Graduate Student Employee Health Plan (GSEHP): Pretax Guidelines

Employee Health Insurance Payment On a Pretax Basis

Your Pretax Contribution Plan

The Research Foundation Flexible Benefits Program allows you to pay your health insurance premium costs on a pretax basis. Under this program, your insurance payments are not reflected as part of your reportable earnings, so your taxable income is reduced, resulting in lower tax withholdings and higher take-home pay. This program is made possible under Section 125 of the Federal Tax Code, which permits employers to treat employee health insurance premiums as an employer-paid benefit not subject to federal and state income taxes and Social Security (FICA) taxes.

Savings will vary depending on whether you have individual or family coverage, the number of withholding allowances that you claim, and other variables.

Participation may reduce future Social Security benefits, because Social Security income credits are reduced by the amount of the premium contribution.


All active Research Foundation employees enrolled in the Research Foundation Graduate Student Employee Health Plan are eligible to participate in this program.

Automatic Enrollment

All Research Foundation Graduate Student employees enrolled in The Research Foundation Graduate Student Employee Health Plan (GSEHP) will be automatically enrolled in the Flexible Benefits Program. Therefore,


If you do not wish to participate in the program, contact the office at your location that handles Research Foundation fringe benefits to obtain a Participant Waiver Form for Graduate Student Employees.

Changes in Benefit Elections

Under IRS regulations, once your pretax deduction becomes effective for a calendar year, you may not discontinue or change your election (for example, from family to individual) until the next open enrollment period. The only exception is if you meet one of the qualifying events described below.

Definition: qualifying event

A qualifying event is a change in an employee’s or dependent’s status that permits a change to be made in pretax health insurance elections outside of the annual open enrollment period. The change in status must result in a gain or loss of coverage or coverage options. The election change must be consistent with the change in status.

Qualifying events include: