Graduate students at the University of Iowa who hold an assistantship of at least 25% time or a fellowship of at least $5,000 for the semester or $10,000 per academic year and are registered for classes are eligible to receive a contribution from the university toward the cost of student health and dental insurance coverage.

The university contribution will begin the first day of the month following your appointment and completion of your insurance enrollment in MyUI. 

    Plans Available


    The Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) is a Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan that provides coverage for preventive care, hospitalization, surgery, maternity, well-baby/well-child care, emergency care for accidents or illness, medically necessary physician care, prescription drugs, and mental health. 

    Providers: Alliance Select PPO

    SHIP Plan Details


    The UIGRADCare plan is a comprehensive health care program that covers hospital, medical, surgical, outpatient, and other health care services such as physical therapy. Coverage is also provided for routine physicals, newborn care, well-child checkups, and prescription drugs. 

    Providers: Must use Student Health or UI Health Care only.

    UIGRADCare Plan Details

    Student Dental Plan

    All students may receive coverage through the Student Dental Plan, a 3-tier Delta Dental of Iowa provider network. Covered services include checkups, teeth cleaning, cavity repair and tooth extractions, endodontic services, periodontal services, and more.

    Providers: Care can be obtained from any provider

    Dental Plan Details

    Academic Year 2023-2024 Monthly Premium Rates

    Insurance premiums are deducted from your paycheck monthly. The university insurance contribution begins the first of the month after your appointment and submission of an enrollment form in MyUI.

    Monthly rates are effective Jan. 1, 2024, through Aug. 31, 2024

    after UI Contrib.
    after UI Contrib.
    after UI Contrib.
    Student Only $27.30 $46.30 $3.75
    Student + Spouse $324.00 $257.40 $14.10
    Student + Child(ren) $251.70 N/A $20.10
    Family $351.30 $612.60 $24.00

    This table reflects the graduate student's monthly premium for each insurance plan after the University contribution. To review the complete premium calculations, visit the accordion below. 

    Employed Grad Student Insurance Premiums - AY 2023-2024

    SHIP - Rates effective from Jan. 1, 2024, through Aug. 31, 2024
      Full Premium UI Contribution Employed Grad Student Cost
    Student Only $273.00 $245.70 $27.30 / Month
    Student + Spouse $1,080.00 $756.00 $324.00 / Month
    Student + Child(ren) $839.00 $587.30 $251.70 / Month
    Family $1,171.00 $819.70 $351.30 / Month

    UIGRADCARE - Rates effective Jan. 1, 2024, through Aug. 31, 2024
      Full Premium UI Contribution Employed Grad Student cost
    Student Only $463.00 $416.70 $46.30 / Month
    Student + Spouse $858.00 $600.60 $257.40 / Month
    Student + Child(ren) N/A N/A N/A
    Family $2,042.00 $1,429.40 $612.60 / Month

    Student Dental - Rates effective Jan. 1, 2024, through Aug. 31, 2024
      Full Premium UI Contribution Employed Grad Student cost
    Student Only $25.00 $21.25 $3.75 / Month
    Student + Spouse $47.00 $32.90 $14.10 / Month
    Student + Child(ren) $67.00 $46.90 $20.10 / Month
    Family $80.00 $56.00 $24.00 / Month

    Other Employed Graduate Student Benefits

    Double Spouse Credit

    The double spouse credit will generally be advantageous to you. If you wish to apply for the Double Spouse Credit, please complete your online enrollment in MyUI.

    When adding your spouse/domestic partner, you must check the box that they are a Grad Student with Assistantship. Please also type in a comment on the online form reiterating that you want the double spouse credit.

    Flexible Spending Accounts

    You must be paid monthly, and income must be subject to tax withholding to participate in the health care or dependent care flexible spending accounts. To enroll or change your enrollment, complete the Salary Reduction Agreement for Spending Accounts form (pdf) and email it to our office at benefits@uiowa.edu

    For more information on flexible spending accounts and the advantages of participating, visit the Flexible Spending Account page.

    Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

    The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees up to 12 weeks of leave each calendar year (26 weeks for military family member injury). Absence from work may be a continuous leave, a reduced schedule, or intermittent. For more information, please visit the Faculty and Staff Disabilities and Services page.

    Workers' Compensation

    Workers' Compensation benefits cover employed graduate students and fellows.

    For more information, please visit the Workers' Compensation page.

    COBRA Coverage

    In the case of a loss of coverage due to the end of your employed graduate employment, you may elect to participate in COBRA continuation coverage for up to 18 months.

    COBRA information for EGS

    Following the termination of your benefit-eligible employment, you will receive a COBRA packet to your residing address. To avoid delays in receiving your COBRA packet, please ensure your address is up-to-date in MyUI. 

    When will I receive the COBRA packet?

    Paperwork is mailed following the end of your employment. Generally, it is sent the week after your benefits end. The system will not generate a COBRA packet if your department has not submitted your termination. 

    You may choose to remain in the same plan(s) in which you were previously enrolled, or you may change plans within those offered for employees in your employment classification. You must complete and return the coverage election form within 60 days of terminating coverage.

    Can I cover my dependent(s)?

