Columbia Student Health Insurance | Teachers College Columbia University

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Columbia Student Health Insurance


To provide students with access to consistent, high-quality care that complements the health and well-being programming 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 regarding the levels (90 and 100) of plans offered, please visit the Teachers College Columbia University specific webpage

Period of Coverage:

Enrollment in the Columbia Student Health Insurance cannot be processed until a student registers for classes. If you are a continuing student, you are urged to register for courses prior to academic breaks, especially winter; without active registration, your student status cannot be verified.  Thus, you may experience a lapse in coverage.  

Please see our Period of Coverage page for more information. 

Required Participation and Automatic Enrollment:

Students meeting the following criteria are automatically enrolled in Plan 90 of the Columbia Student Health Insurance and assessed 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 terms. 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 Plan 90 may upgrade to Plan 100 level of coverage if interested by emailing 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, regardless of if your insurance information has changed.

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 voluntarily enroll in either the 90 or 100 level Plan of the Columbia Student Health Insurance.  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 Insurance and Immunization Records at

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 20 (Fall) and February 15 (Spring), as deadlines for other offices may occur 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 only) 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 your 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 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 and comparable coverage.  Students must contact Insurance & Immunization Records at within 30 days of gaining insurance and provide documentation of coverage enrollment. Documentation includes a front-and-back image of your insurance card, printed with your indentifying information.

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

Plans 90 and 100 Level Comparison:

There are two levels of the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan offered. Please see the Teachers College specific Aetna Student Health webpage for a complete comparison of the plans, limitations, and policy exclusions for both levels of coverage. 

Plan 90 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 (and eligible dependents). 

Plan 100 of the Columbia Plan includes all of the benefits provided by Plan 90, as well as more extensive benefits in certain areas, including enhanced benefits for prescription drugs, hospitalization and surgery, physical therapy and other health care services. 

Plan 90 is appropriate for students who: Plan 100 is designed for students who: 
  • Do not anticipate the need for health care services frequently
  • Have chronic health conditions or anticipate the need for health care services more frequently or often
  • Are looking for essential coverage at a reasonable cost
  • Take prescription drugs regularly; are expecting the need for hospitalization or surgery; may be pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. Students should expect to pay a higher insurance premium (billed semesterly) 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 (billed semesterly) 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 (referral-based out of Columbia University Counseling & Psychological Services)

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, 90 and 100, 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 spending time abroad, to ensure your coverage and know of medical services nearby in advance of travel. 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.