Assistantship Health Insurance Contribution

Assistantship Health Insurance Contribution

The Graduate School provides a health insurance contribution to help offset the cost of health insurance to graduate assistants who meet the following criteria each fall and/or spring semester:

  • appointed to a 25% (10 hours per week) or more assistantship (GTA, GRA, GSA) by the end of the regular add/drop period in either fall or spring semester or both,
  • enrolled in CSU health insurance, and
  • enrolled in 5 or more resident-instruction credits (Audits, Continuous Registration, and CSU Online credits do not meet the Resident Instruction enrollment criteria for this policy).

Graduate Assistants (GAs) do not need to apply for this benefit. Qualified GAs are automatically enrolled in the GA Health Insurance Contribution Program. The health insurance contribution will be applied to student accounts and taxed through payroll approximately one week after the end of the regular add/drop period.

  • When a GA meets the criteria for a health insurance contribution and has an appointment in both the fall and spring semesters, the Graduate School provides a health insurance contribution in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  The health insurance contribution equals 100% of the cost of the policy for all three semesters.
  • When a GA meets the criteria for a health insurance contribution and has an appointment in only fall or only spring semester, the Graduate School provides a contribution during the appointed semester only, but does NOT provide a health insurance contribution for the summer semester.

Graduate Assistant (GTA/GRA/GSA) Health Insurance Contribution FAQs

  1. What requirements must the student meet in order to be eligible for the graduate assistant health insurance contribution? The student must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • be appointed to a 25% (10 hours per week) or more assistantship (GTA, GRA, GSA) by the end of the regular add/drop period in either fall or spring semester or both,
    • be enrolled in CSU health insurance, and
    • be enrolled in 5 or more resident-instruction credits (Audits, Continuous Registration, and CSU Online credits do not meet the Resident Instruction enrollment criteria for this policy).
  2. What will the amount of the graduate assistant’s health insurance contribution be?
    • If a GA meets the criteria for a health insurance contribution and has an appointment in both the fall and spring semesters, the Graduate School provides a health insurance contribution in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.  The health insurance contribution equals 100% of the cost of the policy for all three semesters.
    • If a GA meets the criteria for a health insurance contribution and has an appointment in only fall or only spring semester, the Graduate School provides a contribution during the appointed semester only, but does NOT provide a health insurance contribution for the summer semester.
  3. If a graduate assistant is eligible for the health insurance contribution, when is the contribution applied the student’s account?
    • The health insurance contribution will appear on the student’s CSU account as a credit, approximately one week after the end of the regular add/drop date.
  4. Is the health insurance contribution taxable?
    • The contribution is considered “supplemental wages” and supplemental wages are taxed as a higher tax rate than regular/stipend earnings.  Therefore, the first paycheck of the semester for the student (once only each semester, fall and spring) will be less than those for the remainder of the year.  The graduate health insurance contribution is directly applied to the student’s financial account; it is not paid to an insurance provider for insurance coverage. From a compliance perspective, this is the process that must be utilized.
  5. Does the graduate assistant need to apply for the health insurance contribution?
    • The student does not need to apply for the health insurance contribution. The student will automatically be identified.
  6. Is there a pre-tax option available with the health insurance contribution?
    • Graduate Assistants are not offered a pre-tax option on the CSU health insurance contribution because Graduate Assistants are classified as students – not as employees. Graduate Assistants are students first and foremost and are categorized as such.  There are many differentiating factors between Graduate Assistants and employees: the type of work they engage in, how they are paid (stipend), the policies that pertain to them, the benefits they receive and how those benefits are paid out. In order to be eligible for a pre-tax option, there must be an employer/employee common law relationship that exists – per federal guidelines.  Because students do not have such a relationship with CSU, they are not eligible for a pre-tax option.

For additional information regarding the health insurance policy and the cost of health insurance for fall, spring, and summer semesters for domestic and international students, please visit the Student Health Insurance page on the CSU Health Network website.

Questions regarding the health insurance policy should be directed to the CSU Health Network at 970-491-5118.

Questions regarding the health insurance contribution should be directed to the Graduate School at 970-491-6817.