When it comes to planning for the future, most people aren't eager to consider what will happen in the event they die or are disabled. That's understandable, but as off-putting as it may be, such planning is essential to easing the burden on your loved ones should the worst happen.
Fortunately, JHU provides an array of benefits—some automatically issued for free, others voluntary and paid for by you—that cover you or your dependents in the event of death or injury sustained in an accident. Choosing whether to supplement what's provided for free requires an understanding of your options, the costs, and your family's potential needs.
"It's important to look at all the options that the university offers you and carefully consider what works best for you and your family," says JHU benefits representative Charlotte Karl. "JHU has numerous options that can fit every budget, and can provide peace of mind to you and everyone involved."
Your life insurance options
It's important to know that JHU provides every full-time employee with $10,000 in basic life insurance paid for by the university, and that all bargaining unit members are given a basic life insurance benefit equal to their annual salary. There's no need to sign up for these; you're automatically covered.
However, you can also opt to purchase additional life insurance coverage. If you're a full-time employee, you can purchase up to four times your annual base salary, to a maximum benefit of $2,000,000. "What's important to note about the timing is that only new employees or those with a qualified life event can opt to purchase the highest level of insurance right away" without having to fill out a statement of health, Karl explains. "Everyone else is able to move up one level of coverage each year at Annual Enrollment."
If you're a bargaining unit member, in addition to the free basic life insurance benefit, you can purchase supplemental life insurance coverage of up to the equivalent of your annual base salary (rounded down to the nearest $1,000). The university also provides bargaining unit members with dependent life insurance of $4,000 for spouses or domestic partners and $2,000 for each dependent child, at no cost (no need to enroll; you're automatically enrolled). Full-time employees, meanwhile, can purchase supplemental insurance for spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children.
Your travel accident insurance
Travel accident insurance provides a benefit of up to $200,000 in the event of death, dismemberment, or paralysis for full-time benefits-eligible faculty or staff members traveling on an authorized business trip. This coverage, offered through The Hartford, is paid for by JHU and enrollment is automatic; you don't have to sign up. You're covered from the time you leave your JHU work site or home for a business trip to the moment you return.
Who is eligible: Full-time benefits-eligible and bargaining unit members and their eligible dependents.
When do I sign up? Bargaining unit members can enroll in supplemental life insurance benefits following completion of their employment probationary period; after that, they can enroll during Annual Enrollment or when they experience a qualified life event. Full-time employees can enroll when hired, during Annual Enrollment (Oct. 20 through Nov. 7, 2017), or when they experience a qualified life event. Once elected, these benefits automatically renew each year as long as you're an eligible employee.
How do I pay for it? Payroll deduction.
More information: JHU Health and Welfare Handbook, pages 129–144.
Terms to know
Life insurance: Insurance that pays a benefit in the event of your death or, in some cases, the death of a dependent.
Travel accident insurance: Insurance that provides a benefit in the event of death, dismemberment, or paralysis for full-time benefits-eligible faculty or staff members traveling on an authorized business trip.
Personal accident insurance: Insurance that provides a benefit for employees and their insured family members who die or are injured as the result of an accident, either at or outside of work.
Statement of health: A full disclosure of your current health status, filled out by a physician and yourself, for the purposes of acquiring life insurance. These forms are provided by MetLife.