LAKERS TOGETHER: Find out information about COVID-19
Tenure Track Faculty Benefits
Effective July 1, 2016 newly hired part-time (less than three-quarters time) Tenure Track Faculty will not be eligible for GVSU medical benefits.
GVSU High Deductible Health Plan With HSA
Priority Health administers the GVSU High Deductible Health Plan with HSA. This plan encourages you to use the Priority Health PPO network which is the primary network or, if traveling outside of the network, Cigna which is a secondary national network. Services including physician office visits, prescriptions, hospital, surgical, laboratory & x-ray fees, chemotherapy, physical therapy, etc. will be subject to an in-network annual deductible of $2,000 for single coverage or $4,000 for dual or family coverage. Once the deductible has been met the plan covers 100% of eligible expenses.
Under the GVSU High Deductible Health Plan with HSA, you may go outside the Priority Health PPO network at any time. Outside the network, the plan provides coverage for 80% of eligible expenses for treatment of sickness or injury, after the annual deductible ($4,000 single, $8,000 dual/family maximum) is met. If your 20% annual share reaches the $2,000 limit for single coverage; $4,000 per dual/family, the plan covers 100% of eligible expenses. The out-of-pocket limit does not include deductibles, co-pays or any amounts exceeding reasonable and customary.
The Prescription drug benefit, provided by CVS/Caremark, is a generic mandatory program. You will be given a generic equivalent for each drug if one exists. If you request a brand name drug when a generic equivalent exists, you must provide the pharmacist with a DAW (Dispense As Written) from the prescribing physician. If you request a brand name without a DAW and a generic equivalent exists, you will pay the cost differential between the generic and brand name.
In 2018 GVSU introduced a pharmacy copayment on each prescription that you fill after you have met your annual deductible of $2,000 for single coverage or $4,000 for dual/family coverage. The copayment per prescription will be as follows
- Generic - $4.00
- Preferred Brand Name - $20.00
- Non-Preferred Brand Name - $40.00
The pharmacy copayment has an annual limit, so the most you could pay for the year, after you have met your deductible, is $250 for single and $500 for dual/family
GVSU Standard PPO Plan
Priority Health also administers the GVSU Standard PPO Plan. This plan encourages you to use the Priority Health PPO network which is the primary network or, if traveling outside of the network, Cigna which is a secondary national network. A $20 co-payment applies to Priority Health PPO network and Cigna physician's office visits. Other services including hospital, surgical, laboratory & x-ray fees, chemotherapy, physical therapy...etc. will be subject to an in-network annual deductible of $250 for single coverage; $500 for dual or family coverage & then payable at 90%. If your 10% share reaches the $1,000 out-of-pocket limit for single coverage; $2,000 for dual/family, the plan covers 100% of eligible expenses. The out-of-pocket limit does not include deductibles, co-pays or any amounts exceeding reasonable and customary.
Under the GVSU Standard PPO Plan, you may go outside the Priority Health PPO network at any time. Outside the network, the plan provides coverage for 70% of eligible expenses for treatment of sickness or injury, after the annual deductible ($500 for single, $1,000 dual/family maximum) is met. If your 30% annual share reaches the $2,500 limit for single coverage; $5,000 for dual/family, the plan covers 100% of eligible expenses. The out-of-pocket limit does not include deductibles, co-pays or any amounts exceeding reasonable and customary.
The Prescription drug benefit, provided by CVS/Caremark, is a generic mandatory program, which requires a co-payment of $4 for generic, $20 for formulary drugs and $40 for name brand and specialty drugs. You will be given a generic equivalent for each drug if one exists. If you request a brand name drug when a generic equivalent exists, you must provide the pharmacist with a DAW (Dispense As Written) from the prescribing physician. If you request a brand name without a DAW and a generic equivalent exists, you will pay the cost differential between the generic and brand name plus the co-pay.
