Graduate healthcare at the University of Illinois is spread among the McKinley Health Center and the Student Insurance Plan.


Much of your primary healthcare can be gotten through the McKinley Health Center, which also includes a women’s health unit and some counselling facilities.

The University also has a Counselling Center which provides “services that address the psychological, educational, social, and developmental needs of UIUC students.” The University charges a Health Service fee to cover the cost of these services – this is waived for Graduate Employees under the terms of the GEO contract.
Graduate students are also required to subscribe to the Student Health Insuranceplan unless they obtain a waiver (because of having health insurance through another provider). Your health insurance covers (part of) the cost of hospital and specialist care – you should check the plan details, available on the Student Insurance website.

Some procedures are excluded, while others are covered only to the extent required by law. You can get information in advance of treatment from the Student Insurance office: 217-333-0165.

Diabetes: Note that the Student Insurance plan claims that diabetes equipment, such as test strips, are excluded from coverage. However, due to activism by GEO members, this equipment is covered under our plan. You should contact the health insurance office (217-333-0165) to clarify your eligibility and the processes involved.

Health insurance premiums are included in the fees you are charged by the University. Graduate employees receive a subsidy towards the cost of the health insurance (something gained through GEO’s contract negotiations!). In 2012/13 the subsidy is $310. The University will pay $150 or %50 of the fee or whichever is greater.

Dental and vision are covered under separate plans which cover some of the costs of each of these. Go to the Grad College’s “Survival Guide” to learn more about your Dental Plan, and your Vision Insurance.

Prescription coverage
Our healthcare insurance does not include prescription coverage. The McKinley dispensary provides a range of common medications, some at subsidized prices, but some drugs are not available there, and others are still expensive. Since 2007 the McKinley dispensary has instituted a $5 charge for a range of drugs which had previously been provided for free.

Reimbursement for women’s contraception can be received from the UIUC Insurance office in the Henry Administration Building.

For the past number of years the university has distributed prescription discount cards, which provide discounts on prescription medication – currently up to 15% on brand-name medications and up to 50% on generic medications. Note that the discounts are ‘up to’ these limits – discounts on individual medications can vary.

Non-university services

Illinois All Kids
Illinois offers health insurance to all children and their parents if they live in Illinois, including nonresidents. Check out the Illinois All Kids website for more information.

Champaign County Health Care Consumers (352-6533) can answer questions about health care options and low cost or free local services.

I-SaveRx is a program run by the State of Illinois which can provide savings on prescription medication to residents of the state, by supplying medications through pharmacies in Canada and Europe. The program is aimed at those using medication for extended periods of time – you must fill your first 30 days’ supply locally in the United States, and must then order 3 months’ supply at a time.


Healthcare FAQ

Am I covered by University Insurance during the semester?

You have to have insurance to be enrolled as a full time student so probably.  All full time teaching assistants and graduate assistants are covered.

Am I covered during the summer?

Only if you pay the fee. There is normally an email that goes out in mid spring with a deadline about signing up for summer coverage.


Where can I find more information about health insurance? you can also email or call them 217-333-0165 or email:


What is covered by health insurance?

The booklet here will tell you what is covered and how much.  We also have copies of this booklet in the GEO office.


What will it cost if I see a doctor who is not at McKinley?

The booklet is the authority but there is a chart at the bottom of this webpage   It is generally helpful with telling you what the deductible will cost.  (The deductible is the amount of money you must pay before the insurance starts to contribute a percentage of the cost.)

The deductible is $150.00 and is paid once a year if you are to receive treatment at a doctor outside of McKinley.  Usually the doctor’s office knows this and will charge you for it there.


McKinley Frequently Asked Questions and Tips



What does McKinley cost?

All appointments are free unless you don’t show up.  Then there is a missed appointment fee of $10.


What are some free services at McKinley?

You can get a couple doctor ordered x-rays for free.  If you are at a doctor outside McKinley like an orthopedic surgeon and need non-emergency x-ray, you might consider getting the doctor to call in an order to McKinley.


Prescription FAQ and Tips


Do we have prescription coverage?

No. We have a discount plan.  Some prescriptions are discounted at McKinley and their Pharmacy FAQ is here


What kinds of women’s contraceptives do they have and do I have to pay a copay?

Here is a link to their list of drugs and you can get reimbursed for these drugs, but you will need to bring the receipt and documentation of what you received to the UIUC insurance office in the Henry Administration Building.


What if I don’t have a card?

Call or email the insurance office.


What if I want care outside McKinley?

Some private practitioners in town offer reduced fees to students.  For example, when I needed an MRI I was sent to “Illini MRI” who take the 80% paid by the insurance and waive the 20% that the student would be responsible for.  As far as I know, there is no way to get this information other than word of mouth, but most doctors around town know these things and (the good ones) are sensitive to student budgets.  If your doctor requires an expensive procedure and/or diagnostic, make sure to ask him or her about these types of deals.


What if I need an expensive surgery but don’t have much money?

There are places you can ask for help.  Carle hospital is non-profit so they have a great program that helps low income (like grad students ) either have their expenses refunded or reimbursed. Provena also has a program for people who have medical bills.


What if I need advice about getting health care outside of McKinley?

A great free program that will help you find help is the Champaign County Health Care Consumers Program.


(217)352-6533 extension 6508 or email


They know about how Medicare helps expectant mothers, the state program ALL KIDS health insurance is provided for all kid in Illinois, where to get free mammograms if you are over 35 in Champaign, and all kinds of helpful services.


Health Care Working Group

If you would like to work to improve healthcare, join the Healthcare Working Group by emailing the GEO office (geo(AT)
Graduate employees are working to improve graduate and dependent healthcare. In 2004 the Health Care Working Group completed a survey on the status of graduate healthcare at UIUC. To view the results click on the following links.
Health Care Working Group Survey Results
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C