This page summarizes commonly asked questions about the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP).
When will dependent premiums for my GAIP coverage be deducted from my paychecks?
Premiums are typically deducted from your paycheck on the third, fourth, and fifth pay dates of the coverage period, except for the summer period. For the summer, instead of a paycheck deduction you’ll receive a bill from LifeWise for the entire coverage period. Contact LifeWise if you don’t receive this bill by mid-July.
See GAIP dependent coverage for more information.
What are monthly premiums for dependent coverage under GAIP?
See GAIP dependent coverage for monthly premium costs.
How do I enroll myself and my dependents in GAIP?
Eligible academic student employees (ASEs) will automatically be enrolled in “GAIP Appointee-Only” coverage based upon their eligibility date. Lifewise Assurance Company, the plan administrator, will confirm insurance enrollment via email. For more information see GAIP eligibility and coverage.
The enrollment confirmation email you receive from LifeWise contains instructions for enrolling dependents into your health plan. To enroll a dependent mid quarter, you must have experienced a qualifying life event (such as marriage, birth, or adoption). For more information see GAIP dependent coverage.
May I continue my GAIP coverage after my UW appointment ends?
If you have graduated, are on academic leave, or otherwise lose your GAIP eligibility in the middle of the plan year (October 1 – September 30), you can continue your GAIP coverage on a self-pay basis through September 30. After September 30, you may continue coverage through Continuation of Coverage.
For those who qualify for either Self-Pay or Continuation of Coverage, LifeWise will automatically send a notice to your home address – the one listed in Employee Self Service – approximately three weeks after your coverage has ended.
Note: If summer quarter is your last quarter of eligibility and you are graduating, you might consider enrolling in GradMed, the short-term medical insurance plan sponsored by the UW Alumni Association.
Can I cancel my GAIP coverage since I am covered under other health insurance?
The GAIP plan does not allow a student who is eligible for UW-Paid coverage to cancel their GAIP coverage. However, when you are enrolled in more than one health plan, “coordination of benefits (COB)” makes sure that the combined payments of all your plans (including GAIP) will not exceed your covered health costs.
You or your provider should file your claims with your primary plan first. In most cases GAIP will be your primary plan unless you enrolled in another employer plan first. GAIP follows standard COB primary/secondary rules. To learn how COB works, please read “Coordinating Benefits with Other Plans” under the Other Coverage section of the GAIP Benefits Booklet.
Can I participate in a Health Savings Account and be enrolled in GAIP?
If you participate in a Health Savings Account (HSA) and are enrolled in the GAIP plan — that is, you have other healthcare coverage that is not a high deductible health plan as defined by IRS regulations — the tax deductibility of your HSA contributions may not be allowed. Contact your tax advisor or HSA plan administrator for more information.
When will I receive my GAIP insurance card?
GAIP Plan ID cards are issued to you by LifeWise at the time of your initial enrollment. If you need temporary proof of coverage, you may download a temporary ID card by visiting the LifeWise website.
Who are the network providers for GAIP?
UW-associated network providers include: Hall Health, UWMC, Harborview Medical Center, UW Physicians (UWP), Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle Children’s, and Northwest Hospital.
Who can I contact with questions about GAIP?
For questions relating to coverage, claims, and enrollment, LifeWise Assurance Company is your primary source of information.
For questions arising from a late-entered graduate appointment, your source of information is your department Graduate Appointee Coordinator.
What benefits are covered under the GAIP?
Your GAIP health plan is administered by LifeWise Assurance Company. To learn about your coverage, including how much you’ll pay for certain services, visit their website. There you can download the plan benefit booklet, which explains your coverage in detail. The site also features a search tool if you’d like to see which doctors and pharmacies are in the plan’s network.
When does my GAIP coverage begin and end?
Once enrolled in GAIP, you’re covered on a month-by-month basis for the duration of your job appointment. Generally, your coverage starts on the first day of the quarterly coverage period (these don’t correspond to the academic quarters). The coverage periods are:
- Fall: October 1 to December 31
- Winter: January 1 to March 31
- Spring: April 1 to June 30
- Summer: July 1 to September 30
Your coverage ends at the end of the month that your job appointment ends.
For more information see GAIP eligibility and coverage.
When do GAIP-eligible appointments and distributions have to be entered by departments into the payroll system?
For coverage to begin on the first day of the coverage period, the eligible appointment and distribution information must be entered into the payroll system by the payroll cutoff date for the first check within the coverage period. This applies to all quarters except summer quarter, when the deadline is the payroll cutoff date for the second paycheck in June.
For example, since fall quarter coverage begins October 1, appointment and distribution information must be entered by the payroll cutoff date for the first October check.
For more information, see Information for Departments.
What is LifeWise Assurance Company?
LifeWise Assurance Company is the GAIP insurer and plan administrator. Contact LifeWise for questions about GAIP coverage, claims, eligibility, and enrollment.
As a graduate student, am I allowed to enroll in a retirement plan?
You are eligible to participate in the Voluntary Investment Program (VIP) at any time, unless you fall into one of the following categories:
- Nonresident aliens who receive no U.S.-source earned income
- Individuals who are receiving a stipend as defined by the Department of Labor. (Stipends are not reportable as wages on the IRS Form W-2 and therefore are not subject to federal withholding taxes.)
What if I have questions about the UW International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP)?
International students at UW are required by federal and state laws to maintain health insurance while studying in the United States. This health insurance is provided by the UW International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP).
Dual coverage under the ISHIP and GAIP is not allowed.
I received a letter from LifeWise asking me for my Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). What do I do?
Respond to the letter if you:
- Already have an SSN because you work on campus, or you have Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization.
- Have an ITIN because you received a taxable scholarship or fellowship in the past year.
The deadline for 2015 W-2 tax reporting was January 5, 2016.
Provide a legible copy of your SSN or ITIN to the UW Payroll Office via secure fax or mail. Include a note indicating it is for a SSN or ITIN number correction.
UW Payroll staff will update your SSN or ITIN in the payroll system.
Email your tax questions to email@example.com.