Research Foundation Regular Employees

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The Research Foundation for SUNY (RF) offers an array of benefits to eligible employees. These benefits can add an exceptional value to your employment.

Open Enrollment Dates

The open enrollment period for health benefits, voluntary short-term disabiliity insurance and Flexible Spending Accounts is Nov. 1 — Nov. 30, 2019.

Make your changes online at Changes will take effect January 1, 2020.

Please be sure to retain a copy of your confirmation statement when completing your enrollment.

How To Enroll In Your Benefits

I Am a New Research Foundation Employee

When your department has submitted your appointment information to Human Resources you will receive notification from Human Resources about your benefits eligibility and upcoming benefit orientation sessions.

Enrollment is voluntary — you will not be automatically enrolled in a plan. You will need to attend a benefits orientation session to enroll. Once you have attended a benefits orientation you will be able to enroll online at the RF SUNY website.

Newly eligible employees must enroll within 60 days of their appointment begin date. If you do not attend a session and do not enroll within 60 days of your appointment begin date, you may be subject to a late enrollment period, which would delay your benefits.

You will have the following waiting periods for your benefits:

Benefit Waiting Period
Health Insurance
42 Days
Dental Insurance 6 Months
Dental Insurance (Prosthetic Services) 1 Year
Vision Insurance 6 Months
Life Insurance (Basic and Optional) 6 Months
Flexible Spending Accounts 6 Months
Retirement Plan (Basic)
1 Year
Retirement Plan (Optional) No Waiting Period
New York State Disability
28 Days
Voluntary Short Term Disability Insurance
28 Days
Long Term Disablity Insurance (Fulltime employees only) 1 Year
Workers Compensation No Waiting Period

I Am a Returning Research Foundation Employee

Welcome back to the RF. If you are returning after a break in service longer than 28 days you will need to reenroll in benefits withing 60 days of your return date. You may enroll in your benefits at the RF SUNY website.

Depending on the length of your break in service and if you had qualified for the benefit when you left you will have different waiting periods for your benefits as shown below:

If Your Break In Service Was Greater than 28 Days but Less Than 1 Year
Benefits Waiting Period
Dental No Waiting Period
Vision No Waiting Period
Life Insurance (Basic and Optional)
No Waiting Period
Flexible Spending Accounts
No Waiting Period
Your sick time balances will be honored. Please contact your benefits office to notify us of your return.

Download RF SUNY Benefits Bulletin

RF SUNY Self Service

Download the Employee Self Service Guide

The RF Employee Self Service portal is where you can manage most of your employment tasks online. Start by setting up your account:

  1. Go to account set up
  2. Using the RF ID Number you were given when you were employed, create a password

The Research Foundation Employee Self Service portal offers many features:

  • Ability to quickly and accurately do tasks online, such as:
    • Enroll for benefits
    • Enter dependents and beneficiaries
    • Update your contact information
  • Easy access to your direct deposit payslips, paycheck stubs, tax forms and current benefits enrollment

Your Benefits

Medical,Dental,Vision Flex Spending Retirement Disability Life Insurance

Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance

Medical Insurance Options for Regular RF Employees

The Research Foundation offers three health insurance plans that provides hospital, medical and prescription drug benefits for regular employees and their eligible dependents. The plan allows you to choose among two Empire Blue Cross Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans as well as an HMO plan through Independent Health. No matter which health insurance plan you choose your unmarried dependent children are covered until age 26, and all preexisting conditions are covered. The Research Foundation pays 85% of your employee premium and 70% of your dependents' premium.


Traditional and Deductible PPO

Independent Health

UMR Postdoctoral PPO

Insurance Costs 2020




2020 Biweekly Cost
Employee Only Employee & Child(ren) Employee & Spouse Employee & Family
Empire Traditional PPO
$165.85 $208.48 $325.89
Empire Deductible PPO $30.20 $102.51 $138.09 $220.41
Independent Health $48.40 $125.83 $183.90 $222.62
  Employee Only Employee + 1 dependent Employee + 2 or more dependents  
UMR Postdoctoral PPO
$19.73 $68.00 $92.98  
Insurance Costs 2019




2019 Biweekly Cost
Employee Only Employee & Child(ren) Employee & Spouse Employee & Family
Empire BC-PPO Traditional 
$164.54 $205.99 $322.97
Empire BC-PPO Deductible  $29.60 $101.19 $135.60 $217.49
Independent Health $48.45 $125.97 $184.11 $222.87

Eligible Dependents

The dependents listed below are eligible to be included in your RF Health Care coverage if you choose employee and spouse, employee and child(ren), or family coverage.

