Suffolk University

2020-2021 Academic Year

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) COVID-19 Coverage Updates:

Effective March 7, 2020, BCBSMA is:

  • Covering the full cost of diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Students will have no copay, co-insurance or deductible for these tests.
  • Waiving co-pays for medically necessary COVID-19 treatment at doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and urgent care centers.
  • Waiving co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles for telehealth benefits (Well Connection) for the screening, evaluation, diagnosis and/or suggested treatment of COVID-19. Telehealth offers convenience as well as the opportunity to avoid potential exposure to contagion. For additional information about telehealth benefits, please visit: 
  • Staffing a dedicated helpline (888-372-1970) for all COVID-19 related inquiries. 


Dear Student:

As you prepare for the 2020-21 academic year, we urge you to consider your health insurance coverage a top priority. It is important that students have access to comprehensive medical care while enrolled at Suffolk University. According to Massachusetts law (Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage Institutions of Higher Education) and Suffolk University policy, every institution of higher education shall require all full-time and part-time students enrolled in at least 75% of a full time program to participate in a qualifying student health insurance program or in a health benefit plan with comparable coverage as defined in 114.6 CMR 3.05(2). This mandate includes all undergraduate, graduate, and law students enrolled in at least 75% of a full time academic program. Therefore, all eligible students are automatically enrolled in the Suffolk University Student Health Insurance Plan (“SSHIP”) for coverage effective August 21, 2020 - August 20, 2021. To opt out, students must submit the SSHIP Online Waiver Form before the waiver deadline, each academic year, verifying comparable qualifying health insurance provided by a U.S. based insurance carrier. All eligible students who choose to waive SSHIP in subsequent years must re-submit the SSHIP Online Waiver Form each academic year before the waiver deadline. If the SSHIP waiver is not submitted by the deadline, then enrollment in SSHIP and the corresponding charge on the student account cannot be reversed.

PLEASE NOTE: All international students must purchase the Suffolk student health insurance plan with the exception of:

  • Those international students whose sponsoring institutions have a signed agreement with Suffolk that complies with the University’s health insurance waiver requirements OR
  • International students with a plan for which their health insurance company's primary home office is based in the United States AND the policy provides comparable coverage to the University student health insurance plan.

International students who do not fall under conditions 1 or 2 above MUST purchase the University’s student health insurance plan and therefore are not eligible for a waiver.

All out-of-state students with insurance plans that do NOT provide emergency and non-emergency coverage for treatment with Massachusetts medical and mental health providers must purchase the Suffolk student health insurance plan.

Student Health Insurance Policy Period, Costs, and Deadlines:

Students          Coverage Period                     Cost                 Waiver Deadline

Fall                  8/21/20 - 8/20/21                     $2,880             September 30, 2020

Spring              1/1/21 - 8/20/21                       $1,934             February 10, 2021

If you are considering waiving the Suffolk Student Health Insurance Plan, please take note that some insurance plans in the market are restrictive and may leave students essentially uninsured while at school. This could result in the student incurring substantial out-of-pocket costs for medical care. We have provided some information to consider when reviewing comparable coverage that is accessible to in-network providers in the Boston area. The Suffolk Student Health Insurance Plan is serviced by University Health Plans and is underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA. The Student Health Plan is Blue Care Elect Value Plus (PPO) and claims are paid by Blue Cross Blue Shield. For instance, there is no dollar cap on health benefit coverage and there are no deductibles when seeing an in-network provider. You can view full details of the Suffolk student health insurance policy on-line by going to, select Suffolk University and then Benefits Information for the brochure.

The “Essential Health Benefits” categories covered by SSHIP include:

  • Ambulatory patient services, including outpatient day surgery and related anesthesia
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  • Laboratory Services
  • Emergency Services
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Preventive and wellness and chronic disease management
  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
  • Maternity and newborn care.

Please take the time to review the SSHIP benefits in order to make an informed decision regarding your health insurance needs while enrolled at Suffolk University. If you have any questions regarding the Suffolk Student Health Insurance Plan, please contact University Health Plans at 800-437-6448 or via email