The University offers eligible employees, retirees, and dependents
a diversified suite of benefit plans (“Benefit Plans”) from which they may
elect coverage. Specific components of the Benefit Plans are subject
to change or termination. For a
description of the current Benefit Plans offered, visit the University’s
Division of Human Resources (“HR”) website. This
policy describes how employees, retires, and their dependents obtain and
maintain eligibility for Benefit Plans coverage.
Employees may elect coverage for their eligible dependents
in certain Benefit Plans. Eligible
- a legal spouse
- a surviving spouse
- a domestic partner; see UAP 3790 ("Domestic
- dependent children to age twenty-six (26); for the purposes
of this policy dependent children includes natural children, stepchildren,
legally adopted children, children placed for adoption, and children who are
under the legal guardianship of the employee
- mentally or physically disabled dependent children over age
twenty-six (26) if enrolled prior to turning twenty-six (26), provided
extension of coverage is applied for within thirty-one (31) calendar days of the
child's twenty-sixth birthday (periodic recertification of disability may
2.3.1. Documentation of Dependent Status
Documentation supporting dependent status, such as a valid
marriage certificate, birth certificate, or an Affidavit of Domestic
Partnership, as discussed in UAP 3790 (“Domestic Partners”), must be provided
at the time of enrollment.
3. Benefit Plan Coverage for Retirees and Dependents
Eligible Employees retiring from the University may elect
coverage under the University’s medical, dental, and group life insurance Benefit
Plans (“Post-Retirement Benefits”) for themselves and for any of their
dependents that qualify under the terms of Section 2.3.
3.1. Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA)
Effective July 1, 2013, in order for employees to be
eligible for Post-Retirement Benefits, they must elect to make payroll
deductions to contribute to a VEBA in accordance with this policy. Employees
accrue VEBA service credits annually.
3.2. Opting In and Out of VEBA Contributions
Newly hired or newly Eligible Employees may opt-out of VEBA
contributions during their initial opt-out window or, as may all Eligible
Employees, opt-out during open enrollment periods for Benefit Plans. Employees who opt-out of making VEBA
contributions will have one (1) additional opportunity to opt-in after a
waiting period of five (5) years or more.
The opportunity to opt-in will occur during the open enrollment period
for Benefit Plans immediately following five (5) years after the opt-out
effective date. Employees who
permanently opt-out of VEBA contributions will not be eligible for
Detailed information about the VEBA can be found in the VEBA
Plan Document, available upon request from HR.
3.3. Requirements for Receiving and Continuing
To be eligible for and maintain Post-Retirement Benefits coverage,
- Meet the criteria for retirement under either the State of
New Mexico Educational Retirement Act (ERA) or Alternative Retirement Plan (ARP). Employees who qualify for disability
retirement under the ERA’s rules may qualify for Post-Retirement
Benefits.) Participants in the ARP must
be fifty-nine and half (59 ½) years (unless the employee is totally disabled
and unable to continue employment) and must have applied for and continue the
required systematic monthly withdrawal from the ARP vendor with which they are
- Contribute to the VEBA, as provided for in Section 3.2, for
at least the five (5) continuous twelve (12) month periods immediately prior to
retirement. If hired prior to July 1,
2013 and retiring prior to July 1, 2018, employees must contribute to the VEBA
continually from July 1, 2013 to retirement, pursuant to Section 3.2.; and
- Elect coverage prior to the date of retirement and maintain
continuous coverage thereafter. If coverage is not elected at
retirement or if elected and later cancelled, retirees may not enroll in
coverage at a later date.
3.4. Additional Requirements for Medicare Eligible Retirees and
Within sixty (60) days from the date of retirement or, if
already retired, date of Medicare eligibility, retirees and their dependents who
are Medicare eligible must:
- enroll in the Original Medicare Supplementary Medical
Insurance (Part B), and
- enroll in a UNM-sponsored Medicare Senior Plan (which must
include prescription drug coverage)
Failure to elect a UNM-sponsored Medicare Senior Plan that
includes prescription drug coverage will result in the cancellation of Post-Retirement
3.5. Rescission or Suspension of Retirement
If retirees rescind or suspend their ERB retirement pension
or ARP distribution, they will lose all Post-Retirement Benefits taken at the
time of retirement from UNM. Former retirees will not be eligible
to re-enroll in Post-Retirement Benefits unless they later become Eligible Employees
under the provisions of Section 2.1.
3.6. Effect of Layoffs on VEBA Status
Employees who are laid off during their UNM employment and
reemployed while eligible for Re-employment Rights under UAP 3225 (“Separation
of Employment”) will retain active VEBA status while on layoff to meet the requirements
of Section 3.3. Employees neither contribute
to the VEBA nor accrue VEBA service credits while eligible for Re-employment Rights
due to layoff status.
3.6.1. Laid-Off Employees Eligible to Retire
Employees who are eligible to retire at the time they are
laid off will be considered to have met the requirements of Section 3.3 for the
period they remain eligible for Re-employment Rights under UAP 3225
(“Separation of Employment”).
