Is your health insurance coverage active right now?

Some Columbia graduate students on Morningside campus have experienced a gap in insurance coverage. The Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) and Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC) are sending a letter to the Student Health Administrators asking them to clarify the situation for everyone. Facts on this issue are hard to come by, but here’s what GWC thinks the problem is:

The transition date between health insurance years has moved from September 1 to August 15. This is helpful for new students, but returning Morningside campus students who were not registered for Fall semester classes by August 15, or who are graduating at the end of the summer, lost coverage at that time. Some students who did register for classes before August 15 but did not manually re-enroll in the health insurance program may or may not also have lost their coverage.

Because regaining coverage in these cases may require re-enrolling for insurance manually (which takes up to 10 days to take effect), we recommend that you do so now at this link—don’t wait until the university’s stated deadline. If you don’t have coverage right now, you can request expedited enrollment by emailing and calling (212) 854-3286.

Once you have coverage, it will be retroactive back to August 15. That means you can then submit this form with receipts for reimbursement of out-of-pocket prescriptions. It may also be possible to receive reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical care (e.g., while traveling or after an emergency) with this form. Note that the latter has a section to be filled out by the health care provider, so bring it with you on your medical visit if you can.

The university’s lack of communication about the implications of this simple change for grad workers is as needless as it is damaging. We hope they will respond to our letter and clarify this situation soon. We’re seeking collective bargaining rights, among other reasons, so that the administration can’t make changes to our terms and benefits without consulting us first.