Health Insurance

Accessing Care

As a CUIMC student, Student Health on Haven is your primary care provider (including any enrolled spouse or partner) and is responsible for determining the most appropriate treatment for your health care needs. We offer a wide range of services to support your unique health and well-being needs as a CUIMC student. 

Please visit the Aetna Student Health website, select "Columbia University/Columbia University Irving Medical Center" and click "View School" for access to all Aetna-related services for the Columbia University Student Insurance Plan, including:

Your Coverage At A Glance

For detailed information about benefits and coverage, please review the following:

Finding a Health Care Provider

Please visit the Aetna Student Health website, select "Columbia University/Columbia University Irving Medical Center" and click "View School" for access to all Aetna-related services, including finding a doctor, hospital, or pharmacy.

You may search for in-network specialists. Choosing an in-network physician saves you money. Please note there is a $600 deductible if you choose to visit an out-of-network provider.

Specialty Visits

  • Specialist care requires a referral from Student Health prior to scheduling the appointment with your specialist.
  • ALL referrals MUST be renewed each policy year (except Counseling referrals).

You do NOT need a referral from Student Health for the following services:

  1. Primary and preventive obstetric and gynecologic services including annual examinations.
  2. For emergency services, you do not need a referral for an emergency room (ER) visit but you MUST get a referral from Student Health for all follow-up specialist visits.
  3. If you are ever more than 50 miles away from campus, you may go directly to a provider in that area without a referral from Student Health. Please ensure that the provider you are seeing accepts the Aetna Columbia Student Health Insurance by using Aetna's Directory of Health Care Professionals to maximize your benefits.
  4. Dependent children do not need a referral.

If a referral is not obtained prior to seeking care, the claim will incur a "Non-Referral Penalty"  resulting in services being reimbursed at the out-of-network benefit level at a higher out-of-pocket cost. 

Downloading an Insurance Card

Please go to the Aetna website and download your ID card by entering your Student ID and date of birth (DOB). Your Student ID number is your Columbia PID number, located in your SSOL account.

Questions About:

Enrollment, Coverage Benefits, or Referrals

Plan Benefits, Claims, Inpatient admission, Pre-certification

Prescription Drug and Pharmacy Claims, Medication Coverage, Pre-Authorization

Life Change Events

  • If you have experienced a life change event such as: turning 26 (at or shortly after your birthday), having a child, marriage, divorce, and other specific circumstances and would like to add or drop coverage, please complete a Life Change Event form and submit documentation.  Students have 60 days from the Life Change Event to file a Petition to enroll with the Student Insurance Office
  • 2021-2022 Life Change Event Form- Please use this form for any life change that has occurred on or before 8/14/2022.
  • 2022-2023 Life Change Event Form- Please use this form for any life change that has occurred on or after 8/15/2022.
  • Contact Student Health on Haven via phone at 212-305-3206 or email us at

Medical Leave of Absence

  • Students in good standing, who are approved for a medical leave of absence by their school are eligible to remain on the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan for a cumulative maximum of two semesters during the course of a student's entire enrollment within a particular school at Columbia, regardless of the length of the program.
  • The two semesters are cumulative but do not need to occur sequentially.  
  • Medical leaves must be approved by the student's academic unit and reflected in the Student Information System. 

At-Home (OTC) COVID-19 Tests

Students on the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan can now pick up at-home COVID-19 tests at participating pharmacies, with no upfront costs. These COVID-19 tests, also called an over-the-counter (OTC) test, can help you diagnose an infection and limit its spread to your family and community.

What’s Covered?

Members are eligible for eight at-home COVID-19 tests per 30-day period for everyone covered under your plan. A prescription isn’t needed. Eligible tests must be authorized, cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At-home COVID-19 tests must also be purchased on or after January 15, 2022.

How to Get Your At-home COVID-19 Tests Covered?*

Your health plan will cover your at-home COVID-19 tests using your pharmacy benefits. The process to get your tests covered will vary based on where you buy your tests.

  • Get your tests paid for upfront: Through a special arrangement with your plan, some pharmacies, like CVS Pharmacy, can process your at-home test claims in the store or online at the point of sale. With this method, there are no upfront costs when you pick up your tests.
  • Pay for your tests and get reimbursed: If the pharmacy, online retailer, or store where you shop is unable to process your at-home test claim using your pharmacy benefits, you can still get reimbursed for the cost of the test. Just keep your receipt and log in to the Aetna Student Health member website to submit a claim for reimbursement. Once your claim is processed, a check will be mailed to you. Please note shipping costs will not be reimbursed.

For tests purchased between January 15, 2022, and February 16, 2022, you can expect to be fully reimbursed for the cost of an at-home COVID-19 test. For tests purchased on February 17, 2022, or later, you will be reimbursed for the cost of the test or $12 per test, whichever amount is lower.

For a complete list of participating providers and pharmacies, go to and use the provider search tool.

Extended Expiration Dates for At-home COVID-19 Tests

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated their online information to help consumers find the current expiration date for any FDA authorized at-home OTC COVID-19 diagnostic test. Visit our COVID-19 Testing for CUIMC Students page to learn more.


*At-home COVID-19 tests used for return to work or school, or recreational purposes are not covered unless required by state law. Lab-based PCR at-home collection kits are also not covered.