If you have medical coverage through another non-GVSU plan, you may choose the "No Coverage" option, which enables you to opt out of all GVSU medical plans. To be eligible for the No Coverage option, you must provide proof of coverage under the other plan by completing the "Verification of Other Coverage-Medical" during enrollment.
If you and your spouse are employed by GVSU as regular faculty or staff, both of you must enroll in a medical plan. If you choose "no coverage" under your medical plan, you must be covered on your spouse's plan and you will not receive the medical credit for waiving coverage.
You may list each other as dependents for dental coverage, but you may not do so for medical coverage. If both you and your spouse want the optional vision coverage, only one person has to select this plan. Individuals who select the No Coverage option will receive a $750 cash credit annually, to be used for the purchase of other benefits or to be added to their paychecks as taxable income.
If you or one of your dependents become ineligible for other medical coverage during the year because of a status change, you have 30 days from the time of loss of coverage to enroll in any of the medical options available under GVSU's Personalized Benefits Program.
If you are looking for more information about Grand Valley's Medical plans or would like to look at the plan documents visit our Benefit Information Center.
Delta Dental PPO (Point-of-Service)
The Delta Dental PPO plan features a managed care incentive. The level of benefit coverage for eligible services depends on the dentist who is providing service(s). Under the Delta Dental PPO plan, you have a choice with every visit to use a Delta Dental participating dentist and receive the Premier level of benefit coverage or a Delta Dental PPO (PPO) member dentist and receive the PPO level of benefit coverage. The Delta Dental PPO plan provides an economic incentive to go to a PPO member dentist. You are free to change dentists at any time for any reason.
Participating dentists are reimbursed for each covered service performed based on the fee they charge for that service. PPO member dentists are paid on a fee-for-service basis according to a schedule established by Delta Dental.
The table below illustrates the different level of benefits and the percentages paid by Delta Dental and your co-pay percentage. Remember, in order to receive the PPO benefit, you must go to a PPO member dentist. Otherwise, your eligible services will be paid according to the Premier Dental benefit.
For a better understanding of what is covered Delta Dental Benefit Summary.
Visit the Delta Dental website where you can verify eligibility and benefits for yourself as well as spouses and dependents, check the status on claims, print an ID card, print a claim form and have access to a dentist directory - all through the consumer toolkit.
If you have dental coverage through a non-GVSU plan, you may choose the No Coverage option, which enables you to opt out of the GVSU dental plan. To be eligible for the No Coverage option, you must provide proof of coverage under another plan by completing the "Verification of Other Coverage - Dental" during enrollment. If you and your spouse are employed by GVSU, you both must choose a dental plan. You may not select the No Coverage option. However, you may list each other as dependents if you select dual or family coverage.
Faculty and staff who select the No Coverage option will receive a cash credit annually, to be used to purchase other benefits or to be added to their paychecks as taxable income. If you become ineligible for other dental coverage during the year because of a status change as defined under the Plan Document, you may enroll in this dental option.
If you are looking for more information about Grand Valley's Dental plan or would like to look at the plan document visit our Benefit Information Center.
If you are enrolled in a University Medical Plan you have a free vision benefit offered by PriorityVison. This plan allows you to receive routine preventive eye exams every two years, while saving you money on your eye care purchases.
The University offers elective Vision coverage through EyeMed Vision Care. During the open enrollment period, you are given the option to purchase this elective vision coverage from EyeMed Vision Care. This plan allows you to improve your health through routine eye exams, while saving you money on your eye care purchases. The elective vision plan is available for all Faculty, Professional Support Staff, Police, Pew Campus Security, Maintenance, Grounds and Service Staff and Executive, Administrative and Professional staff members with full time appointments (one half-time or more) who are paid on the basis of a fiscal or academic year are eligible to participate in the plan. Visiting Faculty and Adjunct Administrative and Professional staff are not eligible to participate in the elective vision plan.
You are also eligible for vision discounts at any time of the year. Get information on vision discounts available immediately.
If you are looking for more information about Grand Valley's Vision plans or would like to look at the plan documents visit our Benefit Information Center.
