Student Employee Insurance & Benefits

Special rules relating to insurance and other benefits often apply if you’re working in a job profile that requires you to be a student in order to hold that title (a “student-status job”).

This page gives you information about insurance benefits. For charts outlining the eligibility requirements for other benefits, including the tuition reduction benefit and resident (in-state) tuition entitlement, please see the Student Employee Benefits page.

SB 29, Insurance Eligibility of Graduate Fellows, became law in 2011. Please see the Insurance for Eligible Graduate Student Fellows page for more information.

Insurance Overview

Whether you’re eligible for the university's employee group insurance benefits depends on your job profile, the length of your employment period, and your scheduled weekly hours. Here is a list of student titles.

Graduate students assigned to work in a student academic title for at least 20 hours a week for at least 4.5 months (135 calendar days) are eligible for the university’s employee group insurance benefits.

Undergraduates in student academic titles and students in student non-academic titles currently are not eligible for employee insurance benefits under state law. However, any student employee may become eligible for the university's employee group insurance benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if the criteria set by that law have been met. Coverage for students in undergraduate and non-academic student titles is available through the Student Health Insurance Plan, as well as the Federal Marketplace.

Information about insurance requirements for international students is available from International Student and Scholar Services.

As a currently-registered UT student, you have access to University Health Services (UHS) even if you don't have health insurance. Read more online about eligibility to use UHS.

Graduate Student Academic Employee Insurance

If you're a graduate student employed in an academic job profile for at least 20 hours a week for at least 4.5 months (135 calendar days), you're eligible for the same insurance benefits as other benefits-eligible employees. Review the information below to learn more about your insurance benefits and their costs.

Summer Insurance Coverage for Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Assistant Instructors (AIs)

If you're employed as a benefits-eligible TA or AI for the spring semester (January 16 through May 31) and you are returning to benefits-eligible graduate academic employment for the fall semester (effective September 1), you're eligible for insurance coverage for the summer months of June, July and August.

  • The university will contribute its portion of premiums (premium sharing) to your summer insurance coverage. This means that the cost of your summer coverage is the same as the rest of the year. Any out-of-pocket costs (monthly premiums) for insurance benefits you have will be automatically deducted from your June 1 paycheck and you'll prepay four months of insurance coverages with your June 1 paycheck.

Insurance coverage will end on 5/31 for all benefits-eligible TAs and AIs graduating in May as well as those TAs and AIs who are not returning to benefits-eligible graduate academic employment for the fall semester (effective September 1).

  • If it is confirmed during the summer that a spring semester benefits-eligible TA or AI will not be returning to benefits-eligible graduate academic employment for the fall semester (effective September 1), insurance benefits will end on the last day of the month in which the employment decision is made.     

Summer Insurance Coverage for Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

If you're employed as a benefits eligible GRA or other benefits-eligible graduate academi employment for the spring semester (January 16 through May 31), you must be assigned in a benefits-eligible position during the summer months of June, July, and August to be eligible for insurance coverage during those months.

If you’re not employed in a benefits-eligible position during the summer months, you may be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage ue to the change in your employment status. Review the COBRA Continuation Coverage & Privileges page to learn about the 60-day enrollment deadline, enrollment process and cost. You also may be able to purchase coverage through the Student Health Insurance plan. Please contact the Student Health Insurance plan provider directly for more information.

Annual Enrollment

For benefits-eligible employees, Annual Enrollment, in July of each year, is your opportunity to make insurance plan and coverage changes for the next plan year, which begins September 1 and continues through August 31. Information will be posted on the Annual Enrollment page. Please review to ensure you stay up-to-date and take any needed action.

You will also receive important information about Annual Enrollment by e-mail during the summer. Please ensure your contact information, in particular your email address, remains up-to-date. You can update your information through Workday.

Even if you are not sure you will have benefits-eligible employment in the fall, beginning September 1, it is best to make your Annual Enrollment elections. You will not be able to make changes to your coverage if you return to work on September 1.

Insurance Orientation

If you're a benefits-eligible graduate student academic employee, we recommend that you attend the New Employee Orientation (login to UTLearn, search New Employee Welcome and Orientation). This is a free class and is offered every Monday morning. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and get information about your insurance options.