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An individual employed by the Montana University System is eligible to enroll in the Employee Benefits Plan if qualified under one of the following categories:

  1. Permanent faculty or professional staff members regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week or 40 hours over two weeks for a continuous period of more than six months in a 12-month period.

  2. Temporary faculty or professional staff members scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week or 40 hours over two weeks for a continuous period of six months or more, or who actually do so regardless of schedule.

  3. Seasonal faculty or professional staff members regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week or 40 hours over two weeks for a continuous period of six months or more, or who actually do so regardless of schedule.

  4. Academic or professional employees with an individual contract under the authority of the Board of Regents which provides for eligibility under one of the above requirements.

Note: Student employees who occupy positions designated as student positions by a campus are not eligible to join the Plan.

Benefits eligible employees have the option to waive benefits coverage with the MUS Group Benefits Plan. To waive coverage, an employee must actively elect to waive coverage by the enrollment deadline. If an employee does not actively elect to waive coverage, coverages will continue (existing employees) or the employee will be defaulted into coverage (new employees) as outlined below. The cost of default coverage will be within the employer contribution amount.

Please note, there is no continuing or default coverage for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), as these accounts must be actively elected each benefit plan year.

If an employee waives coverage, all of the following will apply:

  • Coverage for the employee and their eligible dependents will be waived.
  • All mandatory and optional Choices coverages, including Medical, Dental, Vision Hardware, Life/AD&D, LTD, and FSA, will be waived.
  • The monthly employer contribution toward benefits coverage will be forfeited.
  • The employee and their eligible dependent children cannot re-enroll unless there is a qualifying event or until the next annual benefits enrollment period.
  • A legal spouse cannot be added to the Plan unless they have a qualifying event.

If an employee’s coverage is defaulted, coverage will consist of the following: 

  • Employee Only – Medical Plan 
  • Employee Only – Basic Dental Plan 
  • Basic Life/AD&D – Option 1 ($15,000) 
  • Long Term Disability – Option 1 (60% of pay/180-day waiting period)
  1. Each eligible faculty and/or staff member receives a monthly employer contribution. This amount is based on the Montana State legislature’s allocation toward the cost of benefits for state employees.

  2. Within 31 days of first becoming eligible for benefits, during annual benefits enrollment each plan year, or if you experience a qualifying event, you may select or make benefit changes from among the Choices benefit plan options, based on Plan rules.  Note:  Employees must enroll within 31 days of hire or make benefit changes within 63 days of a qualifying event .

  3. Each benefit option in Choices has an associated monthly premium rate. Premium rates are shown in the Choices Active Benefits Workbook.


Mandatory
:
- Medical Plan (includes Prescription Drug Plan)
- Dental Plan (Basic or Select)
- Basic Life/AD&D Insurance
- Long Term Disability Insurance

Optional:
- Supplemental Life Insurance
- Supplemental AD&D Insurance
- Vision Hardware Plan
- Flexible Spending Accounts


To determine the before-tax cost of benefits, add up the total cost of the benefits selected and compare it to the employer contribution provided by the Montana University System.

. . . . . If the benefits chosen cost:

  • The same as the employer contribution, the employee won’t see any change in their paycheck.

  • More than the employer contribution, the employee will pay the difference through automatic payroll deductions.

  • Less than the employer contribution, the employee will forfeit the remaining employer contribution.


Annual Choices benefit elections remain in effect for the entire plan benefit period (July 1-June 30) following enrollment, unless there is a change in status (qualifying event). 

Questions about the enrollment process or qualifying events should be directed to campus Human Resources/Benefits Office or the Montana University System Benefits Office.

A new employee may enroll eligible dependents for benefits under Choices, including Medical, Dental, Vision Hardware, Life and AD&D Insurance coverage. Eligible dependents include:

  • Legal spouse, legally married or certified common-law married spouses, as defined under Montana law will be eligible for enrollment as a dependent.
    • Annual  benefits enrollment for the Plan year is Closed Enrollment for a legal spouse unless there is a qualifying event
  • Dependent children under age 26. Children include the employee's natural children, stepchildren, and children placed in your home for adoption before age 18 or for whom you have court-ordered custody, or you are the legal guardian.
    • Eligible dependent children under the age of 26 may be added to the Plan during the annual benefits enrollment period or if there is a qualifying event.
    • Coverage may continue past age 26 for an unmarried dependent child who is mentally or physically disabled, is incapable of self-supporting employment, and is chiefly depended upon the employee for support and maintenance and is enrolled in the Plan when they turn age 26.  Proof of incapacity must be submitted to the Medical Plan claims administrator for review within 31 days of the child's 26's birthday.  Eligibility is subject to review each benefit Plan year.  Note:  A disabled dependent child, age 26 or older, cannot be added to the Plan.

Below are links to Choices benefits information for Montana University System Employees.

Choices Benefits Information

Mandatory Choices Benefits

Optional Choices Benefits

Additional Choices Benefits