Case Western Reserve University provides employee benefits through Benelect, which offers you the ability to choose the benefits that best meet your needs.
What is Benelect?
Benelect is a flexible benefits program that offers a number of advantages. One of the most important advantages? Choice. You can choose the type of coverage you want and the number of people you want to cover—or you can choose no coverage.
Because you'll choose only the benefits you need, the university can control fringe benefit costs more effectively. And by providing choices, Benelect can better meet the diverse needs of all faculty and staff members.
Benelect also helps you save on taxes. By paying for insurance premiums and putting money into spending accounts on a pre-tax basis, you pay less in Social Security, federal and state income taxes. And using your pre-tax dollars to pay for your benefits and/or spending account deposits will not affect coverage for pay-related benefits such as personal life insurance, long-term disability coverage or retirement plan contributions. Those benefits will continue to be calculated from your gross pay.
Ready to start choosing your benefits coverage? Here’s a quick primer of options available to faculty and staff of Case Western Reserve.
- Group Medical: Your choice of coverage through Anthem preferred provider organization (PPO) or high-deductible health plan (HDHP), SuperMed Plus PPO and health maintenance organization (HMO)
- Group Dental: Coverage through DenteMax dental provider organization (DPO) and CWRU School of Dental Medicine
- Group Vision: Coverage through VSP and Union Eye Care
- Group Life Basic: Basic coverage of $20,000. The premium is paid by CWRU. The coverage is reduced at age 65 and further reduced at age 70.
- Group Life Contributory: Coverage comes in multiples of 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3 times annual salary or $50,000. Cost depends on age and options selected. CWRU shares the premium cost. The benefit is reduced at age 65 and is further reduced at age 70.
- Long-term Disability: Available after six months of disability at 60 percent of salary, offset by primary Social Security and/or worker's compensation. Provides a minimum benefit of $100 per month and a maximum benefit of $6,000 per month. Premium paid by CWRU.
- Spending Accounts: Health care/dependent care spending accounts that permit pre-tax payment of eligible expenses
When Do Benefits Start?
Current Employees: You will select your benefits during the Open Enrollment period. Your benefits begin January 1 of the new year and remain in effect for the whole calendar year.
New Hires: Your benefits begin when employment starts if the start date is on the first business day of the month; otherwise, benefits begin on the first day of the month following the month in which employment is started.
The university contributes varying amounts of money toward the purchase of select benefits. The shared percentages are based on the number of hours worked per week and Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) employment status:
- 2019 Benelect cost structure for full-time employees
- 2019 Benelect cost structure for three-quarter-time (nonexempt working 28-37.4 hours/week, exempt working 30-39.9 hours/week)
- 2019 Benelect cost structure for half-time (nonexempt working 18.75-27.9 hours/week, exempt working 20-29.9 hours/week)
Your Qualifying Members
For some Benelect benefits, coverage is available not just for you but for qualifying family members as well. Qualifying family members include:
- your spouse or equivalent (domestic partner),
- children under age 26 and
- unmarried children of any age if they are mentally or physically incapable of supporting themselves.
To provide proof of dependency for family members, use the Dependent Verification Document Requirements. Proof of domestic partnership through notarized affidavit is required for spousal equivalent. Children who have reached age 26 are eligible for COBRA coverage if they are currently covered through Benelect. Detailed information can be obtained from Benefits Administration.
Making Changes due to Life Events
The benefit choices you make are in effect for one calendar year and may be changed only during the annual enrollment period to take effect for the following year. The exception to this Internal Revenue Service regulation is a change in family or job status, which allows you to make the appropriate benefit changes mid-year by notifying Benefits Administration within 30 days of the change. View more information about qualifying life events.