The Adjunct Health Insurance Catch-22

by E Wayne Ross on April 6, 2010

Inside Higher Ed: The Adjunct Health Insurance Catch-22

Tracy Donhardt was so excited that she and fellow adjuncts in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis had found a way to get health insurance together that she wanted to let other adjuncts know they could sign up, too.

But when she asked the university’s human resources department for help getting the word out, the whole plan was, almost immediately, shattered. “I contacted them, said, ‘Hey, look at we did, isn’t it great?’ ” she recalled.

Like so many other adjuncts nationwide, IUPUI’s non-tenure track faculty worked without health insurance. The chance to secure an affordable policy seemed sure to please. The plan, developed by the Associate Faculty Advisory Board, of which Donhardt is president, wasn’t going to cost the university a cent in contributions; it just gave the adjuncts the huge actuarial benefit of being in a grou