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Leave of Absence and Student Health Insurance

Graduate and professional students who take a leave of absence (LOA) should understand the impact on their student health insurance benefits. This can be a complicated process, so students who are considering a LOA should be in early communication with both the Graduate School (865-974-2475) and the Student Health Center (865-974-2337). Detailed information about student health insurance can be found on the Student Health Center website.

Students Who Pay for Student Health Insurance Themselves

Student health insurance annual plans run from August 1 through July 31 each year. Student health insurance can be paid on a semester by semester, or on an annual basis. If you have paid your health insurance premium and subsequently have to take a leave of absence, your insurance will likely remain in effect for the period of time you have paid. A call to Student Health (865-974-2337) will be needed to confirm your eligibility.

If you need to extend your LOA into a period in which you have not paid your premium, you will need to contact the Graduate School (865-974-2475) to get a letter stating you are on LOA but intend to return to complete your program following the LOA. This letter, along with the Qualifying Event Enrollment Form and premium payment, must be submitted to the Hildreth Agency. The Student Health Center can assist with finding the proper forms for submission.

Students on a GTA/GRA Which Covers Student Health Insurance

For students on GTA/GRA appointments, student health insurance is paid on a monthly basis. If a GTA/GRA requests an LOA, the insurance will end upon employment termination. However, students may request extending the insurance coverage, but the insurance premiums will be the responsibility of the student. Any GTA/GRA who goes on LOA should immediately contact the Student Health Center (865-974-2337) to discuss options.