Student Health Insurance
Berklee strives to create a healthy and safe community in which you can live, learn, work, and perform. To help you maintain your wellbeing, the institution sponsors a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
The state of Massachusetts requires that students be enrolled in a health insurance plan that offers comprehensive coverage. All coverage must be in effect while you are in Massachusetts and be compliant with the Affordable Care Act. We also recommend that your insurance plan provide coverage anywhere in the United States and abroad, and include provisions for medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.
All students are automatically enrolled in and charged for the Berklee SHIP.
The Berklee SHIP is underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and administrated by Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk (Berklee College of Music students, click here; Boston Conservatory at Berklee plan participants, click here). Highlights of the plan include:
- comprehensive coverage, including preventive care services, specialized care, hospitalizations, emergency services, mental health care, screenings, and lab tests;
- 100 percent coverage for most services provided within the Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO network;
- no referrals required for specialty care;
- routine eye and hearing exams;
- low copayments on prescription medications;
- low deductibles and copayments;
- immediate coverage for pre-existing conditions;
- no plan maximum;
- discounts on dental and eye care;
- full compliance with the Affordable Care Act;
- industry-leading customer support service;
- full-year coverage from August 15, 2017, through August 14, 2018; and
- spring and summer coverage from January 1, 2018, through August 14, 2018.
Full coverage details are available on the Gallagher Student Health website.
You may waive (decline) participation in the the Berklee Student Health Insurance Plan if you can demonstrate coverage with a comparable insurance plan. The insurance plan you wish to use in place of the Berklee Student Health Insurance Plan must provide full coverage in Massachusetts, not just coverage for emergency or urgent care.
Out-of-state Medicaid plans, out-of-state HMOs, and the following Mass Health plans are not acceptable: Health Safety Net, Mass Health Limited, and Children's Medical Security.
International students cannot waive the Berklee SHIP unless they are insured through one of the following:
- A parent/guardian/spouse's health insurance plan offered through a U.S. employer
- A government-sponsored program from Kuwait/UAE or Saudi Arabia, and select other countries
- Mass Health or a plan purchased through the Massachusetts Health Connector
The following are never eligible for the waiver:
- Travel insurance plans
- Insurance plans sold exclusively to international students
- Catastrophic-coverage-only plans
- Visiting student and scholar plans
- Plans administrated outside the United States
- Plans through companies not based in the United States
The waiver is completed online on Gallagher Student Health's website. You must complete an online waiver for each new academic year during which you do not want the institution's plan. Verbal waiver requests, letters, and copies of insurance cards will not be accepted.
Waivers are available on the Gallagher Student Health website.
For new students entering in spring 2018 or for returning students who were not enrolled in the fall 2017 semester, the deadline for waiving the Berklee SHIP is January 6, 2018. After that point, students will have until January 30, 2018, to file a "petition to waive." Petitions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed to be approved. Visit Gallagher Student Health at one of the above links to submit a Petition to Waive.
First Year Abroad Students
Continuing Students Studying Abroad
If you are a continuing Berklee student doing a semester abroad, please see health and travel insurance information for Berklee Study Abroad.
Gallagher Student Health offers students the option to enroll family members in the Berklee SHIP. This includes a spouse or children under the age of 26 who reside with the student.
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. (Note: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts plans currently do not offer coverage for domestic partners, regardless of gender.)
Enrollment of dependent(s) may take place at the time of the student's enrollment in the plan or after a qualifying event.
Qualifying events include the following:
- Birth of a child/children
- Dependent entering the country for the first time
If the student experiences one of these qualifying events, dependent enrollment must be completed within 31 days of the qualifying event. Applications 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.
For more information and to enroll a dependent, visit the Gallagher Student Health website. Student Health page and select "Dependent Enroll" in the left navigation bar. For information about costs and other details, call Gallagher Student Health at 800-391-8057.
Gallagher Student Health also offers students the following insurance products:
- Voluntary dental insurance
- Personal property insurance
- Study abroad insurance
- Short-term medical insurance (ideal for graduating students but not available to those staying in Massachusetts)
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Gallagher Student Health.