Academic Graduate Student Employee Insurance Options

Effective September 1, 2021, the university is providing a new insurance funding model for benefits eligible academic graduate student (AGS) employees. This new funding model is a result of the work completed by the Graduate Education Task Force.  Graduate students will now be able to maintain year-round coverage on a single health plan designed for students called Academic Blue, regardless of employment status.  AGS employees will still maintain eligibility for UT Select, the employee health plan. Learn more about AGS employee insurance options, enrollment, health plan comparisons and key differences by carefully reviewing the information provided on this web page.

Benefits Eligible Employment

These insurance options apply to benefits eligible AGS employees.  An AGS employee is benefits eligible if expected to work in one or a combination of the following titles for at least 20 scheduled weekly hours (SWH) and for at least 4.5 months (135 calendar days).

  • G0045 Assistant Instructor
  • G0061 Teaching Assistant (SI)
  • G0062 Teaching Assistant-NSC
  • G0063 Teaching Assistant
  • G0064 Graduate Tutor
  • G0065 Academic Assistant
  • G0071 Graduate Assistant
  • G0090 Graduate Research Assistant

Insurance Funding

Academic Blue

Effective September 1, 2021, UT will provide all eligible AGS employees with 100% premium support for Academic Blue, the student health plan.  UT will also provide 50% premium support for dependent coverage on Academic Blue. 

Premium support paid by UT on behalf of employees and dependents is a taxable benefit.  Premium support amounts will be added to AGS employee paychecks on a monthly basis as a taxable fringe benefit. 

AGS employees with Academic Blue dependent coverage will pay their 50% premium directly to Academic Health Plans, the plan administrator, on a monthly basis.

September 1, 2021 –
August 31, 2022 Plan Year

Monthly Taxable Premium Support

Monthly AGS Employee Premium Amount

Subscriber Only $266.00 $0.00
Subscriber + Spouse $399.00 $133.00
Subscriber + Child(ren) $479.00 $213.00
Subscriber + Family $612.00 $346.00

For more information about taxable fringe, including examples of paychecks, visit Payroll Services’ Taxable Benefit - Academic Blue Premium Support webpage.

UT Select

Effective September 1, 2021, UT will provide premium sharing for AGS employees based upon scheduled weekly hours (SWH) for UT Select, the employee health plan.  These premium sharing amounts align AGS employees with benefits eligible part-time and full-time employees.

  • Part-time (20-29 SWH) AGS employees will receive 50% premium sharing for UT Select and 25% premium sharing for dependent coverage.
  • Full-time (30+ SWH) AGS employees will receive 100% premium sharing for UT Select and 50% premium sharing for dependent coverage.

Premium sharing paid by UT on behalf of benefits eligible employees is a non-taxable fringe benefit.  AGS employees with UT Select dependent coverage will pay their 50% premium through monthly or semi-monthly payroll deduction.

UT Select & Academic Blue Premium Comparison

UT Select rates displayed below are for the current plan year ending August 31, 2021.   They will be updated once the UT Select rates for the plan year beginning September 1, 2021 are available, usually by July 15.

Academic Blue rates displayed below are for the plan year beginning September 1, 2021 and are only applicable to AGS employees. 

 

UT Select

Academic Blue

Level of Coverage Monthly Premium for Part-time Employees Monthly Premium for Full-time Employees Monthly Premium for All AGS Employees
Subscriber Only $314.02 $0.00 $0.00
Subscriber + Spouse $749.04 $270.42 $133.00
Subscriber + Child(ren) $702.16 $282.82 $213.00
Subscriber + Family $1,117.46 $532.52 $346.00

Other Employee Group Insurance Plan Funding

Regardless of health plan enrollment, AGS employees may elect other plans available in the employee group insurance program for themselves and for some plans, their eligible dependents.  These plans include:

Premiums for these plans are paid through monthly or semi-monthly payroll deduction.

Premium Sharing Credit

An AGS employee may receive dental, vision and AD&D coverage at no premium cost if they decline UT Select and enroll in another health plan, including Academic Blue.  Half of the eligible UT Select premium sharing dollars are available to pay the dental, vision and AD&D premiums.

Premium sharing credit amounts displayed below are for the current plan year ending August 31, 2021.   They will be updated once the amounts for the plan year beginning September 1, 2021 are available, usually by July 15.

