So, I started my first nursing job a little over a month ago. Last week, I went online to signup for my health benefits and I see the option for Health Savings Account. The HSA sounded interesting but I wanted more information about them before I signed up. I checked my folder I was given in orientation to see how long I had to sign up for benefits. I came across in the folder that told me 90 days from start date, which would have given me a little more than 8 more weeks from that time to sign up for benefits and look more into the HSA. Well, I did my research on HSA's and went back online to enroll in benefits and I was blocked from doing so, saying that I was past my enrollment period for benefits and I would need to wait until the next enrollment period. I emailed HR , thinking it would be a quick and easy fix as there was an obvious mistake. Well, HR told me that we were told on the first day we had 30 days to signup for benefits. I said, well ok, that's been a few weeks ago, I must have forgotten that by the time I went to signup for benefits, I double checked what I was given during orientation and with what they provided me, it said I had 90 days. HR said sorry, we told you 30 days in orientation. So, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period.
Is it me or is that riduclous that I would be given conflicting information and now I can't get benefits until January as opposed to October 1st?
Would I be going to far to bring my situation to the CNO?
Aug 2, '12
I would bring the paper that says 90 days to HR and try to see if they can do something. I would try to get a different HR person as the one you talked to on the phone. And just be really nice and sweet and maybe even apologetic about it and not sound accusatory. If that doesn't go anywhere I would ask to please see an HR manager.
Aug 2, '12
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but thirty days from the date of hire is the standard, per IRS Section 125 Cafeteria Plan regulations, for a new employee to sign up for benefits.
Are you certain that it didn't say that you are eligible for benefits after 90 days? You would still need to sign up within the first 30 days of hire but the benefits wouldn't start until after the 90 day waiting period.
It is common for companies to have a waiting period for benefit eligibility of 90 days, 180 days, 30 days. However, you still need to opt in/sign up within 30 days of hire.
Aside from open enrollment the only other time you can change your election for benefits include marriage, adoption, birth of a child, divorce, and a few other select life changes (and often the benefit changes can only pertain to the life change, i.e. you can add your newborn to your current health plan,but you can't change your choice of health benefit plan)
Before you bring your paperwork to HR, be sure to reread the document to ensure it says 90 days to sign up not 90 days from start date before you are eligible/your benefits will begin. If you are in the US, nearly every company must comply with the regulations that state you have only 30 days from your date of hire to sign up for your benefit plan.
Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on Aug 2, '12
: Reason: spacing
Aug 3, '12
Agree with PPs - but please double-check with your HR folks because there is a high likelihood that you are not without benefits. You probably were enrolled in a 'default' or standard benefit plan. It may not include everything you wanted, but I'll bet it has all the basics.
Your HR department should be taken to task for not providing clear and accurate communications. The 30-day window for sign-up is pretty universal. However, many organizations also have a 90-day wait before your benefits become effective... that may be the source of confusion. They need to do a much better job.
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