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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU graduate assistants' health benefits begin Aug. 16

Beginning Aug. 16, New Mexico State University will offer health insurance to almost 1,000 graduate assistants, including teaching assistants, research assistants and graduate assistants employed by student services and other support units on campus

2005-06 school year, the cost of the plan per student is $971. Graduate assistants will pay 30 percent of the cost, $291.30, through payroll deductions for the year. The remaining 70 percent, about $680, will be paid by NMSU.

Student Resources, a division of MEGA Life and Health Insurance Co., was selected by NMSU to offer this service. It is a market leader in student insurance programs.

The health insurance issue has been of concern to students, faculty and administration officials for some time. The introduction of health insurance for graduate assistants has been a group effort that included the President's Office, the Graduate School, the vice president for finance and the Student Health Center.

Approved by the regents this past spring, the insurance plan is but one of the new benefits for the university's graduate teaching assistants. Others include the new Graduate Assistants Awards of $1,000, the Enhance awards of $4,000 for graduate assistants who provide outstanding service to NMSU, Conference Travel Awards and the Mike Watts Outstanding Leadership award, to name a few.

Enrollment in the health insurance plan is voluntary for domestic students. International graduate assistants are required to have health insurance. They may enroll in the new program and take advantage of the university-subsidized plan or they may select another program available through International Programs. If they select another program, they will cover 100 percent of the plan's cost.

Enrollment in the Graduate Assistant Health Insurance Benefit Program begins Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Orientation sessions designed to answer questions about coverage and services provided by the new health insurance program will be held from Aug. 10 through Sept. 10. Graduate assistants are required to attend an orientation session as part of the enrollment process.

For more information about enrolling in the health care insurance benefit program, call Debra Infante, (505) 646-2736. Questions about health care services can be answered by the NMSU Student Health Center, (505) 646-5706. General information, benefits summary, enrollment forms and answers to frequently asked question are available at http://gradschool.nmsu.edu/health/.

Dates for the orientation workshops for the Graduate Assistant Health Insurance Benefit Program are listed below. Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the session.

Date: Location: Time:
Aug. 10 Physical Science Lab Auditorium 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Aug. 13 Educational Service Building room 7 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Aug. 17 Physical Science Lab Auditorium 9 to 10:30 a.m.
Aug. 18 Farm and Ranch Museum 10 to 10:45 a.m.
Aug. 18 Physical Science Lab Auditorium 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Aug. 19 Farm and Ranch Museum 12:45 to 1:15 p.m.
Sept. 10 NMSU Student Health Center 9 to 10:30 a.m.