The University has certain requirements for health insurance and vaccinations which must be followed by all students.
U.S. health care is probably very different from the one in your own country. There is no national health care system here that the government pays for. Without health insurance, costs can be very, very expensive. Medical Insurance helps pay for visits to specialists off campus (outside of Columbia Health), for hospital stays, and for prescription drugs.
All Columbia students studying for eight weeks or more are required to have Columbia Medical Insurance. Students studying fewer than 8 weeks do not need to have Columbia Medical Insurance.
For more information about the Columbia Insurance plan visit Columbia Health.
The Columbia University health insurance plan is managed by Aetna Student Health. For more information on benefits and claims, visit Aetna Student Health.
It is not possible to waive (= not pay) the insurance charge (unless students have comparable U.S. health insurance).
Health and Related Services Fee
All ALP students are required to pay the Health and Related Services Fee. This fee covers access to Columbia health services such as medical, counseling, wellbeing, sexual violence response and disability services on campus.
New York State public health law and University policy require that all students complete several immunization requirements and submit documentation prior to registering for their first term. Columbia University expects all requirements to be met prior to arriving on campus for the respective academic term, not when they arrive in New York City.
New students must submit documentation upon admission or no later than 30 days before registration.
Visit the Columbia Health Immunization Compliance page for more information.
Seeing a Doctor
If you need to see a doctor, you can go to Columbia Health Medical Services in John Jay Hall. The Health and Related Services fee covers the cost - you do not need to pay more. You can make an appointment or walk in.
In the U.S., people only go to the hospital when they have an emergency. The Emergency Room is a very expensive way to see a doctor. So if it's not an emergency, go to Columbia Health Medical Services first. They will tell you if you need to see a specialist (a doctor who can help with particular problems) or get other help.
Charges for health insurance and health services are automatically added to each student’s bill at registration. Students in the Spring intensive program will be charged for eight months of insurance coverage (Spring + Summer).
Please note that insurance charges added at registration are considered due when they are added.
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