Friday, February 03, 2006

How is that legal?

I don't understand. The Man, he is trying to kick my ass once again.

In August, my health insurance premium is deducted, in full, from my grant. My insurance then runs until the following August. August 14th to be exact.

You can not pay by semester, you must pay for the full year.

You can not take that money out of your grant to pay for different insurance. It is allowable by the grantor, but not by the University. I think it's because they can't figure out how to do it, so they just claim that it is not allowed.

Regardless, I have paid for the 2005-2006 academic year for this crappy, shitty student insurance. Heaven forbid you are even slightly unhealthy when you decide to enter a life of poverty in order to cure diseases and contribute to the world's scientific knowledge. This year, I managed to rack up several thousand dollars in bills with my wonderful insurance. Thank God they pay me so well.

OK, so here's the most craptacular part--the part I don't get.

Your insurance is cut off the exact day you turn in your paperwork, right after you pass your oral defense and hand in your written thesis.

No COBRA, no you-have-your-insurance-until-the-end-of-the-month, no exceptions, no refunds, no prorating of your premium. No nothin'.

Thank you, have a nice day, don't get sick, and let the door slam you in the ass, while praying it doesn't break anything in the process, on the way out, sucker.

How is that legal?


At 5:33 PM, Blogger Katie said...

I am so sick (bad pun intended)of all the problems with student health insurance as well. I have come to the conclusion that graduate students are "legalized slaves" with how we are treated. I can live with the other stuff, like the LONG hours in the lab, but other things, like health insurance is really REALLY wrong!

At 7:16 PM, Blogger : Joseph j7uy5 said...

I would guess that it is not legal. It's just that it has never been worth it for anyone to take it to court. That could change, if we can ever figure out how to get law students to do post-graduate lab work.

Universities seem to have an attitude, that in their status as employers, they are somehow special; they think that they don't have to follow the same rules as other employers.

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Hypatia said...

I also think it is not legal - I was on an NIH training grant - similar situation re health insurance.... but I definately got COBRA following graduation. Consider looking into what is involved in COBRA and whether your university can legally opt out (I think any employer with 50+ employees can't...)

At 11:39 PM, Blogger shrinkykitten said...

Now wait a minute here! Say you get your insurance in september one, and it is paid for the whole school year and then you defend and turn in your thesis on september 3, you no longer have any insurance? That's so ridiculous! You must not have a union! We finally do, but they are too new and in my dept students are too apathetic.

Michael Moore is looking for health insurance stories right now for his new film. Shall we send in our stories???? :) I'm honestly tempted. I think being denied a cast when I fractured my ankle is a good one.

I like that my word verification has "ream" in it.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger BrightStar said...



no. this cannot happen. someone needs to fix this. it's like stealing your money.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger trillwing said...

Absolutely ridiculous.

I ran into a similar situation last fall, when I decided to go on state disability for my maternity leave, as my university doesn't provide such to TAs. Ends up I couldn't because the university doesn't pay into the state disability program--because the university has its own program, for which I wasn't eligible. So I ended up TA'ing three weeks after giving birth. Good times. Good times.

Please let us know what you find out!

At 1:35 PM, Blogger muse said...

Does your university have an ombudsman or someone else that you can turn to? Or can you go to small claims court with this? Perhaps you can consult some form of legal aid to get advice (as a student, there must be some sort of legal service available to you? - well, "must", "should" is more like it...?).


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