Benefits FAQs

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

Yes, all employees are required to attend New Employee Orientation. If you are staff or other non-faculty, your department will schedule you to attend orientation your first Monday and Tuesday. If you are faculty, you will be scheduled for an individual or small group benefits session in Human Resources.

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

Once you are hired to work at least 50% in a non-student or non-temporary position, you become benefits eligible. You must attend Orientation before your 30-day enrollment window expires. It is best that you attend Orientation either your first day or within your first week. Your department will schedule you for the weekly New Employee Orientation program or a Faculty Orientation.

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

You must contact Human Resources immediately to complete required forms. It is to your benefit to complete the Benefits enrollment within the 30 day enrollment period requirement. If you miss your 30 day enrollment period you may not be able to enroll in Medical or Dental coverage without a Qualifying Life Event.

Does UAMS offer annual open enrollment?

No. The University does not guaranteed 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 until the end of the month in which they reach age 26.

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

No, do not wait.  Notify Human Resources as soon as your child is born. You only have 30 days from the baby’s birth to add them to your Medical insurance. Contact Human Resources as soon as you receive the Social Security Card and we will update insurance plan records.

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

UMR and Delta Dental will automatically drop him from 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 make changes to your coverage when you have a Qualifying Life Event. If you elect to pay your health insurance premiums on an after tax-basis, you may terminate a dependent or all family members at any time during the calendar year. You may NOT 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 question.

How do I get new Medical and Pharmacy Cards?

As a new enrollee, you should receive cards within three weeks. If you have access to a computer, visit the websites of the the plan administrators.  You’ll find links and telephone numbers on the Medical web page.  You can print a temporary card and order new ones on-line.

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 SmartCare Concierge at 686-8749.

Do I have to choose an option on the Point of Service plan?

No. Your coverage/option level is determined at the time the health care is accessed. If you go to an in-network provider, your benefits are paid as in-network. If you go to an out-of-network provider, your benefits are paid as out-of-network (reduced benefits due to deductible and higher coinsurance, plus “balance billing” if your out-of-network provider charges fees that exceed QualChoice’s fee schedule).

Where do I change my retirement investment allocations?

You must contact your fund sponsor – TIAA-CREF (1-800-842-2776) and/or Fidelity (1-800-343-0860) – directly to make any changes to where your contributions are allocated.

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-CREF and/or Fidelity) and request a loan application.   You can do this online or by phone:  TIAA-CREF (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-CREF and Fidelity? Who do I talk to about helping me choose the right investments for me?

Research, research , research! Both TIAA-CREF (1 888 380-6427 or 501-978-1085) and Fidelity (1-800-642-7131 ) 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-CREF 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 maintains your beneficiary election. Contact TIAA-CREF (1-800-842-2776) or Fidelity (1-800-343-0860) to request forms or visit Benefit Forms to print copies. You can also update your beneficiary on-line through their websites.