University of Florida Policy on Health Insurance Benefit for Graduate Students on Appointments
David R. Colburn, Provost
Effective Dates: Fall Term 2004
To continue to strengthen the University of Florida’s support for graduate students, we are pleased to announce a health insurance benefit program as part of the salary and benefits package for graduate assistants and fellows. Students who are eligible for this benefit include Graduate Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants and Fellows. The student must be enrolled in a graduate degree program, on an appointment through Academic Personnel, appropriately registered, and appointed for 0.25 FTE or greater for a particular semester.
Students who elect to take advantage of this benefit may have all charges for the insurance that exceed the subsidized amount paid through payroll deduction. The student can only use the benefit to offset the purchase of an insurance product approved by the University of Florida. Currently, Scarborough Insurance provides a domestic health insurance policy negotiated by Student Government. The list of approved insurance providers may be expanded as long as they can accept payroll deduction. The health insurance plan will begin Fall Term 2004. The subsidized insurance benefit will not exceed $400 annually ($157 fall, $145 spring, and $98 for the summer semester) or the total cost of the insurance product, which ever is less. It will only be paid during semesters that the student is enrolled and has a health insurance eduction.
The university is currently working on a process that will enable students who are appointed only for fall and spring terms to purchase annual coverage and receive the full annual subsidized benefit that will be paid for during the nine-month period.
Contract and Grants will be charged for the cost of the benefit for all appointed graduate assistants. As with any benefit, the university will announce the benefit requirements for the coming year. A reasonable percentage increase to use for calculating health insurance costs on multi-year grants would be 3.5% per year. The heath insurance benefit will be included as a fringe benefit at a fixed rate of $400 per funded graduate student with an effective start date of fall 2004.
The university is examining ways to reduce further the cost of basic insurance through consideration of group plans, mandatory coverage for all students, elimination of age- dependent rates, etc. We will also be working closely with Student Government and the Graduate Student Council to find ways to lower the overall costs of health insurance.