Benefit Changes After a Position Change
Changes in employment status may impact your eligibility for benefits. A position change is effective the first day of the month following the transition.
Learn more about the ways your change may impact your benefits:
- Transfer to a post-doctoral position
- Transfer between United States and Qatar Campuses
- Transfer non-benefits eligible to benefits eligible role
The following employment changes do not allow you to make changes to your benefits:
- Transfer from benefits-eligible part-time to benefits-eligible full-time (or other way around)
- Reappointment without an employment gap larger than 30-days
- Becoming eligible for Medicare
Moving to a post-doctoral fellow position impacts your eligibility for all benefit plans.
Entering a Post-doctoral Fellow position
- You are no longer eligible for faculty and staff benefits.
- Post-doctoral fellows are eligible to participate in health, dental, vision, life, and long-term disability insurance benefits through Gallagher. Note: NRSA Postdocs are not eligible for flexible spending accounts (FSA).
- Individuals have 31 days from the appointment begin date to elect insurance coverage by accessing the Gallagher via the Benefits tile in myHR.
- Premiums are paid by a combination of funds from the grant, from the University and, if family coverage is elected, from the individual member.
Leaving a post-doctoral fellow position
- When you transition from a post-doctoral fellow to a regular faculty or staff position, you become eligible faculty and staff benefit plans.
- For NRSA postdoc positions, the two year waiting period for the matched and unmatched retirement savings applies. This waiting period is decreased by the length of continuous service in a regular staff position immediately prior to your NRSA appointment.
- Elect your benefits within 31 days of the change in employment status online via myHR.
Changing between a Qatar campus position and a United States campus position impacts your eligibility for your benefits. Benefit changes are effective the first day of the month following the transition; arrangements can be made to allow for the benefits transition up to 60 days prior to the move for existing Northwestern University employees.
Moving to Doha, Qatar
- If you transfer from a United States position to a Qatar campus position, you must change your benefit elections online via myHR within 31 days of the change in employment status to elect the international benefits through Cigna International. The international plans will not populate as an option until 24-48 hours after your job transfer is recorded in myHR.
- Faculty and Staff hired directly into a Qatar campus position will complete their benefit elections online through myHR within 31 days of their hire date.
- Same-gender partners are not recognized as eligible dependents under the Cigna International benefits plan.
Returning from Doha, Qatar
- If you return to the United States after holding a Qatar campus position, you are no longer eligible for international benefits. You must change your benefit elections online via myHR within 31 days of the change in employment status to update your enrollment. The stateside plans will not populate as an option until 24-48 hours after your job transfer is recorded in myHR.
Employees who change between a non-benefits eligible role, such as a temporary employee or part-time role under 50% effort, will have a 31-day window in which they can enroll in benefits. The effective date of coverage at Northwestern University is the first of the month following the month following initial benefits eligibility, unless the transition is on the first of the month. Employees who transition on the first of the month are eligible for benefits as of that date. For those transitioning on any date after the first of the month, their coverage begins the first of the month following that date.
Transitioning from full-time benefits eligible to part-time benefits eligible (or vise versa) is not a qualifying event that will allow a change in benefits.