Employment Status

Premium Sharing Credit Available

Part-time (20-29 SWH) $157.02
Full-time (30+ SWH) $314.03

Insurance Enrollment

Enrollment website links and instructions will be available before September 1, 2021.

Enrollment Prerequisites

Benefits eligibility is not determined until the employing college, school, or unit completes the hire process and AGS employees complete the following onboarding tasks in Workday.  Insurance enrollment can’t occur until these tasks are completed.  Some of these tasks may not be completed prior to the first work day.

  • Edit Government IDs, if SSN was not updated by the HR Partner during the Hire process
  • Enter Personal Information
  • Change Contact Information
  • Benefits Questionnaire

Review the New Student Employee Checklist for more information about all required onboarding tasks.

Automatic Enrollment

Effective September 1, 2021:

  • All part-time (20-29 SWH) AGS employees will be automatically enrolled in Academic Blue.
    • Continuing part-time employees enrolled in UT Select will also automatically have UT Select coverage canceled effective August 31, 2021
    • Continuing part-time AGS employees who previously waived UT Select will be automatically enrolled in Academic Blue and must waive coverage if not needed
  • New full-time (30+ SWH) AGS employees will be automatically enrolled in UT Select.
    • Continuing full-time AGS employees already enrolled in UT Select will remain enrolled in UT Select
    • Continuing full-time AGS employees who previously waived UT Select will continue to have no UT health coverage, unless they take action

Continuing AGS employees should review Frequently Asked Questions for more information about their enrollment options.

Initial Enrollment

New AGS employees have 31 calendar days from the hire date to make additional insurance elections, including:

  • waiving automatic coverage (Academic Blue or UT Select)
  • enrolling in the other UT health plan option
  • adding dependents
  • adding other plans, such as dental, vision or AD&D

The initial enrollment period is defined below, based on the standard academic employment hire dates.

Semester

Standard Academic Employment Hire Dates

Initial Enrollment Period for All Plans

Health Insurance Effective Date for Subscriber & Dependents

Fall September 1 September 1 –
October 1
September 1
Spring January 16 January 16 –
February 15
Academic Blue:  January 1

 

UT Select:  January 16

Summer June 1 June 1 – July 1 June 1

If your benefits eligible employment starts on a different date, add 31 calendar days to your hire date, counting your hire date as day one.

Open/Annual Enrollment

This is an annual opportunity for continuing AGS employees to make changes to their benefit elections that become effective for the next plan year. 

New Fall 2021 AGS employees won’t have an open enrollment opportunity until Summer 2022.

Starting in Summer 2022, continuing AGS employees enrolled in Academic Blue must take the following actions each year during the Academic Blue open enrollment period.

  • Part-time AGS employees who previously waived coverage must waive coverage again, otherwise they will be automatically enrolled in Academic Blue effective September 1.
  • Full-time AGS employees who previously enrolled in Academic Blue coverage must re-enroll, otherwise will have no coverage effective September 1.
  • AGS employees who previously enrolled dependents in coverage must re-enroll dependents in Academic Blue coverage, otherwise dependents will have no coverage effective September 1.

Plan

Open/Annual Enrollment Period

Plan Year

Academic Blue June 1 – October 1 September 1 –
August 31
UT Select and/or other employee group plans July 15 – July 31 September 1 –
August 31

Mid-Year Change of Status Enrollment

AGS employees who experience a mid-year employment status change or family status change may be able to make a change to their insurance elections within 31 calendar days of the qualifying event date.  If this deadline is missed, AGS employees will need to wait until the next open enrollment period to make changes. 

Plan

Events to Add Coverage

Events to Cancel Coverage

Additional Information

Academic Blue

Marriage, birth, adoption, loss of other coverage, dependents arrival in the U.S.

Only permitted for divorce, death, entry into Armed Forces, or enrollment into UT Select; may not cancel due to gaining other coverage

Academic Blue Enrollment

 

Academic Blue Plan Brochure (review Qualifying Events)

UT Select and/or other employee group plans

Review Change of Status for details

Review Change of Status for details

UT System Change of Status

Part-time to Full-time Employment Change

Academic Blue

If enrolled in Academic Blue at the time of the part-time to full-time change, you will remain enrolled in Academic Blue, but have the option to enroll in UT Select and then cancel Academic Blue within 31 days of your UT Select enrollment date, as a qualifying event.

UT Select

If enrolled in UT Select at the time of the part-time to full-time change, your UT Select coverage will be canceled and you will either need to re-elect UT Select or enroll in Academic Blue within 31 days of the date you lost UT Select, as a qualifying event.

Full-time to Part-time Employment Change

Academic Blue

If enrolled in Academic Blue at the time of the full-time to part time change, you will remain enrolled in Academic Blue.  You have the option to enroll in UT Select within 31 calendar days of your change to part-time, and could then cancel Academic Blue as a qualifying event.

UT Select

If enrolled in UT Select at the time of the full-time to part-time change, your UT Select coverage will be canceled, and you will be automatically enrolled in Academic Blue.  You have the option to waive Academic Blue and re-enroll in UT Select within 31 calendar days of your change to part-time.

Health Insurance Coverage

Employees are responsible for understanding plan benefits and determining which plan works best for them, considering premium costs, coverage, and the cost of care.

Academic Blue

Academic Blue is designed and priced for students, so premiums are lower than UT Select, and for services at University Health Services, benefits are paid at 100% of the allowable amount for covered expenses. 

Learn more about the plan by reviewing the documents below, along with other resources available on the Academic Blue website.

UT Select

Learn more about the plan by reviewing the documents below, along with other resources available on the UT System Office of Employee Benefits and UT Select websites.

Academic Blue & UT Select Plan Comparison

Review the Comparison Chart for a side-by-side comparison of the cost of care and premium costs.  The plan year for both plans is September 1 – August 31.

Key Similarities

  • BlueChoice PPO Nationwide Network
  • BlueCross BlueShield Global Core (formerly BlueCard Worldwide)
  • Gold-level Plan Rating with $350 Individual Deductible and 20% Member Coinsurance
  • Copayments for Office Visits and Urgent Care
  • Prescription Drug Benefits
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • MDLive Virtual Visits
  • 24/7 Nurseline
  • Blue Access for Members (BAM) Account Access
  • Out-of-Network Benefits
  • No Pre-existing Condition Limitation
  • No Annual or Lifetime Maximum Benefit
  • Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum

Key Differences

These coverage differences assume AGS employees are using network providers.

Coverage

Academic Blue

UT Select

Plan Type

Individual Plan (Fully-Insured)

Employer Group Plan (Self-Insured)

University Health Services

Copayment, coinsurance and deductible waived and benefits paid at 100% of allowable amount of covered expenses

Reduced $10 copayment for office visits and reduced $25 copayment for procedures as part of UT Health Network

Copayments

Generally lower than UT Select; review the Comparison Chart for details

Reduced when using the UT Health Network; review the Comparison Chart for details

Diagnostic Lab and X-Ray

$350 individual deductible and 20% member coinsurance apply

Included in Office Visit Copayment

Coinsurance Maximum (coinsurance applies after $350 individual/$1,050 family deductible is met)

Not applicable; coinsurance is paid until annual out-of-pocket maximum is met

$2,150 Individual/$6,450 Family

Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum

$6,600 Individual/$12,700 Family

$8,150 Individual/$16,300 Family

Out-of-Area Benefits

Not applicable; network or out-of-network benefits apply regardless of primary U.S. mail address in Workday

Applies when primary U.S mail address in Workday is outside of Texas, New Mexico or Washington, D.C.

Pharmacy Provider

Prime Therapeutics

Prescription Drug List; Contraceptive Drug List

Express Scripts

Prescription Drug List

Prescription Drug Deductible

Not applicable; copayments apply

$100 per person per plan year, then copayments


Loss of Eligibility & Continuation of Coverage

Academic Blue

AGS employees lose premium support eligibility when benefits eligible employment ends.  Academic Blue coverage will be canceled at the end of the month of the benefits eligible employment termination date.  If still eligible for Academic Blue due to their student status, these students may re-enroll in Academic Blue and pay Academic Health Plans directly for their coverage.  Enrollment in voluntary student coverage must be completed within 31 days of the cancellation date.

If no longer eligible for Academic Blue as a student, coverage may be continued for three additional months with premiums paid directly to Academic Health Plans.  Enrollment in continuation coverage must be completed within 31 days of the cancellation date.

