The default health plan for BU students is provided through the Aetna Student Health. If you do not have another plan that meets state requirements, you will automatically be billed for this plan.

The 2010-2011 annual rate for the BU Student Basic Medical Insurance Plan (with coverage from 8/23/2010 through 8/22/2011 will be $1,676. Most full time Teaching Fellows and Research Assistants will have this fee paid for by BU. Check with your department’s graduate coordinator for more details. There is now an option to purchase a Student Plus Plan for $2,299. If you have a Fellowship, the Basic plan will be covered, but you have the option of paying the difference for the Plus plan. Coverage begins at the start of the academic year, whether you have already paid your bill or not. The fee for the BU Student Medical Insurance plan for students starting in the Spring 2011 semester (with coverage from 1/1/2011 through 8/22/2011) will be $1,141. coverage

Note that certified full-time and 3/4 time students must obtain a referral from Student Health Services prior to receiving treatment from an outside provider in order for coverage from Aetna Student Health to apply. A new referral is required for each new condition and at the beginning of each policy year prior for ongoing conditions. Part-time students and dependents are not required to obtain a referral since they are not eligible to utilize Student Health Services

BU Student Medical Insurance Plan You may also call 1-800-966-7772 for information.

Who Must Purchase the BU Plan?
For official rules about who must purchase the BU Student Medical Insurance Plan, see the Student Accounting Services page on Medical Insurance.

Massachusetts's law requires all full-time, certified full-time, and 3/4-time students to have health insurance. Boston University policy requires the same of all international students and their dependents ( Students who are not international students and taking less than 75% of a full-time* course load, aren't required to have medical insurance. Thus, these students can take advantage of other options more easily. Some students who are continuing-study, but normally qualify as full-time, may be able to change their status to part-time.

Part-time vs. Full-time status
*Remember that students who have completed all required courses and are on "Continuing Study" may be certified as studying full-time. There are several issues students should be aware of concerning part-time status:

Maintaining certified full-time status is important to students who wish to defer prior loans or obtain new loans.

Being registered as part-time means that Medicare and Social Security will be taken out of your BU paycheck, which isn't normally done with those registered as full-time. You should compare the amount of these withholdings to the premium for an insurance plan. Or, in the case of assistance programs, which don't normally have a premium, you should research whether they provide better coverage that would offset the extra deductions.

Check with your department to see if there are any additional repercussions or policies about being on part-time status.

Key Points About the BU Plan
The BU Plan is a sickness and injury plan, so it does not cover "preventative medicine." Student Health Services does provide preventative care for students in the form of yearly pap smears for women only if covered by insurance, otherwise there will be a charge of $63.

You may see several versions of a bill for medical services you have received. Make sure you receive an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from Aetna Student Health, which explains what amounts they've paid and what amounts you must pay. When you are sure a bill reflects what you actually owe, then you should pay your bill. Contact Aetna Student Health at 1-800-966-7772 if you have any questions.

The BU Plan imposes monetary limits on certain kinds of services. Those students with chronic or catastrophic illness may easily reach those limits.

Supplemental coverage is available for purchase from Aetna Student Health. This coverage increases the maximum paid for an illness or injury, but not the dollar limits on different kinds of services. Supplemental coverage is not automatically renewed each year.

The BU Plan does not cover routine dental care, but students are able to purchase a separate dental plan (run by the BU Dental School). Pamphlets and enrollment forms are available at Student Health Services. See below for more information about dental care and insurance.

The BU Plan includes the Vision One Program, which can provide vision services and supplies for discount rates at participating providers.

Other Healthcare Options and Programs The following are plans that BU students may be able to take advantage of either in place of BU's Student Medical Insurance Plan or as a supplement to it. They fall into 3 main categories: normal insurance plans; discount plans that provide certain discounts at participating providers; or assistance programs, which require income or other kinds of qualifications. Some plans can even supplement your insurance, covering services that your insurance does not.