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New Health Insurance Program for ODU Graduate Students

Old Dominion University unveiled a discounted health insurance program for graduate students on August 1, continuing President John R. Broderick's commitment to provide the resources to attract and retain top graduate students.

The program is available for all degree-seeking graduate students taking courses at Old Dominion University's main campus or one of the higher education centers.

Students can enroll semester by semester. The insurance plan, which meets the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, has been rated "gold" or very good. (Traditional graduate student health care enrollment plans are rated "bronze" or good.)

The insurance program will be administered by UnitedHealthcare StudentResources (UHCSR), which was selected after a comprehensive bid process to select an insurance program that best meets the needs of ODU students.

In a letter to the campus community, ODU Provost Carol Simpson thanked the university's Health Insurance Review Team, who spent several weeks working out the details of the plan rollout for the upcoming year, as well as President Broderick for his commitment of resources to the endeavor.

"The teamwork that made this occur under President Broderick's leadership reminds me what it is that makes Old Dominion University such a special place to work," Simpson said. "As a result of all of these efforts, beginning today, our degree seeking graduate students now have access to health insurance through Old Dominion University's agreement with UHCSR."

The program is optional for domestic graduate students. Domestic graduate assistants being paid $5,000 or more a semester from either the university or the research foundation will be eligible to enroll in the program at the rate of $144 per month. The rate for all other degree seeking graduate students will be $172 a month.

Domestic graduate assistants eligible for the $144 a month rate will receive an email from the Office of Graduate Studies that provides a link to a website where they can enroll for the health insurance program. During the enrollment process, an official will verify whether or not the applicant is a graduate assistant eligible for this rate.

In the upcoming year, graduate assistants being paid $5,000 or more a semester who enroll in the university-provided insurance plan will receive a $450 taxable subsidy for each semester that they are enrolled. This subsidy will be paid to students from the respective payroll office (either the university or the ODU Research Foundation) at some point during the semester in which they are enrolled in the health insurance program. The intent is to provide a similar subsidy in future years, though the subsidy amount may change.

Once the student's status has been verified as eligible for this rate, the student will be asked to pay the semester rate in full by credit card or e-check within five days. For the fall, the enrollment payment will be $720 and the student would be covered from August 1 through December 31. For the spring, the enrollment payment will be $1,008 and the student would be covered from January 1 through July 31.

Per federal regulations, all international students who are F-1 and J-1 visa holders will be automatically enrolled in the health insurance program. The rate for international students will be $144 per month. Their payments will be processed the same way that they have been processed in the past.

A note for research faculty: as the new health insurance plan for graduate students rolls out, grant proposals submitted through the research foundation beginning August 1 must include a subsidy for the plan if graduate research assistants being paid $5,000 or more a semester are part of the proposal. For the upcoming year, the Office of Research will cover the subsidy for graduate research assistants paid $5,000 or more a semester by the research foundation.

For domestic students, the deadline to enroll in the health insurance program is Sept. 15 for fall semester coverage and Feb. 15 for spring/summer coverage.

Details about the coverage provided by this program are available online at www.uhcsr.com/odu. For more information, email gradhealth@odu.edu.

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