Enrollment and Eligibility Requirements

There are only two opportunities to enroll in the health insurance plan.

  1. Within 30 days of your appointment date (deductions will be taken retroactively to cover you from the first day of employment).
  2. During the annual open enrollment period in August of each year.

Please note: Late enrollments will be subjected to a 30 day waiting period from the date the enrollment form is received in the Student Health Insurance Office.

Employee Eligibility

You are eligible to enroll in the Research Foundation health insurance plan if ALL of the following conditions are met:

  1. You are appointed as a Research Project Assistant, Research Graduate Assistant or a Project Instructional Assistant AND
  2. You are appointed for at least one semester (or the equivalent in months) AND
  3. You are paid on a biweekly basis (not on an hourly basis) and earn at least $165.12 each pay period (an annualized salary of $4,293) or more, subject to change AND
  4. You are in an active pay status (i.e., appear on the Research Foundation payroll roster).

Dependent Eligibility

You may enroll the following dependents in your health insurance plan:

  1. Your legal spouse.
  2. Your unmarried children under age 26.
  3. Your Domestic Partner (call the Human Resource Services, Benefits section at (631) 632-6180 for details on required qualifying criteria.)

Coverage Under the Research Foundation Plan

Coverage begins on the first day of eligible employment and terminates on the day eligible employment ends. Information on continuation of coverage under COBRA will then be mailed to your home. To ensure that this information reaches you, you must notify Edmond Anderson if your mailing address changes.

Enrollment and Coverage

After you have enrolled, please review your check stub to ensure that deductions are being taken from your paycheck each pay period for you and your dependents. Your enrollment application can not be processed until you are showing in an active payroll status (receiving a Research Foundation payroll check). If there is no deduction you do not have health insurance coverage and should call the Benefits section at (631) 632-6180.

Within approximately two weeks your Insurance Card(s) will be sent to you.

If problems arise once coverage has begun:

  • If you have a break in insurance or a problem with health insurance deductions, please call our Benefits section at (631) 632-6180.
  • If you become employed by SUNY in the title of Graduate Assistant (GA) or Teaching Assistant (TA), you must contact our office immediately for a new enrollment application for SUNY Health Insurance coverage.

F Visas: Eligible Graduate Student Employees

As an F visa holder you MUST:

  • Enroll in the Research Foundation Health Insurance Plan, or, enroll in the SUNY Health Insurance Program offered by the Foreign Student Services Office. Please note that if you select this option, you will be billed by the Foreign Student Services Office for the full cost since the Research Foundation does not make contributions under this plan, or provide proof of comparable coverage to the Foreign Student Services Office in the Graduate School.
  • Additionally, under University policy, holders of F visas must be covered by Medical Evacuation/Repatriation insurance, and will be billed for this coverage by the Student Services Office.

J Visas: Eligible Graduate Student Employees

As a J visa holder, For details of this program contact the Student Health Insurance Office at (631) 632-6504. Please note that if you meet eligibility requirements, The Research Foundation of SUNY will make a substantial contribution on your behalf, and on behalf of your eligible dependents, towards the premium cost of the International Students and Scholars Health Insurance Plan.

Summer Coverage

The Research Foundation provides continued health insurance coverage during the summer for those RA's who meet BOTH the following requirements:

  • Are previously enrolled for health insurance coverage AND
  • are verified by their department as expected to return as an eligible RA in the Fall.

(Please note, RA's who will be returning as State employed GA/TA's in the Fall semester are NOT eligible for employer paid summer coverage under the RA plan.)

If your department verifies that you will return in the Fall as an eligible RA, extra deductions will be taken from your paycheck during the Spring semester to pay for your summer coverage. Deductions will start again automatically in the fall semester, if you are back on the payroll within 30 days of your appointment. If reappointment paperwork is delayed by your department, you will need to complete a new enrollment application.

If your department does not notify us that you will be returning as an eligible RA, one of the following will occur:

  1. If you are a domestic student, your coverage will end on the same day your appointment terminates. The Human Resource Services, Benefits section will send you information on continuing health insurance coverage at your own cost under COBRA*. You must sign up for COBRA within 45 days of your termination date. Please contact the Benefits section for a COBRA application.
  2. If you are a domestic student and do not want to continue your health insurance over the summer, even though you are returning in the fall as an eligible RA, you must call our office for a Declination form (this is only to decline summer coverage). If you return in the fall semester you will need to enroll again and must complete a new application form.
  3. If you hold an F1 visa you will be required to pay for the SUNY Health Insurance Program for International Students to cover you during the summer months.

* Fellows are not eligible for summer coverage. Please call Edmond Anderson at (631) 632-6180 for details.

Further Information

Detailed information concerning the Research Foundation Graduate Student Employee Health Plan can be found in the Member Handbook. The Plan is subject to the terms of insurance policies and other documents that legally define the benefits provided.

While this web page is intended to be a useful reference, it is not a substitute for your Group Certificate or handbook. If there are any discrepancy between this web page and handbook or the Group Certificate, the handbook and Group Certificate will prevail.