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Insurance and Immunization Records
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Insurance and Immunization Records

Office of Student Affairs

Insurance > Columbia Student Medical Insurance

Columbia Student Medical Insurance

Medical Care

Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan

Although the on-campus programs and services are comprehensive, there may be circumstances in which you will need to fill a prescription or receive care from an off-campus clinician or hospital. To provide students with access to consistent, efficient care that complements the programs offered on campus, Teachers College offers the Student Medical Insurance Plan in partnership with Columbia University and Aetna Student Health.

Required Participation and Automatic Enrollment:

Students meeting any of the following criteria are automatically enrolled in the Columbia Health Program and the Columbia Student Basic Medical Insurance:

  1. Students enrolled in a degree-granting program who are registered for 12 or more billable credits**;
  2. Students enrolled in a degree-granting program and living in the residential halls.

**Certificates of Equivalency - COEs - are not considered billable hours

Enrollment is on an annual basis and the fees will be applied during fall and spring registration. Students who are enrolled in the fall cannot drop or change the coverage during the spring semester even if their enrollment drops below 12 billable credits. Please be advised that if you meet the criteria of automatic enrollment, you will be enrolled for the entire year regardless of when your course registration takes place.

Students may upgrade to the Comprehensive level of the insurance plan using myTC Portal, A student may also request to waive their automatic enrollment in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan by documenting acceptable, comparable coverage. A new insurance enrollment or waiver request must be submitted each year during the fall semester.

Please see the 'Important Waiver Information' page for complete details.

Voluntary Participation

Any registered TC student in a degree-granting program (including students taking only dissertation advisement) can opt to enroll in either the Basic or Comprehensive level of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan.  You can enroll in and select your level of insurance coverage online using myTC Portal,

The deadline to enroll in, upgrade, or request a waiver in the Columbia Plan for 2014-2015 is September 16, 2014.  Enrollment for dates after the deadline is considered only if a student loses other health insurance coverage. Students must contact Insurance & Immunization Records at within 30 days of losing their insurance, and provide documentation of coverage termination.

Period of Coverage

The insurance program begins on September 1st of an academic year and ends the following year on August 31st. Enrollment in the program cannot be processed until a student registers for classes at the college.

Waiving Requirements

Please see page titled 'Important Waiver Information'.

PLEASE NOTE:  Waiver requests after the deadline are considered under certain circumstances. Students must contact Insurance & Immunization Records at Petition to waive requests will be considered, but are not guaranteed approval.

Voluntary Plans

The following voluntary plans may provide services for students and/or their dependents:

Basic and Comprehensive Level Comparison:

Basic Level of the Plan

The Basic level of the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan is designed to provide a level of coverage that is adequate for many people attending college or graduate programs. It is appropriate for students who:

  • do not expect to need health care services frequently
  • are looking for essential coverage at a reasonable cost
  • are interested in utilizing a "pay-as-you-go" strategy: participants pay a lower insurance premium at the outset but a higher proportion of the cost of any services that may be utilized

The total maximum aggregate lifetime benefit available is $300,000 per condition.

Comprehensive Level of the Plan

The Comprehensive level of the Columbia Plan includes all of the benefits provided by the Basic level of the Plan as well as more extensive benefits in certain areas, including enhanced benefits for prescription drugs, physical therapy and other health care services.

This plan is designed for students who:

  • have chronic health conditions
  • take prescription drugs regularly
  • or anticipate utilizing mental health services in an ongoing way.

Students should expect to pay a higher insurance premium up front and pay less in out-of-pocket expenses as services are actually used. The total maximum aggregate lifetime benefit available is $1,000,000 per condition.

Please see the Detailed Description on the 'Forms & Guides' page  for a complete comparison, limitations, and policy exclusions of both the Basic and Comprehensive level plans.