Northeastern University’s student health plan (NUSHP), is administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts provides comprehensive health benefits at a very affordable rate. 2022-2023 plan cost for undergraduates is $2499 annually. Self-funded student health plans, such as the NUSHP, are not subject to regulation under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). NUSHP is voluntarily including in its program benefits that are designed to meet or exceed requirements that would otherwise apply to fully insured student health insurance programs.
Since September 1989, Massachusetts law (M.G.L. c.15A, § 18) has required every full-time and part-time student enrolled in a certificate, diploma or degree granting program in a Massachusetts institution of higher learning to participate in a Student Health Plan or in a health benefit plan with comparable coverage.
The Student Health Plan defines a full-time student as having full-time student status and enrolled in any amount of credits of a full-time curriculum. The Student Health Plan defines a part-time student as a having part-time student status and enrolled in at least 75% credits of the full-time curriculum. (CPS Undergraduate Students 9 credits, CPS Graduate 6 credits) Students on Co-op or on Study Abroad are considered active students, and will be enrolled in and billed for NUSHP each academic year.
The health fee is assessed each term on a student’s account based on these definitions unless the student has previously waived the health plan fee in the current academic year.
Students enrolled in online programs are not eligible for NUSHP. Courses that would normally be held in the classroom and are currently being offered online or remotely due to COVID-19, are considered in classroom courses and may make students eligible for and assessed the NUSHP fee.
Massachusetts law has been revised to include the following important clarifications:
- A health plan that provides coverage through a closed network of providers (for example, coverage by an HMO) and which is accessible only for emergency services where the student is studying is not comparable coverage. Students may not waive the NUSHP based on such a plan.
- Students studying in the United States may not waive insurance based on coverage through insurance carriers owned and operated outside the United States, nor with coverage through foreign National Health Service programs. Students sponsored by foreign embassies, agencies and organizations are no longer excluded from the requirement for U.S.-based health insurance.
- Students with Commonwealth Care plans cannot waive out of NUSHP. Students who are subject to Student Health Program requirements are not eligible for Commonwealth Care. Students may obtain health insurance through their parents’ health insurance offered by their employer or enroll in a Commonwealth Choice plan.
The burden of proof that the alternative insurance is adequate falls upon the student choosing to waive. By submitting the waiver form the student will be accepting responsibility for all medical expenses incurred, and neither Northeastern University nor its student health plan will be responsible for these expenses. By submitting the waiver form the student is also granting permission for Gallagher Student Health and Northeastern University to review the waiver and determine if the alternative insurance is fully compliant with Affordable Care Act and that meets Massachusetts State requirements. Each academic year, eligible students may waive NUSHP via me.Northeastern once they have been billed for NUSHP. In addition, to be eligible to waive, comparable coverage must be effective from the beginning of the term the student meets NUSHP requirements.
As Northeastern University continues to encourage its students to engage in international opportunities it is important that, as the official Northeastern University Student Health Plan (NUSHP) offers students in need the opportunity to enroll when their own coverage will not cover the cost of services abroad. In order to ensure our students have the best coverage available we are expanding the list of Qualified Events to include situations where during the course of their academic program students select to participate in international study abroad, international co-op, or other international opportunities and before leaving the United States they identify that their existing plan does not cover them for medical services that may be required in other countries. When an eligible student has otherwise properly waived NUSHP because their existing coverage meets the definition of “comparable coverage,” and they select to participate in an international program through the University, it shall be deemed a loss of coverage if their existing health insurance does not include coverage abroad. A student in this situation may petition to enroll in NUSHP prior to the commencement of the international program at a rate that is commensurate with the enrollment date. Graduate, CPS, and PTE students will also be charged the Health Center fee.
NUSHP is effective from the date of the open enrollment period or date of qualified event and will terminate at the end of the academic year. See Effective Dates and Cost. This coverage is not pro-ratable to allow for shorter terms of coverage and cannot be waived once enrolled.
Exchange and English Language Programs
Students that do not meet the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requirements outlined above are not eligible to enroll in NUSHP unless they are enrolled in an exchange, EDD, English Language Programs (with the exception of Global Pathways and Pre-MBA who are automatically billed and follow the opt out criteria above). Students in these programs may elect to enroll in NUSHP by completing the Petition to Enroll Form. The deadline to request enrollment is on the waiver page of the term the student begins their program or loses their coverage due to a qualifying event. Enrollment will be for the full academic year and will be billed accordingly. If a student elects to enroll in the fall term and completes the program in December they may request a midyear adjustment form to have NUSHP end January 31st. Students electing to enroll in any other term will be billed the costs associated with that term and NUSHP will end August 31.