Insurance & Benefits FAQ
Is enrollment automatic?
No. There are forms that must be submitted to the Benefits & Retirement Department to enroll in all insurance within 60 days of employment. The start date for insurance coverage is the first day of the month following completion and submission of insurance forms and payment of premiums.
Is there a waiting period for insurance coverage to begin?
No. Employees are eligible to begin insurance coverage on the first day of the month following the first day of employment. Enrollment must occur within the first 60 days of the employee hire date. Contact the Benefits & Retirement Department for assistance.
How long can I keep my children as dependents on my insurance?
Children may remain on the insurance plan through the end of the year, December 31, of their 26th birthday. A dependent's coverage will be suspended for not providing proper documentation.
After enrollment, do I receive membership cards?
Yes. Cards are mailed to the home address as it appears on the employees W-4 file, in the month the coverage begins. If cards are not received, contact the member services department of the appropriate health plan. Keep in mind that the address used to send information from the insurance companies is the one provided on the W-4 form. When moving, remember to provide the department representative with an updated W-4 form.
What is the difference between the Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO's)?
The premiums and co-payments are the same. Doctors may differ from plan to plan.
Does family coverage cost the same with only 1 dependent?
Yes. Regardless of the number of dependents, the cost of family coverage is the same.
If I did not enroll in health insurance when I was hired, can I change my mind later?
Employees have 60 days after the first date of hire to enroll. After that 60-day deadline, employees must wait until Open Enrollment to enroll.
What happens to my premium rates if I go from full-time to part-time employment?
The premiums are based on employment status. Changes in status, including changes to the FTE will result in either an increase or decrease in premiums. For instance, going from full-time to part-time will increase the employee out-of-pocket premium rates because the State will decrease the amount of its contribution. If you experience a change in employment status, contact Benefits & Retirement Department for options and premium rates.
Can I cancel my insurance because I can not afford it?
An employee must have a Qualifying Status Change (QSC) event occur in order to cancel insurance. Otherwise, employees must wait for Open Enrollment.
When should I add my unborn baby to my health insurance coverage?
PeopleFirst strongly urges employees anticipating the birth of a child to change to family coverage as soon as they become aware of the pregnancy, but, if individual coverage is in effect at the time of the baby’s birth, you will have 31 days from the birth of the child to enroll in family coverage. The effective date of coverage will be retroactive to the beginning of the month in which the child is born and premiums will be due accordingly. The baby's social security number is required for coverage.
Can I keep my health insurance coverage after I terminate from the University?
Yes, the COBRA law allows you and your covered family members to continue health coverage for up to 18 months, and possibly longer under certain circumstances. To continue your supplemental coverage, you must contact the individual supplemental company for the continuation forms. Please contact PeopleFirst for information and continuation forms if you wish to continue your health insurance.
What plan am I eligible to participate in?
All SP employees must participate in the Florida Retirement System. Faculty and AMP are eligible to participate in the Florida Retirement System or the Optional Retirement Program. Employees must choose during the first ninety (90) days of employment.
What is normal retirement age for the Florida Retirement System?
For members hired July 1, 2011 or later, normal retirement age is age 65 or 33 years of service. For those hired prior to July 1, 2011, normal retirement age is age 62 or 30 years of service.
What is normal retirement age for the Optional Retirement Program?
There is no age or length of service requirement to begin receiving annuity payments. Penalties may be assessed if retirement occurs before age 59½.
What is vesting?
Vesting refers to the time-frame required to work in order to receive a future benefit under a retirement plan.
For Pension Plan members hired July 1, 2011 or later, vesting occurs after 8 years of credible service. For Pension Plan members hired prior to July 1, 2011, vesting occurs after 6 years of credible service.
For Investment Plan members, vesting occurs after one year of credible service.
What is the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) and what are the criteria to participate in the plan?
The Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) is an option available to employees enrolled in the defined benefit plan. It allows employees who meet normal retirement (members hired July 1, 2011 or later, normal retirement age is 65 or 33 years of service. For those hired prior to July 1, 2011, normal retirement age is age 62 or 30 years of service) to retire and begin accumulating the monthly retirement benefits without terminating employment for up to 60 months. The monthly retirement pension remains in a holding account while the employee continues to work (but does not earn additional service credit for retirement). To be eligible for DROP, employees must be vested (eight years of credible service if hired July 1, 2011 or later, 6 years of credible service if hired prior to July, 2011) and eligible for normal retirement (based on years of service or age) as a member of the FRS Pension Plan.
Will I be required to provide proof of birth at the time of retirement?
Yes, when you apply for retirement benefits you will be required to furnish proof of your age and, if you are providing a benefit for a joint annuitant, proof of their age. Acceptable copies of documents are:
- Birth certificate
- Delayed birth certificate
- Census report more than 30 years old
- Life insurance policy more than 30 years old
- Documentation from Social Security Administration stating the date of birth established for payment of benefits to you or your joint annuitant
- Certificate of naturalization
- A readable copy of a document from two of the following categories will be required, if you cannot furnish any of the documents listed above:
Birth certificate of your child, giving your (or your joint annuitant's) age
Baptismal certificate more than 30 years old
School record at time you (or your joint annuitant) entered grammar school
What is the Health Insurance Subsidy (HIS) program and who is eligible for this benefit?
The HIS is a monthly supplemental payment to help offset a retiree's health insurance premium. The amount of the subsidy is based on service credit ($5 for each year) at time of retirement up to 30 years or a maximum of $150. Only members of the Florida Retirement System (FRS pension and Investment Plan) are authorized to receive this supplement if they have health coverage. Visit the FRS web site for more detailed information on this subject.