Health and Other Benefits

Health at SMU

Health and Other Benefits

SMU offers a comprehensive, cost-effective and competitive benefits package to help protect you and your family.  But it works only if you take control and make thoughtful decisions about your benefits.  You need to take an active role in understanding and choosing your benefits.  This way, you can be sure your benefits support your needs and goals. To help you make informed benefits choices, SMU gives you several tools, including this webpage and the Benefits Guide.

  • Click on the above tabs to access additional information. 

  • To determine whether you, your spouse/domestic partner, or dependent are eligible, please visit the Eligibility page linked to the right.

  • To see if you qualify for benefit changes due to various life events, please visit the Life Events page also to the right to learn more about it.

SMU provides a comprehensive array of health plans designed to meet the individual needs of SMU employees and their eligible family members. The Medical, Dental, and Vision plans cover routine preventive care services at little or no cost to participants. SMU is committed to providing health coverage and resources to help you maintain your health and prevent diseases.

Medical Plan

SMU's Health and Wellness Plan, administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas, includes several deductible options. All of the plans cover a wide variety of medical services, including office visits, prescription drugs, and inpatient and outpatient care.

Prescription Drug Plan

This section provides information on SMU's Prescription Drug Plan, administered by Express Scripts (formerly known as Medco). If participants enroll in one the SMU's Health and Wellness Plan PPO options, prescription drug coverage is included. Participants have the choice of purchasing their prescriptions through local retail pharmacies or through a mail order program.

Dental Plan

Administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas, the Dental Preferred Provider Organization gives participants the ability to visit any dentist, without referrals for al of your dental care. If participants select of on BCBSTX's network dentists, they will generally pay less for the care. Should they choose a dentist outside of BCBSTX's PPO network, the share of costs will be higher and may need to file their own claims.

Vision Plan

This section provides information on SMU's Vision Plan, administered by VSP. This plan offers access to a large network of participating optometrists and ophthalmologists plus a few select retain chains. Participants' benefits include full examinations and access to lenses, frames, and contact lenses at discounted prices.

SMU provides a comprehensive array of spending accounts designed to meet the individual needs of SMU employees and their eligible family members. This includes the Flexible Spending Accounts and the Health Savings Account.

Flexible Spending Accounts

This section provides information of SMU's Flexible Spending Accounts. A FSA enables participants to pay for out-of-pocket health care or dependent daycare expenses with pre-tax payroll contributions. FSAs are exempt from federal taxes, Social Security (FICA) taxes and, in most cases, state income taxes. Tax savings and the effect on each paycheck will depend on the participant's situation (e.g. household income, tax bracket, and the amount participants contribute to the account).

Health Savings Account

This section provides information on SMU's Health Savings Account. If participants enroll in either the $2,500 or $5,000 Deductible PPO Options, then they will be able to take advantage of a special tax-savings feature called a Health Savings Account (HSA). The HSA is a tax-free bank account used to help pay the cost of eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses. Contributions to the account are made via payroll deduction.

SMU provides a comprehensive array of other insurance plans designed to meet the individual needs of SMU employees and their eligible family members. This includes the accidental death and dismemberment plan, coverage for business travel, life insurance, long-term care, and the long-term disability plan.

Basic Group Life Insurance

This section provides information on SMU's Basic Group Life Insurance.  All regular full-time and part-time faculty and staff are eligible for coverage effective on the first day of active employment. This benefit is paid in full by SMU.

Supplemental Life Insurance

This section provides information on SMU's Supplemental Life Insurance. Employees can purchase Supplemental Life Insurance for themselves, their spouse or domestic partner, and eligible dependent children. Premiums are deducted from the participant's paycheck on a pre-tax basis.

Accidental Death and Dismemberment Plan

This section provides information on how participants can purchase SMU's Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance. Administered by Reliance Standard, the cost of AD&D insurance is paid through payroll deductions on an pre-tax basis. The benefit amount the participants receive varies according to the amount of coverage elected and the type of loss incurred.

