News

July 15, 2019

 

RE:  Additional Employee Orientation Sessions for Faculty and Supportive Professional Staff (SPS)

Welcome to Northern Illinois University.  As an employee of Northern Illinois University, you may be eligible for benefits under a health, dental, and life insurance plan to which the State of Illinois contributes.  Human Resource Services (HRS) strongly encourages you to attend an orientation session for new Faculty and Supportive Professional Staff (SPS) employees.  During the session, you will learn about the various options available to you concerning health, life, dental, retirement, other NIU sponsored benefits, payroll procedures, deductions, and other services.  The State of Illinois benefits enrollment deadline is thirty (30) calendar days after the start date of your appointment.  For Faculty and Supportive Professional Staff hired with an effective date of August 16, 2019, your deadline for enrollment is September 14, 2019Failure to complete the online benefits enrollment within the 30-day period will result in your benefit plan being defaulted into the State's Quality Care medical and dental plans and your eligible dependents not being enrolled in coverage.   Individuals on visa status should contact Noor Harrison at 815.753.6373 to determine benefit eligibility.

The actual enrollment into insurance coverage needs to be done online on the MyBenefits website .  This enrollment can only be done after all required hiring documents have been submitted to NIU, and your record has been entered into our Human Resource Information System as well as the State of Illinois online system.  Employees will be given additional information regarding the online enrollment process at the orientation session. 

New employees are required to present specific documentation for the employee and any dependents at the time of enrollment, including social security cards, birth certificates, marriage license, documentation of civil union, etc. 

Please note the following important deadlines:

  • State of Illinois Statutes require that all new employees who meet eligibility requirements have only thirty (30) calendar days from the beginning date of their contract in which to elect optional insurance coverage, opt out of insurance benefits, enroll dependents, or to select a health plan.
  • Full-time employees who fail to make their benefit choices or opt out of the coverage within the required thirty (30) calendar day period will be automatically enrolled in the Quality Care Health and Dental Plan with basic life insurance.  Dependent coverage can only then be added during the annual Benefits Choice Period of May 1 - 31 of the following year to be effective on July 1, 2020, unless there is a “qualifying event.”
  • Part-time employees (greater than 50 percent and less than 100 percent) who are eligible for insurance benefits must either participate in the insurance program (with an applicable employee premium) or waive coverage within the required thirty (30) calendar day period.  However, failure to make benefit choices or waive coverage will result in automatic enrollment in the Quality Care Health and Dental Plan with basic life insurance.  If enrolled, the employee must pay a portion of the State’s cost in relation to the percentage of employment.  Dependent coverage can only then be added during the annual Benefits Choice Period of May 1 - 31 of the following year to be effective on July 1, unless there is a “qualifying event.”  If you already have other health insurance coverage, you may be able to waive coverage.  However, to do so, you must complete your online enrollment within thirty (30) calendar days after the employment start date noted in your offer letter.
  • An employee on a 50 percent or greater FTE contract may not be covered as a dependent on a spouse’s or partner's insurance plan when both are employees of Northern Illinois University or the State of Illinois.  Contact the Insurance and Benefits Office if you may be affected by this rule.
  • Benefit coverage becomes effective on the first date of the appointment. Late enrollment contingencies or questions should be discussed with Maya Wilk-Siuba at 815.753.6036 (servicing employees with last names beginning with A-L) or Renee Bechtel at 815.753.8230 (servicing employees with last names beginning with M-Z).
  • Under the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), new employees have six months from the date of their appointment to choose among available retirement program options.  A high-level overview of these options will be presented at the orientation sessions, and a detailed information booklet will be mailed to your home address from the SURS after you begin at NIU.  Note:  Currently, the election of a State of Illinois retirement program option is irrevocable.  Early information is critical to your ability to select the plan that is best suited to your needs. If you were previously employed at any public institution of higher education in the State of Illinois that participates in SURS, you will need to inform HRS at the start of your employment.

Scheduled orientation sessions to learn about your benefits at Northern Illinois University are noted below for your convenience.  New employee orientation sessions are held in Room 100 at the Human Resource Services building located at 1515 W. Lincoln Highway (Route 38), just west of the water tower.  Parking is available, and you may obtain a temporary parking permit from our Service Center staff prior to the start of the session, if you do not already have one.

2019 Faculty / SPS Orientation Session Schedule (For the September 14 Benefits Enrollment Deadline):

August 14, 2019 Wednesday 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
August 22, 2019 Thursday 4:30 - 8:30 p.m.
August 27, 2019 Tuesday 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
September 5, 2019 Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


We look forward to meeting you and assisting with your important benefit decisions.  If you are unable to attend the scheduled Faculty/SPS orientations, regular orientation sessions are held every Monday from 8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Additional orientation and workshop sessions are also being planned to assist with other aspects of your employment at NIU. 

To review our current benefit program information, visit our website at www.hr.niu.edu and follow the links to view information on our various benefit carriers.  You may also visit the MyBenefits website and review benefit options under the category of “State Employees Group Insurance Program (SEGIP) – SEGIP Member” at https://MyBenefits.illinois.gov for information on benefit plans, dependent coverage, and to refer to the Benefit Choice Options booklet online.  The HRS website will provide all updated information and rates as we receive them. 

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact Maya Wilk-Siuba at 815.753.6036 (servicing employees with last names beginning with A-L) or Renee Bechtel at 815.753.8230 (servicing employees with last names beginning with M-Z).  All benefit plan provisions and procedures are subject to CMS policies and regulations.