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Insurance: Graduate Student Subsidy

For the purposes of this policy, a qualified graduate student eligible for the graduate student health insurance subsidy is defined as follows:

  • A graduate teaching assistant (GTA) or graduate research assistant (GRA) who earns at least $5,000 over the course of the academic year. Please see PROV-001: Graduate Assistantships for more information.

Graduate students who are GTAs or GRAs who do not earn $5,000 during the academic year DO NOT QUALIFY for the health insurance subsidy. Qualifying graduate students must have at least $5,000 in support under one of the two definitions listed above. 

FAQs

What University administrative unit has oversight of the graduate health insurance subsidy program?

Each individual school is responsible for organizing its own internal administrative networks for identifying eligible graduate students, answering questions, and managing the reconciliation of all applicable accounts. The Office of the Provost will continue to act as the administrative liaison among the individual schools, Student Health and Wellness, and the central administration.

How much is the academic year 2022-23 subsidy?

The subsidy covers the premium cost of Aetna Student Health's single-coverage health plan. The University will subsidize 100% of the single-coverage premium this year.

Which graduate students are eligible for the subsidy?

For the purposes of this policy, a qualified graduate student is defined as follows:

  • A graduate teaching assistant (GTA) or graduate research assistant (GRA) who earns at least $5,000 over the course of the academic year. Please see PROV-001: Graduate Assistantships for more information.

Graduate students who are GTAs or GRAs who do not earn $5,000 during the academic year DO NOT QUALIFY for the health insurance subsidy. Qualifying graduate students must have at least $5,000 in support under one of the two definitions listed above. 

Will students be required to claim the subsidy as taxable income?

The University cannot provide tax advice. Please consult a professional advisor or visit this IRS webpage for more information.

Which graduate students are not eligible for the subsidy?
  • Graduate Student Job Titles Other than GRA and GTA: Graduate students employed in other capacities by the University (e.g. as graduate wage assistant or as a work study employee) do not qualify for the graduate student health insurance subsidy even if their annual income exceeds the $5,000 threshold
  • First-Professional Students: First-professional students in the Schools of Law and Medicine and the Darden School of Business, unless they qualify based on participation in one of the University's accredited joint-degree master's or doctoral programs, do not qualify for the graduate student health insurance subsidy.
  • Post-doctoral Fellows: Post-doctoral fellows are not graduate students and do not qualify for the graduate student health insurance subsidy. Learn more about the postdoctoral fellow health insurance program.
Who determines graduate student eligibility?

Eligibility is determined by each school or department. If you think you are eligible, please contact your department or one of the appropriate school-level contacts:

School Contact Email Telephone
A&S Lloyd Banks lb3ne@virginia.edu 924-3919
Architecture Carolyn Buchanen ceb4gw@virginia.edu 924-6228
Batten Jeff Chidester jlc2bd@virginia.edu 924-7330
Commerce Sally Armentrout slk2n@Virginia.EDU 243-1719
Darden Amanda Mills ahs4c@virginia.edu 924-7739
Education Dana Stanley dfb6n@virginia.edu 924-7161
Law Jennifer Hulvey jennifer.hulvey@law.virginia.edu 924-7805
Medicine (Julia) Fay Miller jff3f@virginia.edu 924-2217
Nursing Julie Kusnerik

jak8bz@virginia.edu

(434)-924-1978
SCPS Victoria Savoy vis2n@virginia.edu 982-5248
SEAS Joan Wicks jew9s@Virginia.EDU 924-4380
If I receive a subsidy, can my dependents enroll in the Aetna Student Health Plan?

Yes. Students enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Plan may also enroll dependents for coverage during open enrollment (insurance verification) timeframes or due to a qualifying event. Premiums associated with dependent coverage will be paid directly by students to Aetna. Dependent enrollments may be requested within 30 days of qualifying event by visiting the Aetna Student Health Plan website, choose enroll/waive, login using UVA email address and birth date and follow directions after choosing loss of coverage or qualifying life event.

If I already have health insurance, can I collect the cash value of the health insurance subsidy?

No. The graduate student health insurance subsidy is non-transferable and non-refundable. Unused subsidies cannot be refunded for their equivalent cash value.

Can I apply the subsidy cash value to a health insurance plan other than Aetna Student Health?

No. The subsidy is non-transferable.

What happens if a I cease to qualify for the graduate subsidy during the academic year?

A student may “cease to qualify” for the graduate student health insurance subsidy for any number of reasons, including:

  • The student withdraws from school during the course of the academic year;
  • The student is not employed in the capacity that was anticipated at the start of the academic year (i.e., the student was expected to earn $5,000 as a TA during the spring semester, but in actuality was not employed in that capacity); or
  • Fellowship funds are not awarded because the student ceases to qualify for that fellowship.

If a student “ceases to qualify” after s/he has enrolled in the Aetna Student Health plan, there will be no refund of the payment to the University of Virginia. The University and Aetna Student Health will allow the student's health insurance coverage to continue until it expires.