Long-Term Disability

This section provides information on SMU's Long-Term Disability Plan. This benefit are available to all full-time faculty and staff after 3 months of employment, and the cost is paid entirely by SMU.

Business Travel Insurance

This section provides information on SMU's Business Travel Accident Insurance for all full-time staff and faculty who are under age 75 and travel worldwide on business for the University. This benefit is provided at no cost to eligible staff and faculty. For additional information on this benefit contact SMU's Office of Risk Management

Administered by CNA

Group # 9953
(800) 528-4582

CNA Website
password: SMUCNALTC

SMU provides employees with the opportunity to purchase Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance through CNA, an affiliate of CNA Financial Corporation. If you enroll within 31 days of your date of hire you will be guaranteed acceptance.

You may also apply for coverage for your spouse or domestic partner, parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law.

Your premiums, and premiums for spouse or domestic partner coverage, if applicable, are deducted from your paycheck on an after-tax basis. All payments made under your policy are considered a reimbursement of expenses, and are not subject to State and Federal taxation.

Why consider purchasing Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care is not one service, but a variety of services available to individuals who are unable to care for themselves. Services include home health care, assisted living care, respite care, adult day care and nursing home care.

Some of the reasons Long-Term Care Service may be required include injury due to a car or sporting accident, the aging process, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.

Enrolling in Long-Term Care Insurance

SMU faculty and staff may enroll during their first 31 days of employment without Evidence of Insurability. For detailed information regarding your options and the cost of coverage refer to the LTC Detailed Plan Information Booklet and LTC Rates-Parents, etc. To apply, visit the CNA website (password: SMUCNALTC) for the application form and instructions. If you have questions please call CNA at (800) 528-4582.

If you are interested in applying for coverage for your spouse or domestic partner, you must complete the online application process on the CNA website.  If your spouse or domestic partner is accepted, his/her premiums will be included in your monthly payroll deductions.

If you wish to apply for coverage for your parents, parents-in-law, grandparents or grandparents-in-law, you must complete the online application process on the CNA website.  If accepted, premiums will be billed directly to the individual.

Continuing Coverage After You Leave SMU

If you are currently enrolled in voluntary Long-Term Care Insurance when you retire or terminate your SMU employment, you may continue your coverage after you leave. Call CNA at (800) 528-4582 to discuss billing arrangements. 

SMU provides a comprehensive array of other benefits programs designed to meet the individual needs of SMU employees and their eligible family members. This includes COBRA, employee assistance, leaves of absence, the Family Medical Leave Act, unemployment compensation, and workers' compensation.


This section provides information on the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA). This allows for continued coverage for a certain period if an employee, spouse or domestic partner, or dependent child loses group Medical, Dental, or Vision coverage due to a qualifying life event.

Employee Assistance Program

This section provides information on SMU's Employee Assistance Program. Administered through Magellan Health Services, EAP is designed to provide confidential counseling and referral services for all full-time and part-time faculty/staff members and their eligible dependents. SMU pays the full cost of providing the EAP and no employee contributions are required for this program.

Leave of Absence and FMLA

This section explains the variety of leaves SMU offers to support employees with their life needs including adoption leave, extended leave (unpaid), maternity leave, military and civil leave, paid medical leave, and qualifying exigency leave. In addition, the Family and Medical Leave Act grants eligible employees the right to take 12 work weeks of job-protected leave over a rolling 12-month period for the qualified reasons.

Tuition Benefits

Southern Methodist University offers tuition benefits to regular, full-time faculty and staff, their spouse/domestic partner, and their dependents.

Unemployment Compensation

This section provides information on SMU's Unemployment Compensation Plan. Should an employee be terminated, they may qualify for weekly Unemployment Compensation payments while they look for a new job.

Workers' Compensation

This section provides information on SMU's Workers Compensation Insurance to protect faculty, staff and students who are injured while working for SMU.


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