Benefits Enrollment

Enrollment Opportunities

Generally, there are three times when you can enroll in or may be able to change your benefits at the University of Michigan:

You have 30 days to enroll, or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement. It is to your advantage to enroll in benefits as soon as you are eligible. You can enroll in or change your elections for the Basic Retirement Savings Plan, the Supplemental Retirement (SRA), 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan, and Child Life insurance at any time of the year.  You can enroll in Expanded Long Term Disability, Optional Group and Dependent Spouse/Other Qualified Adult Group Term Life Insurance at any time by providing proof of insurability in the form of a health statement. Enrollment information for individual plans is included in each benefit plan section of this site.

Benefits Enrollment Deadlines and Defaults (PDF)

How to Enroll

Benefits elections are submitted online with Self Service > Benefits, which is accessed by logging into Wolverine Access. You will receive an email with instructions on when and how to enroll. Pay particular attention to the rates for each plan. For more information, the New Employees section provides a summary of benefits plans available to you, links to detailed information about each plan, and access to an online presentation for new employees. For step-by-step instructions on enrolling in benefits, see the Enrollment Checklist and How to use Self Service > Benefits sections.

Enrollment Checklist

Effective Date of Your Benefit Elections

For the following benefits plans, coverage begins on your service date if you enroll within 30 days of that date, or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement. See Enrollment Deadlines (PDF) for details.

  • Health, Dental, Vision and Legal plans
  • University Life Insurance
  • Optional, Spouse/OQA, and Child Life Insurance (if a health statement is required coverage will not begin until the date the health statement is approved; this may take 4-6 weeks)
  • Long-Term Disability

Your Basic Retirement Savings Plan and/or Supplemental Retirement Account contributions will generally begin with your next paycheck after your enrollment has been processed.

Your participation in Flexible Spending Accounts (Health Care and/or Dependent Care accounts) will begin on the first day of the month after your enrollment form is received and processed.

You are automatically covered for Travel Accident Insurance and Secure Travel Plan beginning on your first day of service with the university.

Failure to Enroll

If you fail to enroll or waive health coverage within the 30-day deadline (or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement), you will be defaulted to no health plan coverage and no prescription drug coverage, and you will be unable to enroll until the next Open Enrollment period, usually in October, with coverage effective January 1st of the following year. See Enrollment Deadlines (PDF) for details.

Job or Qualified Family Status Change

  • If you have a job status change that impacts your eligibility for benefits, you will receive information and instructions for changing your benefits.
  • If you have a qualified family status change and wish to make allowable changes to your benefits, follow the instructions on the Family Status Change page. Otherwise you will have to wait for the next Open Enrollment period to make the change to your benefits.

During Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is an annual event (usually in October) during which you can enroll in new benefits or change your current benefits enrollments for the upcoming year, effective January 1. Information on when and how to enroll and any changes to benefits plans for the coming year will be provided in the Open Enrollment section of this site. The elections you make during Open Enrollment are effective January 1 and remain in effect until December 31 unless you experience a qualified family status change.

When Two Members of a Household Work at U-M and/or a Family Member Has U-M Benefits as a Retiree

Transgender Community

The Benefits Office has designated a specific staff member who is knowledgeable about and sensitive to transgender persons and the unique benefit related issues confronting them. Faculty and staff members with general or specific questions regarding benefit issues related to their transgender status are encouraged to contact Kate Van Valkenburgh for assistance. She can be reached directly at 734-647-4021 or by email at katevv@umich.edu.

How to use Self Service > Benefits

Newly hired faculty and staff members can enroll online using Self Service > Benefits, which is available through Wolverine Access at wolverineaccess.umich.edu (select the Faculty & Staff tab, or if you are a benefit-eligible graduate student, click the Students tab).

Your Uniqname and UMICH Password

A University of Michigan uniqname and a UMICH password are required to login to Wolverine Access and Self Service > Benefits. Contact your supervisor if you do not have a uniqname or UMICH password.

