Benefits FAQs

Am I required to attend orientation to sign up for benefits?

Yes, but most of orientation is now on-line.  All new employees are required to complete new employee on-boarding through the My Compass system. You must do this within your first 31 days of hire or otherwise becoming eligible for benefits.

How long do I have to sign up for Benefits after I am hired?

You have one month, up to 31 days, to enroll in benefits. But it is best that you enroll on before your first day so that the start date of your benefits isn’t delayed.

What do I do if I missed signing up for benefits as a new hire?

Contact Human Resources immediately.  Be aware that if you miss your 31 day enrollment period you may not be able to enroll in most coverage without a Qualifying Life Event.

Does UAMS offer annual open enrollment?

Perhaps. The University does not guarantee an annual open enrollment. Refer to the list of Qualifying Events that allow you to add or change coverage.

How long are my kids eligible for health coverage?

Your children can remain covered under your health plan (and dental and vision plans) until the end of the month in which they reach age 26.  At that time they will be offered continuation of coverage under COBRA.

Can I still cover my daughter once she marries?  Can I drop her?

There are just two criteria for covering children:  (1) they must indeed be your child — by birth, adoption/court action or step-child by marriage; and (2) they have not yet reached age 26.  That means your children who are married, live on their own, or have their own job may remain covered, as long as these two criteria are met.  You cannot drop your daughter solely on the basis of her marriage, because that marriage by itself does not cause her to be an ineligible dependent. However, if she enrolls in insurance through her new spouse, that would be a qualifying event for you to drop her. The one month deadline (31 days max) to make changes applies and you would need to provide documentation of her new coverage.

We just had a new baby. Do we wait until we get the social security card to add the baby?

No, do not wait!  You only have one month from the baby’s birth to add them to your medical insurance.  It’s best to add the baby as soon as you can after birth. Then later, once you receive your baby’s social security number, contact Human Resources and we will update your insurance plan records.

My son will turn 26 next month. When do I take him off my insurance?

UMR and Ark. Blue Cross/Blue Shield will automatically drop him from medical and dental coverage when he ages out, and will notify our office so we may adjust your premium (i.e. if your son was your only covered child). He will be offered continuation of coverage under COBRA. For more information, contact Human Resources/Employee Services at (501) 686-5650.

What effect does having my premiums taken out before or after taxes have on my choice to drop coverage?

If you have your Medical or Dental insurance premiums taken out of your paycheck before taxes, you may ONLY drop coverage when you have a Qualifying Life Event or at the end of the tax year. If you elect to pay your health insurance premiums on an after tax-basis, you may drop a dependent or all family members at any time.

You cannot add dependents without a Qualifying Life Event regardless of your pre-tax/after-tax premium coverage level. Contact Human Resources /Employees Services at (501) 686-5650 with your particular situation.

How do I get new Medical and Dental cards?

Once you initially enroll in insurance, insurance cards will be mailed to you in about three weeks.  If you need a replacement card, you can log into the insurance plan administrator’s website to print a temporary card or order new cards.  You’ll find links and telephone numbers on our web site.

How do I see a doctor before I get my insurance card?

If you access your benefits before you obtain your cards, you may have to pay out of pocket, unless your provider can delay filing your claim. Otherwise you can file a manual claim after-the-fact to be reimbursed what insurance would have paid. The claims forms are on our web site. When in doubt as to your coverage or plan benefits, please contact UMR at 1-888-438-6105.

What do I do when medical claims are denied?

The first thing to do is contact UMR at 1-888-438-6105 and find out why. UMR will be able to instruct you on the surest way to rectify the problem or discuss ways to appeal the decision. Contact HR/Employee Services at (501) 686-5650 if you are unable to get your claims problem resolved after contacting UMR.  If you have a question about a UAMS bill, please contact the UAMS SmartCare Concierge at 686-8749.

I have family out of state.  Do they have access to in-network providers?

Yes.  Our medical insurance (all 3 plans) has a provider network that is nationwide.  Visit our Medical web site for links to search for providers both in and outside Arkansas, plus other details.

How do I change my address with UMR?

Address updates must always start in UAMS Employee Self Service.  Once you have updated your address in our records, your new address will be reported to UMR within a couple of weeks.  Click here for details on how to change your address with other benefit carriers.

Where do I change my retirement investment allocations?

You must contact your fund sponsor – TIAA (1-800-842-2776) and/or Fidelity (1-800-343-0860) – directly to make any changes to where your contributions are allocated.  You can also change your investments online.   Links are on our UA Retirement Plan web site.

How often can I change the amount I contribute to my retirement plan?

You may change your contributions to your retirement plan at any time by filling out a Salary Deferral Agreement found under Benefit Forms and submitting it to Human Resources. Unless you specify a future date, changes generally take effect either the current or next pay period.

Who do I contact for a loan from my retirement plan? How do I go about requesting the necessary paper work?

To request a loan from your UA retirement account, you must first contact your fund sponsor (TIAA and/or Fidelity) and request a loan application.  You can do this online or by phone:  TIAA (1-800-842-2776) and/or Fidelity (1-800-343-0860).  Once you have requested the loan, you or your fund sponsor must forward the request to Human Resources for an Employer Authorization signature.  If you have ever defaulted on a loan in the past, you will not be eligible for a new loan.  The maximum number of open loans you can have is three.

How do I pick between TIAA and Fidelity? Who do I talk to about helping me choose the right investments for me?

Research, research, research!  Both TIAA and Fidelity have a variety of information resources available to you. You may contact both retirement companies by phone or via the web. You can also meet with TIAA and Fidelity counselors when they are on campus. See schedule.

Where do I go to change my beneficiaries?

Life and AD&D insurance: the form is found under Benefit Forms. Or contact Human Resources (501-686-5650). Beneficiaries for these insurances are maintained in Human Resources.

Retirement: Your fund sponsor, TIAA and/or Fidelity, maintains your beneficiary election. Contact them directly to request forms, or visit Benefit Forms for instructions on how to do this online.

We recommend that when you designate someone as your beneficiary that you let them know to contact UAMS in event of your death. You should also keep a copy of any beneficiary changes with your other important personal documents.