Health Insurance

TeleHealth during NYS on PAUSE

The Empire Plan is doing all they can to support its enrollees through this unprecedented time and has introduced a new telehealth benefit to help them access health care services remotely. LiveHealth Online lets enrollees stay home and have a video visit with a board-certified doctor or licensed therapist on their smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

If enrollees are concerned about leaving their homes to receive medical care or their ability to access care, The Empire Plan will cover telehealth visits at no cost. See the TeleHealth Instructions for additional information and step-by-step instructions.   Enrollees who require assistance with the registration process or have questions should be encouraged to call LiveHealth Online at 1-888-LiveHealth (1-888-548-3432). LiveHealth Online has representatives available 24/7 to assist. Enrollees may also call The Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and select option 2 for the Hospital Program.

Please note that when scheduling a visit with LiveHealth Online, members must enter their name and ID number exactly as it appears on their card, otherwise they will be charged the full cost of their visit.

Health Insurance (NYSHIP) for Doctoral Students at the CUNY Graduate Center

Active matriculating doctoral students at the Graduate Center who are employed as either Graduate Assistants or in one of the eligible Adjunct titles and meet specific income levels in those titles are eligible for health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents.
To be eligible all three requirements must be met:
· First, the students must be matriculated in a doctoral program at the Graduate Center
· Second, they must be employed in one of the following Professional Staff Congress (PSC) titles: Graduate Assistant A, B, C, or D; Adjunct Instructor; Adjunct Lecturer; Adjunct College Laboratory Technician (CLT); Non-Teaching Adjunct I or II
· Third, they must earn a least $4,122 per year in one of those titles; or must earn at least $2,061 per semester if they are employed for just one semester
The health insurance is made available through the Student Employee Health Plan (SEHP), a component of the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP). Students wishing to enroll must complete an enrollment form and provide copies of their social security card, birth certificate, or passport and appointment letter. Additional documentation is required for those wishing to enroll dependents. All enrollment documentation must be presented to the GC Student Affairs office for processing. Once enrolled, participants will receive three insurance identification cards; a medical card to be used for hospitalization, emergency room, doctor office visits, laboratory tests, prescription drug, mental health and substance abuse benefits; one for dental care; and one for vision coverage.
Benefits are administered by a specified insurance provider depending upon the coverage.
· Hospital- administered by Empire BlueCross/BlueShield
· Medical/Laboratory- administered by UnitedHealthcare
· Prescription Drug- administered by CVS Caremark
· Mental Health and Substance Abuse- administered by Beacon Health Options
· Dental Care- administered by EmblemHealth
· Vision Care- administered by Davis Vision

To find providers participating in the program go to: The Empire Plan or

For further information, contact:
GC Health Insurance Info

Enhancements/Changes for 2022

Among the enhancements and changes for 2022 are:

There are new maximum limits on the amount you will pay out of pocket for in-network services/supplies received during the Plan year.  For individual coverage, the out of pocket limit is a total of $8,700 for individual coverage and $17,400 for Family coverage, split between the Hospital, Medical/Surgical, Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Prescription Drug Programs.

Please also refer to the Doctoral Student Employee Health Plan page on the CUNY University Benefits Office website to download applicable forms.
Participants pay for the plan by having automatic bi-weekly deductions from their paychecks. For 2022, the bi-weekly premium for individual coverage is $22.11 and $172.95 for family coverage (which includes spouses, children and domestic partners). The cost for the NYSHIP program is subsidized by the Graduate Center and Chancellery.

Students teaching at CUNY community colleges

Doctoral students appointed at one of CUNY’s community colleges who meet the eligibility criteria and who want NYSHIP coverage must contact the GC Student Affairs office so that they can be switched from city payroll to state payroll. This must be completed before being enrolled for NYSHIP coverage. Their payroll must be transferred each semester while employed at a community college. 

For further information

For specific questions about coverage please contact :
NYSHIP at 1-877-769-7447

Additional information is also available by sending an email to

Those that do not meet the eligibility criteria for NYSHIP/SEHP coverage, can obtain information on alternative student health insurance from the Student Health Insurance Resource Guide.

Uninsured Students

If you are uninsured, you might want to contact Student Affairs to learn about some options which may benefit you and your family. It is not advised to be uninsured. If you remain uninsured, however, you should learn which clinics and hospitals are available at a sliding fee or no cost BEFORE you need them/get sick or injured. Please click on the Student Health Insurance Resource Guide tab 

NYSHIP Documents Virtual Drop Off Service

Use your GC network credentials to log in to the secure NYSHIP Virtual Drop Off Service to upload your health insurance documents,.  These are the same credentials you use for GC computers, printers, and wifi, and to access GC library resources from off campus. GC network accounts are managed by IT Services. Account passwords can be reset on the self-service password reset site.