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Columbia Univeristy Medical Center
   Student Insurance Information

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) provides a comprehensive system of health care for you, your spouse or partner, and dependent children. There are two major parts to the system, which are charged separately:

  • Student Health Service (SHS)                 Fees

  • Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan       Fees

The Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan links the on-site resources of the Student Health Service with the specialty consultations and diagnostic resources of the Aetna Network, which is international in scope. You can be confident of access to medical care even when your studies take you to remote areas of the world. Although the insurance premium is charged by semester (Fall Semester five months, 5/12 of premium; Spring-Summer seven months, 7/12 of premium), enrollment is on an annual basis; students who have enrolled in the fall cannot drop the coverage during the spring semester even if their status switches from full-time to part-time.

The open enrollment period is from August 1 - September 19 each year except for students who first join the university in the spring or summer, who may enroll at that time. Students whose status changes from part-time to fulltime during the academic year will also be automatically enrolled at that time, but may waive the insurance if they have comparable coverage.

The Student Health Service fee is mandated by the Board of Trustees for ALL full-time students at Columbia University Medical Center, as well as for all those who enroll in the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan. In addition, the School of Nursing mandates that ALL clinical nursing students enroll in the Student Health Service, regardless of whether they are full-time OR part-time. The Student Health Service is also an annual plan, although fees are assessed per semester, with 5/12 of the fee due at the beginning of the fall semester, and 7/12 of the fee due at the beginning of the spring semester. If you switch from full-time to part-time during the spring semester, you will still be assessed the spring portion of the SHS fee, and will, of course, be entitled to all SHS services.

Students who will be more than 50 miles away for the entire enrollment time period, and not taking any classes on the CUMC campus, may request a waiver of the SHS fee. Students who are full-time employees of Columbia University may also request a waiver of the SHS fee. Click here to access the waiver form. To summarize:
  • Enrollment in the Aetna Sudent Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is automatic for all full-time students. If you have comparable coverage, you may waive the SHIP. The waiver must be completed each insurance year. The insurance year begins August 17th of each year. If you entered in spring or summer, and waived, you must repeat the waiver again for the fall semester.
  • All adult students, fellows and their dependents who enroll in SHIP must enroll in the Student Health Service as well. The premiums are based on the assumption that you will receive your primary care through the SHS.
  • Full-time students may not waive the SHS charge unless they are also full-time employees of Columbia University or will be living more than 50 miles away and will be taking no classes on campus for that academic year (>50 miles form).
  • Part-time students without insurance are encouraged to enroll in SHIP
  • Dual Degree Students Click here for information on health services and insurance enrollment when your program shifts between the CUMC and Morningside campuses.

The Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan is sponsored by Columbia University Medical Center. The school policy number is 812835.

How to Download a Temporary Insurance Card


CUMC Medical Plan Summary of Benefits 14-15

Insurance Pointers for those Leaving CUMC

Information on Student Dental Insurance

Deadlines for waiving the Student Health Insurance Plan

Fall: August 1 - September 19 (open enrollment - all students)
Spring: January 1 - January 30 (new students/dependents only)
Summer: June 1 - June 30 (new students/dependents only)


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