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Health and Other Benefits

Health at SMU

Eligibility

Get details on staff/faculty, dependent, and domestic partner eligibility to determine if you or someone else in your family qualifies to participate in our benefits plans. Once you understand who is eligible for benefits, visit the qualified life events section to learn how specific life events such as a birth, adoption, legal guardianship, change in marital status, or the death of a spouse or enrolled dependent may also affect eligibility and your choices.

Faculty and Staff Eligibility

Full-time Employees

Full-time Faculty and Staff engaged to work 12 months per year; 35 hours or more per week.
Eligible for all benefits.

Temporary full-time Faculty (those employed for one semester only) are not eligible for SMU Benefits.

Full-time Employees - Partial Year

Full-time Faculty & Staff engaged to work less than 12 but not less than 9 months per year; 35 hours or more per week. Eligible for all benefits.

Temporary full-time Faculty (those employed for one semester only) are not eligible for SMU Benefits.

Part-time Employees

Part-time Staff engaged to work at least 12 months per year; at least 20 but less than 35 hours per week. Eligible for all benefits except Tuition benefits.

Part-time Faculty are not eligible for SMU benefits. The members of the University faculties who are part-time receive appointments with the titles of "Visiting" or "Adjunct" preceding the appropriate rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor. Part-time faculty may also be appointed as Lecturers and as Scholars-in-Residence.

Part-time Employees - Partial Year

Part-time Staff engaged to work less than 12 but not less than 9 months per year; at least 20 but less than 35 hours per week. Eligible for all benefits except Tuition benefits; eligible for 403(b) Retirement Plan at age 21.

Part-time Faculty are not eligible for SMU benefits. The members of the University faculties who are part-time receive appointments with the titles of "Visiting" or "Adjunct" preceding the appropriate rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor. Part-time faculty may also be appointed as Lecturer, Executive-in-Residence and as Scholar-in-Residence.

Post Doctoral Fellows

Full-time Post Doctoral Fellows employed for a limited period of time, typically less than one year; 35 hours per week. Eligible for Medical, Dental, Vision, Basic Life ($10,000), Supplemental Life Insurance, AD&D Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, 403(b) Retirement Plan (no SMU matching contribution), paid Sick Leave, Social Security, federal withholding, Workers Compensation, Unemployment Compensation holidays.

Post Doctoral Fellows are not eligible for the Emeriti Health Account, 403(b) Retirement Plan (with SMU matching contribution), Long-Term Disability, Vacation Leave and Tuition Benefits.

Temporary, Contractual or Student Employees

SMU benefits are not available for these employees.

Dependent Eligibility Criteria

SMU requires that all dependents enrolled in SMU Benefits Plans meet the eligibility criteria outlined below. It is extremely important that you understand the eligibility criteria and enroll only those dependents that meet this criteria. Covering dependents that are not eligible is a violation of the Internal Revenue IRS Code, as well as University Policy. If your child is ineligible or becomes ineligible for coverage you must notify the Department of Human Resources by emailing benefitsu@smu.edu immediately.

What Are The Dependent Eligibility Rules?

Eligible dependents include your legal spouse or qualified domestic partner, and dependent children (including dependent children of a qualified domestic partner). "Children" are defined as your natural children, stepchildren, legally adopted children, and children under your legal guardianship.

  • Medical Plans: Children until age 26 -- even if the child no longer attends college, doesn't live with his/her parents, is married, and/or is not a declared dependent.

    • Coverage ends on the day prior to attainment of age 26.

  • Dental Plan: Unmarried children until age 19 (or until age 25 if a full-time student).

    • If the dependent is not a full-time student at age 19, coverage ends on the last day of the month in which the 19th birthday occurs.

    • If the dependent ceases to be enrolled as a full-time student prior to the 25th birthday, coverage ends on the last day of the month in which he/she ceases to be a full-time student.

    • If the dependent continues to be enrolled as a full-time student, coverage ends on the last day of the month in which the 25th birthday occurs.

  • Vision Plan: Unmarried children until age 25 (regardless of student status).

    • Coverage ends on the last day of the month in which the 25th birthday occurs.

  • Dependent Life Insurance Plan:Unmarried children until age 25 (regardless of student status) and unmarried natural or adopted grandchildren, until age 25, who are financially dependent upon you for support.

  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D): Unmarried children until age 25 (regardless of student status) and unmarried natural or adopted grandchildren, until age 25, who are financially dependent upon you for support.

Physically or mentally disabled children of any age who are incapable of self-support are eligible for continued coverage. Proof of disability is required.

Loss of Dependent Eligibility

Please review the COBRA page for information regarding coverage options for dependents who no longer meet the eligibility requirements for SMU medical, dental, or vision coverage.

Michelle's Law

"Michelle's Law" became a federal law effective October 2009. This legislation enables students suffering from a serious illness or injury to take a medical leave during which they may reduce their course load to less than full-time or leave college for up to 12 months, to concentrate on their health needs - without jeopardizing the insurance they rely on to help pay for necessary medical services. Following are several key points. If you have a child in this situation please call the Department of Human Resources at 214-768-3311.

This legislation allows full-time college students to take up to 12 months medical leave.

  • It applies to students who are covered under their parent's health insurance plan.

  • "Medical leave" can mean that the student is absent from school or reduces his/her course load to part-time.

  • The date the medical leave begins is determined by the student's physician.

Domestic Partner Benefits

Southern Methodist University extends all benefits to a same-sex domestic partner of an SMU employee that are available to the spouse of an SMU employee. However, the IRS does not allow a tax exemption for employer benefits available to domestic partners.

Eligibility

You and your domestic partner must meet the following criteria:

  • You are not married to anyone else and have not been within the last twelve months;
  • You are of the same gender;
  • You are at least eighteen years of age and mentally competent to consent to a contract;
  • You are not related by adoption, blood or marriage to a degree of closeness that would prohibit legal marriage in the state of residence;
  • You currently reside with each other in the same principal residence and have done so for the last six months and intend to do so indefinitely; and
  • You are jointly responsible for your common welfare by demonstration of financial interdependence.

Children of a Domestic Partner

Your domestic partner's child(ren) must meet the criteria for dependent child for the specific benefit plan in which you wish to enroll the child(ren), or for any other University service or policy.

To be recognized as qualified domestic partners, you both must sign a Statement of Domestic Partnership and submit it, along with supporting documentation, to the Department of Human Resources, Attn: Benefits Representative.

Supporting Documentation

You must agree to maintain documentation that demonstrates this joint responsibility by the existence of at least 2 of the following requirements:

  • Joint ownership of real estate or joint lease
  • Joint ownership of an automobile
  • Joint bank account and/or other financial instruments
  • Designation by either as the primary beneficiary in the other's will
  • Designation by either as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement contract having a death benefit
  • Other documentation acceptable to SMU evidencing financial interdependence

Dissolution of Domestic Partnership

If you or your domestic partner end your relationship, or your relationship no longer meets the requirements established in the Statement of Domestic Partnership, you must complete and submit a Notice of Dissolution of Domestic Partnership within 31 days of the dissolution of the relationship.  Dissolution of a domestic partnership constitutes a Life Change Event and entitles a former domestic partner and his/her dependent children to continue Medical and Dental coverage, if enrolled, under COBRA.

If you terminate a domestic partnership you must wait a minimum of twelve months from the date of Notice of Dissolution of Domestic Partnership to register and sign a new Statement of Domestic Partnership.


Can't find what you need?

Email Us Email us at benefitsu@smu.edu.
Call Us 214-768-3311