RF Graduate Student Employee Benefits

The Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) offers an array of benefits to eligible employees. These benefits can add an exceptional value to your employment.

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Not an RF Employee?

Return to My Benefits and the Employee Profile.

How to Enroll in Your Benefits

I Am a New Graduate Student Research Assistant

When your department has submitted your appointment information to Human Resources you will receive notification from Human Resources about your benefits eligibility and upcoming benefit orientation sessions.

Enrollment is voluntary — you will not be automatically enrolled in the GSEHP. You will need to attend a benefits orientation session to enroll. Once you have attended a benefits orientation you will be able to enroll online at the RF SUNY website.

Newly eligible employees must enroll within 45 days of their appointment begin date. If you do not attend a session and do not enroll within 45 days of your appointment begin date, you may be subject to a late enrollment period, which would delay your benefits.

I Am a New Graduate or Postdoctoral Fellow

To enroll a fellow into the health insurance plan, we require a completed enrollment form along with a letter from the Principle Investigator on department stationary giving us authorization to charge the cost of the health insurance to the specific grant.

In the letter we require the fellow’s name, person number, social security number period of time for the fellow to be covered. Please include the project, task and award to be charged, and if the project will be paying for individual, individual plus one, or family coverage.

Health Insurance is charged to the grant for the full cost, it is not charged to the fellowships paycheck.

I Am a Returning Graduate Student Employee

Welcome back to the RF. If you are a graduate Research Assistant returning after a break in service longer than 28 days you will need to re-enroll in benefits within 45 days of your return date. You may enroll in your benefits at the RF SUNY website.

If you are a returning Fellow please contact the benefits office.

Download RF SUNY Benefits Bulletin

RF SUNY Self Service

Download the Employee Self Service Guide

The RF Employee Self Service portal is where you can manage most of your employment tasks online. Start by setting up your account:

  1. Go to account set up
  2. Using the RF ID Number you were given when you were employed, create a password

The Research Foundation Employee Self Service portal offers many features:

  • Ability to quickly and accurately do tasks online, such as:
    • Enroll for benefits
    • Enter dependents and beneficiaries
    • Update your contact information
  • Easy access to your direct deposit payslips, paycheck stubs, tax forms and current benefits enrollment

Your Benefits

Medical Dental Vision Disability


The RF’s Graduate Student Employee Health Plan (GSEHP) provides hospital, medical and prescription drug benefits to eligible fellows and graduate student employees. When you enroll in the GSEHP, you are automatically enrolled in the Dental Care and Vision Care plans.

The GSEHP is a preferred provider organization, or PPO, plan. In a PPO plan, hospitals, physicians and other health care providers agree to join the plan’s provider network. These in-network providers, which include SUNY Student Health Centers, agree to charge reduced fees to plan participants, and the plan pays a higher percentage of the cost of care received from these providers. The plan gives you the flexibility to visit any providers you choose, but visiting in-network providers can save you money and the time associated with filing claims for reimbursement. For most types of care received in-network, you pay only a copayment at the time you receive services (within plan limits).

When Your Coverage Begins and Ends

Coverage will begin on the first day of your appointment if you enroll during Open Enrollment.  If you are appointed after the Open Enrollment period, coverage will begin on the first day of appointment as long as you enroll within 45 days of your appointment.  Coverage is termed after the 28 day health extension under the POMCO plan.

Coverage Change from TA/GA to Research

If you are transferring to the Research Foundation payroll from the State payroll, making us aware of this change will help us prevent a lapse in your coverage.

Open Enrollment

Each year Research Foundation has an open enrollment period. During this time you may enroll if you have not previously done so, cancel your coverage or change your individual coverage to family coverage without a qualifying event.

2018 Biweekly Cost
2018 Biweekly Cost for the RF GSEHP
Coverage Level
Cost for Graduate Student Employees Cost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows
Individual $10.25 $102.46
Individual + 1 Dependent $40.02 $221.54
Individual + 2 or more Dependents $57.67 $292.15
2019 Biweekly Cost
2019 Biweekly Cost for the RF GSEHP
Coverage Level
Cost for Graduate Student Employees Cost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows
Individual $13.05 $130.49
Individual + 1 Dependent $51.57 $284.58
Individual + 2 or more Dependents $74.17 $374.97

Eligibility Requirements

The Research Foundation Graduate Student Health Plan (GSEHP) will be available to graduate students who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • They are enrolled as a full-time graduate student
  • They are paid on a biweekly basis with a projected annual salary of at least $4,293 ($165.12 biweekly)
  • Appointed to a position with the Research Foundation where it is anticipated that funds will be available for an appointment period of at least one semester

J-1 Visa holders are eligible to enroll in the GSEHP, but must also purchase medical evacuation and repatriation insurance through SUNY Health Plan for International Students.

Summer Continuation of Health Insurance

Graduate student employees whose appointment will terminate between May 1 and May 31 2020 and who are being reappointed to the RF payroll in the fall 2020 semester are eligible to continue their health insurance coverage through the summer by having advance health deductions taken from their paychecks prior to academic year termination.

Eligible and interested graduate students should:

  1. Obtain written confirmation from their Principal Investigator stating that they will be appointed in the fall semester.
  2. Submit the PI’s confirmation and written request for summer continuation of insurance by Friday April 17, 2020 to:

Sean O'Brien
RF Benefits Services
120 Crofts Hall
North Campus    

Zachary Jenney
RF Benefits Services
120 Crofts Hall
North Campus

A letter containing detailed information on this subject will be sent to all active graduate student employees in March of 2020.

Contact An Expert

Sean O'Brien.

Sean O'Brien

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4485

Email: sobrien2@buffalo.edu

Zachary Jenney.

Zachary Jenney

Research Foundation Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4439

Email: zjenney@buffalo.edu