FAQs

FAQs


Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Immunizations FAQs


Immunization documentation is processed in the order in which it is received. Please allow a minimum of ten business days for processing. An email will be sent to your TC email address once your documentation has been reviewed. You will be advised if you need to provide additional information, receive vaccinations, or if you are fully compliant.

 

Locations:
Medical Services at Columbia Health: (212) 854-7426
John Jay Hall, 4th Floor, 114th & Amsterdam
Call to make an appointment.

Click here for NYC Department of Health Immunization Walk-in Clinics.

Your healthcare provider and local urgent care facilities can also provide vaccinations and titer (blood) tests. 

We recommend that you go for a blood test known as a Titer. This test determines your immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. If you are not immune, you should get vaccinated before you arrive on campus and the doctor should complete the university's immunization form for submission. If you test positive for immunity for all three diseases, please upload the Lab Report with your results; it will be accepted in lieu of a vaccination record. 

We will review the documentation to see if you meet the New York State requirements. Please be sure to submit any relevant pages that include your name, date of birth and information about the vaccination including the type of vaccine and exact date (day/month/year) administered.  Documentation must include physician or other health care provider's signature and stamp.  Any documents not in English must be officially translated and notarized. 

New York State Public Health Law requires that all students document immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella. To request a religious or medical exemption from this requirement, please submit all the relevant documentation as indicated below. 

Please allow a minimum of 10 business days for exemption requests  to be processed. Records are processed in the order they are received. You will be notified via your TC email address if either a temporary or permanent exemption has been granted. If a temporary exemption is given, you will be expected to complete the requirement at the exemption's expiration or resubmit an updated exemption request.

Please note: All students born before January 1, 1957 are automatically exempt from the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Requirement.

  1. Medical Exemption
    A medical exemption may be granted upon receipt of all documents below:
    -A completed Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Immunization Medical Exemption Form 
    -A written statement, not more than 2 years old, signed by a licensed healthcare provider whose specialty is appropriate to the associated condition 
    -Submission of results of a titer (blood test to determine immunity) for measles, mumps, and rubella for knowledge in the event of an outbreak. Exemption approval cannot be granted without knowledge of current antibody levels.

  2. Religious Exemption
    A religious exemption may be granted upon receipt of all documents below:
    - A Influenza (Flu) Religious Exemption Form
    -Obtain and submit a document from your religious organization supporting the basis of your faith/beliefs which are contrary to the practice of immunization or use of vaccines. The document should include a signature from your religious leader, the name, address, and phone number/email of the religious organization.
    -Provide a written and signed statement detailing the religious basis of your objection, explaining why you are requesting this religious exemption, the religious principles that guide your objections to immunization, whether you are opposed to all immunization, and if not, the religious basis that prohibits particular vaccinations.

 

Usually. 

Once we have verified your proof of having received the 1st MMR dose, you will be able to register for classes. Since it is medically necessary that you wait for at least 21-28 days between vaccines, you are granted temporary compliance for 28 days from the date on which the first dose was administered. You will become fully compliant only by submitting proof of the second dose. Students that fail to receive the second dose in a timely manner may be subject to a registration hold on their account. 

As of February 2015, you may access your Immunization Records through the myTC Portal by following the directions below.

Step 1: After logging into my.tc.edu, click the “Student Resources” tab at the top of the page.

Step 2: Click “Student Records” at the bottom of the page, under “Enrollment & Student Services.”

Step 3: On the next page, click “View Immunization Records.”

Step 4: Again, click “View Immunization Records.”

Step 5: A new tab will open with your records.  You may need to make sure you do not have a pop up blocker enabled.

Step 6: Print this page of the browser for a hard copy, or opt to save it as a PDF.  

 

Students are provided with a report, on Teachers College letterhead, that confirms the student has submitted his or her Meningitis decision and/or MMR immunization records, along with the dates of immunizations.

Flu Vaccination FAQ’s


The 2021-2022 flu season has ended and there is no current requirement for a flu vaccination for campus access.  

New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. Vaccinations for the Fall 2022- Spring 2023 flu season will be available after August 1, 2022. 

You will be required to submit a 2022-23 flu vaccine record by November 1, 2022.

 

 

Flu vaccines for the 2022-2023 flu season will be available after August 1, 2022.

At that time, students may get the flu vaccine through Columbia Health by calling 212-854-7426. Columbia Health will also be holding a drop-in flu clinic in October 2022, dates will be announced.  

Students on the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan can also get a flu vaccine at their local pharmacy or primary care provider. There is no co-payment, unless you request a high-dose flu vaccine. A list of locations can be found at https://www.vaccines.gov/find-vaccines/

 

To request a religious or medical exemption from this requirement, please submit all the relevant documentation as indicated below. 

You will be notified via your TC email address if an exemption has been granted. Please allow a minimum of 10 business days for your exemption request to be reviewed. Influenza exemptions are valid only for the academic year in which they are submitted. 

  1. Medical Exemption
    A medical exemption may be granted upon receipt of all documents below:
    -A completed Influenza (Flu) Medical Exemption Form
    -A written statement, not more than 2 years old, signed by a licensed healthcare provider whose specialty is appropriate to the associated condition 

  2. Religious Exemption
    A religious exemption may be granted upon receipt of all documents below:
    - A completed Influenza (Flu) Religious Exemption Form
    -Obtain and submit a document from your religious organization supporting the basis of your faith/beliefs which are contrary to the practice of immunization or use of vaccines. The document should include a signature from your religious leader, the name, address, and phone number/email of the religious organization.
    -Provide a written and signed statement detailing the religious basis of your objection, explaining why you are requesting this religious exemption, the religious principles that guide your objections to immunization, whether you are opposed to all immunization, and if not, the religious basis that prohibits particular vaccinations.

 

To upload documentation to the myTC Portal, please submit either a PDF or JPEG. If the file size is to large, we suggest taking a screenshot of the document, and uploading the screenshot. Making the image black and white can also decrease the file size. 

Meningitis Response FAQ


Please go to cdc.gov/meningococcal or read this NY State Department of Health fact sheet for information on meningococcal meningitis and the protective vaccine. 

 

Teachers College students who have paid the Columbia Health Fee (CHF) are entitled to receive vaccinations at no cost. For a complete list of vaccinations and associated fees (including individuals who have not paid CHF), and to make an appointment, please visit Columbia Health’s website.

We will review the documentation to see if you meet the New York State requirements. Please be sure to submit any relevant pages that include your name, date of birth and information about the vaccination including the type of vaccine and exact date (day/month/year) administered.  Documentation must include physician or other health care provider's signature and stamp.  Any documents not in English must be officially translated and notarized. 

COVID-19 FAQ


Please visit the Teachers College Preparedness FAQ site for information regarding COVID-19 related requirements and policies.   If you cannot find an answer there, feel free to email your question to returntocampus@tc.columbia.edu.

Insurance FAQs


If you are living in the residence halls and/or taking 9 billable credits, and/or International student you will automatically be enrolled in Columbia Student Health Insurance. If neither applies to you, you may enroll via the link found on the myTC Portal. For instructions on how to enroll please refer to our How to Enroll page.

 

Domestic students may only petition to waive Columbia Student Health Insurance if you have an alternative comparable insurance. Please refer to the criteria for the alternative comparable insurance here. If you meet the criteria, you will be able to petition to waive through a link on the MyTC portal. Once you have filled in your information on MyTC portal, you will only receive written correspondence (e-mail) from our office if you have missing information (e.g. need a picture of your insurance card, copy of benefits, etc.) or if your plan is found to not be comparable. 

Please note that the Columbia Health & Related Services Fee cannot be waived under any circumstances. For more information on the Columbia Health & Related Services Fee, please refer to the related FAQ below.

 

Yes. Waivers are only valid for one full academic year (September - August).

Should your alternative coverage extend past one full academic year, and you meet criteria for automatic enrollment, you will need to submit a request to waive again.

No. You cannot have the Columbia Student Health Insurance without the Columbia Health & Related Services Fee. Due to the structure of the Columbia Student Health Insurance plan, your primary care physicians operate through the Columbia Health & Related Services Fee. As the plan is a referral-based policy, all visits must go through Columbia Health (Medical or Counseling & Psychological Services) first.

The period of coverage extends from August 15 - August 14 each year. For more information, please refer to our Period of Coverage and Health Fees page. 

 

Unfortunately, once you enroll in the Columbia Student Health Insurance, you will no longer be able to use your current primary care physician*. However, you will be able to choose a new primary care physician within Columbia Health (Medical Services). 

*You may be able to continue using your primary care physician if they are outside of a 50-mile radius from Columbia University AND participate in Aetna as an insurance provider.  

DENTAL INFORMATION

Columbia Student Health Insurance includes one cleaning and set of x-rays per academic year at these participating locations. Please contact them for an appointment. A $20 copay will be requested at the time of visit. 

VISION INFORMATION

We offer a Vision One Discount Program that offers discounts on optics (prescription and non-prescription). For more information please refer to our Vision Care page.

The Columbia Health & Related Services Fee is in place so that students have easy access to a physician, nutritionist, and a psychological counselor, for a per semester fee (Fall and Spring). This fee is mandatory for all full-time students (9 billable credits) or students living in the residence halls, or International students at Teachers College and may not be waived. Full-time students who waive the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan are still required to pay the Columbia Health Fee and are automatically enrolled. 


For elligible part-time students, the Columbia Health & Related Services Fee is not required. If you would like to opt into the Columbia Health Fee, to have access to these great benefits, that is an option for you. Please contact our office for the appropriate enrollment form.

