Columbia Student Health Insurance | Teachers College Columbia University

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Columbia Student Health Insurance

Overview

To provide students with access to consistent, efficient care that complements the programs offered on campus at Columbia Health, Teachers College offers the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan in partnership with Columbia University and Aetna Student Health to all registered students enrolled in degree-granting programs. 

For the most recent plan brochures and information about the plans offered, please visit the Columbia University page on the Columbia University section of the Aetna Student Health website

Period of Coverage:

Enrollment in the Columbia Student Health Insurance cannot be processed until a student registers for classes. Please see our Period of Coverage page for more information. 

Required Participation and Automatic Enrollment:

Students meeting the following criteria are automatically enrolled in the Gold Level of the Columbia Student Health Insurance and charged the Columbia Health Fee:

  1. Students enrolled in a degree-granting program who are registered for 12 or more billable credits (does not include Certificate of Equivalency); AND/OR
  2. Students enrolled in a degree-granting program and living in the residential halls ; AND/OR
  3. International Students, regardless of credit status. 

*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 automatically enrolled in the Gold level may upgrade to the Platinum level of the insurance plan by emailing health-immunization@tc.edu. Domestic students may also request to waive their automatic enrollment in the Columbia Student Health Insurance by documenting Acceptable and Comparable Coverage. A new insurance enrollment or waiver request must be submitted each year during the fall semester.

Voluntary Participation:

Any registered Teachers College student in a degree-granting program (including part-time students and students taking only dissertation advisement) can opt to enroll in either the Gold or Platinum level of the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan.  You can enroll in and select your level of insurance coverage online using myTC Portal beginning mid-July. To opt into the health fee only, please email IIR at health-immunization@tc.edu.

Enrollment Deadlines

There are two important deadlines to enroll in, upgrade, or request to waive the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan, outlined below. 

Fall Term

September 30 via myTC Portal

Spring Term
(for newly admitted
Spring students only)

February 15 via myTC Portal

We strongly recommend that students finalize their health insurance decisions by September 20th for the Fall and February 15th for the Spring since deadlines for other offices can come before ours. 


Late Enrollment

Requests to enroll in the Columbia Student Health Insurance after the deadline

Requests to change enrollment after September 30 (February 15 for new Spring students) will be considered only if a student loses other health insurance coverage under a "change of life" circumstance.  "Change of life" circumstances that warrant late enrollment are included below.  You, your partner/spouse, or child can enroll for coverage within 60 days of the loss of coverage in a health plan if coverage was terminated because you, your partner/spouse, or child are no longer eligible for coverage under the other health plan due to: 

1. Termination of employment;

2. Termination of the other health plan;

3. Death of the partner/spouse;

4. Legal separation, divorce or annulment;

5. Reduction of hours of employment;

6. Employer contributions toward a health plan were terminated; or 

7. A child no longer qualifies for coverage as a child under another health plan.

You, your partner/spouse, or child can also enroll 60 days from exhaustion for you COBRA or continuation coverage.  

We must receive notice and premium payment within 60 days of the loss of coverage.  The effective date of your coverage will depend on when we receive your application.  In addition, you, your partner/spouse, or child can also enroll for coverage within 60 days of the following event:

1. Birth or adoption of a child

2. You, or your partner/spouse or child lose eligibility for Medicaid or a state child health plan.

We must receive notice and premium payment within 60 days of this event.

Late requests for enrollment will be reviewed upon receipt of documentation of such a change.  Students must contact Insurance & Immunization Records at health-immunization@tc.edu within 30-60 days of losing insurance and provide documentation of coverage termination and change of life criteria.

Important Waiver Information:

Late requests for waiving will be reviewed upon receipt of documentation of alternative comparative coverage.  Students must contact Insurance & Immunization Records at health-immunization@tc.edu within 30 days of gaining insurance and provide documentation of coverage enrollment.

For more information please see our Important Waiver Information page for more information.

Gold and Platinum Level Comparison:


There are two levels of the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan offered. Please see the Columbia University section of the Aetna Student Health website for a complete comparison of the plans, limitations, and policy exclusions of both plans. 

The Gold level of the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan is designed to provide a level of coverage that is adequate for many people attending college or graduate programs. 

The Platinum level of the Columbia Plan includes all of the benefits provided by the Gold 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. 

Gold Level of the Plan 
is appropriate for students who:
Platinum Level of the Plan 
is designed for students who: 
Do not expect to need health care services frequently Have chronic health conditions
Are looking for essential coverage at a reasonable cost Take prescription drugs regularly. Students should expect to pay a higher insurance premium up front and pay less in out-of-pocket expenses as services are actually used.
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 Anticipate utilizing mental health services in an ongoing way

Optional Plan:

The following optional plan may provide services for students and/or their dependents: 

Global Insurance Coverage with Aetna Student Health Insurance

Both levels, Gold and Platinum, of Aetna Student Health Insurance provide coverage on a global level.  If you are outside of the NYC area or the United States, you still have insurance coverage.  It is recommended that you phone On Call International preemptively if you know you will be traveling, or know you will be spending time abroad, to ensure your coverage and know of medical services nearby. Similarly to needing a referral aside from care at Columbia Health Services, prior approval is needed.  If you are in need of medical attention, please contact a representative at On Call International to gain approval for services.  

Aetna Health Insurance and Travel Assistance Information: 

 

On Call International Information: 

If phoning from US or Canada, call 1-866-525-1956
If phoning from outside US or Canada, call collect 603-328-1956 from anywhere in the world.