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Health Insurance Subsidy

Beginning in 2008, representatives from the Graduate Student Association and the Office of the Provost worked collaboratively to design a health insurance subsidy program specifically for qualified Drexel doctoral candidates. In keeping with best practices, the University will defray up to the premiums for the university-offered Aetna Health insurance program to all Teaching Fellows (TF), Research Fellows (RF), Graduate Assistants (GA) and National Research Service Award (NRSA) enrolled and working on a full-time basis.

Students whose appointments already provide health insurance coverage in their compensation packages are not eligible as are those who choose to use any plan other than that offered by Drexel.


Qualifications for the subsidy include:

  1. Full-time academic enrollment in a doctoral program
  2. A qualified assistantship appointment - these include Teaching Fellows (TF), Research Fellows (RF), Graduate Assistants (GA) and National Research Service Award (NRSA)

Full time assistantship appointment terms (20 hours per week for at least 3 quarters of the academic year) will qualify for a full subsidy of the Drexel University Dragon Plan. Subsidies up to the cost of the Student Dragon Plan (an annual rate of $2,166) will be provided to those who meet the above requirements and elect the Drexel University Dragon Preferred Plan coverage. An additional cost of $626 will meet the Preferred Plan (an annual rate of $2,792). For students who desire it, because they choose the Preferred Plan, the University provides a special payroll deduction plan that spreads the premium payments over 9 months. Any student who wishes to add dependents to their coverage or choose the Preferred Plan, may opt for the Payroll Deduction Plan in which the remaining balance will be withheld from their stipends over 9 months. For more information, please contact Dr. Tsz Kwok at

Any full time graduate student who works less than the 3 quarters in the academic year or works less than the required full workload will receive a prorated subsidy. The prorated subsidy is equal to the percentage of work hours and/or length of appointment. Example, a 12 month appointment, with 10 hours per week workload is equal to 50% subsidy.

Assistantship responsibilities that span classifications (i.e. TF, RF or GA) should be assigned at minimum 50% of the workload in each classification. Exceptions to this formula may be granted on a case by case basis.

To get started, there are two simple steps:

  1. Enroll for a Drexel health insurance plan online
  2. Secure an appointment letter from your department

Finally, if you are leaving the University and wish to end the coverage early,  please contact the Office of Health Insurance and Immunizations.  Without an assistantship, you will be responsible for the remainder of the premium amount. 

If you have any questions about health insurance and NOT related to this subsidy, please direct them to