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Insurance Coverage and Access to Campus Services After Graduation

As you near the completion of your graduate studies, you might be thinking about “what happens” now, as it relates to a variety of topics, including insurance coverage and access to campus services. Below is an overview of frequently asked questions from our graduating Rackham students.

Health Insurance Coverage

What exact day do my GradCare* health insurance benefits end?

  • Benefits are generally tied to an appointment (GSI, GSSA, GSRA) or a benefit-eligible fellowship. Benefits expire at the end of the month the appointment or fellowship ends. For example, if your appointment/fellowship ends on May 1, your benefits expire on May 1. If it ends on May 2 to May 31, the last day you may make claims is May 31. If your fellowship ends on April 30, then your benefits expire on that same day.
  • A student who worked in an appointment covered by the U-M/GEO Agreement (i.e., as a GSI or GSSA) in each of the fall and winter terms (and who was enrolled in benefits for both terms) immediately preceding graduation may continue coverage during May, June, July, and August as provided in Article XI(C) of the U-M/GEO Agreement.
  • Fellowships can have different ending dates. Because of this, contact the Benefits Office to confirm when your health care coverage will end. Call 734.615.2000 (Option 1).

How do I elect Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation (COBRA) to continue benefit coverage?

Once an appointment or fellowship ends, the U-M Benefits Office generates a letter that is mailed to your “current address” listed in Wolverine Access indicating the steps to elect COBRA coverage. This letter will be generated and mailed up to a week after your appointment or fellowship ends. Contact the Benefits Office at 734.615.2000 for information on COBRA.

What date do I need to enroll in COBRA by?

  • Students who have benefits through an appointment (GSI, GSRA, GSSA) have 60 days to elect COBRA.
  • Students who have a benefit-eligible fellowship have 30 days to elect COBRA.
  • The clock starts from the postmarked date of the letter and you are no longer eligible to enroll in COBRA after this point.

What are the costs of COBRA?

COBRA costs are listed on the U-M Benefits Office website. The COBRA premium is the full premium (university and employee contribution plus a 2% administrative fee).

If I enroll in COBRA, what is the effective date of coverage?

Coverage is retroactive to the date your benefits terminated. COBRA coverage must be continuous from the date GradCare benefits terminated.

How long can I be covered by COBRA?

Generally COBRA coverage extends for 18 months from the start of the coverage period. Some exceptions apply, see COBRA continuation coverage.

Is COBRA coverage the same coverage as GradCare? Does it differ in any way?

Yes, COBRA coverage is the exact same coverage as GradCare coverage. The only difference is the individual is now covering the full cost of the monthly premium (university and employee contribution plus a 2% administrative fee).

Can I get coverage outside of the Ann Arbor area by electing COBRA? Or, what is covered outside of the Ann Arbor area if I am moving out of the area after graduation?

  • Because the COBRA coverage mirrors GradCare’s coverage, the participating network is limited to local providers (GradCare participating network) as well as coverage for emergencies once outside of the participating network.
  • Those who plan to reside outside of the Ann Arbor area after graduating are encouraged to explore health care coverage options in their residing communities.

* 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.

Access to Services

University Services Tied to Enrollment Status

Some services provided by university offices are associated with your status as an enrolled student. That is, if a student is registered for a fall term, services are available until the last day of classes for that term, unless otherwise noted. Contact each specific office with questions about their services.

For Rackham students graduating in a given term, the following services end on the last day of that term:

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • University Health Services (UHS)
    • For students who are enrolled for the current semester, most UHS services are covered by the health service fee, which is assessed when you register.
    • After you graduate from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Flint, or Dearborn campuses), you are still eligible to visit UHS.
    • The health service fee covers services during the term and a grace period of approximately two weeks after the term. The exact date in which the grace period expires varies by term; please contact the UHS Business Office at 734.764.7380 for specific dates.
  • Recreational Sports
    • For students who are enrolled for the current semester, access to all the recreational facilities is open with the student activity fee, which is assessed when you register. Access to the recreational facilities for those students extends through the last day of exams for the current semester.
    • All U-M alumni are eligible to purchase a membership following graduation.
  • University Libraries
    • Although any individual may access the University Library facilities and collections onsite, access to most services and resources are limited to currently enrolled students.
    • Only currently enrolled doctoral candidates may reserve private study carrels in Hatcher Graduate Library.
    • Alumni may apply for borrowing privileges at the University Library. This does not include off-campus access to licensed electronic resources.

University Services Tied to Active Status

Other services are tied to a student’s “active” status in their academic record. For those Rackham students approaching graduation in a given term, a student is “active” until “completion.” “Completion” happens three times a year in M-Pathways and dates vary based on the academic calendar. Contact each specific office with questions about their services.

Completion by Term
Fall Term Those who graduate in December have a completion date of late December (doctoral) or early January (master’s).
Spring/Summer Term Those who graduate in August have a completion date in early September.
Winter Term Those who graduate in May have a completion date of early June.

To-Do List

1. Apply to graduate: When you apply to graduate you will be asked to verify your name as well as your current and permanent address in Wolverine Access

  • Your current address is where your COBRA information is mailed.
  • Your permanent address is where your diploma is mailed, unless you specify a separate “diploma address.”

2. Provide your graduate program with your contact information: Check in with your graduate program to provide forwarding contact information. Keep in touch with your graduate program to let them know about your current and future jobs.

3. Return your library materials: Library materials may be returned to any University of Michigan Library. You will not be able to receive your diploma if you have outstanding library items.

4. Complete your loan exit interview: When you take out a loan and sign a promissory note, you commit to complete a loan exit interview. To receive your diploma, you must complete this exit interview.

5. Notify University Housing about your plan to graduate: Once students graduate, they are no longer eligible for University Housing and should make plans to move out of their Northwood apartment on or before their contract end date. There are a few exceptions, but in any case, students must notify University Housing of their departure plans or status change.

6. Download files from your AFS space.

7. Check your U-M Student Financial account: A month or two after you graduate, visit Wolverine Access to be sure your financial account is cleared.

8. For International students in F-1 or J-1 immigration status:

Contact Academic Records and Dissertations

0120 Rackham Building
915 East Washington Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Phone: 734.763.0171
Fax: 734.936.3335


Academic Records and Dissertations is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.