Flexible Spending Account
The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) option makes your earnings go further by allowing you to set aside pre-tax earnings to pay for eligible health and dependent care expenses.
Your pre-tax dollars are deposited to your FSA(s) and are not considered taxable income. This saves you from paying Social Security, federal, state, or local income taxes on that portion of your income. A Flexible Spending Account, be it dependent and/or health, must be set annually. Unused spending account balances at the end of the calendar year will not carry over and will be forfeited. You have until March 15 of each year to incur Health Spending Account claims for the prior calendar year.
The University offers two types of accounts; a Health Care FSA and a Dependent Care FSA; you have the option of selecting one or both of them.
The maximum annual amount you may deposit in your Flexible Health Care Spending Account is $2,500.
Any item allowed as a medical deduction on your income tax return is eligible for reimbursement under the Flexible Health Care Spending Account as long as you do not also deduct those expenses on your income tax return.
Dependent Care Accounts
Your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account may be used to pay for certain expenses connected with taking care of your eligible dependents, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes, provided the care is necessary for you and your spouse to work. Working couples as well as single persons may use the account for any of the following dependent care expenses, as long as they are incurred during working hours:
- Nursery schools or pre-schools used in place of day care.
- Licensed day care centers.
- Private baby-sitters, either in their home or your home.
- Custodial care for dependent adults.
You cannot be reimbursed for dependent care payments you make to your spouse, to your child who is under the age of 19, or to any person you claim as a dependent on your income tax return. You are responsible for obtaining the taxpayer ID number of the care provider. This number is necessary to validate costs in the event of an audit.
There are two important limitations on the amount you may deposit for dependent care expenses. If you are married, your dependent care reimbursements cannot exceed the earned income of the lower-paid spouse, unless the spouse is a full-time student or is disabled. Also, you are limited in the amount you may deposit to your dependent care account to $5,000 annually.
In some circumstances you may realize greater tax savings if you use the federal child care tax credit instead of the Flexible Spending Account. Generally, persons with family incomes of $24,000 or more each year benefit more from using a Flexible Spending Account. However, GVSU cannot provide you with tax advice. You should seek the guidance of a professional tax consultant
Requesting Reimbursements From Your Account
To receive reimbursements for health care and dependent care expenses you will file claims with our third party FSA Administrator, iSolved Benefit Services.
If you are looking for more information about Grand Valley's Flexible Spending plan or would like to look at the plan document visit our Benefit Information Center.
Base Life Insurance
The University provides group term life and accidental death and dismemberment coverage. The basic coverage is equal to 1.5 times your base salary including commissions if applicable up to a maximum of $350,000.
Life insurance coverage is effective upon employment and terminates on the last day of employment. However, you will be given the opportunity to convert the University policy to a personal policy and assume payment for premiums. You have 31 days after termination to apply for a personal policy. The life insurance company will continue your coverage during the 31-day period if you elect to continue coverage.
Faculty/Staff Optional Life
Within the first 30 days of hire at GVSU, Faculty/Staff may purchase supplemental life insurance in $10,000 increments, up to 3 times Base Salary or $300,000, whichever is less. If the faculty/staff elect this additional life insurance within the first 30 days of employment, it is a guaranteed policy, effective on the date of hire. (The following guaranteed issue amounts apply: Under age 70 - 3 times Base Salary up to $250,000; Ages 70 and older - maximum benefit is $50,000.)
With an application from Lincoln Financial Group obtained through GVSU Human Resources, additional term life insurance coverage may be purchased at anytime in $10,000 increments, up to the lesser of 5 times Base Salary or $750,000, effective on the date of approval from Lincoln Financial Group.
Faculty/Staff have the option of purchasing Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefits (AD & D) equal to the amount of the supplemental term life coverage requested. In addition to providing twice the benefit for accidental death, AD & D also provides indemnity against accidental loss of limb or eyesight. Rates are based upon smoker versus non-smoker with AD & D versus without AD & D.
