Health Insurance Information & Requirements
The enrollment/waiver period for all Fall/Spring 2012-13 students is OPEN.
Health Program Fee
All students are required to pay the Columbia Health Program Fee, which is $412 per semester for the 2012-13 academic year at registration. Please refer to the 2012-13 Columbia Health Guide.
Student Health Insurance
All full-time students, interns, and all students living in seminary housing at Union Theological Seminary must carry adequate health insurance.
Students may enroll in the Basic or Comprehensive Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan. The Health Program Fee and the Columbia Plan are packaged. Download Enrollment/Waiver Form to see how much the Basic or Comprehensive Plan costs and to make an applicable selection.
Student may waive enrollment and provide comparable proof of insurance. Download Enrollment/Waiver Form. The Health Program Fee and Comparable Proof of Insurance are a package. Students may waive the Columbia Plan and provide comparable proof of insurance ONLY of their plan meets the following criteria.
- Plan provides coverage for medically necessary care while student resides in New York City or travels in the United States or abroad. Please refer to the Detailed Health Insurance Plan Brochure for a definition of medical necessary. Alternate plans must provide routine and urgent care for both inpatient and outpatient medical and mental health services. A policy that provides only emergency or urgent care does not meet this requirement.
- The lifetime maximum benefit for student coverage is at least $300,000 per condition with no per incident maximums.
- Coverage must remain in force as long as students are registered students including approved leave of absences for medical reasons and non-degree status.
- Coverage is effective on September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013 and will cover students for any pre-existing conditions.
- Plan covers all of the following types of care: treatment for injuries resulting from the practice or play of athletics, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care and treatment for chemical dependency.
- Plan is licensed to do business in the United States and has a U.S.-based claims office and a U.S. telephone number so local hospitals and providers can contact students carrier to discuss students care and bill directly. Foreign state government plans do NOT meet this requirement.
- Students who provide comparable proof of insurance must submit a photocopy of the insurance card (back and front) with the Student Health Service & Medical Insurance Enrollment/Waiver Form before the end of late registration.
Students with Families
Students with families who desire coverage are urged to enroll and send in the additional fees. Please visit Columbia Health Services or Aetna Student Health, to find information about coverage for dependents, deadlines for enrollment, premiums, and the required downloadable dependent enrollment form. A copy of all verifying documentation must also be given to the Office of Student Life.
Dependent Spouse or Domestic Partner
Dependent Spouse or domestic partner may be eligible dependents. All students who wish to enroll their dependent spouse or domestic partner for the first time will need to provide the Health Services Insurance Office with acceptable documentation to verify the dependent’s eligibility for enrollment. It is recommended that students complete this verification process before submitting their dependent application to Aetna Student Health to avoid a delay. The Insurance Office will provide dependent eligibility confirmation to Aetna Student Health once the documentation provided has been reviewed and approved. You will need to complete this verification only once; there will be no need to submit documentation again, unless you are enrolling a different spouse or domestic partner. Please note that Aetna Student Health cannot accept your dependent application without the verification from Union’s Office of Student Life. If you fail to provide documentation, the dependent’s coverage cannot be activated and the premium will be refunded. The deadline for submitting documentation to the Office of Student Life (AD106) for the fall semester is September 16th. The enrollment deadline for the student and dependent plans is September 30th.
Acceptable Forms of Documentation for Proof of Marriage or Domestic Partnership
Spouse Marriage - Certificate
Domestic Partner - Certificate of Domestic Partnership
For additional information on obtaining a domestic partnership certificate for New York City residents, please review the City Clerk's Office - Domestic Partnership Registration.
Please note that Domestic Partnership Certificates issued outside of New York City may be submitted. Health services and insurance are essential. Please do not neglect your responsibility for seeing that you (and your family) are covered.
Part-time Students Health Insurance Information & Requirements
Part-time students, including non-degree students taking less than 7 credits, must show proof of insurance, but are not required to pay the Health Program Fee unless status changes to full-time.
Part-time students may elect to pay the Health Program Fee to benefit from the health program and may enroll in the Basic or Comprehensive Columbia Plan.
Medicaid Waiver Requests
Any student with active Medicaid coverage may request a waiver of the Columbia Plan. Waiver requests from students with New York State Medicaid generally will be approved. Students with Medicaid coverage from outside New York State may also request a waiver.
When making the waiver decision, all Medicaid-covered students should consider the gaps in coverage they may experience while attending the Seminary, for instance, travel anywhere outside student’s home state or abroad.
New York State Medicaid-covered students may not be covered when traveling outside of the state. In addition, referral options for students on Medicaid needing specialist’ care off campus may be limited. Students with Medicaid from outside New York State may not have health coverage outside of their state of residence and may need to return home for on-going treatment. Students with Medicaid who are interested in the student insurance plan may wish to address concerns about cost with the Financial Aid Office.
Students should obtain a copy of their plan's benefits and review it carefully to insure plan meets these criteria. All waiver requests must be approved by the Seminary. The Seminary may contact student’s insurance company to verify students plan meets these criteria. Alternate insurance plans found to not meet the criteria will not be approved for waiving the Columbia Plan.
Enrollment/Waiver Form is due by July 15, 2012
Form may be mailed, faxed or scan emailed to Rev. Yvette D. Wilson, Associate Dean for Student Life.
Considerations & Notes
The following considerations should be taken into account concerning student health insurance:
- Students should keep a written record with copies of all bills received and all claim forms submitted, and record dates and procedures followed (visit to the Health Service, hospital, etc.).
- Remember that the insurance may not cover total cost of treatment, so students should prepare to pay the difference or work out a plan with the service provider. This will avoid involving a collection agency. It is recommended not to let more than a couple of weeks go by before attending to the details above. The Office of Student Life (AD106) sends lists of students who have paid their Health Program and insurance fees to Columbia Health Services and Aetna Student Health.
- Questions concerning health coverage should be directed to Office of Student Life for verification.
- Columbia Health Services is open throughout the summer to provide Primary Care Medical Services and Special Services for Women.
- Children cannot be cared for by Columbia Health Services.
Dental care options have been provided by Columbia Health Services for students and their families. A summary of these options are below and can be found in detail online.
Aetna Advantage Dental Plan
- Members choose a participating primary care dentist (PCD) from Aetna’s broad network of dentists.
- You can visit any participating dentist for a reduced fee.
- PCD referral and pre-authorization required only when specialty care is needed.
- $5 co-payment for all preventive visits.
Dental benefits for students and families enrolled in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan.