Benefit FAQ's

These questions are intended to provide an overview and facilitate a basic understanding of some of the benefit offerings at Rivier College. In the event of any differences between this information and the official plan document, the provisions of the legal plan document apply. Detailed information can be obtained by contacting the Office of Human Resources at ext. 8717.

Q: Can I enroll in our medical and dental insurance plan, even though I declined coverage during open enrollment, or when I was hired?

A: Under certain circumstances, you may enroll in our medical and dental plan although you originally declined coverage. You may enroll if you have had a change in life circumstances, such as birth of a child, marriage or divorce, or experienced a loss in other insurance coverage, such as a spouse losing insurance coverage. 

Q: Can I change my medical insurance election from the HMO to the PPO plan? 

A: A change to the plan may only be made during open enrollment or if the employee has had a change in life circumstances, such as a birth, marriage, or divorce or if a dependent is joining the plan because of loss of other insurance coverage. 

Q: Upon enrolling in the College’s medical and dental insurance plans, can I choose to enroll in dental coverage only?

A: No, the College’s plan is designed as a parallel plan, meaning that medical cannot be elected without dental, and vice versa. 

Q: Does our medical or dental plans have any pre-existing condition clauses that would exclude me from participating or limit my benefit coverage for a prior condition?

A: The medical insurance plans do not contain any pre-existing condition exclusions. Pre-existing condition clauses apply to the dental insurance plan.

Q: My dependent child is enrolled in College; can s/he still be insured through my medical and dental plan?

A: Dependent children of participating employees may remain on the plan on until age 26.  The dependent child does nto have to attend colege, does not have to live with their parents and does not have to be an IRS dependent.  

Q: What is a flexible spending account? Should I be enrolled in this plan? 

A: The flexible spending accounts qualify as Section 125 plans under IRS regulations and are offered to try to help you save money on some of your out-of pocket expenses for medical or dependent care. You can save money by having money taken out of your paycheck for these anticipated expenses on a pre-tax basis. The medical reimbursement account can help pay costs for deductibles, co-payments, orthodontics, and glasses for example. Dependent care accounts may help to save money on child care. Please see the Office of Human Resources for the official plan documents and complete details.

Q: When do my medical and dental insurance benefits take effect?

A: If enrolled in the plans, medical and dental insurance becomes effective on the first of the month following date of hire, or, if hired on the first day of the month, benefits become effective that day.

Q: Under our medical plan, can I go to any pharmacy to get my prescription filled?

A: The pharmacy must accept our medical plan in order to get the $5/$15/$35/$50 price on the prescription. You may reference the pharmacy list found on

Q: I have misplaced my medical and/or dental insurance cards. How can I get replacement cards? 

A:  For medical insurance cards, you may contact Harvard Pilgrim Health Care online at or by calling 1-888-333-4742. For dental insurance cards, you may contact Northeast Delta Dental online at or by calling 1-800-537-1715.

Q: Am I allowed to take a leave of absence for medical reasons? 

A: If you have worked here for one year and have at least 1,250 hours or work, or if you have worked here for 2 years with a minimum of 720 hours per year, you may be eligible for leave time under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Please contact the Office of Human Resources for the appropriate request and certification forms.

Q: I want to take time off from work unpaid. Is this allowed?

A: If you have any leave time available, such as personal, sick or vacation time, this must be exhausted first. All time off not including FMLA must be approved in advance by your supervisor. In some instances, unpaid time off may be granted only if you have exhausted all other leave time. Under the FMLA policy, available leave time will also be paid before the employee goes into an unpaid status. 

Q: I would like to change the funds to which my TIAA-CREF contributions are applied. Do I need to see someone in Human Resources?

A: No, if you are participating in TIAA-CREF, you can reallocate your funds by accessing your account online at or by calling 1-800-842-2888, the enrollment hotline.