You can continue some of your USC benefits at your expense. Continuing medical coverage is available for a limited time, but you must act within stated deadlines (within 60 days) in order to preserve the right to continue your coverage. Details on that and other benefits below. Also see our Leaving USC checklist.
Medical and dental plans
You may be eligible to continue your health benefits and those of your dependents for 18 months from the date of your termination. This continuation is via the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act also known as COBRA, or the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
If you elect COBRA, you will be charged for the full premium cost plus a 2% administrative fee. The university will not contribute toward the cost. Anthem Blue Cross participants will receive a new ID card when they elect COBRA, but USC Network and Kaiser participants can continue using the same ID card. More information on COBRA is available by contacting the HR Service Center.
If COBRA is not a viable option, you can visit www.healthcare.gov or call (800) 318-2596 to review ACA options, 24/7.
IMPORTANT: If you elect COBRA but subsequently determine that coverage through an ACA marketplace plan is a better choice, you will not be able to enroll in an ACA marketplace plan if you voluntarily cancel COBRA. You must wait until you either exhaust your COBRA coverage (18 or 36 months) or until the next marketplace open enrollment period, whichever comes first – unless you are still within 60 days of having lost your employer group coverage.
COBRA gives workers who lose their health benefits (and their families) the right to continue group health benefits for limited periods under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.
2017 COBRA rates
|Plan||Monthly rate (includes 2% administrative fee)|
|Employee + adult||$ 927.00|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 842.72|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 1,264.09|
|Anthem Blue Cross HMO|
|Employee + adult||$ 1,052.64|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 939.69|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 1,381.08|
|USC Network Medical Plan|
|Employee + adult||$ 1,643.36|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 1,322.45|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 2,128.31|
|Anthem MyChoice HMO (CNA and NUHW)|
|Employee + adult||$ 1,203.23|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 984.52|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 1,695.44|
|Vision Service Plan|
|Employee + adult||$ 11.16|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 11.36|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 18.32|
|Employee + adult||$ 102.00|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 86.70|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 142.80|
|Employee + adult||$ 29.87|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 30.70|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 41.21|
|CIGNA Preventive (CNA only)|
|Employee + adult||$ 63.30|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 86.17|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 129.44|
|CIGNA Comprehensive (CNA only)|
|Employee + adult||$ 85.74|
|Employee + child(ren)||$ 103.75|
|Employee + adult + child(ren)||$ 161.61|
WageWorks, USC’s COBRA administrator, will send a COBRA election packet to your home. You must return the required paperwork postmarked within 60 days of the date of that mailing, or your termination date, whichever is later—if you fail to do so, you forfeit the COBRA opportunity. The fastest way to ensure that your COBRA coverage is activated is to use WageWorks’ online enrollment process. You can elect COBRA and set up payment at http://cobra.wageworks.com. For questions regarding your COBRA account contact WageWorks at (877) 502-6272.
To obtain COBRA coverage, you must pay the full premium (in other words, the employee+employer contribution) plus a 2% administrative fee. (HMO participants who fully exhaust their initial 18 months of COBRA coverage may be eligible for an additional 18 months under Cal COBRA AB1401.)
Note that while by law you have 60 days to elect COBRA, your coverage will not be activated until your COBRA election is actually made and the premium payment has been applied/cleared. UNTIL THEN YOU ARE NOT COVERED. Once you have elected and paid, your COBRA coverage will be activated back to the original effective date, which is the first of the following month after your active employee coverage ended.
If you are over 65 you still qualify for COBRA but it is recommended that you decline COBRA and go directly onto Medicare. Medicare has specific enrollment deadlines which if missed result in lifetime penalties. However, your spouse (if not Medicare-eligible) and other dependents may be eligible for COBRA. Note that if you elect COBRA coverage, you cannot switch to an ACA marketplace policy until COBRA coverage is exhausted or the next ACA marketplace open enrollment period, whichever comes first.
Insurance (Securian, UNUM and Aflac)
Coverage ends on the last day of the month in which you terminate, provided premiums have been paid. For life insurance, contact Securian at (866) 293-6047 or UNUM at (800) 421-0344 for information regarding the continuation options available (conversion and portability). Premiums may be higher than those paid by active staff and faculty. For Aflac policies, you have 31 days to apply for continuation, subject to Aflac restrictions. For details call (800) 992-3522.
Insurance (long term care)
Coverage through payroll deduction ends the last day of the month in which you terminate, provided premiums have been paid. You can continue coverage by paying the vendor directly—your premium remains the same. Contact the vendor within 31 days of termination to convert to direct billing. If you enrolled with Genworth, call (800) 416-3624; if you have a John Hancock plan, call (888) 524-6167.
USC Retirement Plan
Your contribution to the USC Retirement Savings Program will be taken from your final paycheck and the university’s matching contribution will be made. Supplemental contributions are not taken automatically; contact Benefits before your final check is prepared for a calculation of how much, if any, you are eligible to contribute. Contact your investment company regarding options and repayment of any outstanding loans.
USC Hospital 401(k) retirement plan
Your contribution to the hospital 401(k) plan will be taken from your final paycheck. Contact Fidelity at (800) 343-0860 regarding your options and repayment of any outstanding loans.
Non-exempt staff retirement plan
The freezing of this plan on July 1, 2007 has no effect on terminating employees. If you terminated employment after June 30, 2007 and the present actuarial value of your benefit is less than $5,000 when you terminate employment, you will need to take action regarding your benefit. You may either receive a lump sum payment (as taxable income with a possible early distribution penalty of 10%) or rollover the benefit to an IRA or your new employer’s retirement plan.
If you do not take action regarding your benefit, we will cash out your money to you if the value is $1,000 or less. If the value is $1,001 to $5,000, we will rollover your money into an IRA. If the value is more than $5,000, you cannot receive payment or rollover the benefit. Your retirement benefit will be available to you upon retirement as early as age 55, although a reduction in the monthly amount will apply until age 65, when full benefit is available.
Flexible spending account (FSA)
You may submit claims for eligible dependent care services incurred through the end of the calendar year in which you terminate. You will be reimbursed up to the amount remaining in your account. Health care expenses submitted for reimbursement must be incurred (i.e. the services provided) prior to your termination unless you elect COBRA continuation of your health care FSA on an after-tax basis. If you have a FSA debit card, it will be deactivated as of your termination date.
Hyatt Legal Plans
You must enroll for “portable enrollment” within 30 days of your last day of employment. Call (800) 821-6400 to apply. Enrollment is prepaid by lump sum equal to 30x the plan’s monthly rate, and will remain effective for 30 months (no refunds allowed). Plan details remain the same as those for active employees. Visit www.legalplans.com to review.
Tuition assistance/Tuition Exchange
If you leave during a semester, you will receive a prorated fee bill and are responsible for paying the cost of tuition for the remainder of the semester. Employees hired prior to July 1, 2011 who have accrued 15 years of eligible service before termination should contact Benefits to discuss possible dependent eligibility for tuition assistance.
The university subsidy for USC Child Care Programs ends on the last day of the month in which you terminate. If possible, 30 days’ notice should be provided to your child care administrative office. Call (213) 743-2446 at UPC or (323) 442-3333 at HSC for more information.
Contact Transportation at (213) 740-3575 at UPC or (323) 442-1201 at HSC to cancel your parking deduction. In order to cancel your parking permit you need to return the permit to the Transportation office.
Discuss unused vacation days with your supervisor. You will receive a check for any unused vacation days.
Review your most recent paycheck for a detailed list of your current deductions. Make arrangements to continue payments after termination for deductions such as: USC Credit Union loans; School of Dentistry payment plans; Fidelity, Prudential or Vanguard retirement loans; and ticket office purchases.
Contributions for all current benefits will be deducted from your paycheck as well as USC Retirement Plan, or your contribution to the hospital 401(k). In addition, other deductions such as parking citations, charges on your USCard and University Club card, wage assignments, applicable taxable tuition assistance benefits, etc. will be deducted automatically from your final paycheck.
Only staff employees who have been terminated due to layoff or reorganization are eligible for severance pay. Excluded are: those who were employed for a specific period of time only (e.g., in positions offered in writing as fixed-term or funded by contracts and grants where an end date was communicated); faculty; those claiming student status (including teaching and research assistants); and staff who have resigned, been terminated for cause, have retired, or who have abandoned their jobs. Staff employees who receive additional pay or benefits beyond that allowed by university policy will be required to enter into a Settlement Agreement and General Release with the university.
Identify university property and keys in your possession. For assistance with checkout procedures in your department, consult your supervisor or department administrator. You may turn in your USCard to your department or to USCard Services.
As a former USC employee you have access to your Workday profile up to one year after leaving the university. Below is the link and access information:
Username: your 7-digit employee ID
Password: Usc$Trojan[last four digits of your SSN]
You will receive your final paycheck from your department on your last day of work. Bring your university ID card or another form of identification. Final checks are not direct-deposited to your bank account.
Change of address
Unemployment insurance provides benefit payments to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under state law). The university pays the entire cost of this insurance, which covers all employees.
Benefit payments are made by the state’s Employment Development Department. The state determines the amount of the payments based on the worker’s income while employed—the highest quarter earnings in the 12 months preceding the claim. For claims filed after January 1, 2006, the maximum weekly benefit is $450 based on highest quarter earnings of $11,700 or more.
If you separate from university employment and wish to collect unemployment benefits, you must contact the California Employment Development Department.
Information about how to file a claim and the benefit payment schedule is available on the California Employment Development Department website.