The benefits eligibility requirements can be found in the University Policy #403 (see text in tab below). Eligible faculty and staff members may participate in health and welfare benefit plans (medical and dental insurance, life insurance, etc.) as well as retirement plans. Those who are not eligible may still participate in some benefit plans, such as the supplemental retirement annuity plan, or 403(b) plan. Each benefit program may have its own eligibility requirements.
Employees who are employed in a position that requires 20 or more hours of work per week and at least 1000 hours each year are eligible for fringe benefits. If an individual employed in a non-benefits eligible position later meets the eligibility criteria, he or she becomes eligible for enrollment in insurance programs and paid time-off benefits on the earlier of the date the criteria are met or at the time it becomes known the position requirements will meet or exceed benefits eligibility requirements. Temporary assignments may be extended only for a reasonable, short period of time based on the nature of the assignment.
All tenure track faculty members are eligible for benefits.
Annually appointed teaching faculty must teach at least three courses per academic year and be on an annual appointment for two semesters to be eligible for benefits.
Services performed by any employee to satisfy course or degree requirements at Rice and services compensated through financial aid programs are not considered in determining benefits eligibility.
In any event, eligibility for participation in the Retirement Plan is governed by the Retirement Plan Document.
ACA Benefits Eligibility
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to offer minimum essential coverage to employees who work 30 hours of service or more per week as determined under applicable ACA regulations. Rice employees and their eligible dependents may be eligible to participate in one of Rice’s employer-sponsored medical insurance plans. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the ACA can be found here.
Employees that are eligible to participate in one of Rice’s medical insurance plans under the ACA will not be able to participate in Rice’s other employer-sponsored benefit plans such as dental, life insurance, holidays, and benefit time until they move into a Rice Benefits Eligible position, as defined by University Policy 403.
IMPORTANT: This section and subsequent pages discuss ACA changes that are currently in effect. We will make updates to these pages should future health care reform details be announced.
Once eligible for benefits, employees may also choose to cover eligible dependents in the medical, dental, optional life insurance and optional accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
All eligible dependent children may continue under the benefits plan until they reach age 26, regardless of their status as a student.
Unmarried dependent children, age 18 or older, who are mentally or physically impaired and incapable of taking care of themselves are also eligible for coverage (disability must have begun before the dependent’s turns 19). Proof of disability must be provided to Human Resources. Coverage for a disabled dependent can continue for as long as the dependent is incapable of self-support, remains unmarried and is dependent on the Rice employee for support.
Eligible dependents include:
- Spouse (unless legally separated), including legally recognized same-sex spouse
- Domestic partner (completed the Domestic Partner Registration Packet); not eligible for long-term care
- All eligible children up to age 26 (as of July 1, 2010) for the medical plan. Eligible children include:
- Natural children
- Legally adopted children
- Children for whom the Rice employee is the legal guardian
- Foster children
- Children placed with the Rice employee for adoption
- Children of domestic partners (who depend on the Rice employee for support and live with Rice employee in a regular parent/child relationship)
- Unmarried dependent grandchildren (must provide court ordered documentation of dependent status)
By proceeding with enrollment you certify that any enrolled dependents are eligible for coverage, as specified above. Dependent eligibility is subject to audit at any given time and in the event of an audit you will be asked to provide documentation of your dependents’ eligibility. The inclusion of any ineligible dependents will result in immediate termination of coverage and the employee will be responsible for financial restitution to the plan.