Brigham and Women's Hospital

(Information as of November, 1998.)

Brigham and Women's Hospital is close to BU. When asked why people might choose Brigham and Women's versus other hospitals, their Care Coordinator replied that they provide a broad range of services and are culturally diverse.

Primary Care

Those using Brigham and Women's as their primary care provider may choose a primary care physician from their group of Brigham Internal Medical Associates (BIMA). They are also affiliated with several neighborhood health centers.

Assistance Programs

For those interested in financial assistance, the hospital will find the best financial assistance program that meets their needs (if any). Thus, you may qualify for any one of a number of programs, including MassHealth, Healthy Start, Children's Medical Security Plan, Senior Pharmacy Program, Center Care, Free Care, etc.

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.

As a last resort, they enroll people in the Free Care program.

Free Care

Because Free Care is the plan students are most likely to qualify for, we list some specifics about using Free Care at Brigham and Women's Hospital 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
There are some doctors that practice in the hospital, but are not affiliated with it. Their services aren't necessarily covered (although their services can sometimes be covered through some other means).

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

Prescriptions are covered when they are filled at the hospital's pharmacy.

There are no routine dental services, only emergency dental services.


You can talk to someone about financial assistance programs at Brigham and Women's by calling 1-800-732-5164. Since there is more the one department for financial assistance programs, someone at that number will determine who best for you to talk to.

In order to apply for financial assistance at the hospital, they prefer that you go in to see their Care Coordinator. You should call them in advance to ask what documentation they require.

Applicants can receive medical services while an application is being processed.

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