Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

(Information as of November, 1998.)

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a hospital close to BU. When asked why people might choose Beth Israel versus other hospitals, one of their Financial Counselors replied that they are user-friendly: they have a good referral system between their clinics, plus, most bills paid for by financial assistance programs can be taken care of by their computer system.

Primary Care

Those expecting to use Beth Israel as their primary care provider may choose a primary care physician from the hospital's group of healthcare associates. They also work in conjunction with several neighborhood health centers. They have a Health Information Line (617-667-5356 or 1-800-667-5356) that can help patients find the right doctor.

Assistance Programs

For those interested in financial assistance, the hospital first considers whether someone will qualify for MassHealth. If not, they will consider the Free Care program.

Full-time students (plus, all international students) must normally purchase the BU Student Health Plan or some equivalent insurance. However, the hospital assesses each individual's case, so these students, full-time or part-time, international or American, may still qualify for financial assistance.

Free Care

Because Free Care is the plan students are most likely to qualify for, we list some specifics about using Free Care at Beth Israel Medical Center below.

See a general description of Free Care, including how to qualify, before proceeding.

Services at Associated Health Centers
Coverage for services at those locations usually requires extra paperwork.

Services from Contractors
For a few services that may involve non-hospital employees (e.g., sometimes reading of x-rays), extra paperwork may have to be processed.

Coverage Exclusions
There are a few non-critical services that are not covered, except under emergency conditions (e.g., acupuncture, plastic surgery, etc.)

Most prescriptions are covered when they are filled at the hospital's pharmacy. Prescription coverage only applies for prescriptions written by hospital doctors or that come from the Bowdoin St. (Dorchester) clinic.

There is no coverage for routine dental services.


You can talk to someone about financial assistance programs at Beth Israel by calling 617-667-8437. When applying for financial assistance at the hospital, they prefer that you come in to see one of their Financial Counselors. You should call them in advance to ask what documentation they require.

Applicants can receive medical services while an application is being processed; their accounts will be put on hold until approval/denial is received.

Additional Information

Look at the hospital's web site ( for more information about the services they provide.

To contact the Graduate Student Organization on healthcare issues, send mail to