Deciding on Your Benefits

Sign up within 30 days. To get your benefits, go to MyU to enroll within your first 30 days at the U.

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About Your Benefits

As a new employee, you and your dependents may be eligible to participate in the UPlan Health Program offered by the University of Minnesota. UPlan benefits include medical, dental, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, disability, and long-term care coverage. You are not required to elect medical and dental coverage. You have the option to choose any, all, or none of the benefits offered.

If you decide to waive coverage now, your next opportunity to elect medical and dental coverage will be the next Open Enrollment in the fall or if you and your dependents lose other health coverage because of an eligible family status change.

You also have an automatic retirement savings plan provided by the University.

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Steps to Enroll

  • Determine eligibility for dependents. You may have received the benefits enrollment booklet from your Human Resources representative or you can review the Guide for UPlan Benefits Enrollment (pdf) online to figure out if your dependents are eligible for benefits.
  • Put together your choices. Using the Guide for UPlan Benefits Enrollment, review your options, make your comparisons, and check plan availability for your health benefits. Go to Saving for Retirement to learn about your retirement benefits.
  • Enroll online at MyU in your first 30 days. You must complete your enrollment online within the first 30 days of employment. During those first 30 days, you can also change your mind about your initial enrollment and choose a different plan. If you do, the new plan will be retroactive to the date your coverage became effective.
  • Determine the date your benefits become effective. The benefits in which you enrolled online go into effect on the first day of the month following your employment start date. (Example: You are hired on March 15; your benefits become effective on April 1.)
  • Learn more. Employee Benefits also offers various events and workshops throughout the year to provide more information about benefits, including retirement plans and investment options.

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Benefits Program Overview

Medical Benefits

Each campus/area has a base medical plan with low rates and out-of-pocket costs. You may choose from any of the medical plan options available in your area. The rate you pay depends on who you cover and which plan you choose. If you are employed 75 to 100% time, the University pays a significant portion of the cost.

Pharmacy Benefits

You are automatically enrolled in the pharmacy program when you enroll in a medical plan. Prime Therapeutics is the pharmacy benefits manager for all UPlan medical plans. Fairview Specialty Pharmacy is the exclusive provider of most specialty medications

Dental Benefits

Each campus/area of the state also has a base dental plan. You may choose from any of the dental plan options available in your area. The rate you pay depends on who you cover and which plan you choose. If you are employed 75 to 100% time, the University pays a significant portion of the cost.

Life Insurance

The University provides you with a basic life insurance policy equal to 115% of your salary, rounded up to the next $1,000 with a $200,000 maximum. For example, if your salary is $52,000, your life insurance amount would be $60,000. The University pays the premium if your appointment is 75% time or more, but you may purchase this coverage if your appointment is 50 to 74% time.

Flexible Spending Accounts

You may participate in one or both of the flexible spending accounts that the University offers. The Health Care and Dependent Daycare flexible spending accounts allow you to pay for related eligible expenses using pre-tax dollars. When you enroll, you elect a total dollar amount to be withheld from your pay for the calendar year. The amount you choose is divided by the number of pay periods remaining in the year and withheld in equal installments. For complete details, visit the Flexible Spending Accounts page.

Retirement Savings

The University provides automatic retirement savings plans for both faculty and staff. The plan in which you participate depends on your job classification.

  • Civil Service and Labor Represented Retirement Savings Plan. As a member of the University's Civil Service or non-faculty Labor Represented staff, you participate in the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) program. Participation is mandatory and begins the first day of employment. A tax-deferred deduction of 5.5% of total salary is taken each pay period and credited to your individual MSRS account. An additional 5.5% is contributed by the University. You earn service credit for each month that retirement deductions are withheld from your pay, and you are vested after five years of service with MSRS. You are eligible to receive a lifetime retirement annuity benefit based on your age and years of service credit. You can view an online presentation about your MSRS plan.
  • Faculty and Professional and Administrative Staff (Faculty Retirement Plan). As a faculty member or an academic professional and administrative (P&A) staff member, you participate in the Faculty Retirement Plan through the University. The Faculty Retirement Plan is a 401(a) retirement plan in which you accumulate tax-deferred contributions. Participation in the Plan is mandatory. You contribute 5.5% of covered salary and the University contributes 10%. Accumulated values in the Plan are fully vested immediately. You can choose from a variety of investment options. You can change your investment allocations within the provisions of the plan without tax implications, costs, or penalties.

