreign or foreign-based insurance companies (i.e., non-domestic or non-U.S. companies), including those companies with satellite offices in the United States.
Students are eligible to enroll in an insurance plan offered through the Marketplace in their home state. If you are a Massachusetts resident, you can waive Berklee's Student Health Insurance Plan with a plan purchased through the MA Health Connector. Please review these plans carefully, however, as they may have higher deductibles and sometimes limited benefits compared to Berklee's insurance plan. If you are not a Massachusetts resident, there is a good possibility that a plan purchased through your home state’s Marketplace will not provide adequate coverage, so review thoroughly.
If you are under the age of 26, you MAY be eligible to enroll as a dependent under the employer health insurance plan held by your parent(s). However, before you do so, you should fully compare the employer plan against Berklee's Student Health Insurance Plan to determine which plan’s rates, benefits, and coverage are most appropriate for you.
How Do I Determine If My Current Insurance Provides Coverage Comparable to Berklee's Student Health Insurance Plan So I Can Waive?
Determining comparable coverage requires comparison of out-of-pocket costs (copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance) and access to in-network providers. Coverage is considered comparable if it provides students with access to a range of services in and around the area where they attend school. If you already have health insurance, 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 the Berklee's Student Health Plan:
- Comprehensive coverage for medical care including, but not limited to, preventive and primary care, emergency care, surgical care, inpatient and outpatient hospitalization benefits, lab work, diagnostic x-rays, physical therapy and chiropractic care, prescriptions, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
- Access to BCBS's comprehensive network of doctors, specialists, and hospitals close to campus and home.
- Worldwide coverage while studying abroad or on vacation.
- Low deductible (for out-of-network providers only).
- No age restrictions
- Access to discounts for dental, eyewear, and fitness services
Plans that only provide emergency services in the campus area are not considered comparable.
Visit gallagherstudent.com/Berklee to view and download a summary of benefits for plan comparison or email Berkleestudent@gallagherstudent.com to find out what questions you should ask your current health insurance plan to make sure it's comparable.