Human Resources

Benefits You Can Change Anytime

Supplemental Life & Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

In addition to the Basic Life Insurance provided by WHOI, employees may purchase additional Supplemental Life Insurance for themselves and their eligible dependents at any time during the year.  To purchase this supplemental coverage, you must apply for and be approved for Supplemental Employee Life Insurance.  Additionally, if you choose to enroll in one of these benefits after you are initially eligible, you may be required to complete the Evidence of Insurability (EOI) process and be approved by the insurance carrier before coverage will be in effect.   

Supplemental Employee Life Insurance*
You may purchase additional employee supplemental life insurance for 1, 2, 3 or 4 times your annual salary, up to a maximum of $400,000.  The cost of coverage is based on your age.

Spouse / Domestic Partner Life Insurance*
You may select coverage for your spouse or domestic partner in units of $5,000 to a maximum benefit of $100,000.  The cost of coverage is based on your spouse's age.

Child Life Insurance*
You may purchase life insurance for your unmarried, dependent children under age 26 for an amount of $2,000 or $5,000.  The maximum benefit for children under six months is $500.  One low premium will insure all your eligible children, regardless of the number of children you have.

Supplemental Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance*
You may purchase individual or family AD&D coverage up to $500,000.  The cost of this coverage is based on the amount of coverage you elect and your age.


Beginning January 1, 2018, you cannot make changes to Supplemental Life Insurance unless:

1. You expirience a Qualified Life Event and complete the Benefits Enrollment & Change form and return it to within 31 days of the date of the Qualified Life Event.  Additionally, the change must be consistent with the Qualified Life Event.


2. During the annual Open Enrollment period for coverage beginning the following January 1st.

If you elect Supplemental Life Insurance outside of your initial eligibility, you will be subject to Evidence of Insurability (EOI) with the insurance carrier.

Group Auto and Home Insurance

This is a reminder that the Institution offers a group insurance discount program through Liberty Mutual. Any employee or retiree of WHOI is eligible to participate. Anytime that you want your personal insurance to be reviewed for cost or coverage, contact Liberty Mutual at (800) 368-6424.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

You may make changes to your HSA contribution at any time.  Employees may make their own voluntary pre-tax contributions to their HSA account. Unlike an FSA account, the IRS allows for contributions to an HSA at any time during the year, including mid-year changes. 

HSA: 2017 Contribution Limits

Annual contributions to an HSA are limited by the IRS each year. For 2017, the maximum amount of HSA contributions for an employee enrolled in indvidual coverage is $3,400 and $6,750 for those enrolled in family coverage. Remember, family coverage includes employee + spouse and employee + child(ren) coverage. The limits take into account the combined employer and employee contributions. 

The IRS also allows for an additional $1,000 annual contribution for employees age 55 or older. 

HSA:  Excess Contributions

In addition to the annual limits, the IRS also has specific rules for HSA contributions during the year in that they cannot exceed the amount of months that the employee is covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).  This would only impact someone who ends or enrolls in coverage in the Blue Care Elect Saver plan mid-year.

EXAMPLE:  An employee under age 55 has individual coverage in the HDHP-HSA plan.  The employee either ends employment or changes status and loses eligibility for coverage in April 2016.  In this example, the IRS would only allow pro-rated HSA contributions for 4 months (Jan - April).  Taking the annual individual contribution limit for 2016 of $3,350, this employee would only be allowed to have up to $1,100 in HSA contributions.  Any contributions in excess of that amount would need to be distributed from the HSA account and would be considered as taxable income to the employee.

HSA: Age Restrictions

Per IRS regulations, employees age 65 or older can only participate in a Health Savings Account if they are not enrolled in Medicare. Employees in this age category who wish to enroll in the Blue Care Elect Saver plan should verify their Medicare enrollment status with the Social Security office.

HSA: Taxation

HSA contributions (both employer and employee) are tax-free as long as they are used for eligible expenses. Eligible expenses are defined by the IRS under Code Section 213(d). For a detailed explanation and listing of eligible expenses, please review the IRS publication at:

HSA: Ownership/Portability

HSA contributions are fully owned by the employee. Unused HSA dollars are not forfeited like an FSA, and are completely portable if you end employment with/or retire from the Institution.

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan (403(b) Plan)

Under the Institution's 403(b) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan with Transamerica, any eligible employee including joint program students, scholars, and fellows who are earning W-2 wages can participate in this Plan by making their own voluntary contributions.  

If you are already saving for retirement, you can elect to increase or decrease your contribution anytime (subject to IRS limits). The annual dollar limits are set by the IRS.  

Year Contribution Limit

Catch-Up Contribution Limit

(Employees age 50 or over by 12/31)

2016 $18,000 $6,000
2017 $18,000 $6,000

To change or setup your contribution amount for your 403(b) account, you must do so online through your account with Transamerica.


*These benefits are paid through payroll deductions on an after-tax basis.  These benefits are based on age and your annual salary and are subject to change with changes in age or annual salary.

Last updated: November 13, 2017