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Frequently Asked Questions - Graduate Summer Health Coverage

The following FAQ's provides information to help you determine if you are eligible for health benefits associated with a summer assistantship, plus clarify related policies and procedures regarding summer health coverage. Return to the main Summer Health Coverage page.


Questions and Answers

Am I required to be registered for summer term?

Some departments require registration for all students with assistantships, regardless of the term. Check with your department. Graduate students holding waiver-generating summer fellowships are required to register for summer term. Graduate students whose term of admission is summer must register during summer term.

What is a waiver-generating summer assistantship appointment?

A graduate, research, pre-professional, or teaching assistantship of at least 25% and not more than 67% for at least 41 days of the summer academic term is waiver-generating.

What if my summer appointment is for more than 67%?

If you are registered and have an appointment of 68% or more, you are eligible for a waiver of the Service Fee, AFMFA, and Library/Tech fees only. You therefore must pay for tuition and for health coverage fees assessed with your registration (Health Service Fee and health insurance fee). If you do not register but want health coverage, you must purchase health coverage separately.

What are the health care benefits?

The University pays the Health Service Fee (“McKinley fee”) and most of the health insurance fee for eligible assistants and fellows. Eligible assistants and fellows also receive dental and vision coverage.

When will I see my summer health benefits credited to my student account?

The payments will not be credited to your student account until your summer appointment (assistantship or fellowship) is fully processed. You should contact your department with any questions you may have about the processing of your assistantship or fellowship appointment. Once the appointment is processed, the Health Service (McKinley) Fee will be paid by the University, the University payment toward the insurance fee will be applied, and your name will be sent to the dental and vision providers as eligible for coverage.

What are the dates of coverage?

The coverage dates for summer health insurance are May 16, 2020 - August 21, 2020. McKinley Health Center spring coverage ends May 29, 2020 and summer coverage ends August 17, 2020. The coverage dates for summer dental and vision benefits are June 1, 2020 – August 31, 2020.

How can I receive health care benefits if I do not have a waiver-generating appointment over the summer?

You have two options. You can register or you can purchase an extension. Registration at any level in Summer 2020 will cause assessment and appropriate payment of the health insurance fee for students with a waiver-generating assistantship. To be eligible to purchase an extension of your health insurance coverage and/or your McKinley coverage, you must have been assessed (had coverage) in the preceding spring term. With either option, a student who does not hold a waiver-generating appointment in summer term would be responsible for paying the full amount of the assessed fees/charges.

What if I register for less than 3 hours?

Please see the Office of the Registrar website for fee assessment details specific to Summer 2020.  You are only eligible to purchase an extension if you were assessed the health service fee (McKinley) in the preceding spring term. 

What is an exemption from the health insurance fee?

A student with an exemption is not assessed the health insurance fee. In order to qualify for an exemption you must have other equivalent health insurance. If you filed an exemption for health insurance before the Fall 2013 term, the exemption is considered permanent and will be in effect unless you request to be reinstated. Starting with Fall 2013 term, exemptions last for one year and must be requested every fall during the enrollment/change period. If you want to file for an exemption, please visit the Office of Student Health Insurance website (, click on "Links & Forms, then "Opt Out of Student Health Insurance," and complete the form as instructed. 

What if I receive a waiver-generating appointment and have an exemption of the health insurance fee?

If you have received an exemption from the health insurance fee, you would not be charged the health insurance fee and are therefore ineligible to receive the University contribution toward the health insurance fee. You would be eligible for the health service (McKinley) benefit.

What if I receive a waiver-generating appointment after I've paid for an extension for my health insurance?

If you've already paid for an extension of your health insurance, please contact the Graduate College at (217) 333-0036 or via email to: We will look at your situation and help you to do what's needed to insure that you are charged the correct amount and receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

What if receive a waiver-generating appointment after I've paid to extend my access to McKinley for the summer?

If you've already paid the fee for access to the McKinley Health Center, you should go to the McKinley Business Office and explain that you need a refund because you have a waiver-generating appointment for summer.

What if my situation changes after I have completed and submitted the online form?

If your situation changes such that the information provided in your first submission is no longer valid (e.g. you decide to register after you originally indicated you would not be registered), you may access the form and complete a new entry by the deadline (June 19, 2020). The information in the subsequent submission will replace the earlier information. 

What if I change my mind after I submitted a request to purchase an extension of insurance for the summer?

You may access the online form and request a cancellation of the request to extend the health insurance. The request for the cancellation must be submitted by the deadline (June 19, 2020) in order for the charges to be removed.

What if I want to purchase health insurance or health service (McKinley) coverage for dependents?

If you want to add dependents to your health insurance, you must do so through the Student Insurance website. If you want to purchase McKinley coverage for a spouse or domestic partner, you must do so through McKinley Health Center.

What if I'm graduating and want to continue my health coverage?

You may purchase a continuation of your health insurance to have coverage after you graduate. To purchase an continuation of student health insurance, please go to the University's United Healthcare Student Resources website ( and complete the "2019-1351-2 Continuation Enrollment Form". The continuation of coverage must be purchased, and payment received by United Healthcare, within 31 days after the expiration of Spring 2020 student insurance coverage. You may also purchase McKinley coverage for the summer after your graduation.

If I had dental/vision insurance in spring term, do I still have it in summer?

Yes, if you had dental/vision coverage in the spring term you will continue to have coverage until August 31, 2020.

If I did not have dental/vision coverage in the spring term, can I purchase an extension of dental/vision insurance for the summer?

No. Coverage agreements between the University and Dental/Vision Insurance providers (Delta Dental and EyeMed) allow for two open enrollment periods: one in the fall (September) and one in the spring (February). For more information, see and

What if I am registered in absentia?

Students registered in absentia are not assessed the health insurance fee or the health service (McKinley) fee, regardless of the number of hours for which they are registered.  If you are registered in absentia and would like student health insurance coverage, you must request an extension of your student health insurance at To be eligible for an extension of health insurance coverage in summer, students must have been assessed (had coverage) in the preceding spring term. Students registered in absentia are not eligible for health services from McKinley. For more information about in absentia registration, connsult the Graduate College Handbook.

What if I am studying or conducting research abroad?

Students registered in a study abroad program or independently engaged in study or research outside of the United States are required to purchase University approved insurance. For more information, contact the Study Abroad Office at or visit the Web at

What if I only have a Teaching Assistantship appointment for Summer I (the four-week part of summer term)?

A teaching assistant appointment between 25 percent and 67 percent of full-time service for at least 21 days in Summer I (four-week part of summer term) will be considered to be a waiver-generating appointment, and therefore eligible for the Health Insurance and Health Service benefits.  Members of this group will be contacted separately with information regarding summer health benefits.

What if I am a student in a UIC program (Nursing, Medicine) and hold a summer waiver-generating assistantship in Urbana?

Students enrolled in the College of Medicine or College of Nursing on the Urbana-Champaign campus with waiver-generating assistantships paid through the Urbana-Champaign system are entitled to the health benefits associated with the assistantship appointment. However, the tuition and fees for these programs are assessed by the UI-Chicago system, which means that the health benefit coverage cannot be automatically applied by the Urbana-Champaign campus. In order to receive the benefits, these students should contact the Graduate College via email at to request the benefits.