    You may only cover dependent(s) that were already covered when you became eligible for COBRA. In the event of marriage, birth, or adoption, you may add those dependent(s) involved in the event.

    When will coverage begin? 

    COBRA coverage must begin the first of the month following the loss of employment-based coverage. For example, if your employment is terminated on May 20, your COBRA coverage takes effect on June 1 if you wish to enroll. 

    How do I pay for COBRA coverage?

    You will be billed monthly for the premiums. You will be given the option of receiving a University bill (U-Bill) or having the premiums automatically deducted from a bank account.

    Will I receive new insurance cards?

    If you remain on the same plan you were on before you terminated, you will continue to use the same ID card. If you change medical plans for your COBRA coverage, you will receive a new ID card with a new policy number. Please ensure your address is up-to-date in MyUI. 

    The premiums listed below will be charged monthly. You will be given the option of receiving a University bill (U-Bill) or having the premiums automatically deducted from a bank account. 

    AY 2023-2024 Monthly COBRA Rates

    (SHIP, UIGRADCare, Student Dental)

    Monthly rates are effective Jan. 1, 2024, through Aug. 31, 2024

    Student Only $278.46 $472.26 $25.50
    Student + Spouse $1,101.60 $875.16 $47.94
    Student + Child(ren) $855.78 N/A $68.34
    Family $1,194.42 $2,082.84 $81.60


    AY 2023-2024 Monthly COBRA Rates

    (SHIP, UIGRADCare, Student Dental)

    Monthly rates are effective Sep. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2023

      SHIP UIgradcare dental
    Student Only $331.50 $472.26 $25.50
    Student + Spouse $1,312.74 $875.16 $47.94
    Student + Child(ren) $1,197.48 N/A $68.34
    Family  $1,619.76 $2,082.84 $81.60


    If you decide to terminate coverage before the end of your eligibility period, you must provide written notice before the date you want it to end. Include your full name and your University identification number in the correspondence.

    Coverage will end the first of the month after receiving this written notification. The University will terminate coverage for non-payment of premiums. 

    When your COBRA maximum period of continuation of coverage ends, you may find other options for coverage on healthcare.gov.

    Enrollment and Summer Coverage

    If you are currently enrolled in one of the plans as an employed graduate student or fellow, you do not have to complete another enrollment in MyUI unless you want to add or drop a dependent(s) or change your plan.

    Enrollment and Summer Coverage

    Step-by-Step Instructions

    Enrolling in SHIP, UIGRADCare, and dental insurance is an easy process that you can do online through MyUI. 

    1. Log in to MyUI.
    2. Under STUDENT INFORMATION, select the "+More" button.
    3. Under STUDENT LIFE MANAGEMENT, select "Student Insurance."
    4. Choose the first green button labeled "Enroll in Insurance."
    5. Continue to fill out the online form and submit it to University Benefits for processing.

    Adding Dependents:

    If you have a spouse/partner or child(ren) who will need insurance, you must complete an enrollment form in MyUI to add them to your policy. You will have 30 days from the date of arrival or date of eligibility and 60 days from the date of birth to add dependent(s) to your policy. 

    Once you submit your online enrollment form, you will receive an email confirmation from the University's workflow system. Your form will be processed in the order it was received. You may check the status of your previously submitted insurance requests by visiting your My Initiated Packages in the workflow.

    Please be sure that your residing address is up-to-date in MyUI, as this is where your insurance card(s) are sent. You will need these when you visit a provider. 

    If you graduate in May, insurance coverage through your appointment ends May 31. To continue coverage after graduation, you have the following options:

    1. Students who HAVE an assistantship or fellowship at the time of graduation
      • If the student is already enrolled in insurance when they graduate, they can enroll for continued coverage (up to 18 months) through COBRA. 
        • More information will be mailed to the student's residing address. To ensure the paperwork is received promptly, please visit MyUI and verify your residing address is correct. 
        • Coverage, when elected, will begin June 1.

    2. Students WITHOUT a spring graduate assistantship or fellowship
      • These students can enroll for up to 12 months of continued coverage under the "departing student" insurance program. (This option also applies to those with an assistantship or fellowship but did not enroll in UI insurance while a student).
        • This election must be done through MyUI no later than July 15. 
        • Coverage, when elected, will begin June 1.
    3. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For fiscal year appointments
      • ​​​​​​​Insurance coverage ends at the end of the month in which the appointment terminates.
      • COBRA continuation of coverage is offered following the end of the appointment.

    Graduate students with an academic year or spring semester appointment who are returning students for the summer and/or fall semester are eligible for insurance coverage over the summer.

    • The June 1 paycheck, the last paycheck of the academic year/spring semester, will have a triple deduction of insurance premiums to cover June, July, and August.
    • If your June 1 wages do not cover the insurance cost, the remaining amount will be added to your university bill (U-Bill).
    • If you wish to make changes to your coverage for the summer, you may do so during open enrollment, which occurs from May 1 to June 9.

    The information presented on our website describes only the highlights of the plans and does not constitute official plan documents. Additional terms and conditions may apply. If there are any discrepancies between the information contained herein and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern. For more detailed information you may contact Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield at toll-free number 800-524-9242 (TTY: 888-781-4262), Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Time). For more efficient service, please have your member ID number handy - it can be found on the front of your card.