Benefit Groups: New Employees - Your Responsibilities

Obtain a Social Security Number

Citizens and noncitizens must have a U.S. Social Security number (SSN) to enroll in benefits. If you do not have a U.S. SSN, you may obtain one through the Social Security Administration. Forms and information for obtaining a SSN and card are available online at For assistance, call the Social Security Administration toll free at 1-800-772-1213, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., or visit a local Social Security Office. To find an office nearest you, use the office locator on the Web at

Review Your Benefits Enrollment Information

When you are eligible to enroll in benefits, you will receive instructions on how to enroll. It is important that you review all of your benefits information and enroll within 30 days or as specified by your bargaining agreement.

Save Your Confirmation Statement

A Confirmation Statement is a useful tool to help you keep track of your benefits plan choices.

Update Your Address

It is important to keep your address up to date. To update your address with the university, log onto Wolverine Access at and select the Faculty & Staff tab, or the Students tab if you are a student, and then select Employee Self-Service or Student Business and log in. Under Campus Personal Information select Addresses and make your changes.

Contact TIAA-CREF (1-800-842-2776) or Fidelity (1-800-343-0860) directly to change your address for Retirement Savings Plan programs in which you are enrolled.

Emergency Contact Information

The university encourages you to enter your emergency contact information. Follow the instructions under Update your Address to log into Wolverine Access, and then click Emergency Contact under Personal Information.

Update Your Beneficiary Designations

It is important to update your beneficiary designations whenever your circumstances change. You may change your beneficiary designations at any time.

It is important to note that there are three separate beneficiary designations: for the U-M group life insurance plan, the TIAA-CREF retirement savings plan, and the Fidelity retirement savings plan. You must complete a separate beneficiary designation for each plan in which you are enrolled. If you have money in both TIAA-CREF and Fidelity retirement accounts, you must designate beneficiaries for each account. Go to Beneficiary for more information.

Check Your Deductions

It is important to review all of your paycheck stubs to make sure proper benefits premium deductions are occurring. Prior to each pay day, you will receive an e-mail advising you that your pay stub information is ready to be viewed electronically with instructions on how to access the information. You are responsible for making sure your U-M paycheck is sufficient to cover the cost of your deductions for the benefits and coverage level you elect. See Paying for Your Benefits for more information.

To view your pay stub, log onto Wolverine Access at and the Faculty & Staff tab, or the Students tab if you are a student, and then select Employee Self-Service or Student Business. You will be prompted for your uniqname and UMICH password to log-in. Pay stub information can be found under View Paycheck. Questions about pay stub information should be directed to the SSC Contact Center at (734) 615-2000 for Ann Arbor and U-M-Dearborn employees, and (810) 762-3150 for faculty and staff at U-M-Flint. You are responsible for making sure that your pay can cover the cost of the benefits you choose.

"MHealthy Programs" and "MHealthy Rewards" on your Paycheck
The line items "MHealthy Programs" and "MHealthy Rewards" listed under the EMPLOYER PAID BENEFITS SECTION on your paycheck are amounts being contributed by the university (not deductions from your pay) each pay period to provide programs and incentives in areas such as physical activity, weight control and smoking cessation geared toward improving health and reducing health risks, as well as to provide faculty and staff assistance programs. For more information on MHealthy health and well-being services, go to

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Under COBRA

Within six weeks after you enroll in university benefits, a letter explaining your rights and responsibilities under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) will be mailed to your home. COBRA allows you and/or your dependents to continue your health plan, prescription drug, dental plan, and vision plan coverage and your health care flexible spending account at your own expense if you or your dependents become ineligible for these benefits due to termination or change in appointment or dependent status. You must notify the SSC Contact Center of status changes within the required time limits. See Life Events.

Make Dependent Coverage Changes Promptly

If you want to add an eligible dependent to your coverage (due to birth, adoption, marriage, etc.), you must contact the SSC Contact Center or submit a completed Benefits Enrollment/Change Form within 30 days of the event. Otherwise, you will have to wait for the next Open Enrollment period to add your dependent to your coverage and have the change become effective January 1 of the following year.

If your dependent becomes newly eligible for his or her own benefits coverage due to a job commencement or change, or the dependent is deceased, complete and submit a Benefit Enrollment/Change Form within 30 days of the event to remove the dependent from your coverage.

If your dependent becomes ineligible for health, dental, group life insurance or vision coverage, complete and submit a COBRA Notice of Qualifying Event form within 30 days of the event to remove the dependent from your coverage. Failure to notify the SSC Contact Center within 60 days of your dependent's loss of eligibility will result in forfeiture of COBRA continuation rights. See COBRA.

Watch for Communications

Watch for communications from the university concerning your benefits. Dated materials may require your prompt attention.

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