Healthcare and Insurance

Health Insurance

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires all full-time students to have health insurance. Hospitalization is very expensive in the United States, and international students are not eligible for assistance from the US government. If you do not have health insurance that will cover you in the United States, the following companies offer coverage to international students.

ISO Insurance – www.isoa.org

If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar.


In the case of an emergency, dial 911 on any phone. This will connect to police, fire and medical response.


During your time in the United States, you may need to seek medical attention.  The health care system in the US can be complex and expensive, so it is important to make note of the various options available to you for medical care.  A hospital emergency room tends to be the most expensive and a routine doctor’s office visit the least expensive.  Your health insurance policy will describe the co-payment and out-of-pocket expense expectations for each type of medical care, based on your condition.

In the event of a life-threatening medical emergency, you should dial 911 on any phone to connect to emergency medical, police, and fire response.

A hospital emergency room (ER) is your best option for medical care in the event of a major emergency such as a head injury, loss of consciousness, severe shortness of breath, etc.  However, visiting the ER for non-emergency medical care (such as a minor illness or injury) can lead to long wait times and higher out-of-pocket costs.

For non-emergency medical care, you would be better served to call your doctor’s office for an appointment, if during office hours.  On the evenings and weekends, your doctor’s office might not be open for appointments.  If this is the case, you may be able to visit a local health clinic or Urgent Care center instead.  Urgent Care centers often have evening and weekend hours, at a fraction of the cost of the ER. Here are some Urgent Care Centers in the local area:

Beth Israel Deaconess Urgent Care at Chestnut Hill
200 Boylston Street
Newton, MA 02467
Phone: 617-278-8500
Open 7 days per week, M-F 11am-9pm; Weekends and some holidays 9am-7pm

AFC Urgent Care – Watertown, MA
376 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02471
Phone: 617-923-2273
Open 7 days per week, M-F 8am-8pm; Sat-Sun 8am-5pm