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Benefits FAQ

Medical | Dental | Life and AD&D | Disability | Flex Spending


    When do benefits begin?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty may begin medical and dental coverage on the first day of employment.  The effective day of coverage may be adjusted to a later date based on a credible coverage letter from your previous employer.  Medical and Dental premiums are paid a month in advance.  Many new employees will experience two months of medical and dental premium deductions on their first paycheck.  

    Classified benefits begin on the first of the month following the date of hire.  For example if you start February 1st, your benefits will start March 1st.  Premiums for medical and dental insurance are paid in the month of coverage. 

    When must I enroll in benefits?

    A Human Resources representative will call you to schedule an orientation to review, select, and enroll in the benefit programs of your choice.  Benefit summaries are located on the HR website, on the website corresponding to your faculty status (all faculty, classified, or admin pro).

    Administrative/Professional staff and faculty are required to attend this orientation.  Failure to attend will result in default coverage being applied for those mandatory benefit plans and forfeiture of optional benefits.  These defaults and forfeitures cannot be changed until the next regularly scheduled open enrollment.   Administrative/Professional Staff and Faculty must enroll in Medical and Dental unless they have proof of other group insurance.

    Classified employees are required to attend orientation.  Failure to attend orientation will result in the employee having no medical or dental coverage through the benefit plans offered by the State of Colorado.  Coverage will not be available again until the next open enrollment period.

    What Health plans are available?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty have Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield as their health care provider. Two medical plan options are available. A summary of the plans can be found under the CHEIBA Insurance Plan Comparison. Admin Pro employees are now required to have vision insurance as well.

    Classified employees are eligible for two plans under United Healthcare. The summary of each plan can be found on the state web site.

    Employees living in certain zip code areas are eligible for Kaiser. The list of eligible zip codes can be found on the Colorado State Government website and a summary of the Kaiser plan can be found here.


    What Dental plans are available?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty have Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield as their dental provider.  Two dental plan options are available.  A summary of the plans can be found in the CHEIBA summary booklet

    Classified employees have a choice between two dental plans offered through Delta Dental.  A summary of the plans is available here.​


    What do benefits cost?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty benefit costs can be found under CHEIBA rates.

    The rates for classified benefits can be found on the state web site.


    When can changes be made to benefits?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty can make changes to their insurance elections during open enrollment in November and December. The benefit year begins January 1st and ends December 31st. Benefit changes made during open enrollment that result in a premium change for the new benefit year will be reflected in the December paychecks because benefits are prepaid.

    Classified staff can make changes during open enrollment beginning in the month of April. The benefit year begins July 1st and ends June 30th.

    Any employee who has a qualifying event or life change like a birth of child, marriage, divorce, loss of dependent or spouse, and/or spouse losses coverage during a plan year may make changes at that time without waiting for open enrollment. Employees have 30 days from the date of the qualifying event to make changes to their insurance. Please contact Human Resource as soon as you have a qualifying event or life change.


    How do I know if a doctor or dentist is a participating provider in the medical/dental plans?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty can view a current Anthem provider directory at

    Classified employees can view a current provider directory for United Healthcare and Kaiser.  The Delta Dental provider directory can be found here.

    What does pre-tax and post-tax premium mean?

    You may choose to pay your medical and dental premiums on either a pre-tax or an after-tax basis. Simply put, pre-tax means that the premiums are deducted before the tax is calculated and deducted; after-tax means that premiums are deducted after the tax is calculated and deducted.
    For more information about pre tax and post tax options, please see additional guidance on the state of Colorado web site.

    How long can I cover my dependent children on the health and dental plans?

    Dependent children may be covered by the health and dental plans until the end of the month of their 26th birthday unless the dependent child is certified by a physician as disabled. 

    Is there a pre-existing condition limitation on the health plans?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty PPO and Custom Plus medical plans do have a pre-existing condition limitation.  Please see the CHEIBA Plan Summary comparison.  The Point of Service plan has no pre-existing condition limitation.

    The medical and dental benefit plans for classified staff do not have pre-existing limitations.​


    Is a vision plan available?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty have vision benefits through Blue Cross Blue Shiedl (BCBS).  A summary of the plan can be found in the CHEIBA summary booklet.  

    Classified employees have vision benefits through their individual medical plan.  Additional vision discounts are available through Delta Dental.  Information about this discount program can be found here.​


    What happens to my benefits when I leave employment?

