The University offers a useful PDF that will give you all the information you need to register for your health insurance. That file can be accessed ACCESSED HERE. If you want more information on the plans available and their cost, that information can be ACCESSED HERE.
However, there is some information that you should be aware of that is not covered in the above PDF. The list below includes important information that will help you attain and understand your health insurance coverage.
- There are currently three different health insurance options for graduate assistants at Temple University priced at three tiers – Personal Choice PPO (high), Keystone POS Premium (medium) and Keystone POS Standard (low). If you have a full assistantship and have no dependents, you can afford all three plans at no charge. However, depending on your assistantship (100% or 50%, semester or full year) and the number of dependents you have, you will need to weigh your options carefully. Moreover, the POS options are HMO plans meaning you will need a referral to see a specialist. However, the PPO option does not require a referral. Thus, you may want to consider your medical needs when determining the right plan.
- If you have a partial appointment (for example, if your assignment is only for 10 hours then this is a half-appointment) then your healthcare subsidy is also halved. For the 2016-2017 academic year, the subsidy for full time appointments is $552.72. This means that for a half-appointment, the subsidy would be $276.36. If you do not have a full (20 hour) appointment, please keep this fact in mind when selecting your health insurance plan.
- Independence Blue Cross (IBX) will NOT charge you for the health insurance premium. Instead, the bill will be sent to the University. However, if you elect a plan that exceeds your subsidy, then the University will send you a bill for the remainder.
- All health care coverage is for a full twelve (12) months regardless of whether you are working for Temple University in the summer semesters. Remember health insurance coverage begins September 1st and lasts through August 31st. Be on the lookout for an e-mail from the University in mid to late August providing instructions as to open enrollment
- You have to re-enroll for your insurance every year. While we hope that at some point we will find a way to have rolling re-enrollment, this is not currently possible. Therefore, even if you were an employee last year and had the same health insurance plan last year, you must still re-enroll this year.
- You are not obligated to fax your appointment letter/work contract to labor relations or to Temple’s benefits department in order to receive health care coverage as the University should have this information on file. However, if you are experiencing difficulties, it is recommended that you do so to expedite the process. Not having sent this fax will not prevent you from receiving health care coverage.
If you have problems signing up for your healthcare coverage, or if you have questions about how your healthcare works, you have several options. First, you are always welcome to contact TUGSA and we can answer many questions for you. However, you can also contact TEMPLE UNIVERSITY’S BENEFITS DEPARTMENT who can also answer many questions for you. If you do have problems with your health insurance, TUGSA wants to know about it! We can only get problems resolved in future semesters if we know that problems occurred this semester. Therefore, any problems that you have with your health insurance should be reported to us. TUGSA encourages all graduate assistants to take advantage of the health care that we have negotiated for you. It is your contractual right to have this coverage and there is no reason to turn it down!