To apply for this benefit, or increase the amount you are currently insured for, you must complete an enrollment form. Coverage will become effective upon date of approval from Lincoln Financial Group.
Your coverage will end on your last day of employment or retirement, or when eligibility is lost. At this time, if applicable, you will have the opportunity to continue your life insurance policy at the group portability rates.
Spousal/Household Member Coverage
Faculty/Staff who elect supplemental life insurance coverage for themselves also have the option to purchase coverage for their spouses or household members. Within the first 30 days of hire at GVSU, Faculty/Staff may elect spouse/household member coverage in $5,000 increments, up to 50% of the Faculty/Staff election or $50,000, whichever is less. If the faculty/staff member elects the optional spouse/household member coverage within the first 30 days of employment, it is a guaranteed policy effective on the date of hire. (The following guaranteed issue amounts apply: Under age 60 - $50,000; Ages 60-69 - $10,000. Spouse coverage terminates when the spouse reaches age 70.)
With an application from Lincoln Financial Group obtained through GVSU Human Resources, additional coverage may be elected at anytime in $5,000 increments, up to the lesser of 50% of the faculty/staff election or $150,000, effective on the date of approval from Lincoln Financial Group.
Faculty/Staff who elect supplemental life insurance coverage for themselves also have the option to purchase coverage for their children. Coverage may be elected in $2,000 increments, up to the lesser of 50% of the faculty/staff election or $10,000. Within the first 30 days of hire, the child life insurance election is a guaranteed issue.
Unmarried dependent children are eligible for coverage up to age 19, or to age 27 if a full-time student. For children between the ages of 14 days and 1 year, the benefit amount is reduced to $500. At age 1 the policy is worth its full amount.
An application to purchase any of the above options may be filled out after the 30th day of employment (end of Guaranteed Issue Period); however, it is subject to the approval of Lincoln Financial Group. Policies obtained after the Guaranteed Issue period are effective on the date of approval from Lincoln Financial Group.
If you are looking for more information about Grand Valley's Life Insurance plans or would like to look at the plan documents visit our Benefit Information Center.
Salary Continuation and Disability
The University provides a salary continuation program for full time Tenure Track Faculty that includes 100% salary protection for up to six months in the event of unforeseen medical and personal circumstances which do not allow you to continue work. This program is intended only as a form of insurance and is subject to careful scrutiny by each appointing officer. The appointing officer may, at any time, require proof that the absence is appropriate. Salary continuation is effective upon employment. Coverage terminates on the final day of employment.
Long Term Disability
The University provides a partial income replacement program, which provides monthly payments of 60% of your base salary subject to a $15,000 monthly maximum. The long-term disability insurance policy is administered by Lincoln Financial Group. Long Term Disability is available for Tenure Track Faculty with full time appointments (three quarters time or more).
Long-term disability benefits are effective the first day of the month following date of hire and coverage terminates on the last day of employment.
This plan will pay a monthly benefit for a period of total disability caused by a disease or accidental bodily injury.
If you would like to view the Long Term Disability Certificate of Coverage please view our Benefits Information Center.
You may, with your supervisor's approval, enroll in Grand Valley State University courses tuition free. Eligible fees will also be paid by the University.
To take advantage of this benefit, you must complete and sign the academic participation form. Your supervisor must also sign the application. All courses must be taken for credit. Fulfillment of prerequisites and requirements is expected. Graduate course registration must be done with the appropriate office if you have not been previously admitted into the program. The academic participation form will be processed if it is received in the Benefits Office before the close of regular business hours on the last day of classes of the preceding semester in which you wish to take a course(s). You are not guaranteed admittance into a course and should adhere to the "General Academic Policies and Regulations" outlined in the University Catalog. You must attach course permits, if required, to the academic participation form.
You must complete an Academic Participation Form for each semester that you wish to enroll in a class. Refer to your handbook for complete details.
Spouses, Household Members and eligible dependents of faculty, staff and retirees are eligible for a 50% reduction in tuition and eligible fees for Grand Valley State University courses.
