Medical insurance coverage that is applicable outside of the United States (Europe in general and the Netherlands in particular) is required for participation in the Kasteel Well Program. The State of Massachusetts and Dutch Law require that your health insurance plan meets the following requirements during your stay in The Netherlands.

State Mandated Health Insurance Requirements

Full information can be found at the Massachusetts Health Connector Student Health Insurance Health Program& website if you have additional concerns about requirements. Talk to your insurance agent to see if your alternate health plan meets these requirements:

  • The plan must provide to the student reasonably comprehensive coverage of health services, INCLUDING Preventative and Primary care, Emergency services, hospitalization benefits, ambulatory patient services, and mental health services throughout the school year.
  • The services covered under the alternate health plan must be reasonably accessible for all health services to the student in the area where the student attends school.
  • A health plan through a closed network of providers and accessible only for Emergency services is NOT COMPARABLE COVERAGE. Students and parents should be aware of this very important fact.
  • The burden of proof that the alternate insurance is adequate falls on the student.
  • If you do not have the EC Blue Cross Blue Shield Student Health Plan (which meets the state mandated requirements) you must contact your insurance agent to ask if your current insurance coverage provides reimbursement for any type of health care visit, not just for emergency care while participating in the Kasteel Well Program.
  • If you believe your current insurance policy does not provide sufficient medical coverage while living and traveling in Europe, please research a health insurance plan that does. We include links below to supplemental health plans.
  • You are not required to purchase the EC Student Health Plan. You are free to choose whatever health insurance plan meets the above requirements.
  • Students who have out of area HMOs (for example Kaiser Permanente, Empire of NY, and others) may not have comparable coverage as these types of plans only provide coverage for emergency care or when provided by a network of clinicians not available in the Emerson campus area or abroad.

Payment for Medical Services Abroad

  • European doctors, medical facilities, and hospitals DO NOT ACCEPT American Health Insurance as payment for services
  • Students must pay the European medical provider in full (cash, credit (if accepted) at time of visit.
  • The European medical provider will not file a claim for you.
  • Always ask for an itemized medical bill (in ENGLISH if possible) that provides the provider's full name and address, date of service, a detailed listing with separate charges for each service provided, and a notation that you paid the bill in full.
  • Ask your insurance agent about reimbursement procedures and policies before leaving for Europe. Ask your agent what proof will be required for reimbursement (some insurance companies require that the receipt is translated into English, for example).
  • Castle students are entitled to three free visits to the Well Medical Clinic (not including x-rays or prescriptions). After the third visit students must pay for the treatment.
  • If your current plan meets the coverage requirements, you can waive the EC Student Health Plan cost from your FALL bill. Please follow instructions for the Student Health Insurance Plan Online Waiver Form.

Supplemental Insurance Plans for Study Abroad

We do not make recommendations about supplemental health insurance plans. It is best to talk to your insurance agent about which plan will work for you, or which plan could supplement your current insurance policy to meet the State of MA and Dutch requirements. You may find this USA Today article about study abroad insurance options helpful.

Please discuss these with your insurance agent.  

Health Concerns

  • You should have a physical exam before you leave; this is a recommendation, not a requirement.
  • If you wear contact lenses, bring an extra pair of contacts plus a spare pair of glasses to wear.
  • We recommend you bring your eye prescription with you.
  • Other medical concerns should be noted on the student forms all accepted students are required to complete.

Mental Health Services

Mental health providers will be available on campus for weekly 60-minute counseling sessions for students who need assistance with psychological issues. Sessions are included in the Health Fee you have paid for in advance. You may contact a mental health provider directly at emerson [at] (emerson[at]centiv[dot]nl). Emerson also offers a telephone crisis service for students who are studying abroad. Students will have 24/7 access to a licensed therapist by dialing +1 (617) 824-8755. If you are already in ongoing therapy, you might try to arrange with your current therapist to continue therapy long-distance by either Skype or Google Hangouts. OSA can provide a private room. Additionally, professional counseling services are available off campus. There is counseling offered at the local doctor’s clinic in the village of Well. A psychotherapist and psychiatric nurse are available only a short walk from the castle. Please note however, that this is a public service that may require a considerable waiting time. In addition, there are counseling services in nearby towns (30 to 40 minute bus ride from the Castle).

Details about mental health services will be provided to Castle students during orientation weekend. Any student who feels the need for mental health services while participating in the Kasteel Well program, please email osa_castle [at] (osa_castle[at]emerson[dot]edu) or emerson [at] (emerson[at]centiv[dot]nl) for assistance. Remember to keep receipts so your insurance company can reimburse you. 

The Health Clinic in Well provides services roughly comparable to Emerson College’s Health Services Clinic in Boston. There is no charge for the first three visits during the fall and spring semesters. However, X-rays, prescriptions, appointments with specialists, etc., are not included in this service and are the responsibility of the individual student and must be paid at the time of treatment.

The intent is to deliver brief medical treatment for either an accident or minor illness. Gynecological examinations and birth-control information are also available. We advise students to inform the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) staff about your health status. For a doctor’s appointment call the “Appointment” line: 0485-34 82 82 around 8:00 a.m. or go to the Office of Student Affairs at 8:15 a.m. to set up an appointment.

If you require immediate medical treatment at the Kasteel or over the weekend, notify the on-call Administrator. In this case you need to be aware you will need to pay the bill immediately after your visit. You will receive a receipt that you need to submit to your insurance after you’ve returned in the United States. If you need medicine from the local doctor’s clinic, always pick up your medicine at the drugstore. Please be aware of the fact that within the Dutch Health system, doctors only subscribe medication “such as antibiotics”, when they don’t see any way for you to recover.

A Note Regarding Prescription Medication

If you use prescription medication on a regular basis, you must bring enough medication to last you for the duration of the semester. It is prohibited to mail medication to the Netherlands. There should be no problem clearing customs with your prescription medication as long as you leave the medication(s) in its original container and it is clearly labeled. You should have a letter from your doctor describing the medical condition and the amount of medicine you use each day. It is recommended that your physician include the generic names for the prescribed drugs. In case of emergency, you can contact a pharmacist who may be able to prescribe a comparable medication with your doctor’s prescription from the United States.

It is prohibited to bring narcotics into the Netherlands. Please check with the foreign embassy of the Netherlands, as well as other countries you will be visiting, to make sure the medications you are traveling with are not considered to be illegal narcotics. A list of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. can be found on the State Department’s website.

Other Medical Costs

In case of an emergency, it is also possible to have a medical consultation by phone. The cost is €25 per consultation. These costs need to be paid to the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) immediately after the consultation. Although individual staff members cannot drive a student to the hospital, they will however assist any student to get to a clinic or hospital. Taxi costs as a result of a hospital visit are to be paid by the student.