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Information for Graduate Assistants and Fellows

Graduate Assistants and Graduate Fellows are automatically enrolled in the Penn State Student Insurance Plan (SHIP) each fall semester for medical, dental, and vision coverage. Students may choose to decline this coverage or add additional dependents by making changes to their selection in Workday.

It is important to note that the plan will reset to Single Student Coverage each fall semester. Students must resubmit a new Declination/Enrollment form each fall to maintain their desired benefits.

How do I know if my current insurance coverage is adequate?

Domestic Graduate Assistants and Graduate Fellows may choose to decline coverage with the Penn State SHIP. It is strongly recommended that any domestic student declining SHIP coverage have an alternate health insurance policy that covers the following:

  • Your health insurance should provide coverage in the campus community you are attending school
  • Your health insurance should not require pre-authorization for services in the campus community you are attending school.
  • Your health insurance should have reasonable co-pays, deductible, and coinsurance amounts, which you will be responsible for paying.

Students who are unsure if they are adequately covered should contact their current health insurance provider, particularly if their coverage will be considered out-of-network.

International Students

International students and any accompanying dependents are required to submit proof of health insurance coverage that meets a set of requirements or purchase the Penn State SHIP. More information about specific requirements for international students, enrollment deadlines, and instructions for how to submit proof of insurance can be accessed by visiting Student Health Insurance Information for International Students.

Eligibility

SHIP is available to:

  • All graduate students registered for (1) or more credit hours
  • Graduate Assistants- graduate students who have been appointed to a graduate assistantship. All graduate assistants receive a monthly stipend check, a tuition grant-in-aid, and have signed a “Terms of Offer and General Conditions of a Graduate Assistantship Appointment” with Penn State.
  • Graduate Fellows- graduate students who have received a fellowship award for which they receive a monthly stipend check from Penn State, and for whom a tuition grant-in-aid is provided.

Students who meet eligibility requirements for the Penn State SHIP must actively attend classes for at least the first 31 days after the date when coverage becomes effective.

If you are unsure of your status and whether or not you have a graduate assistantship or fellowship, please contact your academic department/graduate program to confirm.

SHIP is not available to:

  • Graduate students enrolled in independent study through correspondence classes
  • Graduate students enrolled in home study, correspondence, and television courses
  • Individuals not enrolled at Penn State who are currently auditing courses
  • World Campus students

*Please note: a change in student registration status that no longer meets the criteria listed above may result in termination of student health insurance benefits. Enrollment will be audited to ensure that eligibility is met.

Insurance Premium Subsidies

Medical Insurance

Medical Rates - Monthly Deductions for Graduate Assistants/Graduate Fellows

As a Graduate Assistant or Graduate Fellow, you are eligible to receive subsidies in the amount of 80% of the annual premium cost for the Penn State SHIP for graduate students. The University will pay this amount directly to the insurance company and will deduct your 20% contribution to premium expense from your monthly stipend.

The insurance subsidy for your eligible spouse/domestic partner or child is 75% of the annual premium expense. As with the subsidy for your individual insurances, the university will pay 75% of the premium expense directly to the insurance companies and you will pay your 25% of the premium costs through a deduction from your stipend.

The term "family" consists of a student and 2 or more dependents, i.e. a student, spouse and one child, a student and 2 or more children, or a student, spouse and 2 or more children. The insurance subsidy for your eligible family is 76% of the annual premium expense. As with the subsidy for your individual insurances, the university will pay 76% of the premium expense directly to the insurance companies and you will pay your 24% of the premium costs through a deduction from your stipend.

Dental Insurance

As a Graduate Assistant or Graduate Fellow, you are eligible to receive a subsidy in the amount of 80% of the annual premium cost for the United Concordia Dental Insurance Plan. Your insurance subsidy for your eligible dependents is 70% of the annual premium expense.

Resources

Vision Insurance

As a Graduate Assistant or Graduate Fellow, you are eligible to receive a subsidy in the amount of 80% of the annual premium cost for the Highmark Blue Shield (Davis Vision) plan. Your insurance subsidy for your eligible dependents is 70% of the annual premium expense.

Resources

Submitting Foreign Claims

When a vision service is rendered outside of the country, please follow the steps below: 

  • Schedule the appointment with a provider of your choice 
  • Once services have been rendered, then you will need to pay the provider in full 
  • A claim form should be completed along with a copy of your itemized receipt 
  • Claim forms can be obtained from the Highmark website 
  • Completed forms can be mailed to: 
    Davis Vision
    P.O. Box 1525 
    Latham, NY 12110 

Since services rendered outside of the country will be considered out-of-network, the payment will be issued to you based on the benefit allowance.

Rates and Enrollment Deadlines

Insurance Enrollment/Waive Deadlines

Coverage Period Fall 2017 Spring 2018
 
Summer 2018
(Session 1)
Summer 2018
(Session 2)
Enroll/Waive Deadline September 5, 2017 January 17, 2018 May 21, 2018 July 5, 2018

Rates for individual plans

Late Fees

International students must enroll for, or waive Penn State SHIP coverage through the First Student website, by September 4, 2018. After this deadline, students will incur a $50 fee for first-time late offenses, and a $100 fee for subsequent late offenses payable to the Penn State Student Health Insurance office by money order only.

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