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Benefits Eligibility & Enrollment


You are eligible for benefits if you are a full-time American University faculty or staff member, as defined in the Faculty Staff Benefits Manual.

Your spouse or domestic partners, and children are considered eligible dependents. You can enroll your eligible dependents for medical, dental, legal, and optional life insurance coverage. They are also eligible for education benefits.

Domestic partners may be added to the plan as long as you meet eligibility requirements and have a valid Affidavit of Domestic Partnership on file in the Office of Human Resources.

Eligible children include your children, stepchildren, legally adopted children, children who have been placed with you for adoption, and children for whom you have been appointed legal guardian. In most cases, your dependent children are eligible until the end of the year in which they reach age 26.*

2019 Cost for medical coverage

Plan Age Limitation

Disabled children who are incapable of supporting themselves due to a mental or physical disability (provided the disability occurred before the child reached age 26).

CareFirst, Kaiser Permanente, Delta Dental, VisionAccess, and Hyatt Legal MetLaw plan

From live birth to age 26
Any age if disabled*

Dependent life insurance

From live birth to age 26

AU reserves the right to require documentation of a dependent's eligibility at any time. You should refer to the appropriate sections of the Faculty Staff Benefits Manual or the official plan documents for more benefits plan information.



Some benefits, such as medical and dental, require enrollment during specific enrollment windows. Other benefits, such as contributions to the AU 403(b) retirement plan, can be made at any time throughout the year.

You may enroll in most of the university benefits plans:

  • after you are initially hired;
  • during the annual open enrollment period; and/or
  • at the time of a qualifying life event.

How to enroll

Attend a new hire orientation to receive an overview of AU's benefit plans. you will receive information on our online enrollment system. You must complete your benefits enrollment within 30 days of your start date.

For new hires enrolling in AU's health, dental, flexible spending accounts, and legal plan, coverage begins on the first of the month after you start. If you start on the first of the month, your benefits will start that day.

Enrollment options

You may choose to enroll in the following benefits when you are hired.

Benefit enrollment options for new hires

Coverage Plan options


CareFirst BlueChoice Advantage Plan
Kaiser Permanente Signature Plan HMO

Prescription drug

Express Scripts (included in CareFirst BlueChoice Advantage medical)
Kaiser Permanente (included in Kaiser Permanente medical)


Delta Dental Basic and Comprehensive plans
Life Optional life insurance

Personal accident

Voluntary personal accident insurance
Legal MetLife Legal Plans
Flexible spending accounts (FSA) Health care spending account
Dependent care spending account

If you don't enroll

If you don't enroll within 30 days of your start date, you will not have medical, dental, group legal, flexible spending accounts, optional life, or personal accident coverage, and you will not be abe to make changes to your coverage until the next open enrollment period unless you have a qualifying life event.

You are enrolled automatically in the university-provided basic life insurance. Short term disability coverage begins at the start of contract for faculty and after six months of full-time service for staff. After one year of service, you will be covered by the university's long term disability plan and, if you have not yet enrolled, you will be enrolled automatically in the AU 403(b) retirement plan and your 1% contribution will be matched by 2% from the university.

How to enroll

Every year, American University holds its open enrollment, the one time a year that you can make changes to your benefit plans without a qualifying life event.

Enrollment options

During open enrollment you can add, change, or drop coverage to your medical, dental, flexible spending accounts (FSA), optional life and personal accident insurance, and legal plan.

You must take action if you would like a health care flexible spending account and/or a dependent care flexible spending account each year as flexible spending accounts do not automatically rollover.

If you don't take action during open enrollment

If you are currently enrolled in AU benefits and do not make any changes, your current elections to medical, dental, optional life and personal accident insurance and the legal plan will rollover automatically. Your coverage will begin January 1 of the upcoming year.

Flexible spending accounts are the exception to open enrollment rollovers. You will need to make an open enrollment election for health care or dependent care FSAs during open enrollment if you would like to participate in the upcoming year.

You will not be able to make changes to your coverage until the next open enrollment period unless you have a qualifying life event.

Making changes during the year

You can change your medical, dental, life insurance, and flexible spending account coverage during the year, according to IRS rules, only when you experience a qualifying life event, such as:

  • Marriage, divorce, or legal separation
  • Death of a spouse, domestic partner, or dependent
  • Birth or adoption of a new dependent or gaining legal custody of a new dependent
  • A change in a dependent's eligibility status
  • Employment change for a spouse or domestic partner
  • A change in your employment status or that of your spouse or domestic partner
  • A change of your residence

You must make a coverage change due to a qualifying life event within 30 days of the event, and the election change must be consistent with the event.

If you are declining enrollment for yourself or your dependents (including your spouse) because of other health insurance or group health plan coverage, you may be able to enroll yourself and your dependents in this plan if you or your dependents lose eligibility for that other coverage (or if the employer stops contributing toward you or your dependents’ other coverage). However, you must request enrollment within 30 days after your or your dependents’ other coverage ends (or after the employer stops contributing toward the other coverage).

In addition, if you have a new dependent as a result of marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, you may be able to enroll yourself and your dependents. However, you must request enrollment within 30 days after the marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption.

To request special enrollment or obtain more information, contact the Office of Human Resources by emailing or calling 202-885-3836.