Frequently Asked Questions
Benefits and Insurance
>>>>> NEW BENEFITS FAQ's <<<<<
What documentation is required to add a dependent during new hire enrollment, open enrollment or due to a qualifying event?
After May 2, 2011, all employees adding dependents will be required to provide documentation that verifies the dependent is eligible for coverage. The most common documentation required for enrollment will be a marriage license if adding a spouse or a birth certificate if adding a child. A complete list of documentation required for enrollment can be accessed by clicking on the link.
I received a letter from the Employee Insurance Program (EIP) asking me to submit documentation of my dependent's eligibility for coverage. Why did I receive this letter?
In an effort to control costs, EIP began auditing subscribers who cover dependents to ensure that only eligible dependents have coverage through EIP. The initial audit cycle is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete and the first letters were sent to subscribers in late April 2011. At some point during the audit cycle, all subscribers who cover dependents will receive a letter from EIP asking them to submit documentation to verify the eligibility of each of their covered dependents. Documentation required for the dependent verification audit can be found by clicking on the link.
How long do I have to provide the documentation requested in the audit letter?
The documentation will need to be provided to EIP within 60 days of the audit request. If the documentation is not provided within 60 days of the audit request, dependent(s) will be dropped from coverage.
Where can I find out more information about the dependent verification audit?
EIP has additional FAQ's and information available on their web site. You can access the information at: http://www.eip.sc.gov/audit/.
Where can I get a replacement health insurance card if mine is lost or stolen?
You may link to the State Health Plan website to request a new card, as well as other on-line services. Or if you subscribe to the State Health Plan, you may call BlueCross BlueShield at 1-800-868-2520, then select the appropriate option from the automated menu.
Where can I get an additional or replacement dental insurance card?
Dental insurance cards are available in the Office of Human Resources, 303 Tillman.
How can I find out if my doctor or hospital is in the State Health Plan network?
The Provider Directory, which is published annually, only lists doctors and hospitals in South Carolina. For a complete and current list of providers, link to the BlueCross BlueShield web page at http://www.southcarolinablues.com and go to the "Find a Doctor" section. This list of State Health Plan providers is updated nightly and is the most up-to-date list available for both in-state and out-of-state providers.
Can I check on my insurance claims on the internet?
If you are a subscriber to the State Health Plan, you may link to the MyInsuranceManager page to access your personal account information.
What is the deadline for State Health Plan medical claims?
BlueCross BlueShield must receive medical claims by the end of the calendar year after the year in which expenses are incurred.
When can I change my beneficiary information?
You can change your beneficiary designation at any time. Call the Office of Human Resources at ext. 2273 or email HRhelp@winthrop.edu to request an appointment with a benefits administrator.
When can I make changes to my insurance coverage?
Unless you have a qualifying event, you can only make changes to your insurance coverage during an Annual or Open Enrollment period in the month of October. See the following questions for further explanation.
What is a qualifying event?
In general, a qualifying event is an event that allows insurance coverage or an extension of insurance coverage for an employee, spouse or dependent. Such events may be marriage, birth/adoption/placement, loss of group health plan coverage, divorce/legal separation, death of the covered employee, loss of dependent's eligibility for coverage, etc. Changes due to a qualifying event must be made within 31 days of the date of the qualifying event by contacting a benefits administrator in the Office of Human Resources at ext. 2273.
What is the difference between Open Enrollment and Annual Enrollment?
Annual Enrollment is the period each year during which eligible employees and retirees may change health plans only. It is held each October. Open Enrollment is a period during which eligible employees, retirees, survivors and COBRA subscribers may enroll in or drop their own coverage and add or drop eligible dependents to/from a health plan without regard to any special eligibility situations. An open enrollment period is held every other year in October (2005, 2007, etc.) and enrollment changes become effective the following January 1. Benefits administrators in the Office of Human Resources are available to help with your annual/open enrollment during each October - please schedule your appointment early in the month by calling ext. 2273 or emailing HRhelp@winthrop.edu.
What is the funeral leave policy?
In the event of a death within an employee's immediate family, the employee may be granted up to 3 consecutive days (24 hours) of leave with pay. "Immediate family" is defined as spouse, parents, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren, great-grandparents and great-grandchildren of either the employee or the spouse. Effective 8/16/04, the state redefined immediate family to include the spouse of brothers, spouse of sisters, and spouse of children. Among those not included under this policy are aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. The employee is expected to notify the supervisor of the circumstances before taking funeral leave. The name of the deceased and the relationship to the employee must be stated on the Record of Leave Taken form. If the employee needs to be excused from work for more than the 3 days (24 hours) of leave provided under this policy, the employee may request annual leave (or leave without pay if no annual leave is available).
What is the family sick leave policy?
An employee may use a maximum of 80 hours (10 days) of sick leave (pro-rated for part-time employees) during a calendar year to provide care for members of the immediate family who become ill or disabled. "Immediate family" includes the employee's spouse and children and the following relations to the employee or the spouse of the employee: mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, legal guardian, and grandchildren if the grandchild resides with the employee and the employee is the primary caretaker of the grandchild.
Is there a limit to the amount of annual leave I can take in one year?
Yes. The maximum number of annual leave hours which may be taken during the calendar year is 240 hours (30 days) for full-time employees or the proportional equivalent for part-time employees. Please refer to the Employee Manual for exceptions to this policy.
Can I contribute to a voluntary tax shelter even if I participate in the State Retirement Plan?
Yes. The Office of Human Resources has information on approved vendors for voluntary tax shelter programs. While our office cannot advise you on financial planning, we will be happy to provide you with contact information. If you would like to speak to a benefits administrator about voluntary tax shelters, please call ext. 2273 or email HRhelp@winthrop.edu.
When and how can I change my W-4 withholding information?
You can change your tax withholding information at any time by filling out a new W-4 form and turning it into the Office of Human Resources. Click to download a W-4 Employee's Withholding Form.