    The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is a federal law offering you an opportunity to temporarily continue the same group benefits you had as an employee or an employee’s dependent at the time employment is terminated.  The coverage in most cases extends for 18 months.  COBRA is effective the day after your benefits or your dependents’ benefits terminate, pending the receipt of a timely election form and payment of premiums.  Your Human Resources Representative will send you COBRA paperwork within 14 days of your termination of employment or when a covered dependent loses coverage under your plan. 

    What life insurance benefits are available?

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty must enroll in Basic Term Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage as a condition of employment.   Employees may purchase additional life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment coverage.  For plan specifics please view the CHEIBA Benefits Booklet.

    Classified employees have $50,000 of basic life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance coverage at no cost to the employee. Additional life insurance may be purchased, subject to approval by the insurance carrier, for the employee and spouse in increments on $10,000 to a maximum of $500,000.  A spouse is eligible for 50% of the value of the employee’s optional life insurance coverage.  Evidence of Insurability forms are required to be submitted to Minnesota Life Insurance for any increase in optional life insurance coverage during open enrollment.  Employees may elect life insurance for their dependent children in the amount of $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage.


    How do I update and/or change beneficiaries?

    Employees can update and/or change beneficiaries by contacting Human Resources.

    What disability programs are available?

    Disability coverage helps replace a portion of your income if you become disabled due to a covered illness, pregnancy or injury.
    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty are eligible for Long Term Disability coverage through Standard Insurance.  The disabled employee must satisfy a 90 day waiting period before benefits are payable.  The plan plays 66 2/3% of your pre-disability earnings or 70% of your pre-disability earnings, reduced by other deductible income.  Administrative/Professional and Faculty staff do not have a Short-Term Disability benefit.

    Classified employees are automatically enrolled in the state Short-Term Disability (STD) program.  The plan is provided by the State of Colorado at no cost to the employee, and pays up to 60% of an employee’s pre-disability income for up to 150 days following the required 30-day waiting period.  Classified employees can purchase Long Term Disability coverage, pending insurance carrier approval.  Premiums are determined by salary, age and PERA vesting status. After a six-month waiting period, benefits are payable up to 60% of your pre-disability earnings until age 65 (later in some cases) if you continue to meet plan requirements.  LTD enrollment is NOT guaranteed.  You MUST complete an Evidence of Insurability (EOI) form. Without EOI, no application can be approved. The EOI form must be submitted to UNUM no later than 31 days after your Enrollment period. Otherwise, you will need to wait until the next Open Enrollment period to apply. If you have at least five years of PERA covered employment, you may be eligible for PERA disability benefits. LTD Premiums for PERA-vested members are lower than for non-vested members. Please refer to the chart comparing PERA and State disability benefits available on the state web site. For information about PERA benefits, please call PERA directly at 1-800-759-7372.​


    What is a flexible spending account?

    Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) enable you to pay for certain eligible medical and dependent/day care expenses with pre-tax dollars. By lowering your taxable income, you can reduce your income tax liability.

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty can find more information about their flexible spending benefits options in the CHEIBA Benefits Booklet.

    Administrative/Professional staff and Faculty can set aside contributions for the following:
    Health Care FSA Contributions: up to $5,000/year
    Dependent Care FSA Contributions: up to $5,000/year

    Classified employees can find more information about flexible spending benefits on the state web site

    Classified employees can set aside contributions for the following:
    Health Care FSA Contributions: $120 - $6,000/year
    Dependent Care FSA Contributions: $120 - $5,000/year

Leave Programs


    How much annual and sick leave do I earn?

    The University Leave Use and Reporting Policy is located in the Policy Library at

    How do I request annual and sick leave?

    Employees must request annual and sick leave in advance, when possible, through their department's established leave request procedure. Time used must be entered in the Leave section of the Employee Portal.

    I have a vacation planned, how will I know if I have enough leave to take this vacation?

    Annual leave is accrued on the last day of the month and is available for use on the first day of the following month.  An employee can only request leave for time that has been accrued.  Leave balances available for use may be viewed in the Leave section of the Employee Portal.

    How can I confirm the number of days of annual and sick leave I have remaining in my accrual bank?

    You may check your leave balances by logging into the Employee Portal and clicking on Leave.

    The Employee Portal provides you with your current balances as of the end of the month indicated, your leave earning rates, and documentation of leave taken each month during the fiscal year. It also calculates the amount of leave you would lose at the end of the fiscal year assuming you take no leave from the current month to the end of the fiscal year.


