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Eligibility & Enrollment

OSU Benefits offers a unique service assisting employees at Orientation and Benefits Enrollment, as well as, providing one-on-one support to help you enroll and use your benefits.  

  • Eligibility

    If you are appointed to work at least a six month assignment and have 0.75 FTE or greater in an eligible staff or faculty employee position, you may participate in OSU's insurance plans. 


    All spouses and dependents recognized under applicable law are eligible for university benefits in accordance with the university's plan documents.  


    Review the following for more information about eligibility for the university’s student insurance coverage.


    Under health care reform, all group health plans and health insurance companies (including OSU and BlueCross BlueShield) must offer group insurance to “adult” children who wish to remain covered under our health plan until the end of the month that the child turns 26 years old. This health benefit is not considered taxable income.


    To be eligible for health, dental and vision plans, your adult child:

    • may be married or unmarried;

    • does not need to be enrolled as a student; and/or

    • may have a separate residence from you.

    • may be employed

    Employees should carefully review the dependents they are covering on medical, dental and/or vision insurance. During Annual Enrollment, employees should drop coverage for anyone who does not meet the criteria listed for an eligible dependent.

  • There are three opportunities when you may make insurance selections.

    There are three opportunities when you may make insurance selections.

    Initial Enrollment - Within 30 Days of Hire

    You have 30 days from your first day of employment to make your insurance coverage selections. Your benefits are effective the first of the month following your hire date. We recommend attending an Orientation and Benefit Session to learn more about OSU and the benefits available to you. REGISTER NOW


    Qualified Life Event Changes

    You cannot change your insurance coverage during the year except in the case of a qualified life event.


    You have 30 days from the date of a qualified life event to notify OSU Benefits and request changes to your benefits. Changes are effective the first of the month following notification. If you do not make your changes during the 30-day qualified life event change period, or you do not provide required documentation approved within the 30-day change period, your changes cannot be made until the next Annual Enrollment period. Financial hardship and provider network changes are not considered qualified life events.


    Here are some common examples of qualified life events:

    • Marriage, divorce, legal separation or spouse’s death

    • Birth, adoption, medical child support order or dependent’s death

    • Change in residence if the change affects your or your dependents’ current plan eligibility

    • Gain or loss of other group coverage, starting or returning from leave of absence, or change of job status (e.g., changing from part-time to full-time)

    • Change in dependent’s eligibility (e.g., reaching age 26)

    Your insurance changes must be consistent with your qualified life event. Evidence of Insurability may be required for some changes.


    Annual Enrollment

    Annual enrollment occurs in November. During this time, you may make changes to your insurance and add or remove dependents from coverage using the online enrollment system through your employee self-service portal, OSU Human Resources will send communications regarding Annual Enrollment to your OSU email. Changes you make during Annual Enrollment will start January 1 or later when your Evidence of Insurability is approved, if required.

  • Enroll, Verify, and Qualifying Events Using BenefitFocus

    You can manage your benefit elections online using OSU's Benefits Administrative System, BenefitFocus.

    • New hires must enroll in benefits online using BenefitFocus, OSU's Benefits Admin System. 

    • You can also use BenefitFocus to make qualified life event changes to your benefits at any time.

    You can enroll online and/or make qualified life event changes in one of two ways:

    1. Online using BenefitFocus

      1. Go to the BenefitFocus portal here

      2. Log into your benefits using your O-Key credentials

      3. Choose "New Hire Enrollment" or "Review Current Benefits" or "Qualifying Life Event".

      4. Follow the instructions. 

    2. The Benefitplace App

      • ​Watch this short video to learn how easy it is to access your benefits information whenever and wherever you go. You will also be able to use the app during open enrollment when you verify and elect benefits for the following year. You can also use the Mobile App User Guide.

      • All of this from your mobile device! And that’s not extensive library of educational videos is now available at your fingertips. Download the app today! With secure fingerprint authentication, managing your benefits is as easy as 1-2-3:

        • Install the Benefitplace® App from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

        • Enter the company ID: OSUAM

        • Log into your benefits using your O-Key credentials

  • Benefit Enrollment Guide

    An overview of current OSU Benefits including your pharmacy benefits under each medical plan.


    Benefit Enrollment Guide

Things to Consider

Evaluate the health plans available at OSU. Your choices depend on multiple factors:

  • How often you tend to visit the doctor
  • Whether you anticipate a change in your health care needs
  • Whether you have more dependents to cover, like a new baby
  • Whether you take regular prescription medications
  • How much the plan will cost you

Look into the voluntary dental and vision plans:

  • A vision discount plan typically offers lower premiums, but only for a percentage discount off services from participating eye practitioners.
  • Ask yourself these key questions in terms of dental coverage:
    • Do you only need to cover preventive checkups and cleanings?
    • Or do you anticipate needing such services as root canals, oral surgery or orthodontics in the coming year?

Determine if you want to participate in an FSA or HSA.

  • A tax-advantaged way to help offset some out-of-pocket medical costs, you can consider opening either a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA).
  • Both types of accounts enable you to use pretax money to cover eligible health expenses, such as premiums and deductibles, over-the-counter medications, prescription eyeglasses, and acupuncture.

Consider other voluntary options like life insurance, long-term disability, cancer coverage, and savings for retirement and consider the initial enrollment benefits compared to applying for these benefits later.


Review dependent eligibility information to determine who you may be able to include in your coverage.

  • Consider your dependents eligibility, every year.
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