Overview

We are pleased you have chosen to join a dynamic and innovative group of employees whose contributions are vital to the success of public higher education in Wisconsin.

As an employee at UW System, your benefits are an important part of your total compensation package. UW System offers a variety of benefit plans. The majority of benefits require enrollment within 30 days of date of employment, within 30 days of a qualifying life event, or during the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period. Some plans offer enrollment year-round.

Total Compensation Estimator

As a UW System employee, you will receive an excellent compensation package. Use the Total Compensation Estimator to calculate the value of your estimated total compensation.

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Benefit Eligibility

There are two benefit packages available depending on whether or not you are covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) – the WRS Benefit Package and the Graduate Assistant/Short-Term Benefit Package.

Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) Benefit Package

You may be eligible for benefits under the WRS Benefit Package if you meet the following criteria based on your employment category:

WRS participating employee on or after July 1, 2011:

 

Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees
  • 2/3 of full-time is equal to 880 hours for at least one year*
    • ~42% for 12-month employees
    • ~56% for 9-month employees
University Staff Employees
  • 2/3 of full-time is equal to 1,200 hours for at least one year (~58%)

WRS participating employee prior to
July 1, 2011:

Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees
  • 1/3 of full-time is equal to 440 hours for at least one year*
    • ~21% for 12-month employees
    • ~28% for 9-month employees
University Staff Employees
  • 1/3 of full-time is equal to 600 hours for at least one year (~29%)

*For 9-month employees, one year is considered the academic year and an expectation to return the following year.

For more information on WRS eligibility, including details on returning to WRS-covered employment within 12 months and not being eligible at your time of hire, see the WRS Eligibility Information page.

Graduate Assistant/Short-Term Benefit Package

You may be eligible for benefits under the Graduate Assistant/Short-Term Benefit Package if you meet the following criteria based on your employment category:

Student Assistants

Must be in one of the following titles: Research Assistant, Fellow, Advanced Opportunity Fellow, Scholar, Trainee, Teaching Assistant, Project Assistant or Program Assistant, and be expected to work at least 33% time:

  • For at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • For at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee
Employees-in-Training

Must be in one of the following titles: Grad Intern/Trainee, Postdoc Fellow, Postdoc Trainee, Postgrad Trainee (1-7), Intern (non-physician), Research Intern or Research Associate, and be expected to work at least 33% time:

  • For at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • For at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee
Short-Term Academic Staff

If not covered under the WRS, you are eligible for insurance benefits if you are expected to work:

  • At least 21% for at least six months if you are a twelve-month employee; or
  • At least 28% for at least one semester if you are a nine-month employee

Your Benefits Package

Benefits vary according to your appointment type and benefit package you are eligible for. Refer to your appointment letter to confirm your appointment type or review the Employee Categories page.

The following resources can be used to review your benefits package:

  • ALEX – Visit ALEX, your personalized benefits counselor. ALEX explains your benefit options in plain English and helps you choose the plans that make the most sense for you and your family. To go to the ALEX landing page to begin your ALEX conversation, click here.
  • Benefit Quick Guides – For a brief overview of the benefits available to you, see the applicable quick guide below.
  • Benefit Summaries – For more in-depth information about the benefits available to you, see the applicable summary below.

How to Enroll

Enrollment must be done within 30 days of date of employment, within 30 days of a qualifying life event, or during the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period.

New employees can use Self Service to enroll in most benefits online. View How to Use Self Service pdf  for step-by-step instructions.

If you have worked for the UW System or for a State agency in the past, you may need to enroll using paper applications. If you’re unsure, contact your human resources office to determine if you will be able to enroll via Self Service or if you will need to submit paper applications.

Important: Enrollments must be completed within 30 days of your benefits eligibility date.

For most benefits plans, the elections you make are for the entire calendar year and generally cannot be changed outside of the Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period. However, if you experience a qualifying life event, you may be able to enroll in coverage or make changes to your existing benefits.

Qualifying life events consist of family changes such as marriage, birth of child, or divorce as well as employment changes such as change in appointment percentage and leave of absence. For a more information, click here. If you experience a qualifying life event, most benefit plans have a 30-day window to enroll or make changes. To enroll or make changes due to a qualifying life event, complete and submit paper applications to your human resources office.

Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) is available each fall. Eligible employees may enroll or make changes during ABE by using Self Service. Eligible employees will receive email notifications before and during ABE with additional information.

Below are the plans that eligible employees are able to enroll in or make changes to during ABE:

  • State Group Health Insurance
  • Supplemental Dental Insurance (Delta Dental)
  • Vision Insurance (VSP)
  • Individual & Family Life Insurance (annual increase option also available for existing participants only)
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

Re-enrollment in the below plans is required each year:

  • Health Savings Account (HSA): If the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Access HDHP is elected
  • Health Opt-Out Incentive
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

The changes you make during the ABE period are effective January 1st following the ABE period.

Eligible employees may enroll in the following plans at any time:

Eligible employees may apply to enroll in the following plans through Evidence of Insurability at any time:

The 2020 Annual Benefits Enrollment (ABE) period is from September 30 - October 25, 2019.

Click the button below to learn more about changes to benefits for 2020 and to find out which changes you can make during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period.

Visit the ABE Website

Coordination of Benefits (COB) Required

Employees who enroll in the State Group Health Insurance program must provide Coordination of Benefits information when enrolling in a health plan or as other coverage for a spouse is added or ended after enrollment.

If a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is elected and the required COB information is not provided during the enrollment period, employees will be defaulted to a non-HDHP health plan.

MyUW Portal

Enroll in benefits (if applicable), access payroll documents, leave statements and benefits information.

Go to MyUW portal

Forms & Resources

Resources and Tools

New Employee Forms

Payroll Information

  • Payroll information including the payroll schedule, taxes and deduction schedule can be accessed by clicking here.

notices

Have Questions?

Contact Your Benefits Office

Each UW System institution has staff to assist with benefits-related questions.

Contact

For information on the Fringe Benefit Advisory Committee, click here.

Updated: 09/17/2019

Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. Information on this page does not guarantee enrollment, benefits and/or the ability to make changes to your benefits.