Starting your benefits

Important reminders for new enrollees

  • You must enroll for your benefits in Workday (access through the Employee Gateway) within 30 days of your hire date. If you do not elect or waive your medical coverage within 30 days from your hire date you will be automatically defaulted into the USC Network Medical Plan (PPO) covering you only (no dependents). If you are defaulted into the USC Network Plan you will not be able to change (e.g., add dependents) or cancel that coverage until the next open enrollment period which normally occurs every November and takes effect January 1 of the following year.
  • If you have medical coverage through your former employer or have continued that coverage yourself through COBRA, make sure that your coverage doesn’t lapse until your new medical coverage starts at USC. Most of your benefits, including medical coverage, take effect on the first day of the month following your hire date.
  • Funds from your prior employer’s retirement plans may be eligible to rollover into USC’s Supplemental Retirement Plan. Funds rolled over will be subject to all of USC’s plan rules, including rules on accessing balances. Contact the HR Service Center for help.
  • The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (MMSEA) imposes a reporting requirement on group health plans that cover participants who are either currently eligible or may become Medicare-eligible. As a result, all new hires who wish to enroll dependents in a USC health plan will be required to provide the social security number for each of those dependents when they enroll in Workday. If you have any questions, contact the HR Service Center
  • In-person benefits orientation sessions are generally offered twice a month.

What you need to know about dependents

Who are your eligible dependents?

  • Spouse or registered domestic partner as defined by the state of California (the portion paid by the university for your domestic partner’s benefits is considered imputed income to you, and corresponding taxes come out of every paycheck unless you claim your domestic partner on your taxes)
  • Children up to age 26
  • Dependent children, regardless of age, who are totally disabled due to mental or physical incapacity (you may be asked for an updated disabled status verification from time to time)

Eligibility ends if any of the conditions above cease to exist (for instance, child turns 26).

How to verify your eligible dependents

When you add dependents in Workday, you’ll be asked to provide documentation of these relationships within 5 days.

The university recognizes that receipt of government-issued documentation can sometimes take several months. Do not delay enrolling in your benefits while you wait! Provisional documentation can be accepted in some cases, providing for temporary enrollment. However, failure to provide final official documentation (details below) within three months of the effective date of benefits coverage will result in cancellation of enrollment. Examples of provisional documentation include, for marriage, a copy of application for marriage license, or a copy of a church certificate. For birth, a copy of a letter from the hospital that is often given to parents would work. Contact the HR Service Center for help.

Spouse

  • Marriage certificate that contains official seal of issuing government agency and is an exact copy of original on file at issuing agency

Registered domestic partner

  • Domestic partnership certificate that contains official seal of issuing government agency and is an exact copy of original on file at issuing agency

Biological child

  • Birth certificate that contains official seal of issuing government agency and is an exact copy of original on file at issuing agency, verifying that the sponsoring employee is the mother or father of the child

Adopted child

  • Birth certificate that contains official seal of issuing government agency and is an exact copy of original on file at issuing agency, modified as part of the adoption proceedings to show that the sponsoring employee is the adoptive parent

Stepchild

  • Birth certificate that contains official seal of issuing government agency and is an exact copy of original on file at issuing agency, verifying that the sponsoring employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner is the parent of the child, AND
  • marriage or domestic partnership certificate (as described in “Spouse” and “Registered domestic partner” sections above) verifying marriage or domestic partnership of sponsoring employee to or with child’s parent

Legal guardianship with financial dependency

  • Certified copy of court orders stating that sponsoring employee is legal guardian of child, AND
  • most recent tax forms filed with the IRS in which child is claimed as a dependent (Execution of Power of Attorney papers granting said powers to a non-parent or an award of temporary custody to a non-parent are not the equivalent of legal guardianship)

How to enroll

You will receive a notification in your USC email to enroll in your benefits through Workday. Gather all enrollment information (birthdates, social security numbers, etc.) and log into Workday from the Employee Gateway to complete enrollment. 

You may wish to log into the Workday Help site to consult the user guides on benefits enrollment and setting up direct deposit in order to help you complete these processes.

Paying your share

The employee portion of the cost of your benefits is paid through payroll deduction or reduction (before tax payments). Employees who are paid monthly pay in 12 equal deductions. Employees who are paid biweekly pay in 24 equal deductions, which are taken the first 2 pay periods of each month (2 paychecks a year will have no medical/dental deduction). More information about how deductions work is available at the Payroll site, or contact the HR Service Center.

Faculty who receive annual base pay in fewer than 12 equal installments must pay in advance for the summer continuation of all benefits. If no other arrangements are made, a single deduction will be taken from the May payroll to cover premiums for May, June, July and August (4x calendar year monthly premium rates). Alternatively, faculty may elect to have summer premiums deducted from summer salary (summer teaching, etc.) if applicable. Contact the HR Service Center for help.

Waiving coverage because of other health insurance

If you do NOT want a university medical plan, you must complete the event waiving medical insurance. This form also includes Notice of Special Enrollment Rights should you lose eligibility for your other coverage (or if the other employer stops contributing toward your or your dependents’ other coverage). However, you must request enrollment within 30 days after your or your dependents’ other coverage ends (or the employer stops contributing).