Life Events - Prospective University of Michigan Employee

Benefits Plans

The Benefits Office at the University of Michigan administers many faculty and staff benefits plans. Highlights of the plans appear below. Many of these plans are described in greater detail in other sections of this website. Enrollment in benefits is not automatic, and it is not mandatory: you choose and enroll in benefits that best suit your needs. All benefits plans are subject to change.

Prospective Faculty

If you are a prospective faculty member, view Benefits Highlights for Prospective Faculty for a summary of benefits plans available to University of Michigan faculty members.


Your eligibility for benefits at the university is based on your benefits job/career family, your appointment percentage, and the duration of your appointment. In general, you are eligible for benefits at the university if you have at least a 50% appointment lasting four consecutive months or longer. There may be other eligibility requirements for individual plans. Your specific benefits options and rates will be shown on Self Service > Benefits, which is accessible by logging into Wolverine Access, when you become an employee of the university. Your dependents are eligible for many of the same benefits. See the Eligibility section of this website for more information.

Enrolling in Benefits

You can enroll in or make changes to your benefits when your appointment is available online or during the annual Open Enrollment, which usually occurs in October. Certain qualified family status changes, such as marriage or birth of a baby, allow you to make changes to specific benefits plans.

Health Plan Options

The University of Michigan offers one traditional health plan, one preferred provider organization (PPO), two health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and U-M Premier Care. The university generally does not have a preexisting condition clause in any of its health plan contracts. Coverage is available for dependents who meet specific eligibility requirements.

Prescription Drug Plan

All eligible participants in university health plans are automatically enrolled in the U-M Prescription Drug Plan. You cannot enroll in the Prescription Drug Plan without enrolling in a university health plan.

Dental Plan

The University of Michigan Dental Plan is administered through Delta Dental. The Plan offers three coverage choices: Option 1, Option 2, and Option 3. The plans have differing features and covered services. If you choose an option that requires a cost, you pay the additional cost through payroll deductions. Coverage is available for dependents who meet age and other guidelines. Orthodontia benefits are for dependent children only.

Vision Plan

Vision coverage is offered to eligible staff through Davis Vision, a preferred provider organization (PPO). As a plan participant, you receive one eye examination and one pair of eyeglasses every year. You can purchase a voucher directly from Davis Vision for additional pairs of eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Basic Retirement Savings Plan

The university offers a 403(b) defined contribution retirement savings plan with a two-for-one match after you complete a 12-month waiting period. All contributions to retirement accounts are made through payroll deductions on a tax-deferred basis. Retirement funds can be invested with TIAA-CREF and/or Fidelity Investments. You can enroll in the retirement savings plan at any time. Your retirement contributions are vested immediately. All contributions, yours and the university's, are set aside in an account in your name to provide retirement income. If you leave the university before retirement, your contribution and the university contribution.

Supplemental Retirement Accounts (SRA)

You may establish an SRA account through TIAA-CREF or Fidelity and make contributions to the account on a tax-deferred basis in an amount beyond your 5% contribution to the basic retirement plan. There is an after-tax Roth option also available. There is no university matching contribution to SRA accounts.

Expanded Long-Term Disability (LTD)

The Expanded LTD Plan pays up to 65% of covered pre-disability base salary when you become totally disabled. The plan also pays the cost to continue most of the benefits you have at the time of disability. You are eligible to participate in this plan if you have at least a 50% appointment for eight continuous months. Supplemental Faculty, Graduate Students, House Officers, Professional Specialists, and Research Fellows are not eligible for this plan.

Group Term Life Insurance

The university offers three group term life insurance plans to eligible faculty and staff:

  • University Plan — $30,000 of coverage for you paid by the university. Newly hired faculty and staff members are enrolled automatically.
  • Optional Plan — your choice of coverage in amounts of $5,000, $50,000, or one, two, three, four, five, or six times your annual salary (maximum of $1 million), paid for by you. You must enroll to participate. The amount of coverage you choose and its cost will increase when your salary increases if your coverage is based on your salary. Your cost will increase when you move into the next higher age bracket. There is a nonsmoker discount on the Optional Plan premium.
  • Dependent Plan — coverage for your spouse or other qualified adult or your dependent children, paid for by you.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending accounts provide an option for all staff to save money by paying dependent care and some health care expenses with pretax dollars.

Group Legal Services

Group Legal Services, a legal plan administered by Hyatt Legal Plans, Inc., is available to all eligible faculty and staff members and their dependents.

Travel Accident Insurance

The university provides travel accident insurance for all staff while traveling on university business. Coverage is automatic, and no application is required. The university pays the entire cost.

Benefits Plan Rates

Each benefit plan has its own rate structure. See the Benefits Plan Rates page for more information.

Other U-M Benefits and Services

The following benefits and services are available to all University of Michigan faculty and staff at all three campuses. Please note that the benefits and services listed below are not administered by the Benefits Office.

  • Work/Life Resource Center (WLRC) assists all faculty and staff members in identifying and locating services and resources for work and family issues, focusing on child care and elder care.

  • Kids Kare at Home, sponsored by WLRC, is a program to help families at the University of Michigan when their children are sick or have special needs and cannot be left alone. For more information, contact Kids Kare at Home at WLRC.

  • Faculty and Staff Assistance (FASAP) provides confidential counseling and information for all faculty and staff members for those times when your work life or personal life gets difficult, and you could use some help. Counseling on a wide variety of personal problems and referrals to appropriate outside agencies are available to individuals with persistent and potentially troublesome personal problems, such as alcohol, drugs, marital strife, financial, emotional and other difficulties.

  • Work Connections is an integrated disability services program designed to assist and support faculty and staff members when they experience an illness or injury, either work-related or non-work-related.

  • Vacation Leave. The university provides paid annual vacation to allow time off from work for rest and convenience. Contact your designated timekeeping unit for more information.

  • Sick Leave. The university provides paid sick time to assist regular faculty and staff members when they are unable to work due to illness or injury, or due to absence for preventive medical and dental care. Contact your designated timekeeping unit for more information.

  • University of Michigan Health System employees may be covered by the "Paid Time Off" (PTO) program. For more information, please refer to the Health System Human Resources Department (UMHSHR) website or contact your timekeeping unit for more information.

  • Extended Sick Leave. Contact your designated timekeeping unit for more information.
  • University of Michigan Staff ID Card (MCARD). MCARD is the University of Michigan's official identification card. This single-card program combines many features including identification, library privileges, and building access on one card.
  • Recreational Sports User Passes. Contact the Recreational Sports department for more information.

  • University Libraries. A staff member ID card can be used at all university libraries to check out books and materials.

  • Computer Account. Each staff member has a computer account with a monthly allotment for its use. Contact the ITS Accounts Office for more information.

  • Athletic Tickets. Contact the U-M Athletics Ticket Office for more information.
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.