International Students

International students who lose premium support eligibility will be automatically enrolled in mandatory coverage as an international student and will be responsible for paying premiums.  Details about how these premiums will be paid are being finalized and will be updated by September 1, 2021. 

UT Select

AGS employees lose eligibility for UT Select and other employee group insurance plans when benefits eligible employment ends.  Coverage will be canceled at the end of the month of the benefits eligible employment termination date.  These graduate students may elect COBRA continuation coverage for UT Select, dental and/or vision coverage.  Review COBRA Continuation Coverage for more details.

If transitioning to a non-employee fellowship, graduate students may elect UT Select, dental or vision coverage if they have a qualifying fellowship.  Review Insurance for Graduate Student Fellows for more details.

HealthCare.gov Marketplace

AGS employees who lose coverage may also explore the health insurance and enrollment options available through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov.  The Marketplace offers health insurance plans for a variety of needs, and depending upon their income, graduate students may qualify for premium tax credits that they can use to lower the cost of their monthly premiums.  For additional information about Marketplace Plans or plan enrollment, graduate students may use one of the many contact options available through HealthCare.gov.

More on Graduate Education Task Force Report

The Graduate Education Task Force convened in 2018 and published the Graduate Education Task Force Report in December 2019.  Health care is addressed on page 10 of the report.  One of the primary issues identified is that students change between employment and fellowship status and as a result, change health plans between UT Select, the employee plan, and Academic Blue, the student plan.  This plan change created gaps in coverage and a mid-year deductible reset.  The health care recommendations made by the task force have been implemented to address these issues.  Review the Graduate Education Transformation Tracker for details about the health care recommendations.

Who Was Involved in this Change

This change was implemented at the request of the Graduate School and in collaboration with Human Resources, Payroll Services, Accounting and Financial Management, and Enterprise Business IT Solutions, after engaging with the Graduate Student Assembly and the Graduate Coordinator Network. Additionally, academic deans, associate deans and Faculty Council members were informed leading up to this change.

Frequently Asked Questions

Enrollment for New Fall 2021 AGS Employees

As a full-time AGS employee automatically enrolled in UT Select, how do I switch to Academic Blue effective September 1, 2021?

You will need to decline UT Select in the My UT Benefits enrollment system.  You will then need to elect Academic Blue in the Academic Health Plans enrollment system (link coming soon).  These elections must be completed by October 1, 2021.

As a part-time AGS employee automatically enrolled in Academic Blue, how do I switch to UT Select effective September 1, 2021?

You will need to waive Academic Blue coverage in the Academic Health Plans waiver system (link coming soon).  You will then need to elect UT Select in the My UT Benefits enrollment system.  These elections must be completed by October 1, 2021.

How do I elect dental, vision and AD&D insurance coverage at no premium cost?

You must be enrolled in Academic Blue or another health plan.  You will need to decline UT Select in the My UT Benefits enrollment system, even if you weren’t enrolled in UT Select, and then elect the Premium Sharing Credit plan.  You will receive a notice within the My UT Benefits enrollment system that you must upload documentation of your other health plan coverage.  If you are enrolled in Academic Blue, you may skip this step.  If you are enrolled in another health plan, such as a plan through a parent, spouse, or the Healthcare.gov Marketplace, you must upload documentation of that coverage.  You will then need to elect a dental plan, a vision plan, and/or the voluntary AD&D plan.  These elections must be completed by October 1, 2021.

How do I add dependent coverage?

If enrolled in Academic Blue, you will need to add dependents in the Academic Health Plans enrollment system (link coming soon) by October 1, 2021.  You will need to attest to their eligibility for coverage and may be asked to provide documentation of their eligibility as dependents at a later time.

If enrolled in UT Select, you will need to add dependents in the My UT Benefits enrollment system by October 1, 2021.  You will need to upload documentation to verify their eligible dependent status.  Review Evidence of Eligibility to learn more about document requirements.

What should I do if I can’t log into the enrollment systems?

