Eligibility for Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan

Eligibility is time-sensitive and based on a host of factors. If students are unsure about or have questions regarding eligibility, contact the Columbia Health Insurance Office at [email protected] or 212-854-3286. Students are responsible for knowing their options regarding eligibility and enrollment deadlines.

Last updated: 12/22/2022

Please read the information below carefully, as eligibility and enrollment opportunities are regulated by a variety of federal and state laws.

Students eligible for coverage in The Columbia Plan include: all full-time and part-time Columbia students registered in a course load for credit and billed tuition at either the Morningside/Manhattanville campus, the Medical Center campus, Jewish Theological Seminary, Teachers College, or Union Theological Seminary. This includes students registered for residence units, full-time matriculation and facilities, MFA research arts, maintenance of status, visiting, and exchange students.

Activation of coverage is contingent on students being eligible, registered, charged tuition, and having requested enrollment in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan. Coverage is activated within 14 business days of completion of the above. 

Students must enroll annually during the open enrollment period, starting with their first term at the University and each fall thereafter. The University is not responsible for students missing deadlines.

In most cases, a spouse or domestic partner and dependent children can also be enrolled in the plan. Students with dependents are encouraged to learn more about dependent coverage when making an insurance decision.

The following is a partial list of Morningside Campus categories/programs that are ineligible for enrollment in the Columbia Plan.

  • Solely auditing course(s)
  • OPT (Other Practical Training)
  • CVN (Columbia Video Network)
  • Visiting Scholars
  • Summer High School Students
  • Non-medical leave of absence withdrawals (personal, employment, etc.)
  • Students who utilized the 2-semester maximum eligibility for Student Insurance enrollment while on approved medical leaves of absence (see Medical Leave of Absence section below)
  • Non-registered students in all categories (includes graduating students after coverage termination and new incoming students seeking enrollment prior to plan effective dates)

Students in good standing, who are approved for a medical leave of absence by their school are eligible to remain on The Columbia Plan for a cumulative maximum of two semesters during the course of the student’s entire enrollment within a particular school at Columbia, regardless of the length of program. 

Medical leaves must be approved by the student’s academic unit and reflected in the Student Information System. The time point in the semester when a registered student elects to take a medical leave with insurance is not considered when determining eligibility, and that semester shall count toward the two-term maximum.  Students that take a leave in a given term must elect the insurance in that semester to be eligible for insurance in the following semester if still on a medical leave.

Upon written notification to the Columbia Student Health Insurance Office from the academic unit granting a student medical leave, the insurance office will contact the student via their Columbia email address to determine whether the student wishes to remain enrolled in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan. Students who do not reply within 5 business days will be automatically terminated from the plan, effective at the end of the month in which the Columbia Health Insurance Office is notified or at the conclusion of the semester, whichever comes first.

Students considering a medical leave are encouraged to consult with the Student Health Insurance Office ([email protected]) before requesting a leave.

Students who withdraw from the University for a non-medical leave, or who are dismissed from the University, are categorically ineligible to remain on The Columbia Plan. When the Columbia Health Insurance Office receives notification from the University withdrawal system, the office will inform the student via their Columbia University email address and a mailed letter noting the loss of coverage.

Students whose non-medical withdrawal or dismissal is transmitted to the Columbia Health Insurance Office—via the University withdrawal system during their open enrollment period—are considered as having never enrolled at the University for that term and are ineligible to be enrolled in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan.

Coverage for students who leave the plan during the semester will terminate at the end of the month in which the Columbia Health Insurance Office is notified by the University withdrawal system or 21 days after the office is notified by the University withdrawal system—whichever is later—and will receive a pro-rated refund of any remaining premium as a credit to their student account.

Note: The Columbia Health and Related Services Fee, paid by all students enrolled in the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan, is nonrefundable and is not pro-rated.

Individuals who are no longer eligible for The Columbia Plan are encouraged to learn more about other coverage options.