Graduate Student Health Insurance


KU offers students the option to purchase health, dental, and/or vision insurance through the Kansas Board of Regents’ group plans. All students may choose to purchase insurance coverage; however, premiums vary widely between plan types based on certain employment and academic eligibility requirements.

The optional student health insurance plan (SHIP) is provided through United Healthcare Student Resources (UHCSR). Most students may choose to purchase health insurance each semester or on an annual basis during the designated open enrollment periods. (Please note that qualifying graduate student employees may only purchase one semester at a time.)

For general information about the student health insurance plan, please visit the UHCSR website

Dental and vision insurance are separate plans and may be purchased a la carte (together or only one). Dental and vision coverage are available on an annual basis only and are not packaged within the health insurance plans. For information about these options, including the dates of the open enrollment period, please visit the Human Resources page for Individual Dental and Vision Insurance.

Preferred Providers

UHCSR provides assistance in identifying preferred providers. Click on "Find Providers" on the UHCSR home page, or contact United Healthcare Student Resources Customer Service.

Plan Categories

Student Health Insurance is divided into two plans:

  1. Incentivized - Must meet certain eligibility requirements
  2. Voluntary - Available to the general graduate student population

Students should review the criteria for each category below and select the one that best describes their own circumstances for the period in which they wish to purchase coverage.

Incentivized Plan

The Incentivized Plan has significantly lower premiums than the voluntary plan and is only available to students in one of the following eligibility categories:

Most international students are required by the Kansas Board of Regents to maintain qualifying health insurance. For more information about requirements for international students, please consult International Support Services.

The plan summary brochure, certificate of coverage, and enrollment links for international students are linked below under "Enrollment".

Some students are required to carry health insurance because they are enrolled in specifically identified health sciences programs. On the KU Lawrence campus, these are the Speech-Language Pathology and Pharm.D. programs. Health sciences students on the Lawrence campus should seek enrollment information and assistance from their departments.

The plan summary brochure, certificate of coverage, and enrollment links for health sciences students are linked below under "Enrollment".

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs), and Graduate Assistants (GAs) are eligible for the Incentivized pool plan.  Additionally, GTA/GRA/GAs with an appointment of at least .50 FTE (20 hours/week) are eligible for an employer subsidy of the student-only premium if they elect to purchase the voluntary student health insurance plan. Note that GTA/GRA/GA appointments must meet qualifying start and end dates. For more information about appointment length for eligibility, visit the Human Resources webpage. For detail regarding subsidy/employer-paid amounts, see "Academic Year 2022-2023 Costs" in the Costs section below.

The University will individually review all applications for the employer-subsidized option to verify eligibility and approve the application. Once the application is approved, the GTA, GRA, or GA will receive an email with a link to pay for the student’s portion of the premium.

The plan summary brochure and certificate of coverage for eligible GTAs, GRAs, and GAs are linked below under "Enrollment". The enrollment links are hosted on Human Resource Management's page

Students who are funded on prestigious fellowships and traineeships may be eligible to enroll in the student health insurance plan at the incentivized rate (see "Cost" section below). For detailed eligibility information, students should ask their department's Director of Graduate Studies to coordinate with the Office of Graduate Studies. For enrollment purposes, qualifying fellows and trainees share an enrollment pool with Health Sciences students. For more details about the process, see the "Enrollment" section below.

The plan summary brochure, certificate of coverage, and enrollment links for fellows and trainees are linked below under "Enrollment".

Voluntary Plan

The Voluntary Plan includes students whom the Kansas Board of Regents has classified as voluntary participants, such as domestic students who do not hold a qualifying GTA, GRA, or GA appointment, who are not funded by a fellowship or traineeship, or whose program do not require health insurance coverage.

Insurance Costs

Incentivized Plan Premiums: GTAs, GRAs, and GAs*, Health Sciences Students, International Students, Fellows, and Trainees

+ Spouse$5,316.00$2,215.00$2,215.00$3,101.00$886.00
+ One child$5,316.00$2,215.00$2,215.00$3,101.00$886.00
+ Multiple children$7,974.00$3,322.50$3,322.50$4,651.50$1,329.00
+ Spouse and 1 child$7,974.00$3,322.50$3,322.50$4,651.50$1,329.00
+ Spouse and >1 child$10,632.00$4,430.00$4,430.00$6,202.00$1,772.00

*Employer-Paid Subsidy Amounts for .50 FTE GTAs, GRAs, and GAs

As described in the "GTAs, GRAs, and GAs: Employer Subsidy Eligibility" section above, GTAs, GRAs, and GAs who hold an appointment of at least .50 FTE (20 hrs/week) and who enroll in the SHIP will receive an employer subsidy of 75% of the cost of the student-only premium. Note that GTA/GRA/GA appointments must meet qualifying start and end dates. For more information about appointment length for eligibility, visit the Human Resources webpage.

