You must take action within 31 days of your hire date to elect benefits online. Please allow two weeks from the date of your elections submission for processing.
The effective date of coverage at Northwestern University is the first of the month following the month of hire or initial benefits eligibility unless hired on the first of the month. Employees hired on the first of the month are eligible for benefits as of the date of hire. For those hired on any date after the first of the month, their coverage begins the first of the month following the date of hire.
Under COBRA, all employees and their covered spouses (if any) must be notified in writing of their COBRA rights when they first become covered under the group health plan.
- Attend a New Employee Orientation: Benefits Session to hear a benefits counselors discuss health, retirement and tuition benefits, answer questions, and help you select the coverage you need. Registration is not required. More information is available at New Employee Onboarding at Northwestern.
- Enter your selections online using the Self Service Portal.
- Once you have made your selections, click “Submit” and follow the submission process through until you see “your benefits have been successfully submitted.”
Submit supporting documentation:
- Supporting documentation is required for spouses, partners, and dependent children enrolled in the medical, dental, or vision plans. Please view our proof of dependency page for additional information on what is required.
- Enroll in supplemental life insurance. Elect two times your salary online in the Self Service Portal and complete the Evidence of Insurability form to apply for additional coverage.
- You may enroll in spouse life insurance with coverage up to your total basic and supplemental life insurance, not to exceed $500,000, in $10,000 increments. Elect $30,000 online in the Self Service Portal and complete the Evidence of Insurability form to apply for additional coverage.
- Waive the one year waiting period for the 403(b) retirement plan by submitting the Waiver of Service form completed by your previous employer.
- If you elected the dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and have a gross household income less than $100,000 submit the Dependent Care Employer Match form with your most recent IRS 1040 to the Benefits Division to receive matching funds from Northwestern.
Register your accounts:
- Activate your FSA with PayFlex using your employee ID and your home zip code.
- PayFlex will send a Welcome Kit with instructions on how to open a Health Savings Account (HSA) account. Activate your HSA before the first payroll deduction to guarantee that your contributions are posted to your account.
- Set up an account with the investment company that you have chosen. See the available retirement plans for instructions.