  • Your spouse, including a legally-married, same-sex spouse
  • Your children up to 26 years of age as follows:
    • Biological children
    • Stepchildren
    • Children for whom you are the legal guardian and
    • Children legally adopted by or placed for adoption with you or your spouse
  • Your unmarried children of any age incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability who become disabled before reaching the limiting age (Plan requires periodic medical documentation)
  • Your domestic partner who is:
    • Age 18 or older
    • Unmarried and not related to you by marriage or blood in any way that would bar marriage
    • Residing with you
    • Financially interdependent with you
    • Involved in the domestic partnership for a period of not less than one year (Documentation of the above must be approved by the RF)
  • A child of your domestic partner who:
    • Meets the plans’ eligibility requirements
    • Resides in your household
    • Whose gross income for the calendar year is less than the personal exemption amount ($3,900 in 2013)
    • Receives 51 percent or more of their support from you and who is not a qualifying child dependent of any other taxpayer


The Research Foundation provides a dental plan through Delta Dental for you and your eligible dependents that covers preventive services (exams, cleanings, X-rays), basic services (fillings, oral surgery, gum treatment), major services (crowns, dentures, bridges) and orthodontics for children (under age 19).


Delta Dental

Dental Coverage Costs


Biweekly Cost


Individual & Spouse

Individual & Children



Delta Dental










Starting Jan. 1, 2018 the Research Foundation will provide two vision plan options through Davis Vision for you and your eligible dependents that covers the full cost of an eye examination, lenses and frames from the provided selection once on a 12-month or 24-month period, depending on the plan you choose. Contact lenses are also available with a copayment. You have the option in enrolling in the Regular Vision Plan or the Vision Plan Plus


Coverage begins six months from the date you are hired or from your eligibility date.


If you work at least 50% or greater, then you are eligible to enroll in a vision plan. 

Covered dependents include a spouse, domestic partner, or child up to the age of 26. 

Biweekly Rates

Regular Vision Plan

The RF pays the full cost of individual and/or family vision coverage for the Regular Vision Plan.

Vision Plan Plus

For the Vision Plan Plus, the employee shares the cost of the plan with RF by paying a biweekly premium.

Vision Coverage Costs
Biweekly Cost for Vision Plan Plus
Plan Rate
Single $4.06
Family $9.66

Contact an Expert

Sean O'Brien.

Sean O'Brien

RF Benefit Services

Phone: 716-645-4485


Manage Your Benefits

After you've made your initial benefits selections, whether you have declined any of our coverage options or not, there are some special circumstances in which you can make changes to your pretax benefits. For your health insurance, and dental insurance you will need a qualifying event to make changes without penalty. You may change your vision care coverage anytime during the year.

A qualifying event is a change in your status or your dependent’s status that permits a change to be made in pretax health insurance elections outside of the annual Open Enrollment period. The change in status must result in a gain or loss of coverage or coverage options. The election change must be consistent with the change in status, and must be made within 60 days of the event. To make changes to your benefits any time other than open enrollment you will need to submit an RF Benefits Enrollment Form to the benefits team along with supporting documentation of your qualifying event. (e.g. birth certificate, marriage license, statement of loss of insurance)

You have 60 days from the day of any qualifying event or special enrollment period to submit the necessary documentation.

You may also make changes to your health insurance, dental insurance, vision care coverage, and flexible spending accounts during open enrollment for the following plan year.

I May Have a Qualifying Event

Qualifying Events

The most common qualifying events that you might have are a change in status that affects your, your spouse’s or dependents’ coverage, including a change in:

  • Legal marital status because of marriage, death of a spouse, divorce, legal separation or annulment
  • Number of dependents because of birth, adoption, placement for adoption or death
  • Employment status (termination or commencement of employment) by you, your spouse or
  • Work schedule (reduction or increase in hours of employment) for you, your spouse or dependent because of a switch between part time and full time, or commencement of or return from an unpaid leave of absence that results in acquiring or losing eligibility for health insurance
  • Dependents’ status (an event that causes your dependent to satisfy or cease to satisfy the requirements for coverage because of attainment of age or any similar circumstances as provided by the plan)
  • Residence or work site (for you, your spouse or dependent)

Special Enrollment Rights

Apart from qualifying events, special enrollment rights allow you to make changes to your medical (PPO or HMO) coverage (but not Dental Care, Vision Care or Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts), outside of your initial enrollment period or the Open Enrollment period in three specific circumstances: 1. you gain a dependent, 2. you or a dependent loses coverage under another plan, and 3. you or a dependent becomes eligible for assistance through a State Children’s Health Insurance Program.