4. Contributions for Benefit Plans and Post-Retirement
4.1. Contribution Split for Employees
Eligible Employees and the University share the costs of certain
Benefit Plans. The University
contributes a percentage of the costs based on the employees’ annualized salary
and appointment percentage.
Eligible Employees’ Benefit Plan contributions are due and
payable each pay period, and are deducted from their paychecks.
4.2 Contribution Split for Retirees
Retirees and the University share the costs of certain Post-Retirement
Benefits. The University contributes a percentage of the costs for under age
sixty-five (65) retirees’ based on the salary immediately prior to retirement
and years of VEBA service credits pursuant to Section 3.1. The
University contributes a percentage of the costs for age sixty-five (65) and
older retirees based on their years of VEBA service credits pursuant to Section
Retirees’ contributions are billed on a monthly
basis. Failure to pay the monthly contributions for any of the
Post-Retirement Benefits will result in cancellation of all Post-Retirement
Benefit coverage. Retirees whose coverage is cancelled due to
non-payment of contributions will not be eligible for a reinstatement of
5.1. Initial Enrollment Periods
Prior to September 1, 2013, in order to have coverage under
any of the Benefit Plans an Eligible Employee must enroll in the selected plans
within sixty (60) calendar days from eligibility.
Beginning September 1, 2013, in order to have coverage under
any of the Benefit Plans, an Eligible Employee must enroll in the selected
plans within thirty-one (31) calendar days from eligibility after satisfying
the Eligibility Waiting Period described in Section 2.2.
Eligible Employees who do not enroll within the applicable enrollment
period described above must wait until the next open enrollment period as
described in Section 5.2 unless the employees experience a Qualifying
Change of Family Status, as described in Section 5.3.1. Late enrollments will not be accepted.
5.2. Open Enrollment Periods
From time to time, open enrollment periods will be
scheduled to allow Eligible Employees and retirees to select or change Benefit Plans. HR
facilitates the open enrollment periods and notifies employees and retirees in
5.3.1. Qualifying Change of Family Status
Certain events such as marriage, birth of a child, change in
spouse’s employment, or divorce (“Qualifying Change of Status Event”) may allow
employees to make a change to their Benefit Plans outside of an open enrollment
period. Changes in benefit elections must be consistent with, and be made
within thirty-one (31) calendar days of, the Qualifying Change of Status Event. Supporting
documentation of the Qualifying Change of Status Event must be submitted to HR
and approved in advance in order for changes to be made to Benefit Plans coverage.
5.3.2. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
(HIPAA) Special Enrollment
Certain events such as marriage, birth of a child, and
adoption or placement for adoption of a child may trigger special enrollment
provisions under HIPAA. Changes to
Benefit Plans due to HIPAA special enrollment events must be made within
thirty-one (31) calendar days from the date of the event.
6. Coverage While on Leave of Absence Without Pay
An Eligible Employee on approved leave of absence without
pay (LWOP) may continue Benefit Plans coverage by paying the employee's portion
of the monthly contributions, which will be billed to the employee by the UNM
Bursar’s Office. Failure to pay the contribution for any of the Benefit Plans
will result in the cancellation of the Benefit Plan coverage. If an Eligible Employee
wishes to cancel a Benefit Plan while on LWOP, the cancellation must occur within
thirty-one (31) calendar days from the date LWOP begins. Coverage
will terminate at the end of the month of cancellation. In order to re-enroll
in a Benefit Plan cancelled during LWOP, the Eligible Employee must re-enroll
within thirty-one (31) calendar days after returning from LWOP or wait until the
next available open enrollment period. If an Eligible Employee does
not re-enroll within thirty-one (31) calendar days after returning to pay
status and waits until the next open enrollment period, then coverage will
lapse until elections made during open enrollment become effective.
7. Termination of Coverage
7.1. Separation from Employment or Employee Eligibility
Benefit Plans coverage will terminate for employees and
their dependents as of midnight on the last day of the month in which employees
separate from the University or their eligibility for Benefit Plans coverage ceases.
The employees’ share of the costs will be deducted from their last paycheck.
If the paycheck is not sufficient to cover their full share of the contribution,
the will be billed for the difference by the UNM Bursar’s Office.
7.2. Dependent Eligibility Ceases
Employees must notify HR when a dependent loses eligibility
for Benefit Plans coverage as described in Section 2.3. The
coverage for a dependent that is no longer eligible will terminate as of
midnight on the last day of the month that eligibility ceases.
7.3. Consolidated Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Some Benefit Plans may be continued in accordance with COBRA’s
continuation provisions. If a COBRA qualifying event occurs, an individual
covered under the University's medical, dental, vision, or medical Flexible Savings
Account plan may elect to continue coverage for a specified duration based on the
COBRA continuation provisions.
7.4. Policy Conversion and Portability
Some Benefit Plans may be converted or ported to an
individual policy in accordance with the guidelines of each Benefit Plan.
8. Related Information
The HR website has additional information on the Benefit
Plans and Post-Retirement Benefits offered by the University.