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Health & Dental Insurance

Eligible Employees

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

Statewide Health Plans

As a state agency, 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.

Coverage Highlights
  • Plan Year: The plan year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year.
  • Start of Coverage: 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.
  • Insurance Cards: To obtain new or replacement insurance cards, please call their plan provider directly or visit their website.
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

Sentara Health (formerly Optima)

Sentara 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. 

Enrolling and Making Changes
  • Initial Enrollment: New employees must make their health insurance elections through Cardinal within 30 calendar days of their hire date. Failure to submit elections within 30 calendar days results in automatic waiver of coverage.

    When adding dependents, Cardinal will indicate they are unapproved. After submitting documentation to UHR via our secure box portal, our Benefits team will update the dependent status to approved.
  • 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.
 2024 Open Enrollment - W&M PowerPoint Presentation
Open Enrollment 2024: May 1 to May 15, 2024

All William & Mary and VIMS benefit-eligible employees can make health plan changes, enroll in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and complete health assessments to earn premium rewards during annual open enrollment May 1 to May 15, 2024. All changes and FSA enrollments are effective July 1, 2024. The new plan year ends June 30, 2025.

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 health plan, such as expanded dental, vision and hearing and/or out-of-network benefits.
  • Waive health 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

Cardinal Human Capital Management (HCM) will be available for employees to submit elections online. If you have not previously done so, we recommend registering as a user and confirming your Cardinal access prior to the open enrollment period. Instructions for Cardinal registration can be found here. The Cardinal ID number needed for registration can be found under personal information in Banner self-service. The DHRM OE webpage is available to find links to the new Spotlight 2024-2025 publication, Premiums, Summaries of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), and Important Health Benefits notices.

To make changes/elections during open enrollment, log into the Cardinal online portal. If needed, you can watch this tutorial video or refer to Cardinal’s instructions for making changes during open enrollment. You will receive a confirmation email after submitting your elections in Cardinal.

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

Employees can submit their online elections in Cardinal HCM beginning on Wednesday, May 1 and no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 15 to be accepted. Instructions for submitting open enrollment elections in Cardinal can be accessed here.Health Care Options

Not sure which health plan is the best for you? Talk to ALEX, your online benefits counselor. ALEX evaluates your input and recommends a plan tailored just for you. Visit ALEX at

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 your annual contribution amount.

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 from 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 more information about FSAs, refer to the FSA Sourcebook and page 20 of Spotlight on Your Benefits.

Premium Rewards

Premium Rewards are health plan incentives for COVA Care and COVA HealthAware participants who complete an online health assessment. For more information on Premium Rewards, refer to page 18 of Spotlight on Your Benefits.

Please note:

  • You and/or your spouse must be enrolled in COVA Care or COVA HealthAware before you can take the health assessment.
  • You must complete the assessment during open enrollment for savings to be effective July 1, 2024. If you miss completing the health assessment during open enrollment, you can take it anytime 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


    University Human Resources is here to help!

    The Benefits team will be hosting virtual information sessions via Zoom as well as drop-in sessions for William & Mary and VIMS to answer questions and support employees throughout the enrollment process.

    Virtual Information Sessions:

    • April 25: 9 am to 10 am
    • May 2: 2 pm to 3 pm

    *Zoom Link for Virtual Sessions:

    On-Site Drop-In Sessions:

    • May 1: W&M Campus – Jones Hall Room 203 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
    • May 3 : VIMS Campus – Watermen’s Hall Technology Classroom from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
    • May 6: W&M Campus – Jones Hall Room 203 from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm
    • May 7: VIMS Campus - Watermen’s Hall Technology Classroom from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm
    • May 8: W&M Campus – Jones Hall Room 203 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
    • May 14: W&M Campus – Jones Hall Room 203 from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm

    * Computers will be available for use at each of the on-site sessions.