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Chapter 3: Insured Benefits

Swarthmore offers an extensive range of health care and life insurance benefits, retirement options, educational assistance programs, and other programs and services to our staff and faculty. Because we want to attract and retain the highest quality staff, we are committed to providing a competitive benefit package. You are considered benefit eligible if you have a regular (not temporary) position of .5 FTE position or greater. (FTE stands for full time equivalency and refers to what percent of full time your position is. For example, if a normal work week is 40 hours, and your job is 20 hours per week, your FTE is .5). If you are unsure of your FTE status, please ask your supervisor or Human Resources. The Benefits Office in Human Resources is at your service if you have questions about the insured benefits mentioned in this chapter.

Swarthmore offers a wide range of benefit plans for benefit-eligible staff and their dependents, including:

  • Health care coverage
  • Domestic Partner Policy
  • Health Care and Dependent Care Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Paid Time Off 
  • Salary Continuation Plan (Short Term Disability)
  • Long Term Disability Plan
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Retirement Plan
  • Tuition Grant Program
  • Tuition Reimbursement Program (Staff)

All new benefit-eligible staff members should attend the regularly offered benefits orientation. It's a good opportunity for the Benefits Office to answer staff members' questions. Current supervisors or staff members who wish to "sit in" on orientation as a refresher program are encouraged to do so.

Benefits Guidebook at Swarthmore

Human Resources publishes a guidebook entitled Benefits Guidebook at Swarthmore. It is a companion piece to this handbook and is the primary resource for common questions about the benefits program. The benefits guide summarizes each of the benefit plans, including eligibility, dependents, enrollment plan options, costs, and how to file claims. New staff members receive copies of the benefits guide during the benefits orientation. Copies of this resource is also available from the Human Resources Office.

The benefits guide is a general overview of benefit programs. More specific information is provided in a Summary Plan Description (SPD) for each benefit program;  SPDs are available upon request from Human Resources and distributed annually. The SPDs are the actual plan document for each benefit program providing the official language that prevails if questions arise.

Continuing Benefits If Your Employment Status Changes

If your employment changes from a status where you have been eligible for benefits to a status where you are no longer eligible for benefits, you may be able to continue your health care coverage at your own cost under federal provisions known as COBRA. You may also be able to convert other insurance coverage to individual policies at your own cost. For more information, contact the Office of Human Resources.