Support Staff - Benefits Eligibility

Eligibility

Benefits eligibility at the University varies by role. Log in to CUBES to see the benefits options you're eligible for, as well as monthly costs and coverage start dates. 

Are you unsure which Support Staff union and/or group you're part of? Go to What is my employment group? to learn more. 

If you have questions, please contact the Columbia Benefits Service Center at 212-851-7000 or consult your union's collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.

Eligibility

For Local 2110 members, eligibility begins on the first day of the month following completion of the applicable waiting period.

If you are full-time and do not enroll within 31 days of hire or eligibility, you will be automatically enrolled for individual Choice Plus 90 medical coverage and individual EmblemHealth Dental coverage only, and will receive the University contribution to the Healthcare FSA. You will not be able to enroll your eligible dependents in Medical, Prescription Drug, Vision or Dental coverage, and you will not be able to contribute to the FSAs or Optional Term Life Insurance coverage from Columbia for the remainder of the calendar year.

Waiting Period of Benefits Coverage

* The benefits of eligible full-time and part-time members of Local 2110 are effective the first day of the month following the completion of the applicable waiting period.
** EmblemHealth Dental only.

*** Eligible Employees regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are eligible to apply for voluntary benefits.

Eligible Dependents

For most University benefits, including Medical, Vision and Dental, your dependents can be covered if you verify they are your:

  • Legal spouse;
  • Legally-dependent child(ren), including adopted children and stepchildren;
  • Other.

Go to Dependent Eligibility to learn more.

Active Support Staff Turning 65

Active Support Staff and their spouses age 65 and over who are enrolled in a Columbia-provided medical plan option do not need to enroll in Medicare because they still have creditable coverage through the University. At least three months in advance of your retirement from the University, you should enroll in Medicare to avoid any gaps in coverage.

For Non-Union Support Staff (NUSS) members, eligibility begins on the first day of the month following completion of the applicable waiting period.

If you are a full-time employee and you do not enroll within 31 days of hire or eligibility, you will be automatically enrolled in individual Choice Plus 90 medical coverage and individual EmblemHealth Dental Program coverage only. You will not be able to enroll eligible dependents in Medical, Prescription Drug, Vision or Dental coverage, and you will not be able to contribute to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Optional Term Life Insurance coverage from the University for the remainder of the calendar year.

Waiting Period of Benefits Coverage

* The benefits of eligible full-time and part-time members of Non-Union Support Staff are effective the first day of the month following the completion of the applicable waiting period.
** EmblemHealth Dental only.
***
Eligible employees regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are eligible to apply for Voluntary Benefits.

Dependent Eligibility

For most University benefits, including Medical, Vision and Dental, your dependents can be covered if you verify they are your:

  • Legal spouse;
  • Legally-dependent child(ren), including adopted children and stepchildren;
  • Other

Go to Dependent Eligibility to learn more.

Active Support Staff Turning 65

Active Support Staff and their spouses age 65 and over who are enrolled in a University-provided medical plan option do not need to enroll in Medicare because they still have creditable coverage through the University. At least three months in advance of your retirement from the University, you should enroll in Medicare to avoid any gaps in coverage.

For Support Staff Association (SSA) members, eligibility begins on the first day of the month following completion of the applicable waiting period.

If you are full-time and do not enroll within 31 days of hire or eligibility, you will be automatically enrolled for individual Choice Plus 90 medical coverage and individual EmblemHealth Dental coverage only, and will receive the University contribution to the Healthcare FSA. You will not be able to enroll your eligible dependents in Medical, Prescription Drug, Vision or Dental coverage, and you will not be able to contribute to the FSAs or Optional Term Life Insurance coverage from Columbia for the remainder of the calendar year.

Waiting Period of Benefits Coverage

* Benefits of eligible full-time and part-time members of SSA are effective the first day of the month following the completion of the applicable waiting period. 

** Eligible employees regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are eligible. 

Eligible Dependents

For most University benefits, including Medical, Vision and Dental, your dependents can be covered if you verify they are your:

  • Legal spouse;
  • Legally-dependent child(ren), including adopted children and stepchildren;
  • Other.

Go to Dependent Eligibility to learn more.

Active Support Staff Turning 65

Active Support Staff and their spouses age 65 and over who are enrolled in a Columbia-provided medical plan option do not need to enroll in Medicare because they still have creditable coverage through the University. At least three months in advance of your retirement from the University, you should enroll in Medicare to avoid any gaps in coverage.

For Transport Workers Union of American (TWU) members, eligibility begins on the first day of the month following completion of the applicable waiting period.

If you are a full-time employee and you do not enroll within 31 days of hire or eligibility, you will automatically be enrolled in individual Choice Plus 80 medical coverage and individual EmblemHealth Preferred Dental Benefits Plan B coverage only. You will not be able to enroll eligible dependents in Medical, Prescription Drug, Vision or Dental coverage, and you will not be able to contribute to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Optional Term Life Insurance coverage from the University for the remainder of the calendar year.

Waiting Period of Benefits Coverage

* The benefits of eligible full-time and part-time members of TWU Local 241 (maintenance and custodial employees and security officers) are effective the first day of the month following the completion of the applicable waiting period.

** Eligible employees regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are eligible. 

Dependent Eligibility

For most University benefits, including Medical, Vision and Dental, your dependents can be covered if you verify they are your:

  • Legal spouse;
  • Legally-dependent child(ren), including adopted children and stepchildren;
  • Other.

Go to Dependent Eligibility to learn more.

Active Support Staff Turning 65

Active Support Staff and their spouses age 65 and over who are enrolled in a Columbia-provided medical plan option do not need to enroll in Medicare because they still have creditable coverage through the University. At least three months in advance of your retirement from the University, you should enroll in Medicare to avoid any gaps in coverage.

The majority of your benefits are provided through your Union’s insurance plans. Please consult your collective bargaining agreement or contact your union representative for more information on eligibility.

New Voluntary Benefits

No matter who provides your medical insurance, you are eligible for a number of Voluntary Benefits.

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Both Spouses Eligible for Coverage 

If you and your spouse both work for the University and are eligible for coverage, choose coverage in one of the following ways:

  • One spouse makes the choice for the entire family, including eligible dependent children, if any. In this case, the other spouse selects “No Coverage”; or
  • Each spouse enrolls separately and one spouse covers eligible dependent children.