Benefits Summaries & Orientation


Grand Valley State University's Personalized Benefits Program is designed to let you choose medical, dental and flexible spending account coverage options that best suit your needs and the needs of your family. A vision benefit is available during our annual open enrollment period.

The Personalized Benefits Program was created to better serve the University's diverse work force, which has different benefit needs that may be addressed under this program. The Internal Revenue Service refers to such benefit programs as "cafeteria plans" or "flexible benefit plans" because they offer choice. IRS guidelines also allow payroll deductions to be taken on a pre tax basis.

About the Summary

This is only a summary of the Personalized Benefits Program. It is not a substitute for the Summary Plan Descriptions or Plan Documents. More detailed information about specific benefit options is available through Human Resources.

Annual Open Enrollment

Open enrollment occurs in November. During this faculty and staff have the opportunity to make plan changes, add/drop dependents from their coverage and/or add a flexible spending account(s) for the upcoming year. If you change plans during open enrollment you will be given a replacement Plan Document for that policy. Any changes made during open enrollment are effective January 1st.

Reminder: Change in Status Regulations 

The plans you select (medical, dental, vision, and/or flexible spending accounts) will remain in effect until December 31 unless you have a major change in status. Such changes include the following:

  • Events that change an employee's legal marital status, including marriage, death of a spouse, divorce, legal separation, or annulment;
  • Events that change an employee's number of dependents, including birth, adoption, placement for adoption, or death of a dependent;
  • Termination or commencement of employment by the employee, spouse,household member or dependent;
  • A reduction or increase in hours of employment by the employee, spouse, household member or dependent, including a switch between part-time and full-time, a strike or lockout, or commencement or return from an unpaid leave of absence;
  • An event that causes an employee's dependent to satisfy or no longer satisfy the requirements for coverage, examples include attainment of the required age in which a dependent is no longer eligible, or no longer having the status of a student; or
  • A change in the place of residence or work of the employee, spouse, household member or dependent.
  • An increase/decrease in cost, curtailment or improvement of coverage, or open enrollment under other employer plans.

You must notify Human Resources within 30 days of any of the above qualifying events to be eligible to make any changes in your coverage or 60 days for your dependents and household members to be eligible for coverage continuation through COBRA.

If you or a dependent should lose coverage under the Personalized Benefits Program, you may be eligible for a continuation of benefits through COBRA. Be sure to read and become familiar with the COBRA provisions for each benefit plan. They are in the summary plan description.

Single, Dual or Family Coverage

When you choose a plan option, you may select coverage for you (single coverage), for you and one dependent (dual coverage) or for you and two or more dependents (family coverage).  Dependent children are eligible for benefits until age 26 (All medical plans only), or until age 27 (for GVSU Standard PPO Plan, HDHP/HSA and Dental ), if the child is currently a full-time student in an accredited school. Your cost will depend upon the plan you select and the coverage you choose. Physically or mentally handicapped children may be covered regardless of their age. The term "children" includes your natural children, adopted children, or children placed for adoption, stepchildren who live with you, or children for whom you are the legal guardian and who live with you.

If You and Your Spouse Work at GVSU 

If you and your spouse work at 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.

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