BenefitFocus Enrollment Portal
To better serve YOU, we have implemented a new benefits enrollment portal. The portal features 24/7/365 access to your benefits information, and will serve as the enrollment site for your health and welfare benefits. It contains helpful tools and resources that will help you determine what plans are best for you and your family. There is a cost calculator that will allow you to evaluate your costs, both premium and out of pocket, for the various medical plan options. You can also access the portal from anywhere on your mobile device by downloading the Benefitfocus mobile app from the Google Play or Apple App Store and use the company code Rice.
It will be the document repository for any required documents such as dependent eligibility verifications or life event documentation. The new portal will be our system of record for health and welfare enrollment information. You will be able to access reports that show your enrollment, dependents covered, and coverage levels. Along with our new online benefits portal, you will be able to contact the Rice Benefits Center for assistance with understanding your health and welfare benefits, making any benefit related changes due to a qualifying life event, or navigating Open Enrollment! You can reach the Rice Benefits Service Center Monday – Friday from 7am-7pm CT by calling 713.348.BENE (2363) or by emailing RiceBenefits@benefitfocus.com
Beneficiary information will be maintained on the new portal. We ask that that you visit the portal and enter your beneficiary designations for your life insurance, even if you do not want to change any benefits this year. As you navigate through the enrollment process, it will prompt you to enter your beneficiary information. Please have it available because if you access the system, it will require you to enter a beneficiary. You will be able to view this information at any time once it is entered, and change it anytime. If you don’t want to make any changes, don’t want a flexible spending account for FY 2020, and don’t have a chance to visit the portal during open enrollment, don’t worry, we can still use your old paper beneficiary designation. But we would really like to get it in electronic format on the portal, so until you do enter it there, we may send you friendly reminders.
Accessing the site
- Visit benefits.rice.edu
- Select the “Enroll in Benefits” icon located on the far right in order to access the Enrollment Portal
- After logging in using your NetID and Password, you will be directed to the Benefits Portal
- Select the “Enroll Now” icon on the far right
- Click “Get Started”
- You will be presented with a screen listing all of your current dependents (if applicable). If you do not see a dependent(s) you wish to cover listed, click the “Add Dependent” button to begin adding the dependent(s), if you do not need to add a dependent, go to step 9
- Enter dependent’s information. First and Last name, Date of Birth, Gender and Relationship are required fields.
- Click “Save”
- Click Next
- If you did not have medical coverage in FY 19, Select the blue “Begin Enrollment” under the “Your Medical Coverage” section.
- If you are currently enrolled in a medical plan option, you will not be forced to enter an election for that benefit, however if you would like to make a change to your coverage or want to access the new medical plan selection tool, click edit coverage.
- You will be asked if you need help choosing the right plan. If you want it, click “get started”.
- You will see four modeling options if you had medical coverage in FY 19 (including one that will model with your own utilization. You will see 3 modeling options if you did not have the plan in FY 19. Read through the information to help you make your decision.
- Follow through the prompts to select your medical benefits
- Click “next”
- You will be offered a medical flexible spending account next. Make your election or decline this benefit.
- The screen will summarize your elections so far. Click “Save” in green.
- You will be presented with the next benefit offering, vision. Follow through the above steps for this section and all other remaining benefits that are offered to you. For each benefit that is not fully employer funded, you may decline if you do not wish to enroll. If you are currently enrolled in an option, you can access it by selecting edit coverage. You will be required to view options that must be elected every year, new benefits, and the beneficiary designation section before you can continue your elections.
- Once all sections have been completed and you have selected the green “Complete Enrollment” icon at the bottom of the screen, you will receive a confirmation number stating you have completed your enrollment.
The enrollment portal performs the best using Google Chrome. For more information on supported browsers, click here.
We have required verification of new dependents added as a result of life events for some time and are expanding this process to all new dependents to be added to the plan at annual enrollment, through life events, and for new hires. All dependents who were on the plan prior to January 1, 2019 have been marked “verified”. See the chart below for a listing of the documentation that will be required. The system will prompt you to submit Dependent Verification documentation. After adding them to coverage, you will be presented a screen where you can upload a copy of the required documentation. If not uploading at that time, you can select “Next” and access the “My Documents” tab to upload the documentation once you have it readily available.
Following is a chart of the acceptable documentation for new dependents:
|Eligible dependents||Provide all documents noted.|
|Most Recent 1040 Tax Return||Affidavit of Domestic Partnership*||Marriage Certificate||Birth Certificate||Adoption or Legal Guardianship Papers||Letter of Disability|
|Child – Biological||X|
|Child – Stepchild||X||X|
|Child – Adopted/Placed for adoption||X|
|Child – Legal Guardianship||X|
|Child – Disabled child||X||X|
|Child of Domestic Partner||X||X|
|Disabled Child of Domestic Partner||X||X||X|
*When completing the Domestic Partner Affidavit, you will also be required to produce one document from each category below:
1) Proof of shared financial responsibility
2) Proof of being a health care power of attorney
3) Proof of assignment of inheritance
Special Assistance During Open Enrollment
If you have questions or need additional assistance, please call or schedule an appointment.
What about Esther?
While benefit cost information will be available on the portal, Esther will continue to provide your paycheck deduction information and total retirement contributions. You will still be able to have access to general benefits information at www.benefits.rice.edu. You can continue to email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions regarding your Paid Time Off (PTO), retirement plans, FMLA, or other leaves.