Center for Health & Wellness


How can I see a clinician?

Call the CHW at 617-824-8666 to schedule an appointment or obtain health advice during the school year. If you do not reach someone directly, leave a detailed voicemail with your name, ID number, and the reason for your call and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

During summer and winter breaks, our staff can respond to phone or email inquiries, but do not see patients for appointments.

How do I get a referral to a specialist?

If you are enrolled in the student Aetna insurance plan, you must have a referral for care outside the CHW (note the exceptions below). Call the CHW before seeking or scheduling an appointment for non-CHW care. A CHW clinician needs to determine whether you need medical services not available at the CHW. The clinician may refer you to an outside provider or service, or schedule you for an appointment with a CHW clinician for an initial evaluation. A referral is valid for the academic year or until your insurance expires, whichever comes first. If these services continue into a new policy year, you must request an updated referral.

The referral requirement does not apply to mental health services (including substance abuse), the $250 Wellness Benefit, treatment of an emergency medical condition, or OB/GYN care. A referral is not required during College and summer breaks and when the school is closed due to holidays. The referral requirement is waived when students are traveling or vacationing 25 miles or more outside of campus. However, a prior referral is required for all students who live off campus and commute to Emerson’s Boston campus, regardless of distance, in order to seek non-emergency medical evaluation or treatment in the local community.

If you have insurance through an employer or parent plan, consult your insurer directly for specific referral and authorization requirements. Most plans provide subscribers with a listing of plan clinicians and specialists. The CHW staff can also help you find a local specialist.

How can I get my immunization or other medical records?

Medical records are retained for seven years from graduation or separation from Emerson. Download and complete the Authorization for Release of Medical Records Form

Submit the completed form through one of the following ways:

  • Faxing the form to 617-824-7897
  • Scanning/emailing to
  • Dropping the form off in person at 216 Tremont St., 3rd floor, Room 303
  • Mailing to: Center for Health and Wellness, 120 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116

Please allow seven business days from receipt to process your request.

How do I sign up for a CHOICES/Marijuana Education class?

There are several sessions of CHOICES/Marijuana Education classes offered each semester. To attend a class, you must:

Choose a date/time that works with your schedule.

Register online at least 24 hours in advance.

Questions? See the CHOICES section under Wellness Education, or contact Michael Arno, Director of Student Conduct in the Housing office.

What if I have a problem with my insurance bill?

Payment on filed claims for covered expenses will be mailed directly to the hospital or doctor unless proof of payment is submitted with the claim. Once a claim is processed, an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) Statement will be mailed to you explaining the benefit paid to the provider. The provider will then send you a statement indicating if a balance is due.

Helpful Hints

  • Don’t put off following up. Medical and dental practices are quick to turn bills over to collection agencies and this can hurt your credit rating!
  • Review the Explanation of Benefits form sent from your insurer.
  • If you did not receive an EOB but only the bill for service, contact the billing office of the facility issuing the bill.
  • All customer service inquiries, including Provider network questions, should be directed to your insurance claims department. (For students enrolled in the College-sponsored program, call Aetna Student Health at 800-213-2486.)
  • Call the provider to make sure the claim was submitted correctly and confirm that it has your correct information (spelling of name, DOB, insurance carrier, and policy number/address). Ask to have it resubmitted.
  • Keep a log of your phone or email contacts/notes with date/time and name of the customer service representative you spoke with.
  • Make a copy of all letters/bills/documents you submit.

If you disagree with how a claim was processed, request a review of the decision. In general, requests must be made in writing within 180 days of receipt of the Explanation of Benefits (EOB). Check with your insurer for specific requirements and the address to submit your request for appeal. The request must include why you disagree with the way the claim was processed. The request must also include any additional information that supports the claim (e.g., medical records, physician’s office notes, operative reports, physician’s letter of medical necessity).

Students enrolled in Aetna Student Insurance should submit all requests to:

P.O. Box 14464
Lexington, KY 40512

Why do I have a health hold?

All new students have a health hold effective date on their Banner accounts. For students entering in the fall, this date is July 1. For students entering in the spring, this date is January 4th. The health hold will become effective if the CHW has not received (via the Online Student Health Portal) your completed online health forms and you have not entered/uploaded immunization verification required by the Commonwealth of MA requirements. Upon submitting your health information/ immunizations via OSH, a CHW staff member will contact you to let you know if further information is needed to meet compliance with Emerson’s matriculation health requirements.

To find out if you have a health hold, log onto your ECommon account and click View Holds (under the Student Services tab). All health holds will have a date denoting when the health hold was placed or will become effective.

I missed a class. How do I get a doctor’s note?

Except in cases of emergency or hospitalization, the CHW does not provide students with notes excusing them from missing class or academic obligations. This is outlined in full in the Emerson College Student Handbook.

Communicate with your professors about expectations regarding absences. Students may sign an Authorization for Release of Medical Records at the CHW, so we may speak to the professors you specify when they call our office. The only information we will share is the date of your appointment or a confirmation that we have been in contact with you—we will not share the reason for your appointment or any medical diagnosis with a professor.