Subsidized Health Insurance

Mason can help eligible graduate students pursuing full-time degrees acquire subsidized coverage through Aetna Student Health for up to three cumulative years.

The policy funds up to 100 percent of university-subsidized insurance for those who qualify.


Coverage is limited to students who meet certain criteria.

  • Doctoral students enrolled in Ph.D., DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts), DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), and DA (Doctor of Arts) degree programs.
  • Master of Fine Arts students.

Students in those categories must also be:

  • Full-time, as defined by the university catalog.
  • Supported by a tuition waiver or grant covering enough credits to support the student’s full-time course load.
  • Appointed to a full-time (20 hours/week total) graduate assistantship(s) with a stipend of at least $18,540 per academic year. The assistantship(s) must cover both the fall and spring semesters.

University Policy 6001 and University Policy 6003 provide more information on eligibility standards and application processes.

Policy Plan

Aetna Student Health works with Mason and with a network of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and specialists. For specific information about the health insurance plan, including what’s covered, special circumstances, dependent coverage, and online enrollment procedures contact Mason Student Health Services.

Find Help in Your Department

Mason's colleges and schools have representatives who can help with the process of finding and acquiring coverage. Contact your Graduate Coordinator or Graduate Program Director for assistance in identifying your college or school's representative.

Unit  Representative Phone
College of Education & Human Development  Jackie Anderson  (703) 993-2003 
College of Public Health Lisa Joyner  (703)-993-1928 
College of Humanities and Social Sciences  Omnia Elgendy (703) 993-8733
College of Science  TBD (703) 993-5003 
College of Visual and Performing Arts  Asma Omarzad  (703) 993-9773 
Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution  Dianka Curtis (703) 993-1303
Schar School of Policy and Government  John Washington (703)-993-2264 
College of Engineering and Computing Jennifer Lee  (703) 993-5387 
Presidential Scholars and Doctoral Research Scholars Rana Saman Harb  (703) 993-6951 


For more information on the subsidy policy and procedures, please contact Graduate Division Manager Akitta Robertson

Other Health Care Options

Student Health Services provides health care, counseling, health education, and prevention services to Mason students through clinics at the Fairfax, Arlington, and Science and Technology campuses. The clinics are accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

All currently enrolled students are eligible to receive care at SHS facilities, and there is no charge to be seen by a health care provider. There are fees for lab tests, medications, supplies, physical exams, procedures, and some office visits. For more information, call (703) 993-2831.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I’m graduating in December but have an assistantship during the fall semester. Am I eligible to receive the subsidy?

If you are graduating in December and meet all eligibility requirements, you can enroll in the subsidy for that fall semester’s coverage only. You may choose to re-enroll the following spring to continue your coverage through the university for the remainder of that year’s health insurance coverage at your own expense. If you apply to graduate in December after having enrolled for a full year of the subsidy, you will receive the subsidy for that fall semester’s coverage only. 

Does my tuition waiver or grant have to fund all the courses for which I’m registered?

No. However, your waiver or grant must cover enough credits to support your full-time course load. Check the catalog for the definition of full-time.

If I don't qualify for a subsidy, can I still get coverage through Mason's health insurance plan?

Yes, many students do. Check the eligibility requirements as outlined in the health insurance plan brochure (PDF), or visit the Aetna website for more resources and explanatory documents. Visit Student Health Services for more information.

Does coverage for international students differ from that of domestic students?

The same health insurance plan and subsidy are available.

I currently have health insurance, am I still eligible?

Yes. Speak with your current provider and with Aetna Student Health if you have specific coverage questions.

Are Graduate Lecturers eligible?

No. Eligible students must be assigned to a graduate assistantship.

Can I add dependents or a spouse to my insurance plan?

Yes. However, you must pay for dependent insurance coverage.

Will I have any out-of-pocket costs?

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will only have to cover co-payments for doctor visits, prescriptions, etc.

Can I be reimbursed for my unused subsidy?

No. The subsidy is non-transferable and non-refundable. Unused subsidies cannot be refunded for their equivalent value.

How and when can I be added to the health insurance plan?

First, check with your department to confirm eligibility. If eligible, your department will provide instructions on how and when to enroll. Be sure that you’re enrolled online with Aetna Student Health by the enrollment deadline (regardless of when you returned your signed offer letter).

Can I be added to the subsidy plan outside of the two online enrollment periods?

No. You must enroll during the online enrollment periods (fall or spring). Spring enrollment is only available for incoming Ph.D. students. Returning students must enroll during the fall semester.