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​New Child

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! This is a very exciting and busy time. The information below will help to guide you through the many things to think about reviewing or changing due to this event.

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​What are my options for time away from work?

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​You may be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) during your pregnancy and also for the birth or adoption of your child, as well as other qualifying events. 

Contact your FMLA Specialist, or call the HRSC Absence Services Division at 717.346.4667.

​What health insurance changes can I make and how?

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You are able to add your children and eligible stepchildren to your coverage. If you elect coverage through your spouse's plan, you may drop your coverage. You may enroll your dependents in benefits at any time. Keep in mind that if you wish to drop coverage or elect a new plan, you must submit the proper documentation within 60 days of the date of birth or adoption.  The PEBTF Employee with Child and/or Spouse packet will explain exactly what forms and documentation are needed.

​When should I add my child to coverage?

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You may enroll your child immediately after birth or adoption by submitting the documentation to the HR Service Center.   Don’t wait. You must enroll your newborn child within 60 days from the child’s date of birth. As it is very rare that the birth certificate or Social Security Number is made available immediately, you have 6 months from the date of birth to provide this information to the HR Service Center. 

Please note that if you fail to submit the Social Security Number or verification of the birth certificate timely, the child will be removed from benefit coverage retroactively to the date of enrollment.

​Are there other insurance programs I should review?

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The commonwealth offers several optional insurance programs you may want to consider.  If you already participate in any of these plans, you should review your current choices to ensure they continue to meet your needs.  You may purchase additional life insurance for yourself or your eligible dependents. Likewise, you may also purchase short-term and/or long-term disability coverage. 

For more information, please contact Prudential at 800.893.7316 or visit the website for commonwealth employees. For detailed information or to enroll in critical illness insurance, please contact MetLife at 877.755.7480 x2001 or visit the website for commonwealth employees.

 

​How do I update my beneficiaries?

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You may be enrolled in other plans offered by the commonwealth. You should review your designated beneficiaries. 

If you have questions, you may contact each provider directly or complete and follow the submission instructions on the forms provided below:

​Benefit​Provider Website​Form

​Retirement

State Employees' Retirement Systems (SERS)

 

​To designate your beneficiary or make changes, you must print, sign and mail the SERS Beneficiary Form.

​Commonwealth-provided life, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance

MetLife 

Or, login through ESS at Benefits>Other Benefits>Metlife MyBenefits

MetLife Beneficiary Designation Form

​Supplemental Employee and/or dependent life insurance

Prudential

Prudential Beneficiary Designation Form

​Deferred Compensation

Empowerment Retirement​To designate your beneficiary or make changes, you must print, sign and mail the SERS Beneficiary Form.

 

​Should I change my tax withholding?

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​Adding dependents could affect the amount of taxes you pay.  You may want to speak with a financial consultant to discuss your situation.  If you would like to change your filing status and withholding, you may do so in ESS under Payroll Information. You may contact the HR Service Center by phone, or complete a new W-4 form and submit it to the HR Service Center.

Are there other benefit programs that I should consider?

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Consider enrolling in the Family Care Account Program (FCAP) if you will be incurring any child care or dependent care expenses.  This program allows you to reduce your taxable income by saving pre-tax funds for these expenses.

It may seem early to begin thinking about secondary education, but starting early is key.  Consider joining the PA 529 College Savings Program or speaking with a financial advisor to determine what is best for you.

The Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience (PA ABLE) program gives individuals with qualified disabilities (eligible individuals), and their families and friends, a tax-free way to save for disability-related expenses, while maintaining government benefits. Federal and state law authorized the creation of PA ABLE accounts.