Insurance Options for Rackham Students
This is an overview of different health care insurance options for Rackham students, including students with appointments as Graduate Student Instructors (GSI), Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSA), Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA), and those who have benefit-eligible fellowships. More options may be available to students. For advice about what insurance options may be available for a student’s individual circumstance, please contact the Managed Care/Student Insurance Office at University Health Service (UHS) at (734) 764-5182.
|Option||Who is eligible||Special notes about coverage|
|GradCare||Graduate Student Instructors (GSI), Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSA), Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA), and benefit-eligible fellowship students||See Spring and Summer GradCare Coverage for details on if/when the Spring and Summer terms are covered|
|Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)||Graduate Student Instructors (GSI), Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSA), and Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA), once GradCare coverage ends||See Timing for details on how much time you have after the appointment ends to elect this temporary option|
|GradCare Continuance Coverage Plan||Benefit-eligible fellowship students, once GradCare coverage ends||See Timing for details on how much time you have after the benefit-eligible fellowship ends to elect this temporary option|
|Domestic Student Health Insurance Plan (DSHIP)||Domestic and international students currently enrolled or who are between semesters||See Timing for details on when the plan can be elected or changed|
|International Student & Scholar Health Insurance Plan (U-M IHI)||F-1 and J-1 students whose Forms I-20 or DS-2019 were issued by U-M Ann Arbor and their accompanying F-2 and J-2 dependents (eligible for and required to enroll in IHI unless have health insurance that meets the university’s minimum requirements)||See notes on U-M IHI vs. GradCare and what happens to international students with GradCare once the coverage ends|
|University Health Services (UHS)||Domestic and international students currently enrolled||See Spring and Summer UHS Services for details on Prepaid Plan for master’s students and coverage for doctoral students|
What It Is
GradCare is a modified Point of Service medical insurance plan administered by Blue Care Network exclusively for Graduate Student Instructors (GSI), Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSA), Graduate Student Research Assistants (GSRA), and benefit-eligible fellowship students. For more information about GradCare and its benefits please review the 2021 GradCare Benefits-at-a-Glance PDF.
There is no monthly deduction for graduate students regardless of who is covered (you+adult+children). Care coordinated through a Primary Care Provider (PCP) avoids out of pocket expenses beyond co-pays; this is referred to as Level 1 coverage. For those on the U-M Ann Arbor campus, the co-pay does not apply if the PCP is through University Health Services (UHS) – this is covered through the “health service fee,” a mandatory fee that currently enrolled U-M students on the Ann Arbor campus pay as part of tuition.
Out of Network Care
Students are eligible to receive services from an out-of-network provider (referred to as Level 3 coverage). However, the out-of-network provider has the option to balance bill; that is the provider can elect to not accept the in-network fee schedule for the service – if the out-of-network service fee is higher they can charge the difference to the student. Mental health, in-patient stays, and substance abuse treatment require pre-authorization from the PCP if a student chooses to go out-of-network. For more information review the 2020 GradCare Certificate of Coverage PDF.
Some services are not covered through GradCare such as non-emergency care when traveling outside the U.S., dental care, and cosmetic surgery. See additional information about GradCare.
Spring and Summer GradCare Coverage
Students with a GSI, GSSA, or GSRA appointment in the winter semester who will be returning to the appointment in the fall semester, are eligible for continued GradCare coverage over spring and summer. Students with a GSI or GSSA appointment in the previous fall and current winter semesters are also eligible for continued GradCare coverage over spring/summer. If a student is eligible for spring and summer GradCare, there is no action the student needs to take to activate coverage. If a student has another source of health insurance over the spring/summer, they should request a waiver from Karen Baer to drop the GradCare coverage.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) or GradCare Continuance Plan
What It Is
The right to COBRA coverage was created by federal law in 1985; it affords access to temporary health coverage when otherwise one would lose group health coverage. The GradCare Continuance Plan is a U-M program that mirrors COBRA for benefit-eligible fellowship students.
COBRA/GradCare Continuance fees may not exceed 102% of the cost of the group health care plan. The specific cost for COBRA/GradCare Continuance depends on who is covered; see the rates on the Benefits Page.
