Enrolling or changing benefits

Unless otherwise noted, complete all benefit enrollment (or changes) in Workday – the log-in button is on the front page of the Employee Gateway.

Enrolling in benefits

You must enroll within 30 days of your hire date. Most benefits take effect on the first day of the following month. (For Verdugo Hills employees, benefits start on hire date; double deductions for premiums may be incurred depending on hire date).

If you have medical coverage through your former employer, or if you have continued that coverage yourself through COBRA, make sure your coverage doesn’t lapse until your new medical coverage starts at USC (the first day of the month following your enrollment date, for most employees).

Due to federal law (Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP Extension Act of 2007), USC is required to obtain the Social Security number for any dependents enrolled in our medical plans, and Workday will ask you for this information. If you have any questions, contact the HR Service Center.

Funds from your prior employer’s retirement plans may be eligible to rollover into USC’s Supplemental Retirement Plan. Funds rolled over are subject to all of USC’s retirement plan rules, including rules on accessing balances. Contact the HR Service Center for help.

You will receive a notification in your USC email to enroll in your benefits through Workday. (In some cases, you may receive this notification before your start date.) Gather all enrollment information (birthdates, Social Security numbers, etc.) and log into Workday from the Employee Gateway to complete enrollment.

You may wish to log into the Workday Help site to consult the user guides on benefits enrollment, and setting up direct deposit, to help you complete these processes.

Your share of your benefit costs comes out of your paycheck. If you're paid monthly, this comes out in 12 equal deductions. If you're paid biweekly, this comes out in 24 equal deductions, which are taken the first 2 pay periods of each month. (So for biweekly employees, 2 paychecks a year will have no medical/dental deduction!) More information about how deductions work is available at the Payroll site, or contact the HR Service Center.

If you're a faculty member receiving your annual base pay in fewer than 12 equal installments, you must pay in advance for your summer benefits. If you don't make those arrangements, a single deduction will be taken from the May payroll to cover premiums for May, June, July and August. Alternatively, you may choose to have summer premiums deducted from summer salary (summer teaching, etc.) if applicable. Contact the HR Service Center for help.

Employees often have questions about how to designate beneficiaries. Please contact the HR Service Center for help.

If you don't enroll (or if you don't officially "waive" coverage, which means decline it in Workday) within 30 days from your hire date, you will be automatically enrolled ("defaulted") into a medical plan covering you only (no dependents). You will not be able to change the plan, add dependents, or cancel that coverage until the next open enrollment period, which normally occurs every November and takes effect January 1 of the following year. The premium for the default plan will be taken from your paycheck. Most employees default into the USC Trojan Care EPO; Keck/Norris union employees default into Anthem MyChoice; Verdugo Hills employees default into the Verdugo Hills PPO.

In addition, if you don't enroll you will have no dental or vision coverage, and if you qualify for the healthy choices incentives, you will not be able to take advantage of them (the health assessment or tobacco-free credits).

If you do NOT want a university medical plan, you must still go into Workday to indicate that you are waiving medical insurance. Should you lose eligibility for your other coverage (or if the other employer stops contributing toward your or your family's other coverage) you may then enroll in a USC medical plan; however, you must request enrollment within 30 days after your or your family's other coverage ends (or the employer stops contributing).

Changing your benefits

Some benefits can be changed at any time. Others, after your initial enrollment as a new hire, can only be changed during open enrollment, or in response to a specific qualifying life event. (Benefits can also change if you have to take some time off work for a medical leave of absence. See our going on leave information page on the Employee Gateway.)

The following benefits may only be changed during USC’s annual open enrollment, usually in November, or if you have a life event status change.

  • Medical, vision and dental plans
  • Flexible spending accounts (which must be re-started each year; they do not roll over)
  • Legal services plan

Supplemental disability may only be changed (added or cancelled) during open enrollment.

The exact dates of open enrollment vary from year to year although it usually takes place in November. All information is announced at least several weeks ahead of time to allow employees time to consider their options. During open enrollment, benefit fairs are held at various campus locations, with benefits representatives and vendors available to answer questions.

If open enrollment information has been announced for this year, you can view the open enrollment website for all details.

The changes you make during open enrollment take effect on January 1 of the following year.


Enrollment in ACA Exchange