Benefit Groups - Graduate Student Employees, Benefit-Eligible Fellowship Holders, and Medical School Students
Different categories of graduate students are eligible for a slightly different set of benefits. Review the eligibility charts to identify the benefits available to you.
Generally, there are four times when you can enroll in or may be able to change your benefits at the university:
- as a newly hired or newly eligible GSI, GSSA or GSRA, or benefit-eligible fellowship holder or medical school student,
- after experiencing a qualified family status change, and
- during the annual Open Enrollment
If you are a newly hired GSI, GSSA or GSRA, or a new benefit-eligible fellowship holder or medical school student, you will receive communications about how to enroll in U-M benefits. Newly eligible graduate students enroll online using Self Service > Benefits, which is available through Wolverine Access at: https://wolverineaccess.umich.edu (click on Faculty & Staff or Students if you are a GSI, GSSA, or GSRA, or click on Students if you are a benefit-eligible fellowship or medical school student). You have 30 days to enroll, add your eligible dependents or waive coverage online. For step-by-step instructions on enrolling in benefits, see How to use Self Service > Benefits on the Benefits Office website.
If you are enrolled in a U-M health plan, your prescription drug coverage is through MedImpact. You will receive an ID card from your health plan and a separate prescription drug ID card from MedImpact.
If you had a benefit-eligible position previously and had a break in your appointment, you will receive additional communications about re-enrolling.
You can apply for enrollment in health plan coverage if you were covered under a parent’s, spouse’s, or other qualified adult’s health plan at the time of your initial eligibility, and later lost that coverage involuntarily. You must make application for coverage within 30 days of your loss of coverage. Contact the HR/Payroll Service Center at 734-615-2000 for details.
Changes that Affect Your Coverage
Job changes or changes in eligibility for benefit groups can affect your benefits.
- If you have multiple jobs or funding sources that are all benefit eligible, your eligibility will be based on the benefit group that provides the best benefit package. For example, if you are a GSI and have a concurrent benefit eligible fellowship, your benefits are based on the GSI position. The job family priority rules are:
- Members of GEO (Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Staff Assistants)
- Graduate Student Research Assistants
- Holders of a designated Rackham fellowship
- Other fellowships
- If you are a GSI, GSSA or GSRA and you terminate employment or become ineligible for benefits you may continue your health plan coverage under COBRA. COBRA information may be found at benefits.umich.edu/events/termination.html
- Medical School Students who become ineligible for GradCare are offered the GradCare continuance plan. In these situation, you are eligible for Level 1 coverage. To learn more about this option or to enroll in the GradCare continuance plan, contact Blue Care Network (call BCN at 800-658-8878) within 30 days of date your funding source ends.
- If you are a fellowship holder you can continue GradCare coverage under the GradCare continuance plan for yourself and your eligible dependents during periods when you are not receiving funding. In these situations, you are eligible for Level 1 coverage. Following your ineligibility, enrollment materials will be sent to your last known home address. Update your address through Self-Service on Wolverine Access prior to your funding ending. Enrollment and payment must occur within the later of 30 days of your GradCare coverage end date or the date of notification. You will be responsible for 102% of the full premium. Full premiums are due on the first of each month for that month's coverage (i.e., the premium for the coverage period of June 1st through June 30th is due on June 1st.) Any late or partial payments will be processed and refunded.)
- Benefit-eligible Fellowship holders who are enrolled in GradCare and leave the service area may enroll in Blue Cross Blue Shield Community Blue PPO or Comprehensive Major Medical within 30 days of the move only if their fellowship funding has ended and they are under the Continuation Plan.
If you are a GEO member and were enrolled in benefits during the previous fall and the current winter terms, and are not graduating, you are eligible for university contributions during the spring/summer terms.
If you are a GEO member or a GSRA and if you are participating in any U-M benefit plans during the winter term (Term II), and you will be re-employed for the following fall term (Term I) with a one-quarter or greater employment fraction, benefits may continue during spring/summer term (Term III).
To ensure continuation of your benefits, your department must confirm your eligible Term I appointment in writing with the Benefits Office by April 10. The cost of your benefits are charged to your Winter Term II department/unit.
Review your April pay stub to see if benefits premiums have been deducted for the summer.
For more information, view the GSI, GSSA and GSRA Spring/Summer Benefits Continuation section.
GradCare is a health plan only available to University of Michigan Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs), Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSAs), Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRAs), benefit-eligible fellowship holders, and medical school students. It is a "modified" point-of-service health plan administered by Blue Care Network (BCN).
When you enroll in GradCare you will receive an ID card from BCN. The card will show the U-M Premier Care logo on the right hand corner. Primary Care Physician information and dependent names do not appear on the GradCare card, but the information is retained by the plan.
When you enroll in a university health plan, including GradCare, you will be concurrently enrolled in the University Prescription Drug Plan, administered by MedImpact. You will receive a separate ID card from MedImpact. For more information on the U-M Prescription Drug Plan, see benefits.umich.edu/plans/drugs.
If you enroll in GradCare, you must choose a primary care physician (PCP) to manage all of your health needs. If you do not choose a PCP, BCN will choose one on your behalf. You always have the option of changing your PCP. You can change your PCP by calling BCN Customer Service at 800-658-8878.
Non-emergency health care (excluding inpatient hospitalization) may be covered with non-network providers only when the member has obtained BCN authorization for service. This includes the requirement to obtain BCN authorization for non-emergency services, including:
- Off-campus student placement, when the student has registered with BCN in advance of participating in an out-of-area program, and
- Activity not sponsored by the university, such as vacation, when the student pays any outstanding balances for health care costs over the BCN fee schedule payment.
The provider network includes University of Michigan Hospital System (UMHS), University Health Service, and all U-M Premiere Care Network 1 Providers. For a provider directory, see the BCN website.
Assignments that are Not in the GradCare Service Area
If your assignment takes you off campus, complete an Off-Site Registration form.
The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.