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Health Insurance

Minutes from the April, 22nd 2000 UEC Meeting

The Survey

The Results

Comments on graduate student health insurance problems, presented to the UEC (Users' Executive Committee) on April 22, 2000.

Attending:
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.



last modified 2/26/2002   email GSA officers
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