Health Insurance

Employees with Benefits 

UMMS offers a choice of several subsidized health plans to benefits-eligible employees.  The various benefit options are listed on the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) website.  All new benefits eligible employees will be scheduled to attend a mandatory Benefits Orientation offered by Human Resources. Specific enrollment forms and plan outlines can be obtained during this session or contact the UMMS Benefits Department for more information.

Effective Date of Benefits for Employees - Coverage Options for the Interim Period

Effective Date of Benefits for Employees

Please note that all UMMS subsidized coverage begins on the first of the month following 60 days of employment.  Please refer to the chart below to determine when UMMS coverage would commence.   

If the start date of employment is between

GIC Coverage begins on

January 2 to February 1April 1
February 2 to March 2 May 1
March 3 to April 2June 1
April 3 to May 2 July 1
May 3 to June 2August 1
June 3 to July 3September 1
July 4 to August 2October 1
August 3 to September 2 November 1
September 3 to October 2December 1
October 3 to November 2January 1
November 3 to December 3February 1
December 4 to January 1March 1

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Coverage Options for the Interim Period

It is recommended that all UMMS employees arrange for health insurance coverage during this interim period. In particular, it is federally mandated that all individuals holding J-1 Exchange Visitor visa status meet the J-1 insurance minimums outlined by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for themselves and any accompanying family members for the interim period before the GIC coverage commences.  Individuals in J-1 exchange visitor status, please review J-1 health insurance minimums.

        Massachusetts Health Connector Plans:  Massachusetts Health Connector Plans are designed for employees who are not eligible for benefits through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) or who need interim coverage while waiting for their GIC coverage to commence. The Health Connector offers plans from many of Massachusett’s major insurance carriers and each carrier offers at least three coverage options that offer varying benefit levels and premiums to meet your needs. To enroll in one of these programs visit or call 1-877-623-6765 to compare the options. 

    COBRA:  Some new employees may be eligible for COBRA coverage from their previous employer to cover this gap. Please contact the Benefits Office at your previous employer to request this coverage.

“B”waiver (NOT an option for J-1 Exchange Visitors):  If a new employee, or his/her covered dependent, incurs unplanned and urgent medical expenses during his/her new hire waiting period, he/she may apply to buy GIC health coverage at the full cost premium for that period of time (60 or more days, depending on hire date). The total claims expenditure must exceed the full cost premium for the hiatus period. For questions or more information, please email or call 508-856-2282.

Other options for interim coverage for J-1 Exchange Visitors:  

UMass Visa Scholar Medical Plan:  Aetna Student Health Plan has partnered with the five University of Massachusetts campuses to administer a medical plan option for J-1 Exchange Visitors and their family members. This plan meets both the J-1 and the Massachusetts minimums, but may have other exclusions which apply. Aetna Student Health - UMass Visa Scholar Medical Plan.

Other Insurance Plans:  Please note that these plans DO NOT meet the Massachusetts Minimum Creditable Coverage. However, employees who will be enrolled in a GIC plan can choose a plan that meets the J minimums for the interim period. UMMS cannot endorse any specific plan. These options are provided as a courtesy through NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Unpaid Leave of Absence: Employees who are on FMLA to care for a family member (and not their own illness) or are on personal leave and are unpaid for 30 calendar days or more will be directly billed 100% of the health insurance premium by the GIC. If the bills are not paid in a timely manner, GIC will terminate health insurance coverage for non-payment and employee will not be able to re-enroll until the next open enrollment period.

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