University of Pennsylvania

04/19/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/19/2024 10:09

Adding (or subtracting) a spouse or partner? Changes can be made during Penn’s Open Enrollment

Once the onboarding process at Penn ends, thinking about benefits may be a distant memory. Open Enrollmentis a time to review the benefits chosen at the beginning of one's career at Penn, perhaps before major life changes like getting married and starting families. This year's Open Enrollment will be Monday, April 29, through Friday, May 10, with changes effective July 1.

"Penn's benefits are designed to support the health and well-being of you and your family. Open Enrollment is a time for faculty, staff, and postdocs to review their benefits and explore the resources we offer to help them make informed decisions about their health plans, life insurance, and flexible spending account options," says Jack Heuer, senior vice president of Human Resources.

"People select their benefits and then inertia kicks in, and they don't think about making changes for a long time," says Sue Sproat, executive director of Human Resources. "But this is the one time of year that you can look at your current benefit elections, to make sure that you have made the best selections for you and your family situation."

One of the changes to Penn's benefits impacts couples outside of marriage. Faculty, staff, and postdoctoral researchers and fellows eligible for the Penn Postdoc Benefits plan will be able to enroll domestic partners under Penn's comprehensive benefit offerings. This applies to both same-sex and opposite-sex partners.

"We had same-sex domestic partner benefits for a number of years, and in 2016 we changed the plans to include same sex spouses. Effective July 1, 2024, we are allowing domestic partners to be eligible dependents under the plan. This includes same and opposite-sex couples who are not married," explains Sproat. "The upside is if you have a domestic partner who needs coverage, they can be covered by the Penn plans. You will have to provide an affidavit attesting to the partnership. And you will have to pay taxes on the total value of that benefit."

The domestic partner benefit also extends to other Penn benefits including tuition assistance, which covers 50% of the tuition and technology fees for an undergraduate degree at Penn. The benefit also covers wellness and work-life support: If covered under a Penn medical plan, a domestic partner can access nutrition counselingthrough RAMP Health. Domestic partners can also connect with MindWellfor emotional well-being resources.

Child care support benefits through Penn's backup careand snow day child careprograms are also extended to domestic partners and their children.

Penn's Adoption Benefit will also increase in the new plan year.To help offset some of the costs, the University is increasing its adoption benefit from $5,000 to $10,000 per child. Eligible faculty, staff, and postdocs may be reimbursed for up to $10,000 in qualified expenses. The benefit will be administered by Carrot Fertility.

In addition, Penn faculty and staff can get $30,000 for in vitro fertilization through Carrot Fertility. Two virtual sessions presented by Carrot Fertility will be held on April 10 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and April 22 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Open Enrollment is also the time to review life insurance beneficiaries and make changes if necessary. There will be an increase in life insurance rates for Supplemental Life Insurance and Dependent Life Insurance. Faculty and staff can review their beneficiaries in the Benefits, Comp and Pay Hubin Workday@Penn. To update retirement plan beneficiaries, visit the retirement planning account through Penn's SSO link.

The Open Enrollment Benefits Fair will be held on campus on Tuesday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Gimbel Gym, Pottruck Health and Fitness Center. Penn HR staff and representatives from Penn's health care providers and wellness partners will be available to answer questions. A benefits fair will also be held at New Bolton Center on May 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

Visit login links for the virtual sessions and other information session details.