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What is a health plan waiver?

A way for students who already have insurance to prove that their insurance meets legal requirements. Completing the waiver (and getting it approved) before the deadline is the only way to get out of being enrolled in, and being charged for, NUSHP.

Waiver questions

The deadline for NUSHP is dependent on when you are determined eligible and enrolled in the health plan. You will receive emails informing you when the portal is open and your deadline.

If you have just become eligible for NUSHP in Spring 2024 and see a Health Plan Fee of $1664 on your bill, the deadline is January 13, 2024.

If you are enrolled in the 2023-2024 plan year and see the Health Plan Fee of $2499 listed on your bill, the deadline was September 30, 2023.

Students may submit their waiver request through this link.

Please note that you will receive confirmation emails when the waiver is successfully submitted, approved, pending information, or denied. If you do not receive confirmation, then you have not yet completed the waiver.

If you have difficulty submitting the waiver, please try another browser and submit the request without attachments. Gallagher Student Health will let you know if they need additional information. Please know you will need to fill out this waiver every academic year that you are billed for the Health Plan Fee.

You will receive confirmation emails when the waiver is successfully submitted, approved, pending information, or denied. If you do not receive confirmation, you have not yet completed the waiver and should try to submit it again.

We cannot tell you in advance if your insurance meets the requirements. The best way to find out if it does is to ask your insurance company if you have Affordable Care Act compliant coverage in the area of your campus without limitations. The Massachusetts law can be reviewed here.

Comparable health plans must have (at least) the following benefits:

  • Must provide coverage for a comprehensive set of services, including, but not limited to: preventative and primary care, doctor visits, hospital admissions, surgical services, emergency services, ambulatory patient services, mental health and substance abuse, prescription drug
  • Must have coverage for all benefits, not limited to emergency coverage, in the area of the student’s campus
  • Must have no annual or lifetime caps on the amount of money the insurer will pay for services
  • Must be underwritten in the United States
  • Must provide coverage for the entire duration of the school year that you were eligible for coverage

This is not an exhaustive list. Gallagher Student Health will assess all insurance policies to ensure that they are in compliance with Massachusetts law.

There are two ways to view your account at Northeastern: the static bill and the live e-bill. Think of the static bill the same way you think of your credit card bill—as a snapshot of your bill at a moment in time. Students receive their static bill once a month. We recommend that students check their live e-bill if they are looking for updates. The live e-bill should show an update within 2 – 4 business days. Please note that approved waivers do not cause the line item “Health Plan Fee” to be removed from the e-bill. Instead, expect to see a credit added to the bill for the “Health Plan Waiver” for the
same amount as the “Health Plan Fee” charge.

You will receive information in the denial email explaining the reason for denial from Gallagher Student Health. Common reasons are below:

  • Your insurance plan is international, which is not compliant with the Affordable Care Act. Insurance plans must be underwritten in the United States. This is true even if the insurance provides coverage in the United States or if they have partnered with company in the United States to process claims.
  • Your insurance plan is a limited benefits plan, which means that it does not cover all of the essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act. If you think this is incorrect, please ask your insurance plan to provide you with the benefits description and upload it to your waiver portal.
  • Your insurance plan does not provide full coverage in the area of your campus, which means that your coverage is limited when you are at school. Your insurance must provide you with ACA compliant coverage when at school.
  • Your insurance plan does not provide coverage for the entire time that you are eligible for NUSHP. For example, if you are enrolled in NUSHP with the effective dates of September 1- August 31, you cannot waive with an insurance plan that provides coverage from October 1- August 31. You must be covered by a compliant plan for the entire time that you are eligible.

The email from Gallagher includes information about what needs to be uploaded to appeal the denial. Typically, they will request a letter showing active coverage (also known as a Verification of Coverage letter) and/or a plan document detailing your benefits.

If you are unable to appeal the denial, you will remain on the Northeastern Student Health Plan. Because our plan offers nationwide coverage, you will be able to use NUSHP at home as well as at school.

If the waiver deadline has passed, you will remain on the insurance until the end date, which is August 31. If you have another insurance already, please present both insurance cards at appointments and be aware that NUSHP is your secondary insurance. If you have another insurance plan that claims NUSHP is the primary insurance, please present them with this benefit description explaining that NUSHP is always the secondary insurance if a student has multiple plans.

Unfortunately, Northeastern is unable to advise students on third-party insurance. Students can find out if their insurance plan meets the legal requirements by submitting the waiver. If you choose to purchase an insurance policy, it is your responsibility to confirm that it meets the requirements set by Massachusetts State Law and the ACA.

We cannot make an exception, even if you do not plan to use your insurance when you are at school. Life is unpredictable, and you never know when you may need coverage.