Gaining a Dependent

If you gain a dependent through marriage (e.g., your new spouse and any eligible stepchildren), birth, adoption or placement for adoption, you may enroll the new dependents — and yourself if you are not already enrolled — in the Health Care plan by complying with the plan’s procedures for other enrollments. In the case where a child is born, adopted or placed for adoption, your spouse also may be enrolled during such a special enrollment period. You also may change from one Health Care plan coverage option to another (for example, changing from HMO to PPO coverage) when you add a dependent under a special enrollment. The special enrollment period for dependents is the 60-day period that begins on the date of the marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption, as applicable.
In the case of marriage, coverage is effective the date the completed request for enrollment is received by the plan. In the case of a dependent’s birth, coverage is effective the date of the birth. In the case of adoption or placement for adoption, coverage is effective the date of such adoption or placement.

Losing Other Medical Coverage

If you waived coverage for yourself or for an eligible dependent because you or the dependent had other medical coverage (including coverage from another employer, COBRA coverage, Medicare or Medicaid), you may enroll in the RF Health Care plan in certain circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:

• The other coverage was COBRA continuation coverage, and the coverage period was exhausted

• The other employer terminates the coverage or terminates contributions for that coverage

• You or your dependent loses eligibility for that coverage for reasons including termination of employment, reduction in work hours, legal separation, divorce, death or reaching the maximum age to be eligible as a dependent

• You or your dependent no longer lives or works inside the plan’s service area, and no other benefit package is available

• You incur a claim that would meet or exceed the lifetime limit on all benefits under the plan

• You or your dependent loses coverage because the plan no longer offers any benefits to a class of similarly situated individuals (e.g., part-time employees).

Losing coverage for not paying premiums on a timely basis or for cause (such as making a fraudulent claim or an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact) would not qualify an individual for a special enrollment.

You must enroll within 60 days after the other coverage ends. The application must be made under the same application rules that apply to other enrollments. If elected, coverage begins on the first day of the calendar month that begins after the date that the completed request is received by the plan.

Becoming Eligible Under a State Children's Health Insurance Program

If you are eligible for the RF Health Care plan, but you are unable to afford the premiums, you may qualify for premium assistance from the State of New York. If you are not currently enrolled in the plan, you may request a special enrollment within 60 days of being determined eligible for this premium assistance.

Some states, including New York, use funds from their Medicaid or CHIP programs to help people who are eligible for employer-sponsored health coverage, but need assistance in paying their health premiums.

If you or your dependents are already enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP and you live in New York, you can contact your State Medicaid or CHIP office to find out if premium assistance is available.

If you or your dependents are NOT currently enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, and you think you or any of your dependents might be eligible for either of these programs, you can contact your State Medicaid or CHIP office, dial 877-KIDS NOW (877-543-7669) or visit to find out how to apply. If you qualify, you can ask the state if it has a program that might help you pay health plan premiums.

For more information about Medicaid and CHIP premium assistance, contact the New York State
Department of Health at 800-541-2831 or visit

I Do Not Have a Qualifying Event

Health Care (PPO and HMO)

If you delay enrollment more than 60 days after you become eligible, you must wait an additional five pay periods in active employment to be covered (unless you have a special enrollment right or qualifying event). Your coverage will start on the first day of the fifth pay period following the day your campus Benefits Office receives the completed Enrollment form, or online enrollment through Self Service. Example of Late Health Care Plan Enrollment 2015

Appointment/eligibility date: January 9
42-day waiting period ends: February 20
60-day enrollment period: January 9 – March 10
Enrollment received: March 20
Date of coverage: May 18

Dental and Vision Care

If you delay enrollment in the Dental and Vision Care plans beyond 60 days from your date of eligibility and you have met the six-month waiting period, your coverage becomes effective on the day your campus Benefits Office receives the completed RF Benefits Enrollment form or online enrollment via Self Service. Your deductions for dental coverage will be taken on an after-tax basis for the remainder of the calendar year.

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment occurs each year in November. During this time you may enroll if you have not previously done so, drop coverage, change your coverage option or level, and/or switch between pretax and after-tax deductions. All open enrollment changes are done througth RF Employee Self Service and are effective January 1st of the following year.

If you do not make any changes during Open Enrollment, your coverage will remain in effect for the next plan year, except for Flexible Spending Accounts. You must re-enroll annually in the Flexible Spending Accounts.