Health Insurance: Benefit for Graduate Students

President Judith Rodin said, "I am very happy to extend health insurance benefits to our graduate students. Not only will this benefit improve the quality of life for our current students, but it will help Penn continue to attract the most able students in the world.

"The leadership of GAPSA and GSAC, working with my office, the Provost's office, and Deans, deserve a lot of credit for their hard work. Their support really helped to make this announcement possible," she added.

SAS announced that all graduate students receiving full financial support will be provided with health insurance for a period of up to five years via the Penn Student Insurance Plan at no cost to them. The cost of this benefit, which students have heretofore paid out of their stipends, will now be borne jointly by SAS and Penn. Because of an anticipated rise in insurance premiums next year, the cash value of this benefit will be approximately $1,400. "Graduate chairs should announce this benefit to continuing students when they issue memos specifying the particular forms that their support packages will take during the coming academic year. The Graduate Division will issue memoranda to the chair of each group specifying by name which of their students are eligible. All new students admitted with full, multi-year funding packages will be eligible, and any such offers that are outstanding should be updated to reflect this new benefit," said Dr. Joseph Farrell, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

"This measure marks a major improvement in the quality of our graduate recruitment and support packages. With the extension of full, multi-year funding to all of our graduate groups, it is the second major improvement that we have made in this area this year. I am confident that this investment will enable you to compete even more effectively to attract the best students to your programs, and that it will improve the lives of the excellent students who are already here," Dr. Farrell added.

President Rodin noted that "with the search now beginning for a director of the new Graduate Center, we are confident that graduate life on campus will improve even more."

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 26, March 20, 2001