Once an appointment or fellowship ends, paperwork is mailed to the student’s “current address” listed in Wolverine Access indicating the steps to elect COBRA/GradCare Continuance; this paperwork is generated and mailed up to a week after the student’s appointment or fellowship ends. Students with an appointment have up to 60 days to elect COBRA; students who have a benefit-eligible fellowship have 30 days to elect GradCare Continuance. Coverage expires after 18 months unless a qualifying event occurs which would allow for additional time. COBRA/GradCare Continuance is always retroactive from the point medical insurance was terminated. Students cannot elect a different start date.
Who Is Covered
Any eligible dependents (including adults) that were covered under GradCare may elect COBRA/GradCare Continuance. A child born or adopted while a student is under COBRA/GradCare Continuance coverage will be eligible for enrollment.
Domestic Student Health Insurance Plan (DSHIP)
What It Is
A Blue Care Network insurance plan insurance plan available for U-M students. Visit the DSHIP website for plan information.
This is an annual plan for the entire academic year. Every full semester offers a period of open enrollment for eligible students (see the DSHIP website for open enrollment deadlines). Only students who have involuntarily lost health insurance through a qualifying life event are eligible to purchase the plan outside of the open enrollment period within 30 days after the qualifying life event.
Students are given the option to make three installment payments if they enroll during the fall open enrollment period; otherwise the entire premium must be paid at the time of enrollment.
Students on an approved leave of absence are not eligible to enroll in the DSHIP. For more information on the leave of absence policy and health care insurance, please visit the Leave of Absence Overview on the Rackham website.
International Student & Scholar Health Insurance Plan (U-M IHI) Blue Care Network Plan
What It Is
F-1 and J-1 students whose Forms I-20 or DS-2019 were issued by U-M Ann Arbor and their accompanying F-2 and J-2 dependents are eligible for and required to enroll in IHI unless they have health insurance that meets the university’s minimum requirements. The Blue Care Network underwrites the plan and it is administered through the International Center at U-M.
The specific cost for IHI depends on who is covered. Rates are available on the International Center website.
Students are automatically enrolled in IHI once the U-M mandatory immigration check-in is completed (their I-20/DS-2019 program start date). If a student would like to use their own private insurance in place of IHI, a waiver form must be completed within 30-days of the check-in (or the start of the new insurance). If the waiver request is approved, the IHI will be cancelled. A waiver must be completed each academic year during the month of September.
GradCare Versus U-M IHI
Students who are eligible for GradCare through an appointment (GSI, GSRA, or GSSA) or a benefit-eligible fellowship may elect GradCare as their preferred coverage. In this case, the IHI coverage will be cancelled the first full month GradCare begins. The student must notify his or her health care provider/pharmacy/hospital about the insurance change, to prevent unnecessary student expenses that cannot be reimbursed. Students do not need to notify the International Center of the insurance change; it is automatic.
International Student with GradCare
When an international student no longer has GradCare (or COBRA/GCCP) and has an active SEVIS record, IHI coverage will be re-activated automatically.
Students who have documentation to support being out of the country for more than three full calendar months can complete a Temporary Absence from the U.S. form which will suspend their IHI; students should review the Health Insurance Requirement and Enrollment Process information under “temporary absence” and follow the procedures explained there.
University Health Services (UHS)
UHS offers clinical services and support for well-being. It is not an insurance plan. Many services that UHS offers are free to registered students (covered through the health service fee that is part of a student’s tuition).
Spring and Summer UHS Services
UHS also offers a Prepaid Plan available for purchase to master’s students who have been enrolled within the past year but are not taking classes in the current semester, including Spring and Summer. Active Rackham doctoral students with a prior winter registration will have access to UHS services covered by the health service fee at no additional cost in Spring and Summer.
UHS Managed Care/Student Insurance Office
The Managed Care/Student Insurance Office assists with referrals, scheduling appointments outside UHS, explaining insurance benefits. Browse the UHS Fees and Insurance page for information on how UHS works with health insurance, billing FAQs, Travel Abroad Health Insurance, and more.