Student Employee Insurance & Benefits

Special rules relating to insurance and other benefits often apply if you’re working in a job title 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 university employee group insurance benefits depends on your job title and the length of your assignment. 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.

For information about your individual responsibility under the Affordable Care Act, please see the University Health Services website.

Graduate Student Academic Employee Insurance

If you're a graduate student assigned to work in an academic title 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 current 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 assigned as a benefits-eligible Teaching Assistant or Assistant Instructor for the spring semester (January 16 through May 31), 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 you have for summer coverage will automatically be deducted from your June 1 paycheck. (To figure out this amount, log on to My Insurance Benefits (EID required), choose "My Benefit Costs", and multiply your monthly cost times four.) This means you'll prepay for your entire summer insurance coverage with your June 1 paycheck.

Summer Insurance Coverage for Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs)

If you're assigned as a benefits eligible Graduate Research Assistant or other academic graduate student employee for the spring semester (January 16 through May 31), you're only eligible for insurance coverage for the summer (June 1 through August 31) if you're assigned in a benefits-eligible position during that time period.

If you’re not assigned in a benefits-eligible position during the summer months, you may be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage. Review the COBRA Continuation Coverage & Privileges page to learn about the 60-day enrollment deadline, enrollment process and cost.

Annual Enrollment

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 online at the Employee Information System website [EID required].

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 academic graduate-student employee, there is a free class you can take to learn all about your insurance options. The Graduate Student Employee Insurance Orientation (login to UTLearn, search "Graduate Employment Insurance") is offered each fall during August and September. It will provide you with the chance to ask questions and get information geared specifically to graduate-student employees. The class takes only two hours, and students who've taken it in the past have found it very useful.

At any time of the year, you may also attend the New Employee Orientation (login to UTLearn, search PN 1000 New Employee Welcome and Orientation) that is available to all benefits-eligible employees. This is also a free class and is offered every Monday morning. You will have the same opportunity to ask questions and get information about your insurance options.