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Graduate Assistants Free Health Insurance

Graduate School > Students > Graduate Assistants > Health Insurance Benefit

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The University of Alabama recognizes the valuable contributions that graduate assistants bring to this institution. Part of that recognition now includes free single coverage medical insurance for qualifying graduate assistants!

Basically, if you hold a graduate assistantship for one or more semesters and that assistantship complies with the academic and funding qualifying criteria then you will receive free single medical insurance for each semester.

The period of coverage extends as follows:

  • For graduate assistants employed for the fall semester – August 1st through January 31st
  • For graduate assistants employed for the spring semester – February 1st through July 31st
  • For graduate assistants employed for the fall AND spring semesters – August 1st through July 31st

The department administering your assistantship will advise you if your assistantship qualifies for this benefit and your Memorandum of Appointment document that you signed when you accepted the offer will confirm if you will be receiving this benefit.

Please note that not all assistantships qualify, you must contact your department to verify if your assistantship will be covered.

The Plan

The UA Graduate Assistant medical insurance plan is provided through UnitedHealthcare (UHC). UnitedHealthcare is an operating division of UnitedHealth Group, the largest single health carrier in the United States. View UHC's updated Master Policy (Rev. Jan. 2010) of the medical insurance plan.

Full details of the Plan’s services and benefits, with its coinsurance and some of the limitations, can be found on the Student Health Center Forms web site or visit UHC web site for further information and the Certificate of Coverage.

Enrolling in the Plan

Participation in the plan requires nomination from your hiring department, approval from the Graduate School that the appointment meets the qualifying criteria for this benefit, and registration of your enrollment with the health insurance provider.

You will need to enroll in person by completing the GA Enrollment registration form and taking it – with your Memorandum of Appointment - to the Student Health Insurance Office at the SHC.

The form can be downloaded from Student Health Center Forms Website

You must complete the enrollment with the SHC before the end of each semester’s open enrollment period (OEP), which are as follows:

Graduate assistants employed for fall semester – August 31st
Graduate assistants employed for spring semester – January 21st
Graduate Assistants employed fall AND spring semesters – August 31st

Even if you qualify to receive the free insurance, if you do not register with the SHC before the end of the OEP you will NOT receive the benefits.

You must be registered for a minimum of 3 class hours in order to receive the free health insurance.

International Students

UA requires that all international students carry medical insurance and when you register for classes you will be automatically charged the appropriate fee.

Students may waive this charge if you already have medical insurance and the level of coverage is at least equal to UA’s. You must provide adequate proof of alternative coverage and complete the waiver form which can be obtained from the SHC or downloaded from: Student Health Center Forms website.

Qualified international graduate assistants who receive the UA free health insurance may substitute this benefit to also satisfy the international student insurance requirement.

You will need to enroll in person by completing the GA Enrollment registration form and taking it – with your Memorandum of Appointment - to the Student Health Insurance Office at the SHC.

Accessing Your Benefits

Students on The University of Alabama Student Health Plan must use the Student Health Center as their Primary Care Physician. SHC is located at 750 5th Ave. East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 and can be reached by calling 348-6262. SHC’s office hours are 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, and 1pm to 4pm Saturday and Sunday when school is in session. For full details of the SHC facilities and services please go to Student Health Center website.

More Information

If you have any questions or need clarification of anything please contact or refer to the following:

For questions regarding your assistantship and entitlement:
1. Your department’s graduate program administrative assistant
2. Your Memorandum of Appointment
3. The Graduate School, Director of Administration (348-8282,

For questions regarding your benefits, enrollment with UHC:
1. Student Health Insurance Office, Room 210, Student Health Center, 750 Fifth Ave East.
2. Tel: 205-348-2158, email:



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