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Changing My Benefits

The following information provides an overview of the eligibility and process for making changes to Benefit Plan elections outside of your initial enrollment period and the annual open enrollment period due to a qualifying event.

Changes to your Health Savings Account (HSA), Life Insurance*, Retirement Program Voluntary Contributions, Long-Term Care Insurance, Group Auto & Home Insurance, and Long-Term Disability Insurance** may be made at any time throughout the year. Changes to your Hyatt Legal Plan may only be made during your initial enrollment period or the annual open enrollment period.

* GUL or Dependent Term Life Insurance enrollment and changes may be made outside of Open Enrollment period without a qualifying event. See the Group Life Insurance Guide for further details.

** Individuals may be required to submit evidence of insurability and are subject to approval by the insurance carrier.

Note: Individuals represented by collective bargaining agreements receive benefits in accordance with those agreements.


Family status changes include:

Marital Changes:
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Legal Separation
  • Annulment
  • Death of a Spouse
Dependent Changes:
  • Birth
  • Adoption
  • Placement of Adoption
  • Death of Dependent

Forms that must be completed as a result of a marital status change include:


All name changes require proof, such as a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, license or Social Security card with the new name. (Note: Retirement companies require a marriage certificate or divorce decree.)

Moving? Be sure to change your address in HRMS.

Benefit

Timeline and Instructions for Making Changes

Health Care Plans

To add or remove your spouse/dependent child(ren) from your Health Care Plan, you will need to complete a Qualifying Event Change Form and return it to the Office of Total Rewards within 30 days of the date of the qualifying family status change. Additional details regarding changes to your Health Care Plan outside of the open enrollment period can be found here.

Dental Plans

To add or remove your spouse/dependent child(ren) from your Dental Plan, you will need to complete a Qualifying Event Change Form and return it to the Office of Total Rewards within 30 days of the date of the qualifying family status change. Additional details regarding changes to your Dental Plan outside of the open enrollment period can be found here.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

To enroll in or make changes to the FSA program, you will need to complete a Qualifying Event Change Form within 30 days of the date of the qualifying family status change. The enrollment/change will be effective as of the date of the qualifying family status change.  Additional details regarding changes to your FSA outside of the open enrollment period can be found here.

VSP Vision Plan

Within 30 days of a qualifying family status change, you may add or remove your spouse/domestic partner or child(ren) from your VSP Vision Plan online at www.YOURBenefitsExtras.com.

University-Paid Basic Term Life Insurance

Changes to beneficiary designations can be done by logging in to HRMS and clicking on "Securian Financial", or by filling out a Beneficiary Designation and Change Request Form.

Group Universal Life (GUL) Insurance 

Dependent Term Life Insurance

Within 90 days of a qualifying family status change, you may be eligible to enroll in or increase your GUL or Dependent Term Life Insurance without proof of good health. Enroll or make changes by logging in to HRMS and clicking on "Securian Financial". Forms are available on the Life Insurance forms page. You will need to notify Securian Financial when your dependents are no longer eligible for coverage (i.e. divorce/termination of a domestic partnership) by completing a Life Insurance Change Request Form.

Changes to beneficiary designations can be done by logging in to HRMS and clicking on "Securian Financial", or by filling out the Beneficiary Designation and Change Request Form.

Retirement Program

To change your name or beneficiaries on your University of Rochester Retirement account with TIAA, log in at tiaa.org/Rochester. If you are requesting a name change, be prepared to provide the court information that handled your name change, and documentation of the changed name (i.e. marriage or adoption record).
Note: Under federal law, you are required to list your spouse at least 50% primary beneficiary, unless (s)he waives that right.

Tuition Benefits

Your dependent children may be eligible for tuition benefits.


Guidelines in the Event of the Death of an Active Faculty or Staff Member:

The University of Rochester mourns the loss of any faculty or staff member. In the event of the death of an active faculty or staff member, the below guidelines should be followed, understanding that all actions should be handled with tact and sensitivity and modified when individual circumstances warrant. The department head or designee is responsible for assisting the family with matters relating to the faculty or staff member’s University employment. The Office of Total Rewards is responsible for assisting the family and designated beneficiaries with matters relating to University Benefit Plans.

The University faculty or staff member who first learns of a death should inform the dean, director or department head to whom the faculty or staff member reported. It is the dean, director, department head or designee’s responsibility to promptly inform the appropriate Vice President or Provost, Office of Total Rewards, Public Relations Department (Medical Center) and Communications Department (River Campus) and to secure the deceased individual’s personal possessions. The department head or designee is responsible for assisting the family with matters relating to the faculty or staff member’s University employment. The family should be made aware of the availability of the University’s chapels and chaplaincy services.

