Letter to the Editor: UD official addresses health care changes

By: Joyce Carter – VP, Human Resources

Dear Editor,
I’d like to correct some inaccuracies that were present in a Feb. 6 Flyer News story about changes in health care coverage for graduate assistants.

Under the change, graduate assistants hired after Jan. 1 of this year will be eligible to purchase individual health care coverage but are no longer eligible for family coverage.

Family health care eligibility for graduate assistants hired before this date has been grandfathered in, so if they elected family coverage last year, they will continue to be eligible during their assistantships. Only 36 graduate assistants out of a 217 total — about 16 percent — have elected family coverage this year.

Graduate assistants under the age of 26 are eligible to be covered under their parents’ policies; this semester about 42 percent are under 26 and eligible for parental coverage, not 9 percent as the story reported.

None of our 25 peer institutions offers employee health care to graduate assistants or their families. About 10 of those do offer graduate assistants the ability to purchase student health insurance for themselves, but not their families, through their student life offices.

Grad assistants will continue to receive free tuition and stipends and we are available to them to assist them in identifying health care options to fit their needs.

We are estimating a $2.5 million increase in employee healthcare claims this year, continuing a trend of steep increases each year. We have tough choices ahead to ensure UD’s resources are not consumed by heath care costs, threatening our ability to carry out our core mission – providing a first-rate education that is unique and distinctive to the University of Dayton.