Graduate health insurance: How other schools did it

While MU scrambled to address health insurance for graduate student employees after its sudden cancellation, officials at three other universities in the Southeastern Conference smoothly transitioned their coverage without uproar from their student bodies.

An IRS ruling on the Affordable Care Act that took effect July 1 made it illegal for businesses to reimburse or give employees subsidies to buy individual health insurance. So far, MU is the only university in the SEC to come under fire after changing its insurance coverage.

In mid-July, officials at the University of Alabama, Mississippi State University and Louisiana State realized the health insurance they offered graduate student employees was not in compliance with the IRS ruling.

Louisiana State decided to funnel the money that would have subsidized insurance back into graduate student assistants’ stipends. Mississippi State University has no plans to change the $200 subsidy graduate student assistants receive each semester. At the University of Alabama, graduate students were given a one-time increase in their stipend payment equivalent to the nominal insurance premium the university would have paid to the insurance carrier for fall 2015 coverage.

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