Benefit Groups: New Employees

Benefits Information for New Employees

This site provides comprehensive information about the benefits packages offered by the University of Michigan. These benefits packages are some of the most competitive packages available. In fact, depending upon the benefits in which you enroll, your University of Michigan benefits package may equal up to 25-30% of your compensation package at the university.

New Employee Benefits Orientation Presentation

Click the link below to view a Power Point slide presentation about the U-M benefits packages. This is the same benefits information presented at the weekly new employee orientation sessions.

You can view the entire presentation from start to finish or view only the sections that interest you most.

For best results, download and save the presentation to your computer before viewing.

New Employee Benefits Orientation Presentation

Enrollment Information

Your eligibility for benefits at the University of Michigan is based on your benefits group or job/career family, your appointment percentage, and the duration of your appointment. If you are a new hire or are newly eligible for benefits, your specific benefits options will be shown on Self Service > Benefits on Wolverine Access after your appointment is processed by your department and entered online. You will receive an email notifying you when you may make your benefits elections.

Download benefits enrollment information for your benefits group below.

Faculty and Staff PDF packet
House Officers, GSAs, and Professional Specialists PDF packet
Fellowship and Medical School Students PDF packet
Research Fellows PDF packet

How to Enroll

Enroll online before your deadline using Self Service > Benefits on Wolverine Access. For detailed enrollment instructions, view Benefits Enrollment.

Enrolling in Benefits

You have 30 days (or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement) to enroll in the benefits most useful to you and your dependents. Make your benefits elections carefully. Once you submit your elections, your choices will be recorded as your benefits elections until the next Open Enrollment period, usually in October, with changes effective January 1. Once your elections are final and you receive your online confirmation statement, you may not make any changes to your elections — even within the 30-day enrollment period — unless you have a qualified family status change.

Failure to Enroll

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff have 30 days to submit benefit elections (or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement).  Failure to submit elections within the 30-day deadline will result in no health plan or prescription drug coverage.

Graduate Students

Graduate Students are automatically enrolled in GradCare and Dental Plan Option 1 for you only. You have 30 days to waive coverage, add any eligible dependents, or choose a different Dental Plan option for which you are eligible. 

Research Fellows

Research Fellows have 30 days to submit benefit elections.  If benefit elections are not received within 30 days, Research Fellows will be enrolled in Comprehensive Major Medical and Dental Plan Option 1 for you only.

General Information

The following sections are available on this website to assist you with your benefits enrollment. Click the headings to view the information.

Paying for Your Benefits

You are responsible for making sure that your pay can cover the deductions for the benefits you choose. This section contains information about payroll deductions and tax information for other qualified adult coverage.

Your Responsibilities

This section highlights the actions you must take after you enroll in your benefits plans to ensure that coverage for you and your dependents is timely and accurate.


Your eligibility is based on your benefits job/career family, your appointment percentage, and the duration of your appointment. (Your department supplies this information to Human Resource Records and Information Services [HRRIS].) This section includes a chart giving comprehensive information about eligibility for you, your spouse or other qualified adult, and your children.

Benefits Plans

Each of the benefits plans has been carefully researched and negotiated. You can enroll in your benefits with the assurance that your benefits needs are priorities at the University of Michigan. This section provides summaries of the benefits plans. Click the links for more information.

  • Benefits Plan Rates
  • Your Benefits 2015 (PDF)

  • Basic Retirement Plan
    The University of Michigan offers a two-for-one match of your retirement plan contributions. You must complete a 12-month waiting period to become eligible to receive the U-M contribution to the Retirement Savings Plan. Your retirement contributions are vested immediately. In addition to your Basic Retirement plan, you can establish a 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account and/or a 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. A Roth option is also available.

  • Health Plan
    A number of health plans are available, allowing you to choose the plan that best meets the needs of you and your dependents.

    Availability of Summary Health Information
    As an employee, the health benefits available to you represent a significant component of your compensation package. They also provide important protection for you and your family in the case of illness or injury.

    Your plan offers a series of health coverage options. Choosing a health coverage option is an important decision. To help you make an informed choice, your plan makes available a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), which summarizes important information about any health coverage option in a standard format, to help you compare across options.  To view a health plan option, you may select the appropriate document from the Summary of Benefits and Coverage  page. You may also call the SSC Contact Center at 734-615-2000 or 866-647-7657 (toll free)call the SSC Contact Center at 5-2000 from the Ann Arbor campus, 734-615-2000 locally, or 866-647-7657 toll free, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to request printed copies of a specific plan’s SBC at no charge.

  • Prescription Drug Plan
    When you enroll in a U-M health plan, you will be concurrently enrolled in the U-M Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
    Enrolling in either or both the Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account allows you to pay certain health care, dental, and child care bills with tax-free money.
  • Group Term Life Insurance
    University Plan — $30,000 of life insurance coverage for you only paid for by the university.
    Optional Plan — If you are enrolled in the University Plan and want additional coverage.
    Dependent Plan — Coverage for your spouse or other qualified adult and/or your dependent children.
  • Dental Plan
    The Dental Plan offers three options with differing features.
  • Vision Plan
    Each enrolled person may receive an eye exam, eyeglass lenses and frames or contact lenses, once each calendar year.
  • Legal Plan
    Obtain help on a personal legal matter (excluding divorce) from a participating attorney in your area.
  • Expanded Long-Term Disability
    This plan pays 65% of your covered pre-disability base salary in the event you should become totally disabled. The plan also pays the cost to continue most of the benefits you have at the time of disability.
  • Business Travel Accident Insurance
    While traveling on business for the university, all active faculty or staff members are covered by travel accident insurance, the entire cost of which is paid by the university.

Next: Your Responsibilities

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.