    Is sick leave available to use for other family members?

    Sick leave may be used for immediate family members (spouse and children) and parents.

    What is the bereavement policy?

    Information about bereavement leave can be found in the Leave Use and Reporting Policy located in the Policy Library at

    What is the holiday schedule for CSU-Pueblo?

    University employees are paid for 10 holidays in a calendar year.  The holiday schedule is available on the Human Resources web site under "Resources" and listed on the home page.​

    I have been summoned to jury duty. What do I do?

    Employees are granted leave with pay for periods required to serve on jury duty.  Compensation received for this service is not required to be relinquished to the University.  A copy of the Jury Service from the Jury Commissioner, as well as evidence of the actual time spent in jury service, must be presented to your supervisor.

Retirement Benefits


    Do you contribute to Social Security?

    CSU-Pueblo and its employees do not contribute to social security and employees will not receive credit toward social security.  W-2 information is still reported to the Social Security Administration.   Employees are required to contribute to Medicare.

    Am I eligible for Colorado’s Public Employees Retirement Plan (PERA)?

    Administrative Professional staff and Faculty are eligible to participate in Colorado’s PERA if an employee has one year of earned service credit and previously has not closed their PERA account. Otherwise they must participate in one of the Optional Retirement Plans (ORP), currently VALIC Retirement or TIAA-CREF.

    Classified must elect PERA retirement.


    Am I required to participate in a retirement plan?

    Yes.  Because the University is social security exempt you are required by law to participate in another, approved University retirement plan.

    What retirement options must I choose from as an employee?

    CSU-Pueblo is social security exempt. All employees are required to elect a retirement plan.

    Administrative Professional and Faculty have the options of TIAA-CREF or VALIC. PERA is an option if an employee has one year of earned service credit in the last 12 months. TIAA-CREF and AIG are both 401A’s. The employee contributes 8% and the university contributes 11.1%. Employees are vested immediately in these accounts.

    Classified employees are required to contribute to PERA retirement Employee and employer contribution rates are determined by the state. For more information about PERA, please go to their web site at


    Does the University contribute to my retirement?

    The University does make an employer contribution to the 401A and PERA retirement plans.

    The University does not provide a matching contribution to supplemental Deferred Compensation plans.

    What deferred compensation plans are available?

    Deferred compensation plans for all employees include 403B’s through TIAA-CREF, VALIC and the Colorado PERA 457 plan.

    Employees that are current members of PERA are eligible to enroll in the PERA 401K plan.


    When can I enroll in the deferred compensation plans?

    Employees may enroll in deferred compensation plans at any time.  The monthly deduction may not begin until the following month.  Please contact Human Resources for all the necessary paperwork.

    How do I change the investment options in my retirement plan?

    Human Resources can not change investment options for employees.  Employees should contact their individual retirement company.  
    TIAA-CREF can be reached at 800-842-2252 or 
    VALIC can be reached at 800-448-2542 or 
    PERA 401K can be reached at 800-759-7372 or the Colorado PERA website.  
    Colorado PERA 457 Plan can be reached at 800-838-0457.

Other Benefits


    How does the Tuition Reimbursement program work?

    Current full time employees are eligible for up to six semester hours of tuition reimbursement per academic year.  
    Part time employees (.5 FTE to <1.0 FTE) are eligible for four semester hours of tuition reimbursement per academic year.  
    In addition, CSU-Pueblo and Pueblo Community College have a Tuition Waiver Program that provides current CSU-Pueblo employees to take up to six semester credits per academic year at Pueblo Community College and have the tuition waived.  Employees are responsible for the cost of associate fees and books.

    How does the Tuition Scholarship program work?

    The tuition scholarship program offers a 50% discount on in-state tuition for a CSU-Pueblo employee’s spouse and dependent children.  Spouses and dependent children must be enrolled in at least six credit hours and be accepted into a degree-granting program.

    What are the Work/Life Benefits?

    All State employees are eligible for discounts on numerous products and services. For more information about the Work/Life Benefits, please go to our web site.  Occasionally the Human Resources Office directly receives different discount offers.  We will make them available in the literature racks outside or our office.  The University assumes no obligation for these programs and does not endorse any of the organizations or their services, products or programs.  Any arrangements for services and products purchased through discount offers are the sole responsibility of the individual employee.​
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