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Larry MacIntyhre
University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2008

IU to provide dental benefits for student academic appointees

Jan. 23, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will provide dental benefits for its 4,450 student academic appointees starting with the 2008-09 academic year.

James Wimbush, dean of the University Graduate School, said dental benefits have been a high priority for graduate students who conduct essential work for the university, and the IU administration worked to find a way to provide them.

"We see this as very important. It adds to their quality of life," Wimbush said.

Student academic appointees are typically graduate students who are paid a stipend to teach or help teach classes, carry out research and scholarship and perform other academic duties. There are 3,800 student academic appointees at IU Bloomington and 650 at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The university will pay the full cost of premiums for the dental plan. The plan will cover the entire cost of preventive care, while students will pay deductibles for restorative and major dental work. The maximum benefit is $500 a year. The plan will not cover orthodontia.

As with the medical benefits that student academic appointees receive, the students will have the option of purchasing dental coverage for their spouses and children.

The dental coverage will cost the university about $1.1 million in 2008-09, with the cost borne by the academic units for which the students work.

With the added dental coverage, IU will join the majority of Big Ten universities that offer dental benefits for student academic appointees, Wimbush said. "This makes us more comparable to our peers. It does help make us more competitive," he said.