Health Insurance for Graduate Students

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University Policy Number 6001


Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

Related Law & Policy:


This policy outlines health insurance coverage available to eligible (defined in Section III below) George Mason University graduate students.


The purpose of this policy is to fund up to 100% University-subsidized health insurance for eligible graduate students.


Doctoral Student – a student enrolled in one of the following degree programs: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts), D.N.P. (Doctor of Nursing Practice), D.A. (Doctor of Arts).

Eligible Graduate Student – A student who meets all of the following conditions:
1. A Doctoral or M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) student, and

  • Students who intend to graduate in the current fall semester are eligible for only that semester of subsidized health insurance coverage. For the spring online enrollment period, students must be newly admitted into their program for the current spring semester.

2. A full time student in their Doctoral or M.F.A. program as defined by the University Catalog and

3. Is supported by a tuition waiver or grant covering enough credits to support the student’s full time course load, and

4. Is appointed to a full time (20 hours/week total) graduate assistantship(s) with a stipend of at least $10,000 per academic year. The assistantship(s) must cover both the fall and spring semesters.

  • Students who intend to graduate in the current fall semester must have a stipend of at least $5,000 for the current fall semester and a full time assistantship(s) for the current fall semester, and
    • Must submit their application to graduate to the Office of the University Registrar by the relevant deadline.
  • For the spring online enrollment period, newly admitted students must have a stipend of at least $5,000 for the current spring semester and a full time assistantship(s) for the current spring semester.

Length of Coverage – The University will fund up to three cumulative years of health insurance coverage for eligible graduate students who meet the eligibility requirements as of the last day of each online health insurance enrollment period. Academic units may extend the time of coverage at their own expense; however, federal funding sources may not be used to pay for extended coverage unless extended coverage is provided by the specific school or college to all of its eligible graduate students.

Fall Graduates – Eligible students graduating in the current fall semester will be given the opportunity to enroll in the subsidy for that fall semester’s coverage only. During the following spring enrollment period, graduates may choose to re-enroll in order to continue their health insurance coverage through the University, but only for the remainder of that year’s health insurance coverage; this additional coverage will be obtained at the student’s expense.

If an eligible student submits their application to graduate in the current fall semester afterhaving enrolled for a full year of the subsidized graduate health insurance, their coverage period will be automatically changed such that they will receive the subsidized graduate health insurance for that fall semester’s coverage only; effort will be made to notify the student of this change. As mentioned above, the student will then have the option to re-enroll during the following spring online enrollment period at their own expense.


The Office of the Provost will publish procedures and schedules for units to follow in order  to implement the provision of health insurance for its eligible students.

Each school, college and institute is responsible for submitting a list of eligible graduate students for health insurance coverage in accordance with the published procedures and schedules.

Eligible graduate students must enroll in the health insurance plan according to the procedures and guidelines established by the Office of the Provost and the health insurance provider. 

 sponsored proposals that include funding for eligible graduate students as defined above on and after July 1, 2009, will include the cost of provision of health insurance charged proportionately with the assistantship stipend, which represents level of effort.


The University will determine the percentage of the premium that will be covered on an annual basis. While the intent is to pay 100% of the premium each year, the University reserves the right to reduce this commitment in the event of premium increases or financial exigency. Dependent coverage will not be funded under this health insurance subsidy; however, eligible graduate students enrolled in the plan may acquire dependent coverage at their own expense.


The health insurance subsidy is non-transferable and non-refundable. Unused subsidies cannot be refunded.


This policy is effective as of July 1, 2009 and was revised on April 20, 2011. This policy will be reviewed one year after implementation, and subsequently reviewed and revised as needed.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: November 11, 2008

Revised: April 13, 2009

Revision of 9/22/09 Approved: October 6, 2009

Revision of 12/08/09 Approved on December 21, 2009

Revision of 4/20/2011 Approved on June 27, 2011