Health & Welfare Benefits

Harvard provides comprehensive health benefits and insurance programs that support you and your family. With our many options, you can find coverage that meets your needs at all stages of your life.

Benefits Open Enrollment 2019: October 31-November 14

The annual Benefits Open Enrollment period is your chance to review your benefit options and choose the ones that best meet your needs. You can make changes to your medical, dental, vision care, life insurance and disability coverage, Hyatt Legal Plan and elect a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA). New for 2019: you can elect new Identity Theft Protection.

Special opportunity during Open Enrollment: If you currently have Supplemental Life Insurance, you can increase coverage by one salary level with no Statement of Health.

There are some changes for 2019, including a new administrator, Express Scripts, for the prescription benefit in all Harvard-sponsored medical plans as well as plan changes for Local 26 members. To learn about changes, your choices and new options, visit Open Enrollment 2019.

Summary of available coverage

  • Medical Harvard offers subsidized medical coverage from top-rated Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) and Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP).
  • Dental Harvard offers in-network and out-of-network dental coverage through Delta Dental.
  • Vision In addition to the vision benefits offered under our medical plans, Harvard offers a comprehensive vision care plan from Davis Vision.
  • Disability & Life Insurance Free basic life insurance and short term disability provide basic financial protection. You may purchase additional long term disability coverage and life insurance at competitive rates as well as dependent life insurance for spouses/domestic partners and eligible children.
  • Retiree Health Retirees who meet eligibility requirements have a choice of health plans for themselves and eligible dependents.

Related benefits

  • Reimbursement Programs Harvard offers several reimbursement programs to provide additional financial protection for certain employees who have high out-of-pocket medical expenses in a given year.
  • Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts enable you to pay for eligible expenses using pre-tax dollars, lowering your taxable income. A Health Savings Account is available to those covered by the high-deductible health plan.


To be eligible for Harvard’s health and welfare benefits, you must be employed in a benefits-eligible position on a regular University payroll and work at least 17.5 hours per week, or be paid at a base annual rate of at least $15,000. Eligibility requirements for represented employees may vary by union contract.

The following dependents are eligible for Harvard’s medical, dental and vision care plans under family coverage (the employee must be enrolled in the same plan):

  • spouse or registered domestic partner;
  • eligible children up to age 26, including children by birth, adoption, foster placement, marriage/domestic partnership, or legal guardianship;
  • children of any age who are incapable of self-support due to disability (must have become disabled before age 26 and have been continuously covered).

For information on special eligibility situations, including domestic partners, COBRA and others, please refer to our Eligibility - Special Situations Overview.

Note: The benefits described here are a summary and every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy. The actual benefit plan provisions will govern if there is any inconsistency between the information on this website and Harvard’s formal plan documents.