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Healthcare Options for GRAs

The University System of Georgia now offers a healthcare coverage option for graduate students employed as Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs).  GRAs are eligible for this medical plan during any semester in which they are receiving compensation via payroll for duties associated with their GRA contract.  This option would be in addition to existing options offered for all graduate students.  GRAs are encouraged to carefully compare the differences in the student health plan and the new GRA health plan as there are difference in both the premiums, coverage tiers, and covered expenses vs. out-of-pocket costs.  Additionally, please note the premium surcharge required for tobacco users.

Enrollment is required during the 30 day eligibility window, which begins at the start of the GRA employment contract.  Consecutive GRA contracts do not open additional eligibility windows; however, coverage can be added during the course of GRA employment if elected within 30 days of an applicable family status change.

Resources

FAQs

  • No, GRAs are encouraged to carefully compare the benefits between the student plan and the GRA plan in order to choose the plan that is best form them. The premium is lower for the GRA plan; however, there are significant differences in the coverage levels at the point of service.

  • During your initial eligibility period, GRA medical coverage will begin the first of the month following the date you elect coverage.  GRA medical coverage elected during the annual open enrollment period will be effective retroactively to January 1 of that year.

  • A deductible is the amount of money that the covered member must pay out of pocket for medical services before the plan will pay any benefits to the provider on behalf of the member. For example, the employee only tier of the GRA plan has a minimum $3,000 deductible for any service other than preventive/wellness care. There is a separate $500 deductible for prescriptions.
  • Medical coverage associated with employment ends on the last day of the month when employment in an eligible position ends. (Fall - August to December; Spring - January to May; Summer - June to July)
  • Yes, under COBRA coverage is available but the cost increases to $374.34 for single and $674.22 for family coverage. COBRA coverage can be continued for up to 18 months as long as premiums are remitted in a timely manner.
  • No.
  • No.
  • If coverage was not elected during the initial eligibility period due to having other coverage, it could be elected if documentation of the lost coverage is provided to HR within 30 days of losing the coverage.

Additional questions can be directed to benefits@kennesaw.edu.

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