Leaving the University
When you leave the university, you may elect to temporarily continue to participate in certain university-sponsored benefits or to convert certain coverage to an individual policy directly with the sponsoring insurance company.
- Medical, Prescription, Dental and Vision
Medical, prescription, dental and vision coverage will end at midnight on the last day of the month that you either (1) end your employment or (2) lose eligibility. If you receive medical, dental or vision coverage from another source before your coverage ends with GW, then your new coverage becomes primary.
COBRA provides employees and their covered beneficiaries the option of continuing coverage for group medical, voluntary dental and/or voluntary vision under the employer group plan for at least 18 months.
bswift, GW's COBRA administrator, will notify you of your eligibility* for continuation of coverage, along with application and rate information.
If you elect to continue your group coverage under COBRA, you can enroll online via go.gwu.edu/COBRA and make payments directly to bswift. You will be responsible for paying 102 percent of the cost of the insurance premium(s).
*Please see the COBRA Open Enrollment Guide for medical, dental and vision plan information and rates.
- Life Insurance
The basic life and AD&D coverage paid by GW and any optional life and/or AD&D coverage you elected for yourself and your family will end on the last day of the month in which your employment or eligibility ends; however, you may be eligible to port or convert some or all of your life insurance coverage. You will receive a notice from Lincoln Financial containing application instructions. Applications for coverage must be received by Lincoln Financial within 60 calendar days from the date your coverage ends. If you have any questions prior to separation, please contact Benefits.
Contact Lincoln Financial:
Please Note: Lincoln Financial will not be able to provide detailed information regarding your eligibility for portability, conversion or coverage cost until your separation has processed through the system.
Your short‐term and long-term disability coverage will end on your last of day employment.
If previously eligible for voluntary short‐term or long-term disability coverage, you will not be covered for any disability that arises after your last day of employment.
GW Paid Short-Term disability payments end on your last day of employment, regardless of disability date.
Contact GW Benefits:
(571) 553-8382 or [email protected]
Your 403(b) contributions and any GW 401(a) base and matching contributions are always fully vested. Contributions and any earnings will remain* invested in your selected funds with your chosen retirement provider(s) until you elect to begin distributions. Former employees are eligible to withdraw or roll over funds after the last day of employment. In the event of cash withdrawal, participants are responsible for any applicable income taxes and penalties for each withdrawal. If all or a portion of your 401(a) contributions are invested in the TIAA Traditional Fund, please contact TIAA at the number below for information on the withdrawal schedule.
457(b) plan participants are required to provide a distribution election to their provider within 60 days following end of employment. If no election is made during the 60 day window an automatic lump sum distribution will be processed.
457(f) plan participants will receive an automatic lump sum distribution of their vested funds following end of employment (non-vested funds are forfeited).
*Small Balance Distributions: An automatic distribution from your GW 403(b) or 401(a) retirement accounts may occur after end of employment if the balance in the account is less than $5000. Balances of less than $1000 will be distributed as a lump sum to the participant. Balances between $1000-$5000 will be rolled over to a new IRA with Millennium Trust. Participants will be notified by their retirement provider if subject to a small balance distribution and will be given an opportunity to rollover funds to another plan or IRA before funds are distributed.
To request a distribution from the Plan, or for more information, please contact your retirement provider directly:
TIAA: (800) 842-2776
Fidelity: (800) 343-0860
Equitable: (800) 248-2138
- Health Savings Account (HSA)
The Health Savings Account remains with you after leaving GW. You still have full access to your HSA and can continue to use your Bank of America card®. You can still contribute to your HSA by depositing post-tax funds to your HSA, up to the annual contribution limit for the year. If you received employer funds to your HSA, those funds are yours but you will not receive any additional employer contributions.
IMPORTANT: Once you are separated from the university, you will become responsible for all fees to maintain your account, including a monthly administration fee. This fee will be deducted from your HSA each month. If you want to keep your HSA open, you’ll need to make sure that you keep enough funds in your account to cover this monthly fee, as well as any other fees and withdrawals. If your balance isn’t enough to cover the monthly fee for 60 calendar days or more, Bank of America will close your account.
Contact Bank of America:
(800) 838-1868 or healthaccounts.bankofamerica.com/gwu
- Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
If you are participating in the Health Care FSA (HCFSA), your coverage will end on the last day of the month that you either (1) end your employment or (2) lose eligibility. Claims for eligible health care expenses that incurred prior to your last day of coverage must be submitted to Bank of America by April 30th following the end of the plan year and can be submitted up to your annual election amount.
