Insurance for Families
Last updated: 9/19/2023
Students who enroll in The Columbia Plan may also choose to insure their eligible dependents. Eligible dependents include:
- Lawful spouse or domestic partner residing with the student
- Unmarried children under the age of 26, including stepchildren and foster children, who are not self-supporting and reside with the student, or for whom the student is court-ordered to provide insurance
- Newborn or newly adopted children
New dependents (e.g., marriage, birth, adoption, etc.) must be added to the policy within 60 days of their addition to the family.
Dependents are not automatically enrolled. A new enrollment form for dependent coverage, found on the Patient Portal via the Downloadable forms section, must be submitted each year by the deadlines below:
- Fall term: September 30
- Spring term: February 15 (new incoming students only)
- Summer term: June 30 (new incoming students only)
New dependents (e.g., marriage, birth, adoption, etc.) may only be added to the policy within 60 days of their addition to the family.
Spouses and domestic partners must receive their primary care on-campus at Medical Services. Referrals will be required for most non-emergency off-campus medical care; dependents do not require a referral for mental health services.
Dependent children will continue to receive all of their care off-campus; referrals are not required. Review the full list of covered benefits under the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan on the Aetna Student Health website.
Documenting Eligibility of Dependents
Students who wish to enroll a dependent spouse or domestic partner for the first time will need to provide the Columbia Health Insurance Office with acceptable documentation to verify the dependent’s eligibility for enrollment.
Acceptable forms of documentation:
- Spouse: marriage certificate (translated into English)
- Domestic partner: certificate of domestic partnership (translated into English)
Students need to complete this verification only once unless they are enrolling a different spouse or domestic partner.
The dependent enrollment form cannot be accepted by the insurance company without the University’s verification. If students fail to provide documentation, the dependent’s coverage cannot be activated. The deadline for enrolling and submitting documentation for new incoming summer students is June 30, 2022.
For additional information on obtaining a domestic partnership certificate for New York City residents, review the City Clerk's Office Domestic Partnership Registration. Domestic Partnership Certificates issued outside of New York City may also be submitted.
Children born to a covered person during the plan term will be covered for accident, sickness, and congenital defects for 31 days from the date of birth. At the end of this 31-day period, coverage will cease unless the newborn is enrolled as a dependent in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan.
Coverage is also provided for a child legally placed for adoption with a covered person, for 31 days from the moment of placement, provided the child lives in the household of the covered person and is dependent upon the covered person for support. At the end of this 31-day period, coverage will cease unless the adopted child is enrolled as a dependent in the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan.
To enroll a newborn or newly adopted child, submit the dependent enrollment form via the Patient Portal (instructions) along with the child's birth certificate or hospital discharge papers within 60 days of their addition to the family.
Coverage Period for Eligible Dependents
Coverage will become effective on the same date the insured student's coverage becomes effective.
New incoming spring or summer students may also request enrollment of their dependents during the corresponding open enrollment periods via the Patient Portal.
Dependents’ fall term enrollment is automatically continued for the spring term as long as the student remains a registered student. Premiums are billed to the student’s account by semester.
Coverage for insured dependents terminates in accordance with the termination policy described in the detailed Student Health Brochure of the Columbia Plan. Termination of benefits may be affected by two factors: the date the student's coverage terminates and the date the dependent no longer meets the definition of a dependent.
For the 2023-24 plan year, enrolled spouses and domestic partners, in addition to the insurance premium, will also be charged $341 per semester for the Columbia Health and Related Services Fee.
Funded graduate students should contact their departmental administrator, financial aid office, or fellowship office to determine whether their program will pay for a portion of the cost for insuring their dependents prior to enrolling them.