One of our efforts is to increase information access as well as support the Columbia University Environmental Stewardship Plans.  As part of these strategies Aetna will no longer automatically mail insurance cards.  We are encouraging students to add the Aetna Navigator function to their phone for 24/7 digital access to their insurance cards.  Students will also be able to print a copy of their insurance card 24/7 using the Aetna Navigator website and will also have the option to call Aetna Customer Service to request an insurance card be mailed.

 

Click HERE for PDF instructions on accessing your digital insurance card. 

Yes, you can enroll via the link found on MyTC portal. For directions on enrolling, please refer to our How to Enroll page.

Yes. If you are enrolled in the Columbia Student Health Insurance, you will need a referral from your primary care physician (PCP) at Columbia Health to see specialists. Referrals are for your diagnosis, not for your doctor (e.g. if you have a referral to get a mole checked and the dermatologist checks and finds a rash, you will need another referral to check the rash). 

Referrals for specialists/diagnoses are valid for the entire calendar year and can easily be renewed by consulting with your PCP at Columbia Health.

All proof of insurance coverage can be obtained through Aetna. Please call their customer support line at 1-800-859-8471.

Under the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan, students are covered for travel abroad under the On-Call International program. For all information concerning travel medical insurance, please view the Travel Assistance Services section on the Aetna Student Health page

MEDICAL BILL CLAIM PROCEDURE 
Please submit your claims to the following address: 
Aetna Student Health 
P.O. Box 981106 
El Paso, TX 79998 

On occasion, the claims investigation process will require additional information in order to properly adjudicate the claim. This investigation will be handled directly by Aetna. 

Customer Service Representatives are available 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, for any questions. 

Please note: 

1.     Bills must be submitted within 120 days from the date of treatment. 
2.     Payment for Covered Medical Expenses will be made directly to the hospital or physician concerned, unless bill receipts and proof of payment are submitted. 
3.     If itemized medical bills are available at the time the claim form is submitted, attach them to the claim form. Subsequent medical bills should be mailed promptly to the above address. 
4.     You will receive an “Explanation of Benefits” when your claims are processed. The Explanation of Benefits will explain how your claim was processed, according to the benefits of your Student Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan.
 
PRESCRIPTION DRUG CLAIM PROCEDURE
For prescriptions, all claims will need to be submitted to Aetna Pharmacy Management. More information about the process can be obtained by calling 800-238-6279. The form can be foundhere.

HOW TO APPEAL A CLAIM 
In the event a Covered Person disagrees with how a claim was processed, the student may request 
a review of the decision. The Covered Person’s request must include why the student disagrees with 
the way the claim was processed. The request must also include any additional information that 
supports the claim (e.g., medical records, Physician’s office notes, operative reports, 
Physician’s letter of medical necessity, etc.). Please submit all requests to: 

Aetna 
P.O. Box 14464 
Lexington, KY 40512 
 
Or call in the appeal to Customer Service using the toll-free telephone number shown on the 
member ID card: (800) 859 - 8471 

For more detailed information please refer to our Prescription Drug Claim Procedure web page.

You can add your spouse, domestic partner, or children as a dependent. We will need a government-issued marriage and/or domestic partnership license for enrollment for your partner. If you want to enroll your children, we will need a copy of your child's birth certificate. 

All documents must be submitted in English. If the original document is not in English, it must betranslated and notarized. 

Please refer to our Dependent Coverage webpage for additional information.

 

  • If you already waived the Columbia Student Health Insurance for the Autumn Semester, the waiver will be extended to the Spring Semester unless you notify our office about a “change of life event” that qualifies you for late enrollment.  Qualifying change of life events include:
    • Surpassing the maximum age for coverage as a dependent under a parent’s health insurance plan. 
    • Termination of health insurance under a partner’s or employer’s plan. 
  • Students who wish to enroll in one of the Columbia Student Health Insurance plans following a change of life event must email health-immunization@tc.edu to submit a Petition to Enroll form to our office.

Yes!  The Columbia Plan works with the on-campus services.  Your care begins on-campus and you will be provided a referral for any off-campus services.

Yes!  The Aetna network has providers that speak many languages.  You can search for a provider that speaks your preferred language using the Doc Find feature on the Aetna Student Health website.

In addition to comprehensive coverage within the United States, the Columbia Plan provides global coverage, giving you access both locally as well as while traveling.  This benefit is unique to the Columbia Plan and designed specifically to support our students.  We encourage you to learn more about this benefit as well as how the plan will support your health and well-being while studying at Columbia.  Contact Insurance & Immunization Records to discuss the specifics of using your coverage outside of New York.

No.  Premiums are billed by semester, so if you graduate in December you will only be charged for the fall term and your coverage will end on December 31.

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