Medical

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.

Important note for 2019: There will be a new administrator, Express Scripts, for the prescription benefit in all Harvard-sponsored medical plans; all faculty and staff enrolled in a Harvard-sponsored medical plan will receive a new ID card in late December to use when filling prescriptions beginning January 1, 2019. To learn about all the changes, your choices and new options, visit Open Enrollment 2019.

Harvard offers you a choice of several medical plans so that you can compare the options and select a plan that best meets your and your family’s needs and preferences. All plans (except the PPO) are offered through both of our providers: Harvard’s own Harvard University Group Health Plan (HUGHP) and top-rated Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC). See how the two provider networks compare here.

Plan options

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
With an HMO, you select a primary care physician (PCP) who coordinates your care and can provide you with referrals to in-network specialists. Out-of-network care is not covered, except in certain emergency situations. 

Point of Service (POS)
Like an HMO, you designate a PCP. However, you have the flexibility to use out-of-network providers for services.

Also available to Faculty and Nonunion Staff
High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) Featuring lower premiums and higher deductibles than a traditional health plan, the HDHP is offered in conjunction with a Health Savings Account (HSA). (External postdocs and stipendees are not eligible for this plan.)

POS Plus
With the same benefits as a traditional POS, the POS Plus plan has higher premiums and a higher out-of-pocket maximum in exchange for no deductible or coinsurance for in-network services. 

Also available to Local 26 and SEIU Arboretum
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
Available only to employees who live outside Massachusetts. Go to any health care professional you choose inside or outside your network without a PCP referral. Only available through HPHC.

Also available to SEIU members
Combined medical, dental and vision coverage through the SEIU for members and eligible dependents (domestic partners are not eligible). If you enroll in the SEIU plan, you cannot also be enrolled in Harvard’s dental or vision coverage.

Learn more by reviewing our Medical Plans Overview for 2018Prescription coverage is included in all plans and is provided through OptumRx; you can create an online account at www.optumrx.com.

Additional  plans

Global benefit program
For eligible employees working abroad. Learn more.

Retiree health programs
Benefits for employees who are in retirement.  Learn more.

Compare plan features and rates

To compare plans available to you, including rates and coverage options, please go to the Plan Rates & Features page and choose the information for your employee group. 

COBRA, Layoff, Global Plan and Ex-Spouse rates can be found under Forms & Documents  > Total Rewards > Health Benefit Rates. Rates for Domestic Partner can be found at Forms & Documents > Total Rewards > Domestic Partner.

Fitness reimbursement benefit

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and HUGHP provide members with a fitness reimbursement of up $150 annually toward membership at gyms/fitness facilities. Check with your health plan provider for details about eligible facilities and reimbursement instructions.

University Benefits Committee Fact Sheet

The University Benefits Committee (UBC) has provided a Medical Program Fact Sheet with key statistics on the University’s Medical Program to help deepen the community’s understanding of the plan and its related costs.  It provide some key spending, enrollment, and utilization statistics for 2013 through 2016.  The fact sheet is available here.  Comments or questions can be directed to the UBC at ubc@harvard.edu.

Form 1095-C

Harvard is required under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide Form 1095-C to active employees eligible for Harvard group health coverage in 2017, indicating that coverage meets the ACA's "Minimum Essential Coverage." The 2017 forms will mailed in mid-February, and, by law, they must be postmarked by 3/2/18. This form should be kept with your tax records (although you are not required to submit the form with your tax return). You can learn more here: