Education at OHSU

Student Medical Leave of Absence

Students sometimes must pause their education to accommodate educational goals or special circumstances.  There are many reasons for obtaining a Leave of Absence, such as medical care for a physical or psychological issue, birth or adoption of a child, family obligations, research, pursuing an additional graduate degree, military service, financial hardship, time to study for boards, and other personal reasons. 

If you are contemplating a leave of absence, please be sure to review the Voluntary Leave of Absence & Withdrawal policy and procedure, found on the Academic Policy website

If you are requesting a medical leave of absence:

  1. Complete the Withdrawal or Leave of Absence form from the Office of the Registrar and Financial Aid.
  2. Schedule an appointment with the Student Health and Wellness Center or your health care provider if you are not being treated at Student Health.
  3. Have your provider complete the attestation form affirming that your condition requires a medical leave of absence. 
  4. Sign the form in the student section giving the health care provider permission to release this very limited information.
  5. Fax, email  or bring the form to Student Health. Once we receive the medical attestation form, we will send an email to the Registrar's Office and to your program contact stating that the medical attestation form has been received.

If you are returning from a medical leave of absence:

  1. Have your treating health care provider complete the reinstatement attestation form a minimum of 20 business days before the start of the term you intend to enroll unless an exception is granted by the school or college. Note that Student Health is unable to complete the reinstatement form – this should be completed by the healthcare provider you are seeing while on leave.
  2. Sign the form at the top giving your permission for this very limited release of information.
  3. Fax, email  or bring the form to the Student Health and Wellness Center. When we receive the Reinstatement Attestation, we will email the Registrar's Office and your program contact to let them know the form has been returned.

Please note, that providers at Student Health can NOT complete the provider attestation for return from a medical leave of absence.  Only an outside treating provider may perform that service. 

Student Health access while on leave

Students are eligible to be seen at Student Health for 30 days from the start of their medical leave of absence or once they have been transitioned to community care, whichever comes first.  Exceptions for care after 30 days may be made for high acuity care or a short leave of absence.

Once you register and have returned to school after your leave of absence, you will have full access to Student Health services again.

Insurance options while on leave

We strongly recommend that you carry some form of health insurance while on leave. Going without health insurance involves potential serious health care and financial risks.  

1. Student Health Insurance Plan through PacificSource
If leave is declared after the 100% refund deadline: The student will remain covered through the rest of the term coverage period and can elect one additional term of coverage (per academic career) if the LOA is an approved medical leave.  Enrollment and payment for this one term of medical leave coverage will be done directly with USI, our insurance broker.

If leave is declared prior to the 100% refund deadline: The student will NOT be covered for the term UNLESS it is an approved medical leave.  If an approved medical leave, they will remain covered through the remaining coverage period but will not be able to elect an additional period.   

To review the 100% refund deadline, visit the registrar's website on tuition and fees.

Previous enrollment in the prior term is required in order to qualify for a term of coverage for medical leave.  A maximum of one term of medical leave health insurance coverage will be granted during your academic career.

Your coverage will reinstate once registered for the full term coverage period. 
2. Health insurance and healthcare options outside of OHSU
Options for obtaining health coverage for those on tight budgets can be somewhat limited, so it is advisable to carefully explore your options first before declining the Student Health Insurance Plan while on leave. 

  • Those under 26 may qualify for coverage under a parent's plan.
  • Federal health exchanges have coverage options for those who have lost coverage elsewhere (considered a qualifying event).  You may qualify for Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan or be able to purchase individual coverage, possibly at subsidized rates, depending on your financial status.
  • Other community healthcare services may be available, including at clinics, urgent cares, and non-profit hospitals.  Some may have financial assistance for those who qualify.