Insurance requirements for internship granting companies

 Hello Bio-Linkers,

I'd like to start a discussion regarding your institution's insurance requirements for internship granting institutions.  Recently I have been thrown into this world and I am trying to shorten the learning curve.   In short, the big issue I face is many small start-up firms in the Phoenix area don't seem to have the insurance my district prefers. 


Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Bio-Link Program: 
Mesa Community College

My former institution didn't

My former institution didn't consider checking a company's insurance package to be their responsibility.  Our students were treated as adults.  They found their own internship positions and in many cases, completed internships with companies where they were already employed part time.

In essence, internships were treated as part time jobs with an additional learning requirement.  The college provided oversight, in terms of ensuring that students met the learning requirements and companies honored the obligation to assist in setting learning objectives, provide learning opportunities, and evaluate performance, but the college never checked on whether or not companies provided certain levels of insurance.  

Since college students are adults and companies who employ students as part time workers aren't required to provide information to the college about insurance, it's not clear why internship employment would be treated any differently than any other part time job, except of course in the learning aspect. 


All institutions of higher

All institutions of higher education in Nevada require medical insurance to complete an internship.

But - does the medical

But - does the medical insurance have to be provided by the company?

Aren't full-time students already required to purchase medical insurance in order to attend the college?  Wouldn't that suffice?

We also do not require our

We also do not require our interns to be insured by the companies they intern with. The issue of insurance is an issue to be dealt with between the company and the intern. It is the same with pay. If a student intern wants to take an internship with a company that does not pay its interns, that is between the company and the intern. In our case, the responsibility of the school is to ensure that the learning objectives are met and a thorough evaluation of performance is conducted. Beyond that, we, as a school, are hands-off.

 I feel like I am hearing

 I feel like I am hearing stories about magical places.   


Stan Kikkert; Mesa Community College

That's how I started, when we

That's how I started, when we first started building relationships with outside labs.  I assumed my responsibility was on training students, making sure that part was covered.


From my understanding (which I am still piecing together), if the student is employed by the firm they are covered by workman's comp (which is acceptable the my district).  If the internship is unpaid, the district want these firms to have a certain amount of General Liability insurance.   


Stan Kikkert; Mesa Community College

I concur with Sandra'

I concur with Sandra' comments.  Our institution handles it the same way she has described.  However, we have a grant that is paying for students to intern at bioenergy facilities.  Initially, we were just going to pay the students out of the grant as consultants.  This was a point of angst for several companies who were concerned that if the students weren't "employees" of the company then their liability or workman's comp insurance would not cover in case of an accident.  So we have to offer the alternative for these companies to hire the interns, pay them through their normal payroll, and then invoice us at the end of the internship.  This was not a medical insurance issue, but it was an issue of liability that we had to work out.

Our college requires AAS

Our college requires AAS students to complete a 300 hour internship. The insurance requirement is different depending upon the site. For example, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory School of Medicine, St. Joseph's Translational Research Institute and the CDC all have comprehensive insurance coverage for the interns. Others like Aderans Research, Genesis Biosciences, North American Bioproducts and Anitox require the college to provide proof of coverage. In these instances, we use the same insurance required for all our healthcare students working in clinical sites. We found that policy covers all students at the college in off-site learning environments. I recommend checking with the various healthcare programs on campus if your school has them.


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