Note: If enrolled in the Health Care FSA (HCFSA) for plan year 2023 you will submit your claims for reimbursement to PayFlex and must submit by April 30, 2024.
You may continue your HCFSA through COBRA; payments, an administrative fee, will be on an after-tax basis. Please note: The 75-day grace period is only available to COBRA participants who pay FSA healthcare premiums for the full plan (calendar) year.
The Dependent Day Care FSA (DCFSA) cannot be continued; however, participants may submit claims for eligible expenses incurred prior to December 31 up to contributed amount, regardless of termination date.
Once you are separated, FSA debit cards are deactivated. If you have elected to continue a Healthcare FSA for the remainder of the benefit plan year, you will submit paper claims for reimbursement for eligible expenses.
Contact Bank of America:
(800) 838-1868 or healthaccounts.bankofamerica.com/gwu
(800) 284-4885 or www.payflex.com
- Tuition Remission
If you receive tuition benefit coverage and end your employment during the covered semester, Student Accounts will prorate the benefit and issue a bill for the difference; this includes coverage received by you, dependent children and/or spouse. The adjusted benefit is based on your last day of employment or loss of eligibility and the last day of the examination period of the covered semester, not the last day of class.
If you have any questions regarding your adjusted tuition benefit or student account balance, please contact Student Accounts/Colonial Central at (202) 994-9000 or https://colonialcentral.gwu.edu.
- Legal Resources
If you participated in the group legal plan through Legal Resources, coverage will terminate on the last day of the month following your last day of employment. You will receive information for continuing coverage from Legal Resources within 45 days of your termination date. If you choose to continue coverage, please send your completed election form with payment directly to Legal Resources.
Contact Legal Resources:
(800) 728-5768 or http://legalresources.com
- Pre-Tax Parking, Transportation and SmartBenefits
If your final pre-tax deductions have already been processed, benefits will automatically load to your elected SmarTrip card as scheduled. Benefit amounts loaded to your SmartTrip card do not expire.
Participation in the Pre-Tax Parking Benefit Program ends on the last day of the month you either end your employment at GW or lose benefits eligibility.
Eligible claims must be submitted for reimbursement within 180 days of the claim date. Expenses incurred within 180 days of your coverage end date will be eligible for reimbursement, and must be substantiated within 180 days of incurring the expense. If you still have funds in your parking account after 180 days from your coverage end date, the funds will be forfeited.
Contact Payroll Services:
Prior to leaving GW, please log into the GWEB Information System and verify your home address to ensure that your W-2 form is routed appropriately. If you have a change of address, you must complete a W-4 Federal Tax Withholding form.
You may also submit a W-2 Address Change Request form once you have left GW. Both forms may be downloaded from the Payroll website.
Contact Payroll Services:
(571) 553-4277 or [email protected]
- Voya Critical Illness and Hospital Indemnity
Voya’s portability option allows participating employees to keep their Critical Illness and/or Hospital Indemnity coverage if the participating Employee leaves The George Washington University, reduces hours at work, retires, or is otherwise no longer eligible for coverage under the policy. Proof of good health is not required to port coverage.
Requests for portability must be made within 31 days of employment termination, reducing work hours, or retirement. The portability option also allows an insured spouse to continue coverage due to divorce or the death of the employee. Child coverage may move under the covered spouse in the event of an employee death.
Process to apply for Portability:
Voya receives a weekly enrollment file for the Voluntary benefit coverages (Accident, Critical Illness, Cancer, and Hospital Indemnity). The weekly enrollment file serves to also administer notification to terminated employees of their portability rights. Voya sends a pre-populated packet to the employee with a cover letter, application, and appropriate rates. The applicant completes the form and mails it to Voya per the instructions on the form.
For Questions Call Customer Service:
- Phone: (844) 262-6042
- EAP, Health Advocate, Castlight, Headspace and Bright Horizons
You will continue to have access to the Employee Assistance Program for 90 days beyond your separation date.
You will continue to have access to Health Advocate and Castlight (for medical plan participants) for up to 2 weeks from your separation date.
Access to Headspace and Bright Horizons will continue through your termination date.
Health Advocate: (866) 695-8622 or healthadvocate.com/gwu
EAP: (866) 522-8509 or hr.gwu.edu/eap
Bright Horizons Family Care: hr.gwu.edu/family-care