to propose health insurance subsidy for its graduate assistants
administrators will recommend a $900 annual subsidy next year
for nearly 2,000
graduate students to help cover the cost of their health insurance.
U.Va.s Board of Visitors will consider the proposal along
with the 2001-02 budget at its June 15-16 meeting.
subsidy would apply to teaching and research assistants who earn
at least $5,000 per year for their academic work and to other
graduate students whose fellowships are $5,000 or above. This
is close to 60 percent of the graduate students in engineering,
architecture, nursing, basic medical sciences, education and arts
am delighted that we may be able to offer this benefit to our
graduate assistants, said Vice
President and Provost Peter W. Low. Members of my staff
have been working with the deans, graduate-student representatives
and others for nearly a year to find a way to address this issue.
The approach they have developed is an important step in our efforts
to deal with the under-funding of our graduate programs.
Universitys proposal is welcome news to graduate students,
said Patrick J. McGuinn, president of the Graduate
School of Arts & Sciences Student Council. We hope
the Board of Visitors will approve the proposal because the astronomical
increases in insurance premiums in recent years have created a
financial and health care crisis for graduate students,
$900 stipend would cover next years estimated cost of health
insurance for a single student in the basic (White) plan offered
by QualChoice through Student Health. Alternatively, graduate
students could apply the stipend toward the expanded-benefit Orange
plan or family coverage, if they choose.
White plan for one individual, which costs $774 this year, will
be $915 next year. The Orange plan will rise from $1,409 to $2,263.
Both plans have additional rates to cover spouses and children.
The two plans have similar benefits, except that the Orange plan
has lower out-of-pocket payments and allows for 45 mental health
visits per year.
is raising the rates because of an increased number of claims,
especially from those in the Orange plan, according to Student
Health administrator Alison Montgomery. A member of the committee
on student health, she said student representatives, with feedback
from students, opted to maintain both plans. Contraceptive coverage
will be added next year.
said the annual cost to U.Va. would be approximately $1.8 million,
which would come from earnings on the Universitys unrestricted
endowment, indirect cost recoveries from research grants, tuition
and fellowship funds.