Benefits Eligibility

Eligibility for benefits varies based on employment classification.

Type of Employee

Other Eligible Individuals

Staff

  • Regular status staff must be scheduled to work at least 18.75 hours per week.
  • Exempt staff must be appointed on at least a half-time (50%) basis.
  • An employee must hold an appointment that is full-time for 6 months or at least half-time for 1 year to be benefits-eligible. University salary must be sufficient to cover benefit plan deductions.
  • Eligible staff may participate in the health, dental, vision, group term and optional term life insurance, long term disability, flexible spending account (FSA), retirement and long term care plans.

Faculty

  • Faculty must be appointed on a full-time or part-time basis for the entire academic year or on a full-time basis for half the academic year.
  • The University defines half the academic year as either one semester or two quarters.
  • Eligible faculty may participate in the health & dental, group term and optional term life insurance, long term disability, FSA, retirement and long term care plans.

Academic Full-Time and Half-Time Faculty

  • You must be compensated exclusively by one or more of the following affiliated McGaw Medical Center institutions including the University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH), Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation (NMFF), NorthShore University HealthSystem, Children's Memorial Hospital and its related faculty practice plans, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), and the VA Lakeside Medical Center.
  • Your University salary must be sufficient to cover the amount of monthly premium deductions.
  • Eligible academic year faculty may participate in the health & dental, group term and optional term life insurance, long term disability, FSA, retirement and long term care plans.

Contributed Service Faculty

Medical School faculty who volunteer to participate in the academic activities of the Medical School without direct financial compensation are eligible to participate in the Reduced Tuition plan.

ROTC Faculty

If you serve as full time faculty for ROTC and NROTC programs on campus, while not paid by the University, you are eligible to participate in the University tuition plans.

Pre Doctoral Fellows

Pre Doctoral Fellows are eligible for a separate benefit plan offered through the Office of Risk Management.

Post Doctoral Fellows

Post Doctoral Fellows appointed on at least a half-time basis are eligible to participate in the health & dental, group term and optional term life insurance, long term disability, FSA, retirement and long term care plans. Post Doctoral Fellows must hold an appointment that is full-time (2 quarters or 1 semester) for half the academic year or at least half-time for the entire academic year to be benefits-eligible. University salary must be sufficient to cover benefit plan deductions.

NRSA Post Doctoral Fellows

Post Doctoral Fellows funded by a National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are not eligible to participate in the University's benefit plans. They are eligible for a separate benefit program through Garnett-Powers & Associates.

Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars are not eligible to participate in the University's benefit plans. Visiting scholars should obtain benefits through Risk Management.

Visiting Personnel

Individuals with academic appointments of half time or greater at the rank of professor, associate professor and assistant professor paid by the University are eligible to participate in the health & dental, group term and optional term life insurance, long term disability, FSA, retirement and long term care plans.

Disabled Employees

If you become permanently and totally disabled while working for Northwestern University, and are receiving University-sponsored Long Term Disability benefits, you are eligible to participate in the health & dental, and group term and optional term life insurance. You may elect to convert Long Term Care to an individual policy directly with the sponsoring insurance company.

Retirees

  • If you retire from University employment you may elect to convert Optional Term Life, Group Term Life, and Long Term Care to an individual policy directly with the sponsoring insurance company.
  • You may also continue health and dental coverage.

Spouse

A spouse must be legally married to the eligible employee.

Surviving Spouse and Child(ren) of a Deceased Employee

  • An eligible spouse or dependent child of a deceased employee or retired employee is eligible only for health and dental coverage.
  • The spouse or dependent child must be enrolled in the University sponsored plan at the time of the employee’s death.

Partner

  • You and your opposite-gender partner must obtain a civil union to insure your partner. Opposite-gender partners are only eligible for fully-insured plans including HMO Illinois and First Commonwealth.
  • You and your same-gender partner must obtain a civil union or marriage in order to qualify for coverage under University plans.
  • The partner and their children are eligible for health, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment coverage and tuition benefits.
  • Insurance premiums will be charged on either an after-tax or before-tax basis in accordance with federal and state regulations and based on your individual situation.
  • FSAs may not reimburse an employee for partner medical care or for the care of a partner's dependents unless they are an Internal Revenue Code Section 152 dependent

Dependent Child(ren)

  • Dependent children include unmarried natural, step, foster, legally adopted children, and any children who are in your custody under an interim court order prior to the finalization of adoption proceedings.
  • Your dependent child must be age 25 or younger to be covered under the health, dental, vision, and life plans.
  • Any children who are dependent upon you for financial support and maintenance because of disability are covered regardless of age if they were covered by the plan prior to reaching the limiting age.

Parents and Grandparents

Your parents, grandparents and in-laws are eligible for University-sponsored LTC coverage.

*Employees located in Miami, New York, and Washington, DC are only eligible for the BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois PPO health plans and dental plan. They are not eligible for HMO Illinois, or Cigna International health insurance, or First Commonwealth dental insurance.

+Employees located in Doha, Qatar are only eligible for Cigna International health, dental and vision insurance.