You will not have access to the enrollment systems prior to September 1, 2021.  If you can’t access the enrollment systems after September 1, 2021, review Enrollment Prerequisites to ensure you have completed all required onboarding tasks.  If these tasks do not appear in your Workday inbox, please contact your department regarding the status of your Workday hire process.  UT will not send your information to the enrollment systems until your hire process is complete and you have completed all required onboarding tasks in Workday.  After UT sends your information, you will be sent emails by the enrollment systems within 24 hours, indicating that you have access. 

What if I need coverage prior to September 1, 2021?

If you are a new AGS employee and new to Academic Blue coverage, Academic Blue GAP coverage is available at full premium cost to you for the month of August at the rates below.  You will need to enroll in the Academic Health Plans enrollment system (link coming soon) between June 1 – August 31, 2021.  If you don’t enroll by August 1, your coverage will be effective as of your payment date.  If you are not enrolled in Academic Blue effective September 1, 2021 as an AGS employee or as a student, your August GAP coverage will be rescinded by Academic Health Plans.

 

 

August 1 – 31, 2021 GAP Premium

Student

$266.00

Spouse

$266.00

Child(ren)

$426.00

Even if you buy August GAP coverage for yourself and dependents, you are still considered a new AGS employee effective September 1, 2021 and will still need to add dependents to your AGS employee coverage by October 1, 2021.

What if I am enrolled in Academic Blue coverage as a student prior to becoming a new AGS employee for fall 2021?

Your Academic Blue student coverage will end on August 14, 2021 and your Academic Blue AGS employee coverage will be effective September 1, 2021.  This is a one-time transition issue.  If you need coverage for the August 15 – August 31, 2021 period, you may purchase two week GAP coverage.  You will need to enroll in the Academic Health Plans enrollment system (link coming soon) between June 1 – August 31, 2021.  If you miss the August 31 enrollment deadline, you have a grace period through September 14 and should contact Academic Health Plans for enrollment assistance.  If you are not enrolled in Academic Blue effective September 1, 2021 as an AGS employee or as a student, your August GAP coverage will be rescinded by Academic Health Plans.

 

 

August 15 – 31, 2021 GAP Premium

Student

$123.00

Spouse

$123.00

Child(ren)

$196.00

Even if you buy August GAP coverage for yourself and dependents, you are still considered a new AGS employee effective September 1, 2021 and will still need to add dependents to your AGS employee coverage by October 1, 2021.

If I became a new AGS employee during summer 2021, am I a continuing or new AGS employee?

If your AGS employment and your UT Select coverage started during the summer months of June, July or August, you are considered a continuing AGS employee.  Review the “Enrollment for Continuing AGS Employees” FAQs for actions you may need to take by October 1, 2021.

Can I enroll in both Academic Blue and UT Select?

No, coverage is not permitted in both plans.

Enrollment for Continuing AGS Employees

How do I change to Academic Blue effective September 1, 2021?

If you are part-time, you will automatically be enrolled in Academic Blue effective September 1, 2021.  If you need dependent coverage, you will need to add dependents in the Academic Blue enrollment system (link coming soon) by October 1, 2021, even if your dependents have had UT Select coverage.  You will need to attest to their eligibility for coverage and may be asked to provide documentation of their eligibility as dependents at a later time.

If you are full-time, you will need to enroll in Academic Blue in the Academic Health Plans enrollment system (link coming soon) by October 1, 2021.  You will then need to cancel UT Select by submitting a life event change in the My UT Benefits enrollment system by October 1, 2021.  You will select “Gain of UTSHIP (UT Student Health Insurance)” as your life event with an effective date of August 31, 2021.  Enrolling in Academic Blue does not automatically cancel your UT Select coverage.

What if I don’t want Academic Blue coverage effective September 1, 2021?

If you are part-time, you will be automatically enrolled, so you will need to waive coverage in the Academic Health Plans waiver system (link coming soon) by October 1, 2021.

If you are full-time, your UT Select enrollment will continue effective September 1, 2021, unless you previously declined UT Select or decline UT Select during Annual Enrollment from July 15 – 31, 2021.

What if I want UT Select coverage effective September 1, 2021?

If you are part-time, you will automatically be enrolled in Academic Blue effective September 1, 2021 and your UT Select coverage will automatically be canceled.  You will need to waive Academic Blue in the Academic Health Plans waiver system (link coming soon) by October 1, 2021.  You will then need to elect UT Select by submitting a life event in the My UT Benefits enrollment system by October 1, 2021.  You will select “Loss of UTSHIP (UT Student Health Insurance)” as your life event with an effective date of August 31, 2021.  Waiving Academic Blue does not automatically enroll you in UT Select.

