Instructions for All Benefited Employees

Work Life Event: 
Applies To: 
All Benefited Employees

Benefited Employees:Unpaid Leaves and the Impact on Benefits

In certain circumstances you may be on a leave approved by your department but not be receiving pay from the University. For clarity, during these times you may be receiving income through a long-term disability insurance plan (eg, Group Insurance Commission/GIC Long Term Disability/LTDOptional Retirement Program/OLI) or another income source (for instance an automobile insurance policy).

Unpaid Leave for non-medical reasons (employed by the University in a benefited position but not receiving payment by the University):

  • GIC Health Insurance: while on unpaid leave you are responsible for paying 100% of the GIC health insurance premium unless you are on an approved medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA) or an approved leave for otherwise FMLA-covered situations. If you are on an approved FMLA or MMLA leave you are responsible for paying your regular contribution toward insurance premium(s).While on unpaid leave the GIC will mail premium invoices to your home. Return payment directly to the GIC to keep coverage(s) intact. If your GIC health insurance is cancelled due to non-payment you may be unable to re-establish coverage until the next open enrollment (end-of-April/beginning-of-May for coverage effective July 1.)  
  • If you (and all dependents covered under your GIC health insurance plan) will be covered under another health insurance plan while you are on leave, you may cancel your GIC coverage by bringing written proof of the date you will be covered under the other plan to the HRESC so we can assist in completing the appropriate forms. You may re-establish health insurance through the GIC during open enrollment (end-of-April/beginning-of-May for coverage effective July 1) or upon proof of involuntary loss of coverage under another plan.  
  • GIC Optional Life and Long-Term Disability Insurance: the GIC will bill you for the premium that would have been deducted from your bi-weekly paycheck. You must make full and timely payment to the GIC to keep coverage(s) intact. If your GIC Optional Life and/or Long-term Disability insurance is cancelled due to non-payment you may be unable to re-establish that coverage without passing a medical proof of insurability exam.  
  • Creditable service toward retirement begins accruing upon your return from unpaid leave.
  • Accrued paid leave: you will begin accruing sick and vacation time upon return from unpaid leave.
  • Met Home/Auto/Legal coverages: You must to contact Met Life to arrange for payment of home, auto and/or legal insurance premium if you normally pay premium via payroll deduction (800.438.6388).
  • University Parking: if you have payroll-deduction for your University parking payments, please contact the Parking Office to inquire into alternative payment arrangements.
  • Union Dues: please contact your Union representative
  • Voluntary 403(b) and 457 “SMART” Plan contributions: will begin again upon your return from unpaid leave.
  • College Savings Program (529 plan): direct deposit of 529 contributions discontinue while on unpaid leave and resume when you return from unpaid leave.

     Flexible Spending Accounts: if you participate in the FSA please review the GIC's FSA Participant Handbook in advance of going on leave in order to fully understand the impact of leave on these benefits in order to make appropriate arrangements.

  • Health Care Spending Account (HCSA): you may not incur expenses eligible for HSCA reimbursement during an unpaid leave & bi-weekly deductions upon return to University payroll will be increased to meet your full annual election amount. Alternatively you may either: 
  1.  Arrange with UMass Human Resources to have a pre-tax deduction lump sum taken from your  last check before the unpaid leave starts. The deduction must cover the period of leave during  which no payroll deductions are taken. With this option, your flex debit card remains active and you are able to continue using your funds and submit claims directly.
  2. Arrange with the GIC Flexible Spending Account vendor to pay your contributions and administration fees directly while on leave. This process must be requested directly of  the vendor before your unpaid leave starts. You  will be invoiced every two weeks. Premiums may be paid by check or money order no later than the pay  date on which the contribution would have been payroll-deducted. If payments are made timely the flex  debit card remains active and you may continue to incur eligible expenses.  Direct bill payments are post-tax.
    • Dependent Care Assistance Program: IRS regulations state that you must be at work in order to incur DCAP-eligible expenses. Payroll deductions will resume upon return to work at an increased level in order to meet the annual election amount.

    Benefited Employees: Insurance benefits while on leave

    In order to secure the most complete and seamless coverage of your medical care, please pro-actively consult with your health insurance carrier to insure that you and your doctor are following the plan policies for pre-authorizations and other plan rules. Remember, if you are on an unpaid, non-medical leave the MA GIC will bill you at home for 100% of the premium for your GIC health insurance coverage (rather than the employee rate normally withheld from your University paycheck). It is important for you to pay the GIC invoices timely or you may lose coverage and be unable to re-establish health insurance coverage until the following GIC open enrollment (end-of-April/beginning-of-May with coverage effective July 1). If your GIC optional life or long-term disability insurance(s) is cancelled due to non-payment you may not be able to re-establish those coverages.