Announcements & Features:
email from laurita thomas — dependent benefits eligibility audit

Email message from Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for Human Resources, September 14, 2009

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

Do you have a dependent enrolled in a U-M medical plan? If so, please read on to learn about university plans for a benefits audit designed to confirm that enrolled dependents are qualified for coverage. The audit will include all faculty, staff and fellowship holders with one or more dependents enrolled in a U-M medical plan, and will require a response to home mailings that will begin in February 2010. However, an amnesty period will precede the audit, beginning now and continuing through Dec. 18, 2009. Further details about both the audit process and the amnesty period are provided below.

Amnesty period, now through Dec. 18

The personal consequences of enrolling ineligible individuals as dependents in a medical plan are significant. An individual may be subject to disciplinary steps and legal action by the university and the insurance company to recover costs. For that reason, we are communicating early about the audit as well as establishing a lengthy amnesty period – beginning now and continuing through Dec. 18.

During this period, faculty, staff and fellowship holders can voluntarily disenroll dependents who do not meet eligibility requirements for U-M benefits with amnesty from disciplinary or legal action by the university. Amnesty spans this year’s Open Enrollment period to make the process of disenrollment more convenient and automated using Wolverine Access self service. During the time before Open Enrollment begins and afterward through Dec. 18, ineligible dependents can be disenrolled without penalty by calling the HR/Payroll Service Center.

Eligibility: Enrollment of an ineligible dependent can be caused by simply neglecting to remove children from coverage after they reach the maximum age of 25 or get married, or failing to remove an adult dependent promptly after a divorce or other life event that affects benefit eligibility. If you have any doubt about the eligibility of a dependent covered under your benefit plans, please review the eligibility information for dependents on the Benefits Office web site (www.benefits.umich.edu/eligibility/) and take advantage of the amnesty period, correcting any oversight by Dec. 18.

Audit process, beginning in February 2010

Home mailings will begin in February to faculty, staff and fellowship holders with enrolled dependents, and will include a questionnaire and a request to provide copies of specific documents to verify the eligibility of dependents. The types of documents requested will vary based on the category of adult or child dependent and will include options such as copies of federal tax returns with information such as Social Security numbers and income figures removed, birth certificates and additional options to be determined prior to the start of audit. No form of documentation will require Social Security numbers.

You will receive a letter only if you have a dependent enrolled in a university medical plan, and the university will coordinate with a firm that specializes in conducting confidential benefits eligibility audits to make the procedure as efficient as possible.

You’ll find more information, including Questions & Answers, on the Benefits Office web site at <www.benefits.umich.edu/announcements/audit.html>. If you have additional questions, please contact an HR Service Center representative at 734-615-2000 (5-2000 from an Ann Arbor campus phone).