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Coverage Options for the Interim Period

It is recommended that all UMass Chan 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. For individuals in J-1 exchange visitor status, please visit the Immigration Services website for more information.

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-MA-ENROLL (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. Your prior Benefits Department or health insurance carrier should send you the COBRA application. 

“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 contact the Benefits Department.

Unpaid Leave of Absence: Employees who are on FMLA to care for a family member (and not their own illness) or are on a personal, non-medical 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 the employee will not be able to re-enroll until the next open enrollment period.