Annual Choice Benefit Options

Some of the benefit programs are offered annually during the benefit open enrollment period that is designated each fall. Selections become effective Jan. 1 of the following year and cannot be changed during that calendar year unless a qualifying life event (change in family status) occurs that meets the IRS rules. Annual benefit choices include medical/vision/preventive dental coverage, short-term disability, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, accidental death and dismemberment and the voluntary dental and legal plans. 

Benefits Open Enrollment

An online benefits system, “EBenefits,” is available year-round and displays benefit coverages and costs for all benefit-eligible employees. In late fall each year, communications are sent out, and employees are eligible to enroll in their annual choice benefits for the next calendar year.

Life Event (Change in family status)

Once an employee selects his or her annual choice benefit programs for the year, selections remain in effect for the entire calendar year unless the employee experiences a qualifying “change in family status” event.

“Change in family status” is the term used in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations to allow some benefit adjustments due to circumstances occurring before the next open enrollment period. If a qualifying event occurs, an employee must report it within 31 days, or the change cannot be made until the next open enrollment period. More information regarding eligible change in family status events is available from the Human Resources Service Center on the West Lafayette campus or from the regional campus human resources offices.

Health Plans/Vision/Preventive Dental Coverages

All health plans offered provide coverage for preventive care, hospitalization, various outpatient services and prescription drugs. Coverage becomes effective when an employee is hired or when first enrolled in the plan. Employees who have medical coverage outside the University may elect not to participate in Purdue’s health plans.

Staff members who retire as official University retirees have access to retiree health coverage; however, the retiree pays the full cost of the coverage. Plans are available for retirees under age 65 as well as those 65 and over.

Vision Preventive Dental: All benefit-eligible employees have basic vision coverage, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in a Purdue health plan. However, dependents must be enrolled in a Purdue health plan to be covered by the vision plans and preventive dental.

Extending Health Plan Coverage

Under certain circumstances, individuals who are no longer eligible for medical plan coverage can qualify for continuing coverage as defined by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA).

Voluntary Dental Coverage

Plans that cover dental services beyond what is provided under the preventive dental plan are available

Additional Accidental Death and Dismemberment (ADD)

The University provides a basic level of Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage at no cost to eligible employees. This plan also allows for purchase of additional amounts of coverage arranged at group rates for the employee, spouse and/or dependent children. The plan covers accidents on a 24-hour basis, both on and off the job. In the event of an accident that causes loss of life, sight or limb, the proceeds of ADD are paid in addition to other eligible life insurance benefits.

Short-Term Disability

Short-term disability (STD) coverage is available to clerical and service staff members to match the sick leave program provided for these positions.

Upon completing one year of employment at Purdue, clerical and service staff members become eligible to participate in this coverage. The STD benefit is equal to 65 percent of an employee’s budgeted pay and covers times when an employee is unable to work due to illness or injury, as certified by a physician. Employees pay the full cost for this coverage.

Flexible Spending Accounts/Health Savings Accounts (FSA/HSA)

Depending on the type of medical plan chosen, the university offers access to FSA and HSA plans.  Flexible spending accounts (FSA) are available for two types of expenses — health care and dependent day care. Separate elections are required each year during open enrollment in accordance with IRS regulations.

These optional programs allow employees to save money by having contributions taken from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis. This untaxed money is then available to reimburse the individual for certain healthcare and/or dependent day care services provided during the calendar year.