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Employee and Research Associate Eligibility

You are eligible for medical, dental, life, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability insurance if you are:

An active, ongoing (not temporary) employee regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 20 hours per week paid either wages or a stipend on a regular basis, including postdoctoral research associates (Research Associate, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, and Senior Fellow) whose primary benefits are through this organization. 

You may cover your family members in the same medical and dental plans you select.

Ongoing, part-time, visiting graduate students and visiting investigators, who have no insurance available through their sponsoring institutions are eligible for medical and dental insurance.

Postdoctoral research associates receiving a training stipend that provides at least 50% of total compensation are not eligible to contribute to flexible spending accounts (FSA).

Family Member Eligibility

You may cover your family members in the same medical and dental plans you select. To be eligible, the family member must be:

  • Your legal spouse.
  • Your domestic partner, if all requirements are met as stated in the affidavit of domestic partnership. NOTE: If the spouse or domestic partner has access to a medical plan through their own employer, they must enroll in that plan to be eligible for coverage in our plan. The Affidavit of Spouse/Domestic Partner Medical Plan Coverage must be completed when electing coverage for a spouse or domestic partner in Workday.
  • Your, your spouse's or your domestic partner's:
    • Natural child
    • Adopted child
    • Foster child
    • Stepchild
    • Child legally placed for adoption
    • Child placed with you as legal guardian
    • Child for whom you, your spouse or your domestic partner has responsibility to provide medical coverage under a Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO).

Children are eligible until they turn 26. A disabled child who continues to be dependent on you may be eligible to continue coverage after age 26.

To be eligible for Supplemental Life Insurance, your family member must be:

  • Your legal spouse.
  • Your domestic partner, if all requirements are met as stated in the signed affidavit of domestic partnership.
  • Your, your spouse's or your domestic partner's dependent child from birth until they turn 26, including:
    • Natural child
    • Adopted child
    • Stepchild living in your home

Deductions for domestic partner coverage are post tax; please contact Benefits for more information.

Selecting Medical and Dental Benefits

You must enroll in a medical and dental plan unless you have coverage under another group health care plan. (Government-sponsored health care and health assistance plans such as Medicaid and the Basic Health Plan are not group health care plans.) Here are several other important facts to keep in mind:

  • You may also enroll your family members in the same medical and dental plans you select.
  • You don't need to enroll the same family members in the medical and dental plans. For example, you may enroll yourself and your spouse only in the dental plan while enrolling yourself and your children only in the medical plan.
  • Any family members you enroll will be covered by the same plan or plans you select. For example, you can't enroll yourself in the Premera Blue Cross plan and your spouse in Kaiser.

How to Enroll

You must either enroll in these plans or waive participation when you are first eligible. Eligible employees and postdoctoral research associates receiving on-site training are eligible for coverage through some or all of the employee benefit plans. You'll need to complete a benefits enrollment for yourself and any dependents you choose to cover through Workday.

Each year there is an open enrollment period during which you may change your health care and FSA benefits. You cannot make changes during the year unless you have a qualifying change in status.

You're eligible to enroll on the date you begin work as an eligible employee, and your coverage is effective on the first day of the calendar month coincident with or next following the date you begin work. For example: if you begin work August 5, your coverage is effective September 1; if you begin work September 1, your coverage also would be effective September 1. If you're eligible to participate, you'll have the opportunity to:

  1. Select health care benefits (medical and dental)
  2. Create FSA for reimbursement of qualifying health care and dependent care (daycare) expenses
  3. Elect coverage in the Supplemental and Dependent Life Insurance Plan

If you don't enroll within 30 days of your eligibility date, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center employees will be automatically enrolled in the Premera Plan A medical plan and the Delta Dental of Washington Plan B. None of your dependents, if any, will be enrolled in the health care benefits. You cannot change these default elections until the next open enrollment period.

Making Changes

Once you've made your elections (according to IRS rules), you cannot change them until the next open enrollment unless you (or a family member) gain or lose plan eligibility due to one of the following types of events — a change in:

  • Legal marital status such as marriage or divorce
  • The number of your dependents, for instance due to birth, death or adoption
  • Employment status, such as being hired, terminating employment, taking a leave of absence, or changing from part-time to full-time status (or vice versa)
  • A dependent's status as a dependent, for example due to age or beginning or ending a qualifying domestic partnership
  • Employee residence (moving out of the coverage area)

Any change you make must be on account of the event that gives you the election change opportunity, and must correspond with that event. In addition, election changes will also be allowed when consistent with:

  • You or a family member gaining or losing coverage under Medicare or Medicaid
  • An official order, judgement or decree, such as a qualified medical child support order
  • An election change by a family member under that family member's plan

Several years ago the Department of Labor passed legislation that allowed employers to offer even more flexibility with regard to life changing events. You may be eligible to change your election mid-year for yourself and certain family members under these circumstances:

  • If you waive medical coverage for yourself or your family members because of other health care coverage and you lose that coverage for certain reasons
  • If you have new family members due to a marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption

The annual Open Enrollment period is in May each year. The benefit plans elected, or changes made to who is covered, during this process take effect on July 1. Open Enrollment elections remain in place through the end of the new plan year unless you have a qualifying life event as noted above. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center benefit plan year is July 1 through June 30.

Any change in your participation must be consistent with the change in status. You must make any change in your elections within 30 days following a qualified status change (60 days for newborns and adoptions) through Workday. 

All life event change requests are made through Workday. Qualified life events require supporting documentation to be submitted within the “special enrollment window”, usually 30 days, that corresponds with each event. Please contact Benefits for more information.

Waiving Coverage

If you're covered by another group plan, you may waive medical and/or dental coverage and be eligible to receive taxable cash each month:

  • $85 for medical
  • $15 for dental

You may be asked to submit proof of this other coverage to Benefits along with your electronic enrollment when you are initially eligible to enroll, and on additional occasions. You may have this amount paid as additional compensation, as a contribution to FSA(s), or divided between additional cash and FSA(s). To waive coverage, you must select "waive" in the medical and dental election sections within Workday. Waive credits do not apply to visiting investigators, visiting graduate students and employees not eligible for benefits at Fred Hutch.