Benefits Enrollment

When to Enroll

Generally, there are three times when you can enroll in or change your benefits at the University of Michigan:

You have 30 days to enroll, or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement. It is to your advantage to enroll in benefits as soon as you are eligible. You can enroll in or change your elections for the Basic Retirement Savings Plan, the 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA), 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan, and Dependent Child Life insurance at any time of the year.  You can enroll in Expanded Long Term Disability, Optional Group and Dependent Spouse/Other Qualified Adult Group Term Life Insurance at any time by providing proof of insurability in the form of a health statement. Visit the individual plan pages for more information or review benefit enrollment deadlines and defaults.

How to Enroll

Benefits elections are submitted online with Employee Self-Service > Benefits in Wolverine Access. You will receive an email with instructions on when and how to enroll. Pay particular attention to the rates for each plan.  

  1. Login to Wolverine Access using your uniqname and UMICH password.

  2. Select the Faculty & Staff tab (or Students if you are a graduate student).

  3. Select Employee Self-Service.

  4. Select Benefits.

  5. Select Benefits Enrollment.

  6. Follow the screen prompts to make your benefits elections.  

  7. Your enrollment will not be complete until you click Submit to confirm your benefits elections and Submit again to send your choices.  

  8. A confirmation statement will be displayed and you will receive an email confirmation following successful submission.  Record the confirmation number to use as a reference should you need to call the SSC Contact Center.

Enrolling in Retirement Savings Plans

You enroll in the Basic Retirement Plan using Wolverine Access at the same time you make elections for your other benefits, or at any other time if you choose not to enroll upon hire.   

403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) and 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan enrollment elections are not available as part of the online new hire enrollment process.  You must create separate “events” to enroll:

  1. Login to Wolverine Access using your uniqname and UMICH password.

  2. Select the Faculty & Staff tab.

  3. Select Employee Self-Service.

  4. Select Benefits.

  5. Select Initiate Ret Savings Elections.

  6. Follow the screen prompts.

Please note: you will need to create one enrollment event to enroll in the 403(b) SRA and another for the 457(b).  When you complete the online enrollment process a notice will be sent to TIAA-CREF and Fidelity (or both) to create your account(s) for the Basic Retirement Plan, 403(b) SRA or 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan as applicable.  You will need to follow up with TIAA-CREF and Fidelity to select your investment funds and designate your beneficiary.  

Enrolling in a Flexible Spending Account

Enrollment in a Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account is completed via a separate form, not in Wolverine Access. The enrollment form is available online.

Failure to Enroll

If you fail to enroll or waive health coverage within the 30-day deadline (or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement), you will be defaulted to no health plan coverage and no prescription drug coverage (or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement), and you will be unable to enroll until the next Open Enrollment period, usually in October, with coverage effective January 1st of the following year. See Enrollment Deadlines for details.

Need Help Enrolling?

For questions about making benefits elections, call the SSC Contact Center.  Call 5-2000 from the Ann Arbor Campus, 734-615-2000 from the local Ann Arbor area, or 1-866-647-7657 for toll-free long distance. The SSC Contact Center is open Monday - Friday 8:00-5:00.

For computing assistance or help accessing Wolverine Access, contact the ITS Service Center at 734-764-HELP (764-4357) or email  The ITS Service Center is open Monday - Thursday 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., and Sunday 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  

If you are unable to enroll online, download the 2015 Benefits Enrollment Form or the 2016 Benefits Enrollment Form, and then complete, sign, and return it as instructed on the form. 

Transgender Community

The Benefits Office has designated a specific staff member who is knowledgeable about and sensitive to transgender persons and the unique benefit related issues confronting them. Faculty and staff members with general or specific questions regarding benefit issues related to their transgender status are encouraged to contact Kate Van Valkenburgh for assistance. She can be reached directly at 734-647-4021 or by email

Effective Date of Your Benefit Elections

For the following benefits plans, coverage begins on your service date if you enroll within 30 days of that date, or as specified by your collective bargaining agreement. See Enrollment Deadlines for details:

  • Health, Dental, Vision and Legal plans

  • University Life Insurance

  • Optional, Spouse/OQA, and Child Life Insurance (if a health statement is required coverage will not begin until the date the health statement is approved; this may take 4-6 weeks)

  • Long-Term Disability

Your Basic Retirement Plan and 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) contributions will generally begin with your next paycheck after your enrollment has been processed.

Your participation in Flexible Spending Accounts (Health Care or Dependent Care accounts) will begin on the first day of the month after your enrollment form is received and processed.

You are automatically covered for Business Travel Accident Insurance beginning on your first day of service with the university.

Making Changes

Job or Qualified Family Status Change

If you have a job status change that impacts your eligibility for benefits, you will receive information and instructions for changing your benefits.

If you have a qualified family status change and wish to make allowable changes to your benefits, follow the instructions about changing your benefits. Otherwise you will have to wait for the next Open Enrollment period to make the change to your benefits.

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is an annual event (usually in October) during which you can enroll in new benefits or change your current benefits enrollments for the upcoming year, effective January 1. Information on when and how to enroll and any changes to benefits plans for the coming year will be provided in the Open Enrollment section of this site. The elections you make during Open Enrollment are effective January 1 and remain in effect until December 31 unless you experience a qualified family status change.

Confirmation Statement

A Confirmation Statement will displayed online and emailed to you if you use Employee Self-Service > Benefits, or mailed your home address on file with the university if you submit a paper form, each time one of the following occurs:

  • Fail to enroll

  • Enroll in your benefits plans

  • Enroll in or change your elections for the Retirement Savings Plan

  • Enroll in a Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

  • Make any kind of change to your plans

  • When your enrollment in life insurance is approved