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Student Health Insurance FAQ

1. What is the difference between the Student Health fee and the Student Insurance Plan fee? What are these monies used for?

The Harvard Student Health Plan contains two health insurances that work together. Your Student Health Fee pre-pays medical and mental health services provided by and at the Harvard University Health Services and its satellites at the Law, Business and Medical Schools.
It is a comprehensive package of services that provides all students with convenient, on-campus access to medical care. All full-time registered students must participate in the University Health Services and pay the mandatory Student Health Fee.

The second part of the Harvard Student Health Plan is the Harvard Sponsored Blue Cross and Blue Shield student health plan. This plan administered by BCBS of Massachusetts, is designed to complement the health care program available at the University Health Services and covers hospitalization, emergency care, and some services and procedures not available through University Health Services.
All Harvard students are automatically enrolled in the Harvard Student Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan unless they indicate that they have other medical insurance that meets the minimum standards required by the Massachusetts law and file a Waiver Form with the Harvard Student Receivables Office by registration day.

2. What does “three outside referrals” mean? How should they be properly used or protected? How do you define “outside”?
The three outside referrals only apply to students who take part in the Harvard-sponsored BCBS student health plan. “Outside” refers to visits that take place in a physician’s office anywhere “outside” of the University Health Services. “Three outside referrals” means that each academic year (September 1 through August 31), BCBS allows and will cover in full the first three diagnostic, scheduled consultations with a medical specialist outside of the University Health Services. All subsequent scheduled consultations will not be covered.
These covered visits are described as diagnostic, scheduled specialty consultations because this BCBS plan does not cover routine or preventive care. Non-scheduled consultations that are a part of an emergency evaluation at a hospital are not counted toward the three scheduled diagnostic visits.
These visits can be protected by taking full advantage of the medical and surgical specialists available on staff at the Health Services.

3. If same sex partners who live together can be covered by extension under HBS student insurance, why can’t non-same sex partners who live together obtain extension coverage?

The University has a policy that allows students and employees with same sex partners who are registered with the City of Cambridge to enroll in family health insurance. The University sees registering with the City as the only legal option available for persons in committed same sex relationships, whereas heterosexual couples have the legal option of marriage.

4. Explain the Student Prescription benefit. Why could it save me money if I don’t have any illnesses, but anticipate routine care including oral contraceptives and the occasional prescription for antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and other incidental medications?
The Student Prescription Rider is a type of insurance where you are pre-purchasing both a $750 total benefit, plus discounted purchasing power. When you enroll in the Rider program, you receive a Pharmacare prescription card.

This card automatically entitles you to deep discounts over the retail prescription costs at any Pharmacare pharmacy nationwide. Then also, each prescription you pick up will only cost you the copay amount at the counter. The plan-paid portion is deducted from your $750 benefit.

February 19, 2002
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