Accessing Self Service > Benefits

If you can view your job appointment on Wolverine Access, your benefits enrollment information will also be available.

You must have Internet access on your computer to use Self Service > Benefits. Wolverine Access and Self Service > Benefits run on Windows and Macintosh platforms, using Internet Explorer.

Information and Technology Services Help

If you need help accessing Wolverine Access, contact the ITS Service Center.

ITS Service Center

Step by Step Online Enrollment

Follow these instructions for accessing Self Service > Benefits and making your benefits elections online.

  1. Log on to Wolverine Access
    Wolverine Access is the online gateway to administrative systems at the University of Michigan. Go to wolverineaccess.umich.edu, or select Wolverine Access from the quick links box on the U-M gateway (www.umich.edu).
  2. Select the Faculty & Staff tab (or Students if you are a graduate student) on the Wolverine Access gateway.
  3. Select Employee Self-Service
  4. On the Authentication Required window, enter your uniqname in the login field and your UMICH password in the password field, and then click Login.
  5. Select Benefits from the Self Service gateway.
  6. Select Benefits Enrollment.
  7. Follow the online instructions to make your benefits elections. If you need assistance with the program, click the Help button on the menu bar. If you have questions about your benefits choices, view the Benefits Plans information on the Web, or call the HR/Payroll Service Center at 5-2000 from the Ann Arbor campus, 734 615-2000 locally, or 866 647-7657 toll free for off-campus long-distance calling within the U.S.
  8. Your enrollment will not be complete until you click Submit to confirm your elections and click Submit again to send your benefits choices. A Confirmation Statement summarizing your choices will be displayed. Record the confirmation number that is displayed in the upper right corner of the Confirmation Statement to use as a reference if you should need to call the HR/Payroll Service Center. You may wish to print the Confirmation Statement for verification of your enrollment.
  9. You will receive an email confirmation statement following submission.

If you are unable to enroll online, please contact the HR/Payroll Service Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 5-2000 from the Ann Arbor campus, 615-2000 off campus, or call toll free 866-647-7657 for off campus long-distance.

Enrolling in Retirement Savings Plans and/or FSAs

  • You enroll in the Basic Retirement Savings Plan using Wolverine Access at the same time you make elections for your other benefits, such as health and dental as a newly-hired or newly-eligible faculty or staff member.  You may enroll in the Basic Retirement Savings Plan at any time if you choose not to enroll upon hire. 
  • SRA and 457(b) enrollment elections are not available as part of the Wolverine Access online new hire enrollment process.  You must enroll separately through Wolverine Access:
    • Select the Faculty & Staff tab,
    • Select Employee Self-Service,
    • Select Benefits, and then
    • Select Initiate SRA/457(b) Election and follow the online prompts.
  • Separate forms are required to enroll in a Health Care and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. Enrollment forms are available online.

Confirmation Statement

A Confirmation Statement will displayed online and emailed to you if you use Self Service > Benefits, or mailed your home address on file with the university if you submit a paper form, each time one of the following occurs:

  • Fail to enroll
  • Enroll in your benefits plans
  • Enroll in or change your elections for the Retirement Savings Plan
  • Enroll in a Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Make any kind of change to your plans
  • When your enrollment in life insurance is approved

Questions or Special Resources

For answers to frequently asked questions about benefits and the enrollment process visit Ask HR. If you have questions or need special assistance, call the HR/Payroll Service Center at 734-615-2000 or 1-866-647-7657 (toll free).

Paying for Your Benefits

Limitations
The University of Michigan in its sole discretion may modify, amend, or terminate the benefits provided with respect to any individual receiving benefits, including active employees, retirees, and their dependents. Although the university has elected to provide these benefits this year, no individual has a vested right to any of the benefits provided. Nothing in these materials gives any individual the right to continued benefits beyond the time the university modifies, amends, or terminates the benefit. Anyone seeking or accepting any of the benefits provided will be deemed to have accepted the terms of the benefits programs and the university's right to modify, amend or terminate them.