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Additional Health Benefits

Wellness Program

As part of the University's commitment to your whole wellbeing, the Wellness Program is designed to support your journey to good health. When you complete a wide range of health and wellness activities in 2016, you earn wellness points that can be used to reduce the rates you pay for UPlan Medical Program coverage in 2017 by $400 or $600 depending on your tier of coverage.

If your benefits effective date is before September 1, you can participate in the Wellness Points Program for premium reduction for the upcoming year. However, you need to enroll in benefits before the deadline based on your effective date. For more information about eligibility, please visit the Wellness Program page.

Convenience Care/Walk-in Clinics

The walk-in clinics provide fast and affordable medical care for certain common ailments for you and your dependents. You can access Gopher Quick Clinic on the Twin Cities campus and QuickCare on the Duluth campus. These clinics, along with other convenience care clinics, such as MinuteClinic locations in the Twin Cities are in-network providers for all medical plans. The clinics are staffed by board-certified physician assistants or nurse practitioners.

These clinics do not require an appointment, and visits generally take about 15 minutes. You have a $15 or $20 copayment per visit for treatments and screenings. There is no copayment for immunizations. In Medica HSA the cost of the visit is applied to your deductible or paid out of the account balance if funds are available.

Travel Program

When you are traveling or your dependent is a student attending college outside of the plan's service area, you may still receive in-network benefits for medical services if you use a provider in the designated network from Medica. To be eligible for this travel program benefit, your permanent residence must be within the plan's service area.

Global& Medical Assistance

When you elect a medical plan you also have access to UnitedHealthcare Global, a service that provides worldwide emergency medical assistance—including emergency evacuation and transportation back to the U.S.—and travel assistance services when you are traveling 100 miles or more from home. United Healthcare Global also provides help in you are involved in a political or natural disaster emergency. UnitedHealthcare Global coordinators are available to help you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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Optional Coverage

The University offers optional coverage for disability and life insurance for you, and in some cases, for your dependents. You also have the opportunity to save more for your retirement with one or both of the voluntary retirement plans. This is a brief overview of the options. For full details, visit the Benefits page.

Voluntary Retirement Accounts

All faculty and staff members who are paid on a continuous basis are eligible to participate in these voluntary retirement plans. You may contribute to one or both of these plans, effectively doubling your retirement savings potential. A variety of investment options are offered in each plan through four investment firms. The voluntary retirement plans are funded by your contributions only. You may begin contributions at any time.

  • Optional Retirement Plan. The Optional Retirement Plan is a voluntary retirement savings/investment plan covered under section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. You may contribute as little as $200 in each calendar year. The maximum contribution is $18,000 for 2016. If you're over age 50 in the current calendar year, you may contribute an additional amount up to $6,000.
  • Section 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. You can contribute as little as $200 up to a maximum contribution is $18,000 for 2016.

Additional Life Insurance

You have the opportunity to purchase additional life insurance for yourself, for your spouse, and for your children.

Short-term Disability Insurance

This voluntary short-term coverage replaces up to two-thirds of your monthly salary for up to 26 weeks if you provide evidence that you are unable to work. The cost is based on how much coverage you puchase.

Long-term Disability Insurance

This voluntary long-term coverage provides an income up to 60% of your monthly salary after you have been continuously disabled for 180 days. The cost is based on how much coverage you purchase.

If you have a faculty or P&A appointment of 67% time or more, you are already covered under the Academic Disability Program and not eligible to buy this coverage.

Academic Disability Program

The University of Minnesota provides paid medical leave and long-term disability benefits to eligible faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative (P&A) employees who are unable to perform their work duties due to a certified mental or physical health condition. These benefits are under the Academic Disability Program and administered by the University of Minnesota and Cigna.

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For More Information

Contact the Employee Benefits Service Center at:

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