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ACA & Graduate Students

Graduate Students and the Affordable Care Act

In order to comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Rice University is offering qualified employees the opportunity to participate in the Rice Employer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Medical Insurance Plan through Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. For purposes of ACA, an employee qualifies if he or she works 30 or more hours per week as determined under applicable regulations. As a Rice Graduate Student, you may qualify for the Rice Employer ACO Insurance Plan if your work is at that level and duration. Please note that scholarship towards the degree does not count toward those work hours.

As a graduate student your primary responsibility is to devote your time to fulfilling the academic, curricular, and research requirements to obtain your graduate degree. You may sometimes be asked to perform duties out of this scope. The documents in the email you received from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will help you determine if these duties consistently average 30 hours of service or more per week at Rice and consequently make you eligible for the Rice Employer ACO Medical Insurance Plan. If you need to access these documents, please visit: http://graduate.rice.edu/aca

Graduate Students must take action:

  1. Students will need to complete their Graduate Student ACA Agreement Form by self-attesting their hours of service.
  2. Once the form is complete, with appropriate signatures, the student will submit the form online at http://graduate.rice.edu/aca or in person at the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies 323 Allen Center, MS – 13 no later than August 1.
  3. If the student is ACA eligible and wishes to enroll in the Rice Employer ACO Medical Insurance plan, the student will need to contact the Office of Student Insurance via email at studentinsurance@rice.edu or by phone at 713-348-5544 to complete their enrollment request no later than August 1.

No exceptions will be made if documents are received after the deadline!

For all questions regarding the enrollment process, please visit http://graduate.rice.edu/aca or email studentinsurance@rice.edu

You may qualify and be eligible to enroll in the Rice Employer ACO Medical Insurance Plan under a qualifying event at a later date if you and your department chair determine you will work 30 or more hours of service per week for three consecutive months or longer. The qualifying event will give you a special enrollment period of 31 days from the point it is determined you will work 30 or more hours of service per week consistently for three consecutive months or longer. You must submit a completed Graduate Student ACA Agreement Form to the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies via the webform below and contact the Office of Student Insurance either by email at studentinsurance@rice.edu or phone at 713-348-5544 to schedule an appointment and complete your enrollment within your 31-day qualifying event period. Coverage will be effective on the first day of the month coincident with or following your enrollment during your qualifying event period.

Failure to submit a completed Graduate Student ACA Agreement Form will result in you affirmatively declining the Rice Employer ACO Medical Insurance Plan. More information on qualifying events can be found on the Rice benefits site.

DISCLAIMER: If you are currently enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Insurance plan, you cannot cancel for any reason.

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