New Students, Consider MassHealth

Dear Incoming Student,

Want to save almost $2500? Consider waiving the Harvard Student Health Insurance plan and applying for MassHealth. I found out about this option a little late, and therefore had to pay a late fee to waive the Harvard insurance, but it was still well worth it.

If you’re not on any other health insurance, and if your income throughout the school year is at or below 133% the Federal Poverty Line, then you are eligible. For your reference, income at 133% FPL for a single individual is about $315 per week. As a student working a graduate level job on campus at an average rate ($10-15 per hr, around 15-20 hours per week), your weekly income will likely qualify you for MassHealth insurance. Check out this table for income level guidelines.

The approval process takes a couple weeks and you will to submit proof of residency (such as a lease agreement) and a paystub. Once you get your MassHealth card, the health benefits available to you are amazing!

Now that the school year is winding down, I finally have had time to take advantage of the health insurance benefits of my MassHealth plan. This includes free doctors exams, eye exams (and a free pair of glasses), dental appointments (and wisdom teeth extraction if you need it), as well as money back for gym memberships and other health purchases.

Don’t wait to apply for MassHealth, and most importantly, don’t wait to take care of your health before it is too late!! My advice to students is to put health as a top priority, and schedule preventative exams and appointments at the beginning of the school year rather than waiting until the end.

Cheers to health!

Pam Liu is a beer-loving yogi who works as a high school math teacher and travels the world on the side. She’s currently a Master’s candidate in the Special Studies program.