TO: Graduate Students, Deans, Department Chairs, Graduate Coordinators,
Graduate Faculty, Administrative Staff
FROM: Graduate School, UF International Center, Academic Personnel,
University Financial Services, UF Student Health Services, University
Benefits and Retirement
RE: Health Insurance Benefits for Graduate Students on Appointments
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Health Insurance Benefits for
Graduate Students on Appointment
July 29, 2004
Effective Fall Term 2004, all graduate students on an appointment as a
Graduate Assistant, Teaching Assistant, or Research Assistant or Fellow are
eligible to participate in a health insurance benefits program as part of
the salary and benefits package. To be eligible, students must be enrolled
in a graduate degree program, on an appointment through Academic Personnel,
appropriately registered, and appointed for 0.25 FTE or greater for a
For each student who elects to take advantage of this benefit, UF will pay
up to $400 annually toward the total premium cost as long as the student
pays the remainder of the policy through the payroll deduction plan. The
student can only use the benefit to offset the purchase of an insurance
product offered by a company approved by the University of Florida.
Currently, Scarborough Company provides a domestic health insurance policy
negotiated by Student Government.
The policy announcement can be found at
1. Who is covered by the health insurance program?
Students on an appointment (.25 FTE and greater) as a fellow, graduate
assistant (GA), teaching assistant/associate (TA) and research
assistant/associate (RA) will be covered effective fall 2004.
2. Does this include international students?
Yes, this includes all students on appointment as identified above.
3. Where may I obtain the insurance?
Health insurance is available from the approved insurance provider as
negotiated annually by Student Government. The University of Florida is
working to have other providers available, particularly for international
4. Who is the current provider and what plans are available?
Scarborough Insurance Company is the current provider (352-377-2002). The
available plans can be viewed at http://www.scarins.com/ . As yet,
arrangements for payroll deduction have not been worked out with other
5. How much will be covered?
The University of Florida will cover up to $400 per year (fall, spring and
summer) toward health insurance as a fringe benefit. You can use this
subsidy to cover whatever approved plan best suits your needs.
6. What is the subsidized cost by semester?
The subsidized insurance benefit will not exceed $400 annually ($157 fall,
$145 spring, and $98 for the summer semester) or the total cost of the
insurance product, which ever is less. It will only be paid during semesters
that you are enrolled and have a health insurance deduction.
7. How much are the premiums?
Plan A (coverage for most services at the UF Student Health Center) costs
approximately $310 (age 25 and under). A major medical policy for an
individual student (Plan B) costs about $1100 (age 25 and under). The
complete table of premium rates is available at
8. How does the funding work?
Each funding source (state or grants) for a covered graduate student
provides its proportional share each pay period (just as regular faculty
health insurance benefits are paid by UF).
9. What if I choose a plan that costs more than $400?
You will be financially liable for the remaining costs, which must be taken
through payroll deduction so that it comes from pre-tax dollars.
10. May my department or PI cover the entire cost?
No, the maximum subsidy for this plan is $400 per year for eligible
11. What if I am covered under another plan, i.e., a spouse’s plan? Can I
still receive the benefit?
The subsidy cannot be used to defray the costs of another plan. It is only
available to students who meet the eligibility requirements, which includes
payments through payroll deduction.
12. Will I receive this benefit in the summer if I am on a nine-month
appointment for fall and spring?
To receive the benefit for summer, you must purchase the annual plan or the
spring/summer option. The premium costs will be deducted at a higher rate
during the fall and spring to cover the summer premium. The intent is to
encourage summer coverage for students on nine-month appointments.
13. How do I enroll?
Contact Scarborough Company at 377-2002 or www.scarins.com/, decide on the
policy, complete the necessary paperwork through Scarborough, and fill out a
payroll deduction form.
14. The student health insurance program requires that I sign-up by August
14. What should I do?
Contact Scarborough and enroll immediately. You will need to pay a portion
of the premium, about $100. Once you begin receiving your paycheck, the
remainder of the premium will be deducted from your payroll. If you have
already paid the full premium for the semester, contact Scarborough for
15. Who is the contact for information about enrollment?
Questions regarding your enrollment in this plan should be addressed to
Scarborough Company. Questions related to payroll deductions can be
directed to University Benefits and Retirement at 392-1225. This FAQ will
be posted and updated, as needed, on the Graduate School website at
http://gradschool.rgp.ufl.edu under “current students.” All graduate
coordinators and graduate staff will be informed of the general benefits
program and may be able to help with general questions.
16. Where do I go to sign-up for payroll deduction?
The payroll deduction form is on the Scarborough website at www.
17. What do you mean by a pre-tax benefit?
Pre-tax means your insurance premiums are deducted before federal income tax
and FICA (social security) taxes have been calculated. As a result, you save
money because you do not have to pay taxes on the portion of your salary
used for insurance premiums.
18. By when do I need to sign up for insurance coverage?
For first-time appointments, you have to sign-up within 30 days of the start
of classes in order to be covered for that term. Students who have
Scarborough coverage expiring 8/14/04, have a deadline of 30 days from that
date to re-enroll with no lapse of coverage. If you re-enroll after that
time, coverage is subject to a Pre-Existing Conditions Exclusion. The fall
semester enrollment cutoff is 30 days from the 1st day of class. If you have
questions, call the Scarborough Company at 352-377-2002.
19. I like the program, but can insurance costs be reduced?
The best way to reduce premium rates is to expand the pool of participants.
The University of Florida is exploring many options with the objective being
to provide adequate health insurance at a reasonable cost.
20. How do I maintain my eligibility for health insurance?
You must be on an appointment as a fellow or graduate assistant (RA, TA, GA)
for 0.25 FTE or greater per semester and appropriately registered.
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611