Steps to take in the event of the death of an active Faculty or Staff member:

  1. Department completes a 510 (faculty member) or a 610 (staff member) change form and sends the form to the HR Service Center for processing.
  2. The Office of Total Rewards notifies the President’s Office of the death and provides “next of kin” information.
  3. The Office of Total Rewards notifies University Communications of the death so that they can appropriately communicate to the University community.
  4. (If applicable) The Office of Total Rewards notifies Securian Financial and any Retirement Program investment companies of the death . The companies will, in turn, contact the appropriate beneficiary in writing and provide the necessary forms, instructions, and counseling in connection with a claim for benefits.
  5. (If applicable) The Office of Total Rewards mails a condolence letter to the beneficiary of the Group Life Insurance Plan. If the beneficiary of the life insurance is the surviving spouse and/or dependent child, the Office of Total Rewards will mail a condolence letter to the dependent outlining the impact the death of the active faculty or staff member will have on any employee benefit plan coverage that the surviving spouse or dependent child has through the University of Rochester. The letter will include applicable instructions and information on continuing benefit plan coverage(s) and which companies have been notified by the Office of Total Rewards. Eligibility for the continuation of benefit plan coverages is detailed below:

 

Health Care

(Eligibility: Surviving spouses and/or dependent children of deceased active regular full-time and part-time faculty or staff members, including deceased active 1199 SEIU staff members receiving Long-Term Disability benefit)

  1. If the active faculty or staff member had 5 or more years of service, but did not meet the eligibility requirements to retire, then the surviving spouse and eligible dependent children would remain eligible for coverage, paying the same cost-sharing as active faculty and staff members (based on the deceased faculty or staff member’s applicable salary band) for a period of one year following the faculty or staff member’s death (dependents would be billed quarterly for their share of the monthly premium charges by the University). After one year, the surviving spouse and eligible dependent children may continue coverage under COBRA (dependents would be charged the full premium cost, plus an administrative fee, for up to 36 months).  At that time, Aetna or Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield will contact the surviving spouse and/or dependent child(ren) regarding COBRA continuation. 
  2. If the active faculty or staff member had 5 or more years of service, and met the eligibility requirements to retire, then the surviving spouse and eligible dependent children would remain eligible for coverage, paying the same cost-sharing as active faculty or staff members (based on the deceased faculty or staff member’s applicable salary band) for a period of one year following the active faculty or staff member’s death (dependents would be billed quarterly for their share of the monthly premium charges by the University). After one year, the surviving spouse and eligible dependent children may continue coverage by paying the full premium cost of the retiree rate applicable to the Grandparent Level of the deceased faculty or staff member.
  3. If the active faculty or staff member had less than 5 years of service, the surviving spouse and/or dependent children may continue coverage under COBRA (dependents would be charged the full premium cost, plus an administrative fee, for up to 36 months). Aetna or Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield will contact the surviving spouse and/or dependent child(ren) regarding COBRA continuation.  

Dental

(Eligibility: Surviving spouses and/or dependent children of deceased active regular full-time and part-time faculty or staff members)

Upon the death of an active faculty or staff member, a surviving spouse and/or dependent children may continue coverage under COBRA (dependents would be charged the full premium cost, plus an administrative fee, for up to 36 months). Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield will contact the surviving spouse and/or dependent child regarding COBRA continuation.

  1. The Office of Total Rewards notifies the Payroll Office of the death so that they can create a check for any final wages/salary/pay in lieu of accumulated vacation, and send the check to the Office of Total Rewards, who will mail the check to the next of kin.
  2. Upon notification of the death of an active regular full-time or part-time faculty/staff member, the Office of Total Rewards will contact the Payroll Office to calculate the death benefit gratuity. The amount of the death benefit gratuity is equal to the amount of pay the active faculty or staff member would have received for the remainder of the pay period in which they deceased. A check is requested for the amount of the gratuity and paid to the Group Life Insurance Plan beneficiary(ies). The payment is charged to the faculty or staff member’s department account(s) that was normally used to pay their salary. If the faculty or staff member was on short-term disability prior to their death, the “sick leave” account is charged for the gratuity payment. The death benefit gratuity check is sent to the Office of Total Rewards, who will mail the check to the Group Life Insurance Plan beneficiary.

    (NOTE: Faculty or staff members who were receiving Long-Term Disability benefits or an 1199 SEIU staff member prior to their death are not eligible for the death benefit gratuity.) 
  3. For more information please see Policy #119

Those who were recently hired or have become benefit eligible should visit the Benefits Eligibility & Enrollment page for detailed information on your benefits and the deadlines for enrollment.


For complete summaries of benefits upon change in status, please visit the Summary of Benefits page.