Benefit Enrollment and iBenefits for Newly Hired International Graduate Student Employees (GSEs)
The following information applies to Fall FY17.
International students are required to maintain health insurance. The following information addresses benefits enrollment for international graduate student employees newly hired into a benefits-eligible position.
International students are automatically charged for the system student health insurance plan in the amount of $947 on their student fee statement for coverage period 09/01/2016 – 12/31/2016. New incoming international students are also charged an Early Arrival fee for coverage period 08/01/2016 – 08/31/2016 in the amount of $158. These fees may be adjusted for those who enroll in the Graduate Student Plan or submit a waiver request to Academic Health Plans due to alternative health insurance coverage that meets TAMU waiver guidelines. For both new and returning international GSEs, in order for the waiver to go through, the EPA must be processed and posted to BPP by 9/05/16. For new benefit-eligible employees, there are two recommended options for their benefit enrollment:
- Preferred Option – The department will enter the employee into iBenefits as quickly as possible and instruct the employee to sign up for coverage selecting the option “the first of the month following enrollment” in iBenefits which provides a September 1 effective date. The employee must submit their iBenefits document within seven days from date of hire with coverage to begin on September 1 in order to be included in the ISS premium waiver process. ISS will process the premium waiver automatically (student does not have to request a waiver if enrolling in the Grad Plan provided coverage is effective no later than 09/01/2016). Employees enrolling in employee only coverage will see the following:
a) Employee will pay $158 through the student fee statement for August Early Arrival coverage premiums (August 1 through August 31).
b) Employee will pay $158 plus Basic Life through payroll deduction while waiting for the employer contribution.
c) Employer contribution will begin to cover the monthly premium of $158 plus the premium for basic life beginning the first of the month after the required 60-day waiting period and no further health insurance premium will be deducted from the employee’s paycheck.
- Alternative Option – If the department cannot enter the employee timely into iBenefits, have EPA completed before 9/05/16, or the employee does not select benefit coverage in iBenefits to begin by September 1, 2016 to be included in the premium waiver, then the employee should select the option to begin their employer coverage in iBenefits “on my employer contribution eligibility date”. The employee will continue to have the Early Arrival premium of $158 and fall premium of $947 included on their student fee statement.
a) Employee will pay $947 through the fee statement for Fall semester coverage through December 31, 2016. Additionally, new international students will also see a $158 charge for coverage from August 1 through August 31.
b) Employer coverage will begin the first of the month following the required waiting period and the employer contribution will cover the monthly premium of $158 for employee only coverage. Employee will receive a partial refund of premiums for any dual coverage processed by Academic Health Plans after the end of the policy term which is 12/31/2016.
Because of the time constraints for international students to enroll in coverage to be included in the waiver process, departments should enter these individuals as a priority into iBenefits, ensure the EPA is completed before 9/05/16 and encourage employees to make their benefit selections as quickly as possible (preferably no later than 7 days from date of hire). Please share this information with your new international student hires. Contact Benefit Services at email@example.com or (979) 862-1718 if you have questions.