Subsidized Graduate Student Health Insurance FAQs

The questions below are specific to this graduate health insurance subsidy.  If you are looking for general health insurance information, please visit Student Health Services.

The fall subsidy online enrollment period is from July 18, 2016 to September 15, 2016.

Please do not enroll in this health insurance subsidy if you know that your unit has mistakenly identified you as being eligible. If you do not meet all four eligibility requirements, you may be asked to fund the health insurance premium or cancel your coverage, even if you have already enrolled yourself online in the subsidized plan.


Health Insurance Coverage:



Who can receive this subsidy?

University Policy 6001: Health Insurance for Graduate Students defines eligibility for this subsidy.

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I’m graduating in the fall but have an assistantship during the fall semester. Am I eligible to receive the subsidy?

If you are graduating in the fall and meet all eligibility requirements, you will be given the opportunity to enroll in the subsidy for that fall semester’s coverage only (August 16 – January 4). During the following spring enrollment period, you may choose to re-enroll in order to continue your health insurance coverage through the university, but only for the remainder of that year’s health insurance coverage (August 15, 2016); this additional coverage will be obtained at the student’s expense.

If you submit your application to graduate in the fall semester after having enrolled for a full year of the subsidy, your coverage period will be automatically changed such that you will receive the subsidy for that fall semester’s coverage only.

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Does my tuition waiver or grant have to fund ALL of the courses I’m registered for?

Not necessarily. However, your tuition waiver or grant must cover enough credits to support your “full time” course load. Please refer to the George Mason University Catalog (under “Academic Policies,” then “Graduate Policies”) for the definition of “full time.”

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If I am not eligible for this subsidy, can I still obtain health insurance through George Mason University’s health insurance plan?

Yes, many students do.  Please check the eligibility requirements as outlined in the health insurance plan brochure. Visit Student Health Services for further information.

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Who can I contact if I have questions about my eligibility?

Contact the unit representative for the college in which your program is housed.

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Are there any differences in how eligible international students are covered versus eligible domestic students?

The same health insurance plan and subsidy are applicable.

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I currently have health insurance, am I still eligible?

Yes. However, we suggest that you speak with both your current provider and with Aetna Student Health to have any specific questions answered, such as, which will be considered your “primary insurance,” what percentage will each provider contribute, etc.

Please be sure to review the health insurance plan brochure thoroughly.

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Are Graduate Lecturers eligible?

No, graduate lecturers are not eligible to receive this subsidy. Eligible students must be assigned to a graduate assistantship.

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Who is the health insurance provider?

This subsidy is only accessible through George Mason’s health insurance provider, Aetna Student Health.

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How long will George Mason pay for my health insurance?

For eligible students, at least three cumulative years. Please note that you must meet the eligibility requirements each time you enroll in the health insurance plan (for most students, this will be yearly during the fall online enrollment period). Contact the unit representative for the college in which your program is housed for more information.

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Where can I go to review the health insurance plan?

Student Health Services posts the current version of the health plan brochure. The health insurance policy year is from August 16 to August 15.

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I would like to have more coverage than the plan currently provides, is this possible?

Yes. However, any additional coverage will have to be purchased at your expense. You can request further coverage when you are enrolling yourself online.

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May I add dependents or spouses to my health insurance plan?

Yes. However, any dependent insurance coverage will have to be purchased at your expense. You can request this coverage when you are enrolling yourself online.

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Will I have to pay anything?

If you meet the eligibility requirements and you do not request additional coverage, then this plan will not cost you anything except co-payments for your doctor visits, prescriptions, etc.  Please note this excerpt from University Policy 6001: Health Insurance for Graduate Students: “The University will determine the percentage of the premium that will be covered on an annual basis. While the intent is to pay 100% of the premium each year, the University reserves the right to reduce this commitment in the event of premium increases or financial exigency.”

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Is this subsidized health insurance plan redeemable for cash, or can I be reimbursed for my unused subsidy?

No. As cited in University Policy 6001: Health Insurance for Graduate Students: “The health insurance subsidy is non-transferable and non-refundable. Unused subsidies cannot be refunded for their equivalent value.”

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Who can I contact if I have specific questions about my coverage under this health insurance plan?

Please contact Aetna Student Health directly, as they are the entity most qualified to discuss specific information regarding the health insurance plan.

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I am eligible for this subsidy, how and when can I be added to the health insurance plan?

The university will make Aetna Student Health aware of students’ eligibility weekly on Fridays during the online enrollment periods.  To allow for processing time, please wait 7 working days after returning your signed offer letter to enroll online with Aetna Student Health. However, there is one exception: please be sure that you are enrolled online with Aetna Student Health by the enrollment deadline (regardless of when you returned your signed offer letter).

Fall enrollment for eligible students is July 18, 2016 through September 15, 2016.

Please note that when eligible students enroll themselves online through Aetna Student Health, their account should show a balance of $0.00. If you do not see a balance of $0.00, please contact your Unit Representative before completing your online enrollment.

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Can I be added to the subsidy plan outside of the two online enrollment periods?

No; eligible students must enroll in the subsidy plan during the two online enrollment periods (fall and spring). However, it may be possible for you to enroll in the non-subsidy plan at your own expense; please contact Student Health Services for details.

Please remember that eligible students can receive subsidized coverage for up to three cumulative years. If you are eligible during the next fall online enrollment period, the subsidy will be available to you.

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Still have questions?

  • Questions about the health insurance plan (what’s covered, special circumstances, dependent coverage, online enrollment procedures) should be directed to Aetna Student Health at 1.800.878.1945
  • Eligibility in general is outlined in University Policy 6001: Health Insurance for Graduate Students.  Questions about the eligibility of individual students may be directed to the unit representative of the relevant college.
  • Questions regarding George Mason University’s subsidy policy and procedures should be directed to Akitta Robertson, Graduate Program Coordinator, Office of the Provost, 703-993-8912.