A Tuition Reduction Form must be completed at the beginning of each semester. Refer to your handbook for complete details.
The GVSU Tuition Reduction Program uses the IRS standard definition of a dependent when determining eligibility for the program. In order to receive tuition reduction, a dependent must meet one of the options mentioned on the form. The following detail from the IRS may assist you in determining if your dependent qualifies:
In general, the IRS requires that a “qualifying child” meet five tests:
1. The child must be your son, daughter or stepchild
2. The child must be
(a) under age 19 at the end of the year,
(b) under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student, or
(c) any age if permanently and totally disabled.
3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year
4. The child must not have provided more than half of his/her own support for the year
5. If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.
In general, the IRS requires that a "qualifying relative" meet four tests:
1. The person does not meet the "qualifying child" tests (see above);
2. The person either (a) must be related to you in one of the ways listed under “Relatives who do not have to live with you (see below)”, or (b) must live with you all year as a member of your household (and your relationship must not violate local law).
3. The person’s gross income must be less than $4,300 for the year. (However, under Internal Revenue Service Notice 2004-79 (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-04-79.pdf), this gross income limit does not apply for purposes of determining tax dependent status when you are covering the person on your health insurance policy. For health insurance purposes, the domestic partner or adult child only needs to meet the remaining three tests to be a qualifying relative).
4. You must provide more than half of the person’s support for the year.
A dependent may include a child or step-child of an eligible faculty or staff member. It is not necessary for the dependent to reside with the employee to qualify for the tuition reduction benefit.
A student receiving Tuition Reduction who becomes ineligible due to the death of a faculty or staff member will be able to continue to receive the reduction until they complete their undergraduate degree; up to an additional 4 academic years.
University Retirement Contributions
Eligibility: All Tenure Track Faculty with full time salaried appointments (one half-time or more) who are paid on the basis of a fiscal or academic year are eligible to participate in the plan.
Participation and Vesting: Eligible faculty will begin participation in the retirement plan upon employment with the University. Participants are vested 100% upon completion of two calendar years of employment. The vesting period is waived for those with a minimum of two years experience as a faculty or staff member in a governmental or private institution of higher education.
University Contribution: The University contributes an amount equal to 12% (effective July 1, 1996) of a participant's base salary plus commissions if applicable. Contributions are made to the investment options of the participants choice on semi-monthly basis.
Participants may choose the retirement planning option that they feel best matches their goals. Participants may direct all or part of their retirement contributions into any combination of the following alternatives:
Participants must inform Human Resources of their choice of allocation for the University contribution between TIAA and Fidelity Investments. Changes to this allocation may be made at any time during the year by completing the Allocation of University Retirement Contributions/Wavier of 2-year Vesting Period Form available in Human Resources or online.
Changing The Allocation of Funds Within The Investment Firm: Participants may change their allocation of the funds selected within TIAA or Fidelity Investments as frequently as permitted by that company by contacting the company directly. TIAA may be contacted at 1-800-842-2733 and Fidelity Investments may be contacted at 1-800-343-0860. Human Resources does not need to be informed of these changes.
Tax Free-Fund Transfer: The University will allow a participant to transfer any portion of their accumulated retirement fund to another approved retirement fund to the extent permitted by law and the companies involved.
Retirement Benefits: Upon retirement at any age, death or total disability, a participant will be entitled to receive monthly or periodic income in accordance with the payment options available by the investment company, subject to any legal requirements. There will be no requirement to select an annuity payment option.
Availability of Withdrawals: The University will permit retirement plan withdrawals on/after age 59 1/2 for current faculty and staff. Withdrawals, transfers and rollovers are also available to those who retire or terminate employment. Borrowing from the base retirement plan (University contributions) is not permitted.
Investment and Retirement Counseling: This retirement plan will require an increased level of personal planning and counseling. The University has made arrangements to make these services available. Each participant should meet with an approved retirement counselor prior to retirement from the University and preferably no later than age 60. Retirement counselors from TIAA and Fidelity are on campus monthly and are available for personal appointments.
