Insured Benefits

Last updated August 1, 2001

Eligibility for Benefits

All regular employees on a .50 FTE or greater appointment are eligible for insured benefits (NUFlex). Temporary employees appointed for more than six months are also eligible for insured benefits (except for University contributions to retirement) provided the position is half-time or greater.

Employee Benefit Packages

Benefit packages explain the NUFlex benefits offered at UNL and include an insurance application for new employee enrollment.

Insurance forms are to be completed by the new employee and returned to the department as soon as possible. The department should then forward the insurance application along with the retirement prior service record and the PAF to enter the employee into the University's database system.

All new employees should be given a benefits package by the hiring department. Departments will receive this package when a hiring request is made through the Employment Section. If employees are hired directly through the department, the department is responsible for obtaining a benefits package from the Benefits Office.

Completion of Insurance Application (New Hires)

It is important that new employees complete insurance applications promptly. It is required that the application be attached to the PAF which is submitted by the hiring department.

NOTE: If an employee's insurance application is submitted more than 31 days after the date of hire or eligibility, the employee will receive the free $10,000 of life insurance but no other coverage

Effective Date of Insurance Coverage

The effective date of coverage for a new employee is the first day of the month following the employee's initial hire date. If the employee begins employment on the first workday of the month, benefit coverage will begin on the first day of employment.

Annual Enrollment Period

Because the University allows employees to tax shelter contributions, changes in the NUFlex program may be made only once a year during the annual enrollment period. This occurs in November and December with changes becoming effective on January 1. An exception to this rule is when an employee has a change in family status or an employee or the employee's spouse has a change in employment status.

When a change in family or employment status occurs, an employee has 31 days from the status change date to make a change in benefits.

During certain enrollment periods (annual enrollment or status change), evidence of insurability may be required by the insurance provider.

Special Factors Allowing Coverage

Temporary Employees

Temporary employees may be appointed for a period of up to two years. Those appointed for more than six months are eligible for benefits from the beginning of the appointment, provided the position is half-time or greater. Those appointed for six months or less are not eligible for benefits.

An employee who is reappointed after the first six months of a temporary appointment is eligible for benefits, beginning on the first of the month following the effective date of reappointment. If the second appointment is in another UNL position, and if it occurs within the same calendar month in which the separation occurs, the employee is eligible for benefits.

NOTE: Departments are responsible for notifying temporary employees who become eligible for insurance benefits

Regular employees transferring into a temporary position are eligible for all benefits received in the regular appointment except for tuition remission, administrative leave, funeral leave, and university contributions to retirement. If a break in service occurs, employees are eligible for benefits only if the temporary appointment begins in the same calendar month in which separation occurs.

Leave of Absence Without Pay

An employee on an approved leave of absence without pay may arrange with the Benefits Office to continue benefits on a pay direct basis. The employee is then billed for the full cost of benefits, including both the employee share and the University's share.

Retired Employees

Employees who retire may continue their health, dental, and a portion of their life insurance on a pay direct basis. This is arranged with the Benefits Office, and retirees must pay the full cost without contribution from the University.

NUFlex, What is it?

NUFlex is the term given to the University of Nebraska flexible insured benefits program which offers choices in the following benefit areas:

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Life Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability (LTD)
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Dependent Life Insurance
  • Reimbursement Account.
NUCredits

Each year the University provides employees with an allowance of NUCredits. This allowance represents part of the money the University contributes for the employee's benefits. Under NUFlex this money is the employee's to distribute according to individual need.

If an employee's benefit and reimbursement account choices add up to less than the employee's allowance of NUCredits, the employee will receive the remaining amount as taxable cash, paid in the regular paycheck.

If an employee chooses a level of benefits that adds up to more than the amount of NUCredits, part of the regular pay may be converted to pretax dollars to pay for benefits and to reduce taxable income. The exception to this is the dependent life insurance benefit, which is most beneficial if premiums are paid with after-tax dollars.

Under NUFlex each benefit option has a price tag. Price tags reflect the individual differences and needs of employees.

Change in Status

It is important to note that the choices an employee makes will be in effect for the entire calendar year.

Family Status

If there is a change in family status (marriage, divorce, legal separation, birth, or adoption), employees may change (within 31 days of the status change) their coverage for:

  • Medical and dental insurance (who is covered, not the plan).
  • LTD, life insurance, AD&D, and dependent life insurance options.
  • Amount contributed to the Reimbursement Account.

Evidence of insurability may be required.

Employment Status

If an employee or the employee's spouse has a change in employment status (new job, layoff, or dismissal), the employee may change (within 31 days of the status change) coverage for:

  • Medical insurance (who is covered, not the plan).
  • LTD, life insurance, AD&D, and dependent life option.
  • Amount contributed to the Reimbursement Account.

Evidence of insurability may be required.

Special Option Coverage Under NUFlex

NUFlex offers a special option coverage to University employees who elect to have health care coverage through a spouse's health insurance carrier. An employee whose spouse has lost coverage because of loss of job (separation or layoff, not voluntary resignation) will be allowed to enroll in a medical insurance plan without evidence of insurability. Application must be made within 31 days after the spouse loses coverage.

University Retirement Plan

The University of Nebraska Retirement Plan is a qualified tax deferred governmental pension plan. Under this plan, employees are eligible to defer tax free dollars into a designated account where the University will match contributions at a predesignated rate.

Specific questions regarding the retirement plan should be directed to the Benefits Office.

Participation Requirements

All regular employees who are age 30 or older, have completed two years of service at UNL and/or any other educational institution, and have an employment status equal to .50 FTE or greater must participate in the retirement program as a condition of employment. In addition, those who are 26 years of age or older with two years of service and an employment status of .50 FTE or greater, may participate voluntarily. Service with other educational employers may be used to satisfy the two years of service requirement. (Prior service record must be completed at time of hire.)

Contribution Schedule

A choice of contribution levels is available to any qualified employee, regardless of employment category.

The following is the contribution schedule:

Level

Employer
Contribution
Employee
Contribution
Tier 1
6.5%
3.5%
Tier 2
8.0%
5.5%

In accordance with federal regulations, eligible employees, regardless of employment category, may choose either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Employees may change from Tier 1 to Tier 2, but no change may be made from Tier 2.