So, it’s open enrollment for insurance at work/school.* My husband is on my insurance since he is unemployed. So, there are like MAJOR changes from last year, and I feel like I’m really getting screwed over, although there’s nothing really I can do about it.

Prior to this year, this is how it worked: Grad students made $x. There was 1 insurance plan (which was very good, similar to the highest level at other places I’ve worked). The school paid totally for the student. I paid an additional $2000 per year for my husband.

Last spring, they announce that the school is changing its system, and the students would have to pay 50% of their premiums, which would amount to ~$3000 per year. In addition, our insurance was also getting worse (higher deductibles, higher co-pays). In conjuction with all of this, they announced that we would be getting a raise of $6000 per year. The rationale, used to calm all of us down, was that this $6000 would cover the premiums now deducted from out salaries as well as a good enough chunk of change to cover any increased out of pocket spending on co-pays, etc. At that point in the spring, they didn’t have any info about how those with dependents would be effected.

Last week, they sent out an email with all the numbers. I will now be paying $8000 a year for my husband and I. Since I used to pay $2000, it’s going up by $6000, the same as my raise. That means I don’t get ANY increase in take home pay to help cover increased co-pays and deductibles.

I know I have no recourse here...the school can change the insurance as they please, and I know they were trying to be nice by giving a raise to accommodate us, but I feel pretty ticked off that my colleagues are going to be seeing $3000 extra dollars that I won’t see.

*I’m doing a science PhD, so I’m lucky that it’s fully funded and pays for my tuition as well as my stipend, which is a pretty livable wage for a single person in my area.

Advertisement

ETA: Also, I want to make a complaint to make it known that I’m not happy about the way this is impacting single vs. married students, but I’m not sure what department to contact. Does anyone have insight on this?

ETA2: I’m not trying to say they should give me a bigger raise, but that there has to be a better way to manage the fact that individual went from $0k ro $3k and employee+spouse went from $2K to $8k.