Student Health Insurance Plan
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.
You may waive (decline) participation in the the Berklee SHIP if you can demonstrate coverage with a comparable insurance plan. The insurance plan you wish to use in place of the Berklee SHIP 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.
For more information and to fill out the waiver form, visit the Berklee Gallagher Student Health website and select "Student Waive" in the left navigation bar.
Insurance ID cards are mailed directly to students by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS). Cards are sent after our insurance administrator confirms student enrollment, which occurs after the waiver period has ended.
BCBS will use the address on file with the Berklee Registrar. If the Berklee Registrar only has your home address (instead of your local address), the ID card will be sent to the your home address. You will need to have your cards forwarded to you from your home address, or you will need to update your local address with the Registrar. You can also update your address by contacting our insurance administrator, Gallagher Student Health.
Electronic ID cards
You may also now electronically access your insurance ID card through the BCBS app. In order to download your ID card and access other services through the MyBlue member app, you will need your BCBS member ID number. To get your BCBS member ID number, you should:
- go to gallagherstudent.com/berklee;
- under "My Account," click on "Account Home";
- log in to your account and write down your claims ID number (this is your BCBS member ID number); and
- go to the app store or Google Play and download the MyBlue Member app. You will then be prompted to enter your BCBS member ID number upon setting up the app.
If you are having difficulty logging in to gallagherstudent.com, please contact Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk at 800-391-8057, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. EST, or LiveChat at gallagherstudent.com/berklee from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.
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: BCBS 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 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.
There is no dental or vision coverage through the BCBS Student Blue PPO Plan. However, students enrolled in the Berklee SHIP have access to discount programs available exclusively from Gallagher Student Health at no additional cost. These plan enhancements, called Gallagher Student Complements, include the Basix Dental Savings Program and EyeMed Vision Care.
For information on purhasing voluntary dental coverage, please go to “Other Insurance Products."
Basix Dental Savings Program
The Dental Savings Program, operated by Basix, LLC, provides students with access to general and specialty dental care from a select network of local dentists who have met strict credentialing and quality assurance requirements. The participating dental providers have agreed to charge a reduced fee for the services they provide. Because the Dental Savings Program is not an insurance plan, there are no claim forms, annual maximums, benefit limitations and conditions, or other plan provisions.
Visit basixstudent.com to locate participating dental providers, download the fee schedule, and learn more about the program. A dentist's office may ask for your student ID and student health plan ID card to make sure you have access to the program. If the office needs to check eligibility, call Gallagher Student Health at the number on your SHIP card. Remember, you must pay for the services you receive at the time of service, so make sure you understand what forms of payment (check, credit card, etc.) the dentist accepts. If you cover dependents through your student health plan, the dependents may use the Dental Savings Program as well.
EyeMed Vison Care
Students are automatically enrolled in the discount vision plan available through EyeMed Vision Care. EyeMed's provider network consists of over 45,000 independent providers and retail stores nationwide, including LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical, JC Penney Optical, and many private practitioners. Since this is not an insurance plan, there is no waiting period. Enrolled students can take advantage of the savings through EyeMed immediately upon receipt of their separate ID card.
To locate participating providers in the BCBS Blue Care Elect Enhanced Value (PPO) Network in Massachusetts or anywhere in the United States, go to gallagherstudent.com/Berklee and select "Find a Doctor" in the menu on the left. You may also visit BCBS National Doctor and Hospital Finder to locate healthcare providers within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, or to find a doctor or hospital worldwide.
Note: If a preferred provider refers you to another provider for covered services (such as a lab or specialist), make sure the referred provider participates in the BCBS Blue Care Elect Enhanced Value (PPO) Network in order to receive benefits at the in-network level. If the provider you use is not a preferred provider, you're still covered, but your benefits, in most situations, will be covered at the out-of-network level, even if you were referred by a network provider.
Berklee maintains a relationship with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Kenmore Square*, which provides tailored health care services for our students. You will not have to pay on the spot when you visit Harvard Vanguard for primary care, including urgent/walk-in, internal medicine, and obstetrics/gynecology.
You get this benefit just by being a Berklee student. It does not matter what kind of insurance you have, but you will need to show your student ID card when you visit. To learn more, read Health Care Near Campus.
*Please note that our contract with HVMA does not apply to other HVMA sites (i.e., Copley, Cambridge, and others).
First Year Abroad Students
If you are spending your first year on the Valencia, Spain, campus, please see First Year Abroad health insurance information.
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.
The Berklee SHIP offers a pharmacy benefit program managed by Express Scripts that includes retail chains as well as independent pharmacies.
To find a participating pharmacy, call Express Scripts customer service at 800-711-0917 or go to gallagherstudent.com/Berklee and select "Pharmacy Program" from the links on the left.
For more information on prescription drug coverage under the Berklee SHIP, visit Blue Cross Massachusetts Pharmacy Coverage.
Mail Service Pharmacy
Prescriptions are also available through Express Scripts' Mail Service Pharmacy.
For questions about using the Mail Service Pharmacy, call member services at the number printed on your BCBS of Massachusetts member ID card or visit Mail Service Pharmacy. If you have questions regarding the status of your prescription that you ordered using the Mail Service Pharmacy, call Express Scripts customer service at 800-892-5119.
BCBS of Massachusetts is responsible for processing your claims and answering any questions you may have on an outstanding claim or on how a claim has been paid.
To check on the status of a claim, go to BCBS Member Central and log in to look up a specific claim or view a list of all claims submitted.
For additional questions regarding claims, call BCBS at 888-753-6615