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Health & Dental Insurance

Eligible Employees

Classified  |  Operational  |  Executive  | 12-Month Faculty & Professional  |  9-Month Faculty & Professional

Statewide Health Plans

As state employees, we have the following health insurance plans to attend to our employees' health needs. The Commonwealth's Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM) administers all plans. For in-depth descriptions and cost of premiums for each plan, including optional buy-ups, visit DHRM's Health Benefits website on plan choices. New employees are required to make health coverage selections within 30 calendar days of hire date.

Health Insurance Plans
Plan Provider Health Plan Availability
Anthem COVA Care Statewide and elsewhere
Anthem COVA HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) Statewide and elsewhere

COVA HealthAware

Statewide and elsewhere


Optima Health HMO

Regional, mostly in Hampton Roads


Kaiser Permanent Regional HMO

Regional, mostly in Northern Virginia

Statewide Dental Plan

Delta Dental of Virginia administers dental coverage, including diagnostic and preventive care. The Expanded Dental option covers, at an additional cost, primary care services such as fillings and root canals, orthodontic services, and major restorative services such as crowns, bridgework, implants, and dentures. To see if your dentist is in the Delta Premier network, or to search for a participating dentist, visit the Delta Dental website. Click on “Find a Dentist” and select the Delta Premier program. 

Coverage Highlights
  • The plan year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year.
  • Coverage for new employees begins on the first day of the month following the hire date. Coverage for new employees hired on the first of a month begins on the same day.
  • To obtain new or replacement ID cards, employees should call their plan provider directly or visit their website.
Enrolling and Making Changes
  • Initial enrollment: New employees must make their health insurance elections through Cardinal within 30 calendar days of their date of hire. Failure to submit elections within 30 calendar days results in automatic waiver of coverage.
  • Qualifying mid-year event (QME): In addition to initial and open enrollment periods, employees may make changes within 60 days of a QME. Check out which life events are qualifying mid-year events and how to submit required documentation to University HR.
  • Open enrollment: Open enrollment provides employees a chance to change health insurance election, including adding or removing dependents. Open enrollment is held in early May each year and changes become effective on July 1. The 2023 open enrollment period is May 1 - May 15. View additional details at Spotlight on Your Benefits or below. 
Open Enrollment 2023

All William & Mary benefit-eligible employees can make health plan changes, enroll in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and setup premium rewards during annual open enrollment May 1 to May 15, 2023. All changes and FSA enrollments are effective July 1, 2023. The new plan year ends June 30, 2024.

If you wish, you can take action to:
  • Enroll in a health plan or change your current health plan.
  • Elect optional buy-ups to your existing Cova Care, Cova HDP or Cova HealthAware health plan, such as Expanded Dental, Vision & Hearing and/or out-of-network benefits.
  • Waive coverage.
  • Add or remove family members. If you are adding family members, you must submit required supporting documentation to UHR via our secure box portal.
  • Enroll or re-enroll in a Health Care FSA, a Dependent Care FSA, or Premium Rewards. These do not carry over year to year.

 No action required if you:

  • Do not want to make any changes to your current health plan or enroll in a new health plan.
  • Are not enrolling or re-enrolling in an FSA.
  • Do not plan to participate in Premium Rewards in the new plan year.
  • If you take no action, your current health plan will continue in the new plan year. Your FSA and premium rewards must be renewed annually.

How To Enroll or Make Changes

To make changes/elections during open enrollment, log in to the Cardinal online portal using your Cardinal ID (located under personal information in Banner self-service). We recommend that you bookmark this page in your browser.

If needed, you can watch this tutorial video or refer to Cardinal's instructions for adding a dependent and enrolling in/updating a health plan or Flexible Spending Account. You will receive a confirmation email after submitting your actions in Cardinal.

Alternatively, you may complete the fillable form on the DHRM website and submit it, along with all supporting documentation, via our secure box portal.

All open enrollment actions must be completed between May 1 and 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2023.

Flexible Spending Accounts

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-saving benefit that allows you to set aside a certain amount of money to pay for future out-of-pocket medical expenses (Health Care FSA) or eligible dependent care expenses (Dependent Care FSA). You can contribute to one or both account types. You may want to consult with a tax advisor when determining the annual amount to contribute.

You may enroll in an FSA even if you are not enrolled in a health insurance plan. Please note that FSAs do not carry over year to year, so you must re-enroll each year during open enrollment to have access to your FSA in the next plan year.*

For detailed information about FSAs, refer to the FSA Sourcebook and page 13 of Spotlight on Your Benefits.

*Note: Open enrollment is not the only time you can enroll in a Dependent Care FSA. If you have a change in dependent care costs, you are allowed to make a corresponding change within 60 days.  

Premium Rewards

Premium Rewards are health plan incentives for COVA Care and COVA HealthAware plan participants who complete a health assessment. For more detailed information on Premium Rewards, refer to page 12 of Spotlight on Your Benefits, the DHRM website, and DHRM's Premium Rewards FAQ.

Please note:

  • You and/or your spouse must be active and enrolled in COVA Care or COVA HealthAware before you can take the health assessment.
  • You must complete the health assessment during open enrollment for savings to be effective July 1, 2023.
    • If you miss completing the health assessment during open enrollment, you can take it any time after the plan year begins on July 1.
  • If you are changing plans during open enrollment, you will need to wait until you receive your new insurance ID card to take the health assessment.
    • Don't worry, you can still complete the assessment once the new plan year has started.
  • Premium Rewards do not carry over year to year.

Health Plans Options

Not sure which plan is best for you? Talk to ALEX, your virtual benefits counselor. ALEX evaluates your circumstances and recommends the best options for you. A smartphone-friendly version of ALEX is also available in English and Spanish.

University Human Resources Is Here to Help!

The Benefits team is holding virtual information and onsite drop-in sessions where you can stop by to ask questions and get assistance. 

Virtual Information Sessions:

  • Tuesday April 25 from 10:00 - 11:30 am
  • Thursday April 27 from 2:00 - 3:30 pm   

Zoom Link for Virtual Sessions:

On-Site Drop-In Sessions:

  • Monday, May 1 – W&M Campus - Jones Hall Room 203 from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
  • Tuesday, May 2 – VIMS Campus - Davis Conference Room from noon - 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 3 – W&M Campus – Jones Hall Room 203 from 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 4 - VIMS Campus - Davis Conference Room from noon - 4:00 pm
  • Friday, May 12 - W&M Campus - Jones Hall Room 203 from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
Employee Premiums

Full-time employees pay the employee portion of the total monthly premium with the state paying the remainder of the cost. Employee premiums are deducted from paychecks before taxes are paid.

COVA Care and HealthAware members may be able to reduce monthly premiums by participating in premium rewards. The reward amount is $17 per month, and if your covered spouse participates you can double your monthly reward.

For current monthly premiums and premium reward requirements, visit DHRM's Health Benefits website.