Minutes from the April, 22nd 2000 UEC Meeting
Comments on graduate student health insurance problems, presented to
the UEC (Users' Executive Committee) on April 22, 2000.
Dan Amidei, Ken Heller, Greg Snow, Herman White, Phil Yager, Randy Ruchti,
Debbie Errede, Larry Nodulman, Peter Garbincius, Chip Brock, Vaia Papdimitriou
GSA: Ben Kilminster, Florencia Canneli, Brian Connolly, Bonnie Fleming.
Guest: Bruce Chrisman (Associate Director for Administration)
Results of the health insurance survey were presented at the meeting.
Most UEC members and Bruce Chrisman agreed there are problems that
need to be solved. Students should be offered the same coverage here
as they have at their universities; this is not the case in all
situations. Summer students are a different situation and need to be
considered separately. UEC members believed the larger problem and
the one to be tackled first are those graduate students living at FNAL
long-term. This issue will be revisited later.
There was concern over the fact that some resuts of the survey may be
incorrect because of students lack of knowledge about their health
plans. The UEC agreed that the information must be obtained from the
university groups working at FNAL.
The GSA presented three possible solutions to the problem:
- The one most well received by Bruce Chrisman and the UEC and considered
reasonably achievable by the UEC is for FNAL to require university
groups to provide the same level of insurance on site as they do at
their own universities. Bruce Chrisman said that Fermilab would be
willing to do everything they could to enforce this policy possibly
including telling university groups they must comply in order to do
research at the lab.
Presently, students sign a form stating they have health insurance
when they get an ID at FNAL. They are required to sign again every time
they renew their ID, once every 2 years. The UEC agreed this process
could be a better check-point for health insurance if ID's needed
renewal once a year and if both the student and their advisor are
required to sign the form. The hope is that this will force both
advisor and student to be made aware of the policies and to inform
themselves of health insurance issues.
- The UEC and the GSA also considered approaching a local univerisity about allowing FNAL graduate students use of their student health facilites. Bruce
Chrisman said it is not totaly inconceivable that such an arrangement
could be made with NIU, or UIC or another local university. This
issue will be put off until information directly from universities on
their student health plans is received.
- The UEC decided that the best course of action is two-phase. The
first phase is a request for information on student health plans from
all universities using FNAL facilities. The second-phase will be to
decide on the best course of action to ensure that FNAL graduate
students are provided the same level of health insurance living here
as they have at their institutions. The first phase will be acheived
by sending a letter from the UEC to all advisors of students at FNAL
and the department chairs. The letter will request health insurance
information, and outline the viewpoint of the UEC (that graduate
students should be provided equal coverage here) and how this
viewpoint may be accomplished (FNAL requirement and ID form signed by
advisor and student). Phase two will be to study the universities
health plans and decide on the best course of action. Chip Brock and
Bonnie Fleming are drafting the letter to be sent to the universities.