Health Care & Insurance

Health care and health insurance are important during your stay at Harvard. It is crucial that you learn about the differences between the medical care system in your own country and the medical care system in the United States. It is surprising to many international visitors to learn that the U.S. Government is not a major provider of medical care. Arranging and paying for medical care is your responsibility. The best way to meet this responsibility is to obtain comprehensive health insurance coverage to protect you (and your family) against exorbitant costs.

Access to health insurance depends on your affiliation to the University. Requirements for health insurance also vary. Massachusetts law requires that any full-time or part-time student enrolled in an institution of higher learning in Massachusetts must participate in a qualifying student health insurance program or in a health plan of comparable coverage. Therefore, all Harvard University students are automatically enrolled in the Harvard University Student Health Plan unless they can show that they have comparable health insurance coverage on their own. International scholars are not required to purchase the Harvard health insurance plan. 

Both students and scholars and their dependents in J status are required by the U.S. Department of State to have health insurance that meets certain standards. 

In addition, Massachusetts requires all residents over the age of 19 to maintain health insurance.