Supplemental Retirement Accounts
Faculty are encouraged to make contributions to a supplemental retirement account to supplement their retirement income. Participants can contribute up to the maximum permitted by law to any of the approved retirement investment options.
Faculty and Staff have the opportunity to participate in a 403(b) or 457(b) tax-deferred compensation plan. Contributions can be made on a pre-tax or ROTH (post-tax) basis.
Additional information and supplemental retirement account applications for each vendor are available in Human Resources.
If you are looking for more information about Grand Valley's Retirement plans or would like to look at the plan documents or investment options visit our Benefit Information Center.
Vacation for faculty members on academic year appointments is limited by the academic calendar and is not accrued. Faculty on annual appointments accrue vacation at the rate of five days per calendar quarter of completed service. A prorated number of days for a partial quarter of service will be computed when necessary. Approval of the use of accrued vacation is the responsibility of the appropriate unit head. Vacation time may not be charged until it is earned. Faculty members with accrued vacation terminating their employment will be eligible for their accrued vacation, not to exceed 20 days, provided at least four weeks' notice of their intent to leave is received. Up to 20 days of accrued vacation may be carried from one calendar year into the next.
Grand Valley State University recognizes that faculty and staff choose to build their families in many ways. To support faculty and staff who are adopting, GVSU provides adoption resource information and financial reimbursement.
Eligibility Requirements All full time and part time faculty and staff are eligible for adoption benefits upon hire. If a faculty or staff member and their spouse both work at GVSU, only one member can utilize the benefit.
An eligible adopted child is defined as being under 18 years of age. Kinship adoptions qualify for this benefit, however stepparent adoptions do not qualify.
GVSU realizes the process of adopting a child can be very time-consuming and difficult. Therefore, faculty and staff members may be eligible to apply for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or a personal leave of absence. Visit the Human Resources website and click on policies for more information on FMLA.
Faculty and staff members are requested to provide their Appointing Officer with as much preliminary information on their request for time off as early as possible.
Qualifying adoption expenses will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $3,000 per child. Qualifying expenses are defined as those that are reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, traveling expenses while away from home, and other expenses related to, and whose principal purpose is for, the legal adoption of a child.
Process for Applying for Benefits
Upon formal placement of the adopted child, submit an adoption assistance claim form to Human Resources at 1090 James H Zumberge Hall (JHZ) along with detailed receipts for eligible expenses. Human Resources will determine eligible expenses, the amount payable for reimbursement and will submit a request to the Payroll Office for payment. The reimbursement will be processed with the next payroll.
Adding Dependent to Insurance
At the time of placement, you may add your child to your benefit plans. Any additions or changes must occur within 30 days of the official placement. Contact Human Resources at 331-2220 to add dependents.
Grand Valley State University holidays include:
Day before New Year's Day
New Year's Day
Day after Thanksgiving Day
Day before Christmas Day
Floating holidays during Holiday break
To View a calendar showing the specific dates of the Holidays for the current year, please visit the payroll site.
Being a GVSU employee opens many doors for you. Your Faculty/Staff ID card serves as your GVSU Library card as well as your pass to enjoy the recreation center on the Allendale Campus. Flash your ID card to any Grand Rapids Rapid Bus Driver and you receive a free ride on The Rapid.
Simply present your University identification to the list of businesses on our Discount Page at time of purchase and follow any special instructions provided by the business and receive the benefit of being a GVSU Employee.
At the beginning of every academic year each Faculty/Staff member will be issued a FREE parking sticker which indicates which lot(s) they are able to park in. Once this sticker is obtained the parking is absolutely FREE. If you should join the university in the middle of the year you will be issued one then.
Social Security Coverage - The University contributes 6.2% of your social security while 6.2% is also deducted from your paycheck. The 7.65% is the combined amount for FICA and MQFE taxes.
If you are a new hire and you would like to find out other resources check out our New Staff Orientation page.