Student Employee Insurance & Benefits

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

This page provides information about insurance for student employees.  For charts outlining the eligibility requirements for other benefits, such as the tuition reduction benefit and resident (in-state) tuition entitlement, please review Student Employee Benefits.

For information about Graduate Student Fellow insurance options, please review Insurance for Graduate Student Fellows. 

Insurance Overview

The University offers high-quality insurance plans to its student employee population.  Eligibility to participate in the insurance plans will depend on your job profile, the length of your employment, and your scheduled weekly hours.  

Currently-registered UT students also have access to University Health Services (UHS), even without health insurance.  For more information, please review eligibility to use UHS.

Insurance for Students with Undergraduate and Non-Academic Graduate Jobs

Undergraduate students in student academic titles and non-academic titles, and graduate students in non-academic titles, are not eligible to participate in the employee group insurance plan, unless they become eligible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  They may also be eligible for Academic Blue, or another plan offered through the Federal Marketplace.

Insurance for Students with Academic Graduate Student Jobs (TA, AI, GRA, etc.)

Graduate students in academic graduate student jobs who are scheduled to work for at least 20 hours per week, and for at least 135 continuous days, may participate in the employee group insurance plan, and receive full-time employee premium sharing to offset 100% of the cost* of the Basic Insurance Package. 

Academic graduate student (AGS) employees who do not meet the eligibility criteria may only participate in the employee group insurance plan if they become eligible under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  They may also be eligible for Academic Blue, or another plan offered through the Federal Marketplace.

*When using this cost worksheet, please select “Employee working 30 hours or more per week.”

Insurance Enrollment

Newly eligible AGS employees are automatically enrolled in the Basic Coverage Package, which includes medical, prescription, $40,000 life insurance, and $40,000 accidental death and dismemberment insurance, at no cost.  They may also enroll in the university’s other insurance plans, add their eligible dependents, or decline coverage.  To ensure they receive the Basic Coverage Package and enrollment invitation, AGS employees must complete the following onboarding tasks in Workday.

  • Benefits Questionnaire
  • Change Contact Information
  • Change Personal Information

AGS employees have 31 days from their date of hire, or date of eligibility, to complete their enrollment.  If they do not complete enrollment within 31 days, they will not have another opportunity until the next annual enrollment period or they experience a qualified change of status event.  For more information about enrollment periods and making changes, please visit the enrollment periods webpage.    

AGS employees who waive the employee group medical insurance plan (UT Select) may apply up to 50% of their premium sharing towards dental, vision, and/or accidental death and dismemberment coverage, if they provide proof they are enrolled in:

  • the student health insurance plan, Academic Blue,
  • a plan offered through the Federal Marketplace, or
  • another health insurance plan that is not funded by the State of Texas

Transitioning to Fellowship

AGS employees who become Graduate Student Fellows (GSF) with a stipend of $10,000 or more may participate in the employee group medical, dental, and vision plans, at full cost, without premium sharing.  AGS employees who wish to continue their participation in the employee group plans should review the Insurance for Graduate Student Fellows page for instructions to enroll.  Coverage is not automatic and action is required within 31 days of becoming a GSF. 

Since GSFs are not entitled to premium sharing, the cost of remaining on the employee medical plan can be quite high.  To reduce the cost of medical care, GSFs may choose to enroll in Academic Blue in lieu of the employee medical plan.  Academic Blue provides comparable care at a much more affordable price. For more information, contact Academic Blue prior to the transition from AGS employee to GSF.  Action is required to ensure enrollment deadlines are met.  

Graduate Student Fellowships from the Graduate School often include an additional payment for medical insurance, intended to offset the cost of the Academic Blue plan.  For more information, please contact the Fellowship Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Korves at korvesem@austin.utexas.edu.   

If a spring semester AGS employee is not eligible for summer insurance due to becoming a GSF for the fall semester, they may be eligible for summer insurance coverage through Academic Blue.  For more information, contact Academic Blue prior to the end of the spring semester.

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

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

The university will continue to 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.

If your TA or AI job is your primary position, then out-of-pocket summer insurance premiums are automatically deducted from your June 1 paycheck.  This means you will pay for four months of insurance on your June 1 paycheck, which includes payment for May and pre-payment for June - August.  

If your TA or AI job is not your primary position, you will not pre-pay summer insurance premiums.  You will either pay summer insurance premiums from eligible summer pay, or will be billed for summer insurance if you owe out-of-pocket premiums.  Failure to pay billed premiums may result in cancellation of coverage. 

To confirm your primary position and how you will pay insurance premiums, review the My Insurance Premium Calendar in Workday by following the steps below. 

  • Login to Workday
  • Click the Benefits application
  • Under View, click My Insurance Premium Calendar
  • Review Insurance Premiums

If you are graduating in May, coverage will end on May 31, unless you are returning to benefits eligible employment for the fall semester (effective September 1). Coverage will end May 31 for any TA or AI who does not return to benefits eligible 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 employment for the fall semester, insurance benefits will end on the last day of the month of employment.

Pre-Payment Cancellation 

If you are scheduled to pre-pay summer insurance premiums and have a benefits eligible summer job that is at least 20 hours/week from June 1 through August 31, you may request to have your summer insurance pre-payment cancelled by submitting the Cancellation of Pre-Payment for Summer Insurance Coverage form by May 8

If your department has not yet initiated your summer job, then you must provide proof from your department that you will be assigned in a job that makes you eligible to cancel pre-payment.  If approved for the cancellation, your out-of-pocket premiums for summer insurance will be deducted from your monthly pay. 

Summer Insurance Coverage for Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

If you are a benefits eligible GRA or other benefits eligible graduate academic employee 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 summer insurance coverage.

If you have an additional job as a Teaching Assistant or Assistant Instructor during the spring semester, and are returning to benefits eligible employment for the fall semester (effective September 1), you are eligible for insurance coverage for the summer months of June, July and August, even if you are not employed in another position or receiving summer pay.  Summer insurance premiums will either be deducted from eligible summer pay, or you will be billed if you owe out-of-pocket premiums.  Failure to pay billed premiums may result in cancellation of coverage.  

If you are not benefits eligible during the summer months, you may be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage due to the change in your employment status. Please review the COBRA webpage for more information.

As an alternative, you may also be eligible to purchase coverage through Academic Blue. Please contact Academic Blue for more information.

Annual Enrollment

Regardless of summer employment, all employees who remain benefits eligible during the summer months should participate in Annual Enrollment on July 15-31 of each year. Annual Enrollment is your opportunity to make changes for the plan year beginning on September 1 and concluding the following August 31.

Please review the Annual Enrollment website for updated information. All benefits eligible employees will receive important information regarding Annual Enrollment via e-mail beginning in July of each year. Please ensure your contact information, in particular your email address, remains up-to-date in Workday. 

It is suggested that you make Annual Enrollment election even if you are not sure you will have benefits eligible employment in the fall. You will not be able to make changes to your coverage if you fail to do so during Annual Enrollment and return to work on September 1.

Insurance Orientation

If you are a benefits eligible graduate student academic employee, we recommend that you attend New Employee Welcome and Orientation (NEWO) where you will have the opportunity to ask questions and obtain information about the benefits available to you.

NEWO is free and offered every Monday morning in the UTA Building located at 1616 Guadalupe St. You may register by logging into UTLearn and searching for "New Employee Welcome and Orientation."