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Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP)
Self-Pay Insurance


The self-pay option allows academic student employees (ASEs) who meet certain eligibility criteria to enroll in GAIP coverage at their own expense through the end of the plan year, September 30. You may be eligible for the self-pay option if you have lost your UW coverage, if you are going on academic leave, or if you hold a self-pay appointment. In all cases, self-pay eligibility must be approved by the UW Benefits Office.

While on self-pay, if you are not registered for classes and do not pay the student activity fee, your benefits at Hall Health will be paid at the network level of benefits.


Becoming Eligible Due to Loss of UW-Paid Coverage

If you hold a UW-paid eligible appointment in the current quarter, but will not hold one next quarter OR you lost coverage mid-year, you are eligible to enroll in the self-pay option through the rest of the plan year (September 30). Upon notification by UW, LifeWise will automatically mail you a self-pay election notice to your home address (on file) the month after your UW-Paid GAIP coverage ends.

Becoming Eligible Due to Appointment(s) Paid by Outside Sources

For appointment(s) paid directly by an outside source, you will be eligible for self-pay provided that you meet all three criteria:

Requesting the Self-Pay Option

The Self-Pay Option must be requested on your behalf by your department since official documentation of your appointment is required. Contact your graduate coordinator to ensure that your information is forwarded to UW Benefits at

Departments: For multiple appointments from local employers, such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, you may attach a spreadsheet of appointments in your email to

Note: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) fellows are eligible to participate in the self-pay program, provided the same procedures (above) are followed.

You may enroll in the plan during the quarter in which an eligible position was established, and continue in the program via self-pay through the rest of the plan year. The UW reports to the administrator, LifeWise Assurance Company, persons who are in new, self-pay-eligible positions.

Eligibility While on Approved Academic Leave

Once you have established eligibility for UW-paid benefits, you may continue your benefits on a self-paid basis while on an approved academic leave as long as you will hold a UW-paid, GAIP-eligible position during the first quarter immediately following your return. Two weeks prior to the start of the quarter in which you will be taking leave, you should request leave from the UW Graduate School in MyGrad-Student View and submit the following documents to the UW Benefits Office:

International Student leave requests will also have an additional approval requirement from the International Student Services Office.

See GAIP While on Approved LOA for information regarding continuation of coverage while on an approved ASE contract leave of absence.

Self-Pay Premiums

As an appointee, you are responsible for paying 100% of the cost of coverage for yourself and your dependents, plus an administrative fee. The cost you pay will depend on the level of coverage for which you enroll. If at any time you do not pay the monthly premium, your coverage will be terminated and you will not be eligible to re-enroll within the same plan year (October through September). Read more about self-pay premiums.


Enrolling in Self-Pay

Students losing eligibility for UW-paid coverage will need to respond to the deadline noted in the self-pay notice sent by LifeWise. Otherwise, if you opt to self-pay, enroll before the last day of the first calendar month of your eligibility. Minimum enrollment is one month's coverage. To avoid any break in coverage, you must enroll in the self-pay option within the first full month following the end of your coverage. For example, you must enroll no later than the last week of April for coverage to be effective April 1.

To enroll, contact LifeWise toll-free:
800-421-3531 (voice) 
800-842-5357 (TDD)