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Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP)
Self-Pay Insurance

UNDERSTAND

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.

Eligibility

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).

Due to Appointments Paid by Outside Sources

For appointments paid directly by an outside source, you will be eligible for self-pay if you:

*Documentation of this appointment is required. Contact your graduate coordinator to ensure that your information has been forwarded to the UW Benefits Office. Appointments from local employers with multiple appointments such as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center may be forwarded in the form of a spreadsheet to the UW Benefits Office at benefits@uw.edu.

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.

While on Approved Academic Leave of Absence

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.

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, unless you meet the exception noted in the previous section. 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.

Approved Leave of Absence from ASE Position

Article 16 of the UW/UAW contract provides that the University will grant an ASE’s reasonable request for leave of absence for the appropriate benefit duration due to:

  1. Personal illness and/or disability
  2. Care of a family member (as defined below), childbirth, or adoption
  3. Bereavement due to the death of a family member (as defined below)

Definition of Family Member: Individuals considered to be members of the family are mother, father, sister, brother, parent-in-law, spouse, domestic partner, parent of domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, child, and step/foster child (including children of domestic partner).

Benefit Duration: If your ASE appointment is 50% FTE or greater for the academic year, you are eligible to use up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave during the GAIP plan year. During this time the University will provide health insurance coverage, for circumstances identified in A and B above. If your ASE appointment is for fewer than three quarters, University-provided health insurance coverage will be prorated. During the leave period, you will continue to be responsible for your portion of the dependent coverage premium.

The process for requesting coverage under the leave definitions of the contract varies depending on whether you are also taking an academic leave at the same time as the UW/UAW contract leave. Academic leave is not required in order to take leave from an ASE position.

If you are also taking academic leave at the same time, take these steps to maintain University-paid GAIP coverage. 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 document to the UW Benefits Office:

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

If you are not taking academic leave at the same time, the following procedure is required to maintain University-paid GAIP coverage. Your department will need to send a request to the Benefits Office indicating that you have been approved for a leave of absence as defined by Article 16 of the UW/UAW contract. The request should spell out the dates of your unpaid leave (not to exceed 12 weeks) and it should also indicate that you will maintain enrollment during this time and are therefore not requesting academic leave.

Once the written notice of approved leave is received from you (when also requesting academic leave), or your department (when not taking academic leave), the UW Benefits Office will coordinate the continuation of coverage with LifeWise under this provision for a period not to exceed 12 weeks. During the approved leave of absence, you must make all applicable dependent premiums payable to the "University of Washington" in order to cover eligible dependents. The University will continue to provide coverage for you at no charge. You will be responsible for paying 100% of the premiums (for yourself and your eligible dependents) for leaves that are in excess of the "Benefit Duration" described in this section.

Should you need to continue GAIP coverage past the 12-week duration allowed by the UW/UAW contract, you will be subject to the self-pay policies described in the self-pay section of this document.

ACT

Enrolling in Self-Pay

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:
800-971-1491 (voice)
800-842-5357 (TDD)

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