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Health and Other Benefits

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Eligibility

Get details on staff/faculty and dependent eligibility to determine if you or a family member 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 but may contribute to the 403(b) Retirement Plan without SMU matching contributions. 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 but may contribute to the 403(b) Retirement Plan without SMU matching contributions. 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.

Postdoctoral 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.

SMU has contracted with UnifyHR to perform dependent eligibility verification on its behalf for all dependents enrolling in the SMU Medical, Dental and/or Vision plans. If you enroll one or more dependents, you are required to submit acceptable documents to verify that each dependent is eligible for coverage. Instructions and a detailed list of acceptable documentation for each dependent type will be in included in the mailing you will receive from UnifyHR. If you have questions about the verification process, please call UnifyHR Customer Care at 469-283-0942 or email support@UnifyHR.com.

What Are The Dependent Eligibility Rules?

Eligible dependents include your legal spouse and dependent children. "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.

  • Dental Plan: Unmarried children until age 26 (regardless of student status).

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

  • 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.

  • InfoArmor:  Family plan covers spouse and up to three dependents.

  • LegalGUARD:  Unmarried dependent children, including stepchildren, legally adopted children, children placed in the home for adoption and foster children, up to age 19, and from age 19 to 25 years if they are enrolled in an accredited school or college as full-time student(s) and are primarily dependent upon the Member 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.

Dependent Eligibility Verification

SMU has contracted with UnifyHR to perform dependent eligibility verification for all dependents enrolled in the SMU Medical, Dental and /or Vision plans.  Shortly after you complete your life event enrollment, you will receive a mailing from UnifyHR requesting documentation to verify that each dependent is eligible for coverage.  Instructions, FAQ, and a detailed list of acceptable documentation will be included in the mailing.

We understand this process requires time and effort on your part and appreciate your assistance in maintaining plan compliance and managing healthcare costs by ensuring that only eligible dependents are enrolled.

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.