If you are full-time and already enrolled in UT Select, your UT Select coverage, including dependent coverage, will automatically continue effective September 1, 2021.  If you would like to make employee group insurance plan changes, you must do so during the July 15 – 31, 2021 Annual Enrollment period.

If my UT Select coverage ended May 31, 2021, am I a continuing or new AGS employee?

Due to the summer break in AGS employee coverage, you are considered a new AGS employee effective September 1, 2021.  If your AGS employee insurance ended after May 31, but before August 1, 2021, you are also considered a new AGS employee effective September 1, 2021.  This is true even if you purchased UT Select COBRA continuation coverage or Academic Blue student coverage for the summer.

Review the “Enrollment for New Fall 2021 AGS Employees” FAQs for actions you may need to take by October 1, 2021.

How do get dental, vision and/or voluntary AD&D coverage for no premium cost?

If you are part-time, you will need to decline UT Select by submitting a life event in the My UT Benefits enrollment system after September 1, 2021, even if your UT Select coverage has been canceled due to your automatic enrollment in Academic Blue.  You will select “Gain of UTSHIP (UT Student Health Insurance)” as your life event with an effective date of August 31, 2021.    

You will then elect the Premium Sharing Credit plan.  You will receive a notice that you must upload documentation of your other health plan coverage.  If you are enrolled in Academic Blue, you may skip this step.  If you are enrolled in another health plan, such as a plan through a parent, spouse, or the Marketplace, you must upload documentation of that coverage.  You may then elect or change your dental plan, vision plan, and/or voluntary AD&D coverage.  These elections must be completed by October 1, 2021.

If you are full-time and plan to enroll in Academic Blue, you will need to enroll in the Academic Health Plans enrollment system (link coming soon).  Your Academic Blue enrollment may not be completed before September 1, 2021 and must be completed by October 1, 2021.  You will then need to decline UT Select by submitting a life event in the My UT Benefits enrollment system by October 1, 2021.  You will select “Gain of UTSHIP (UT Student Health Insurance)” as your life event with an effective date of August 31, 2021.

You will then elect the Premium Sharing Credit plan.  You will receive a notice that you must upload documentation of your other health plan coverage.  If enrolled in Academic Blue, you may skip this step.  You may then elect or change your dental plan, vision plan, and/or voluntary AD&D coverage.  These elections must be completed by October 1, 2021.

If you are full-time and enrolled in a non-UT health plan, such as through a parent, spouse or the Marketplace, you will need to decline UT Select during the July 15 – 31, 2021 Annual Enrollment period, and elect the Premium Sharing Credit plan.  You will receive a notice that you must upload documentation of your other health plan coverage, which you must complete.  You will then need to elect or change your dental plan, vision plan, and/or the voluntary AD&D coverage.  These elections must be completed by July 31, 2021.

Can I enroll in both Academic Blue and UT Select?

No, coverage is not permitted in both plans.

Managing Out-of-Pocket Costs

How can I save money if enrolled in Academic Blue?
How can I save money if enrolled in UT Select?
What services does UHS provide?
  • Primary Care/General Medicine services
  • Preventative services (e.g., physical exams, well woman exams)
  • Designated Women’s Health clinic
  • Contraceptive prescription and management
  • STI testing and treatment
  • Gender care and gender affirming hormone treatment
  • Sports Medicine services
  • Same day appointments for more urgent health care needs (UHS can provide IV hydration and some IV medications, perform laceration repairs, set uncomplicated fractures, administer nebulizer treatments, assess abdominal and headache pain, etc., although emergency and higher level care is referred to a community provider or hospital)
  • Travel Health services Allergy injections (after starting allergy injections withan off-site allergist)
  • Physical Therapy (after receiving a referral from a UHS or off-site provider)
  • Nutrition counseling from our Registered, Licensed Dietician
  • Radiology services including digital x-rays and many common ultrasound exams
  • COVID-19 testing
  • Common dermatology procedures like wart treatment and biopsy of skin lesions In-house clinical laboratoryIntegrated Health counseling services