Premiums for spouses and children are not subsidized and will be charged according to the Incentivized Pool rate chart above. The table below breaks down the student and university responsibilities toward the subsidized student-only premium.

Payer PortionAnnualFallSpringSpring/SummerSummer
Student responsibility$664.50$276.88$276.88$387.63$110.75
University responsibility$1,993.50$830.63$830.63$1,162.88$332.25


Voluntary Plan Premiums
No dependent option*NANANANANA


*Starting with the 2022-2023 plan year, family/dependent coverage is no longer available for the Voluntary plan. 

Enrollment and Coverage Periods

Students apply online for health, dental, and/or vision insurance coverage at the UHCSR website. The landing page for this site requires you to select the policy year (academic year) and then displays several boxes indicating various plans. Students should enroll using the process that best fits their eligibility criteria. The appropriate box to select is indicated under each of the categories below.

Please Note:

  • Enrollment deadlines apply to submission of the enrollment request form only.  Payment of the premium may be made after that deadline.
  • However, enrollment is not complete and the plan is not active until UHCSR has received the student's portion of the premium payment in full.
  • Once the premium is paid, coverage is retroactive to the standard coverage start date for that term, regardless of the date of payment.  Coverage start dates are listed in the chart under "Coverage dates and Enrollment Deadlines" at the bottom of this page.
  • UHCSR usually updates the enrollment links for each new plan year in late July. If you are trying to enroll for the upcoming plan year, please check back closer to the end July, early August.
  • It is the student's responsibility to apply for and renew health insurance each semester or year. UHCSR will not send reminders.
  • Dental and vision insurance plans are also available at an additional cost. For more information, please visit the UHCSR website and select Read More in the Voluntary Dental/Vision box.

International Students

International Support Services (ISS) administers the health insurance plans for international graduate students.

See ISS's mandatory health insurance page for more information and enrollment instructions.

Eligible GTAs, GRAs, and GAs

Enrollment in this pool is available to students who hold a GTA/GRA/GA appointment that meets both of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Minimum of 0.50 FTE (20 hrs/week)
  2. Appointment dates extend a minimum of 8 consecutive weeks

This pool is administered by KU Human Resource Management. See their GTA/GRA/GA health insurance page has more information, coverage brochures, and the direct link for enrollment.

Health Sciences Students

Enrollment in this pool is available to health sciences students who are required to carry health insurance. On the KU Lawrence campus these programs are:

  • Speech-Language Pathology/Intercampus Communicative Disorders (IPCD)
  • Pharm.D. 

To enroll, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the UHCSR website
  2. Click on Explore Policy in the "Medical - Health Sciences Student Plan" box
  3. Select "Get Started"
  4. Select your academic program

For more detailed enrollment information about the health sciences plan, select one of the following after selecting Explore Policy in the "Medical - Health Sciences Student Plan" box:

  • Summary Brochure - information about eligibility, enrollment, coverage highlights, and services highlight.
  • Certificate - who is covered, effective dates, benefits, ID cards, providers, and other relevant information.

If you have trouble accessing any of the documents referred above, please contact us at

Fellows and Trainees

Enrollment in this pool is available to students whose program has confirmed are funded by a qualifying fellowship or traineeships.

Enrollment in this pool is only accessible via a specialized link and is not available as an option on the KU's main UHCSR page. In late July, Graduate Studies asks academic units and research centers to send a list of names of students in their unit who hold a qualifying fellowship or traineeship. These students will then receive an email with the specialized link to the enrollment form and the coverage brochure.

Students who think they may qualify for classification as a fellow or trainee and have not received a link by two weeks prior to the start of classes should ask their department's graduate program coordinator or contact the Office of Graduate Studies at

SemesterCoverage Period

Effective Date of Coverage

(Coverage is active on this date regardless of enrollment date)

Open Enrollment Period

(End date is the deadline to enroll)*

Fall: MedicalAug 1 - Dec 31Aug 1Mid-July - Aug 31
Spring: MedicalJan 1 - May 31Jan 1Mid-Dec - Jan 31
Summer: MedicalJun 1 - Jul 31Jun 1Mid-May - June 30
Annual: Dental and/or VisionAug 1  - Jul 31Aug 1Aug 1 - Sep 13

*Students who experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) may qualify to enroll in coverage outside of an open enrollment period. Contact UHCSR for more information. There is also an enrollment grace period for students who receive a qualifying fellowship/traineeship or are appointed as a GTA/GRA/GA after the enrollment deadline for the term.