Big Update about RIDEpass (formerly Ridefor5)

Transportation Services has announced several program changes, as well as registration details, for the new "RIDEpass" reduced-fare mass
transit program for full-time faculty, staff and graduate students.

Here are the following changes to the "RIDEpass" program:

- Program participants must live more than 0.75 miles (walking
distance) from a CATA campus service Blue Loop or Red Link stop to be
eligible for the "RIDEpass" program. 

- The previously-announced nine-month pass option has been eliminated, and all
"RIDEpass" passes will be valid from the date of receipt through the
end of the program year, which will run from July 1, 2016 through June 30,
2017. Participants may exit the program early and receive a prorated refund for
time remaining on the pass or stop the recurring payroll deduction
(depending on method of payment). However, participants who choose to
exit the program before the pass expiration date will not be eligible to
re-enter the program until the start of the next program year.

All other program details will remain the same as previously announced in
February as part of an initial two-year pilot program. 

REGISTRATION BEGINS MAY 16, NO PARTICIPATION CAP OR DEADLINE

Online registration for the "RIDEpass" program will be available at
www.transportation.psu.edu beginning Monday, May 16 at noon. Upon successful
completion of the application, participants will receive an email confirmation
with details regarding when passes will be available for pickup at the Parking
Office.

With no cap on the number of program participants in place this year,
interested faculty, staff and graduate students may apply at any time
throughout the 2016-17 program year. However, to reduce wait time at the
Parking Office for all customers, those who wish to receive a pass prior to
July 1 are asked to register no later than Friday, June 10. Participants who
submit their applications after June 10 will be able to pick up their passes
beginning Tuesday, July 5.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Visit the graduate student or employee RIDEpass pages for more information
regarding the RIDEpass program:

Graduate students - http://transportation.psu.edu/ridepass-graduate-students

If there are any questions, please call the Parking Office at 865-1436, or
email ridepass@psu.edu.

Health Insurance Update

For a full health insurance update for the 2016-2017 academic year and moving forward, please visit this GPSA link.

  1. Aetna Student Health Insurance rate for 2016/2017:  $3,296/individual
    • An annual increase of ~8% ($242 paid over 9 months)
    • Increase is mainly due to decreases in enrollment numbers, additional ACA taxes/fees, and high utilization (~1,500%) of the Continuation Plan (gap coverage) that our plan offered for one month after a student graduated.
  2. Aetna Student Health Insurance will no longer offer the Continuation Plan (gap coverage) with our plan
    • Individuals can now sign-up for continuation of insurance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace (Found here).
  3. New requirements for waiver standards (Found here) for International Students will be in place for 2016/2017 academic year, including two new standards:
    • Must have an in-network maximum of $3,000 or less per policy year per individual.
    • Must have an out-of-pocket maximum of $15,000 per individual or $30,000 per family or less per policy year.
  4. According to current interpretation of ACA law, GAs’/RAs’/Fellows’ status (i.e. students versus employees) and the ability for the University to provide graduate students with a subsidy has been called into question.
    • The university considers these individuals as “students” and look at the money that is provided, via stipends, as scholarships, but the Government with regard to this law sees these individuals as “employees.”
    • Issue: Employers are no longer allowed to provide employees subsidies to buy individual insurance via the ACA Exchanges.
    • As law is currently interpreted, the university would be incurring penalties for providing student employees with a subsidy starting in Fall of 2017.
    • Currently, administration and concerned parties are looking into this law and advocating for it to be interpreted differently so that subsidies can be given to students without incurring a penalty.

NOTE:  As new information is officially posted by UHS and the Graduate School, GPSA will update here and provide those updates via email and social media.

Please contact Alison Franklin (amy125@psu.edu) with your comments, questions and/or concerns.

Updated June 19, 2016

Congrats to our new executive board!

The executive board for the 66th assembly is Kevin Horne – president, Marina Cotarelo – vice president, Anne Whitesell – secretary, and Sidharth Agrawal – treasurer.

