General Benefits Information

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Open Enrollment

Special Enrollment and Family Status Changes

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Special Information for Terminating Employees

Open Enrollment

Each year eligible employees are given the opportunity to make changes in their insurance coverage. Employees may use this opportunity to change insurance plans (for medical insurance) or coverage (for dental and vision insurance), to add insurance not previously carried, enroll or re-enroll in flexible spending accounts, and to add dependents not previously covered. Generally, this is the only such opportunity during the year to make these type of changes. However, special enrollments and family status changes such as those shown below, may occur outside open enrollment.

Special Enrollment and Family Status Changes

In some cases, employees may make changes to their benefits outside of Open Enrollment:

  • If you or your dependents lose eligibility for other coverage or if the employer stops contributing towards your or your dependents’ other coverage.  Ex., spouse loses a job and the corresponding insurance coverage with that job.  Enrollment must be requested within 30 days after your coverage ends (or after the employer stops contributing toward the other coverage).
  • If you have a new dependent as a result of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, you may be able to enroll yourself and your dependents.  Enrollment must be requested within 30 days after the marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.  Likewise, in the case of a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or dependent becoming independent, you must request changes within 30 days of such an event.
  • In addition to the above special enrollments, you may also enroll if you previously waived benefits when initially eligible because your position was part-time (.50 -.79 FTE for staff, .50 -.74 FTE for faculty) but recently experienced an increase in FTE (expected to continue for three months or longer) and are now eligible for full-time medical/dental benefit coverage.  Changes must be requested within 30 days of such an event.

To determine whether you may make midyear changes to your benefits, and to complete respective paperwork, please contact the Office of Human Resources directly at (206)281-2809.

Special Information For Terminating Employees

Insurance Benefits

Medical, dental, vision, life insurance and flexible spending account benefits will be extended through the end of the last month of employment in which the employee meets eligibility requirements for benefits at Seattle Pacific University.

The continuation of the above listed benefits ends on the first day of the month following the employee's termination date. At that time, the employee and any covered dependents are eligible to participate, at their own cost, in medical, dental and flexible spending account COBRA as outlined in the COBRA section of this Benefits handbook.

Life insurance and long term disability insurance may be converted to a personal policy within the first 30 days following the date of employee's termination. In some cases, you may also be able to convert other additional voluntary benefits.  Medical insurance may also be converted to an individual policy within the first 30 days following the date of employee's termination or within 30 days following the termination of COBRA coverage.

Premium rates and benefit levels for converted life insurance and long term disability insurance or medical insurance will not necessarily remain identical to the University's group insurance plans. Conversion policy premium rates and benefit levels are set at the discretion of the insurance vendors.

Retirement Plan

A retiring employee who would like to begin receiving benefits needs to contact the vendor (Diversified, TIAA-CREF or Fidelity Investments) to complete the appropriate paperwork and schedule the benefit payments. Other details will be provided as part of the exit process.

Tuition Scholarship

Tuition scholarships for the employee and dependents may continue through the remainder of the quarter then in session, if resignation is effective after the tenth day of class.


Accrued vacation will be paid out after the last day of employment, provided proper notification is given, or with supervisor or department head approval.