Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)

SHIP Health Insurance is Required

At Boston University, we care about the whole student, and that includes student health. Health and wellness are critical components to academic success, and we want our students to be well without worrying about health care costs. Health insurance is necessary to pay for care not provided through on-campus Student Health Services (SHS), and is required by the state of Massachusetts.

That’s why Boston University automatically enrolls full-time, three-quarter time, and international undergraduate and graduate students in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).  NOTE: Online only students are not eligible to enroll in SHIP. Domestic part-time degree students may be eligible for SHIP coverage but in most cases will need to take the positive action to enroll.

The SHIP premium is billed through your student account.

If You Don’t Want SHIP Coverage

If your student account was assessed for SHIP, during the open enrollment period, you have the opportunity to waive SHIP coverage–provided you have other coverage that meets the comparable coverage requirements.  You can find the Comparable Coverage Checklist on the Student Health Services website by selecting “Waiving SHIP.”  If you waive SHIP coverage by the end of the open enrollment period, a credit in the amount of the SHIP premium will be applied to your student account.

However, even if you have other coverage available, think before you waive to be sure you’re making the best and most cost-effective decision. Read Your Health Insurance Decision Guide on the Student Health Services website to find out whether you are eligible to waive, whether SHIP is best for you, and to understand rates and deadlines.

Learn from Anywhere (LfA) – 2020-2021 Plan Year:

Students studying outside of the U.S.:

If you are studying outside of the U.S. for the fall 2020 semester, and have coverage where you are studying, you may decline enrollment in SHIP by emailing  In your email, please provide your name, BU ID number, health insurance provider name, and the country where you will be studying.

Students studying in the U.S., outside of the Boston area:

If you are studying remotely (outside of the Boston area), you may waive enrollment in SHIP if your alternate insurance plan provides comparable coverage in the are where you are studying.  You should submit your SHIP waiver as usual, and may be asked to attest to your intent to study remotely if your plan does not provide comparable coverage in the Boston area.  Please be sure to monitor your BU email after submitting your waiver. 


Most students will be enrolled in the BASIC plan.  Most students on the Medical Campus will be enrolled in the PLUS plan.  For more information regarding the two offered plans, visit the Aetna Student Health website.

Students wishing to enroll their eligible dependents should upgrade to the PLUS plan before the open enrollment deadline.  For more information, please see the Dependent Coverage page.

Learn more about SHIP on the Student Health Services website.