 

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/campus/article_e8ac5a16-001c-11e6-ae05-af65c89f18bb.html

Vote Today and Tomorrow in GPSA Elections

The polls are open and all graduate and professional students at University Park can now vote for the next GPSA leaders for the 66th Assembly. Vote for executive officers, Graduate Council, and your college’s Assembly representation.

VOTE HERE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TOMORROW (4/7).

Upcoming Events – Elections!!

GPSA is holding elections!!

The deadline for intent to run form is this Wednesday (3/30/16) at midnight. Here’s the link: http://gpsa.psu.edu/2015-elections/intent-to-run-form/

BECOME a candidate or come meet them next week!

Please join us for GPSA’s 4th Meet the Delegates/Candidates Outreach Event!

Wednesday, April 6, 4:50pm – 5:50pm, in the MBA Commons of the Business Building.
GPSA will be having sandwiches to reach out to our constituents before our next assembly meeting!  Come out and meet some of the current delegates and hopeful candidates.  Voice your concerns, and find out their views on the issues that matter most to you.

GPSA’s 4th Annual Grad Cup – Normal Registration

Are you interested in competing against other graduate/professional students for the glory of Grad Cup Champs?

When? April 23, 2016     from    9am – 4pm

Possible events:
– Obstacle Course
– Spoon Race
– 3-Legged Race
and others…

You can either form a team or volunteer at the event!

Registration is open for teams of 5-15. There cost is $10 per team member.
GO here to register: http://goo.gl/forms/iLJBLJTmKf 

Volunteers should contact  Lily Hill (lzh157@psu.edu)

GPSA Elections!!

If you would like to be a part of GPSA (Exec Board, Assembly, Judiciary or Grad Council), please fill out an intent to run form!

http://gpsa.psu.edu/2015-elections/intent-to-run-form/

GPSA’s 4th Annual Grad Cup

Are you interested in competing against other graduate/professional students for the glory of Grad Cup Champs?

When? April 23, 2016     from    9am – 4pm

Possible events:
– Obstacle Course
– Spoon Race
– 3-Legged Race
and others…

You can either form a team or volunteer at the event!

Early registration is open for teams of 10-15. There is a discount in cost ( $7 per team member). Deadline: March 16
http://goo.gl/forms/e3lDLxzsm1

If you want to compete, but have a smaller team (5-10), registration will open in March.
Volunteers should contact either Jim Fan (juf187@psu.edu) or Lily Hill (lzh157@psu.edu)

Making the Most of Your Penn State Years

Presented by a Penn State Graduate School Alumnus

Saturday, March 12, 2016, at 12:30 p.m.
112 Kern Graduate Building

Register Now

Dr. Amit Das, a member of the Penn State Graduate School Alumni Society Board of Directors and chair of the Global Outreach Committee, will share insights on the importance of networking and the assimilation of “American Culture,” during this interactive presentation.

Dr. Das is Director of New Product Development at State of the Art, Inc., in State College, Pennsylvania. The grand prize winner of the 1987 Penn State Graduate Exhibition, he earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Solid State Science at Penn State in 1985 and 1988, respectively.

Attendance is free and open to all graduate students. Registration is required. The presentation will be tailored to the interests of international students.

Pizza and refreshments will be served.

Questions? Email gsasglobaloutreachcommittee@gmail.com.

GPSA’s 4th Annual Grad Cup

Publication1

Are you interested in competing against other graduate/professional students for the glory of Grad Cup Champs?

Events to be Held:
– Obstacle Course
– Spoon Race
– 3-Legged Race
and others…

You can either form a team or volunteer at the event!
Early registration is OPEN for teams of 10-15.

There is a discount in cost ( $7 per team member). Deadline: March 16
Team Captains must register the entire team:
http://goo.gl/forms/e3lDLxzsm1

Registration will cover the t-shirt and lunch.

If you want to compete, but have a smaller team (5-10), registration will open in March.

Volunteers will be needed to set up, clean up and referee the events. You will receive a free t-shirt and lunch.

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