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Employee BenefitsEnrollment Deadlines

Below are the enrollment deadlines for new employees. You can also make changes after a Qualifying Mid-Year Event, or during Open Enrollment.


New Classified Employee Deadlines

30 DAYS

Health Care

30 days from hire to enroll in health care insurance


30 Days

Medical FSA

30 days from hire to enroll in Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)


30 Days

Dependent Care FSA

30 days from hire to enroll in all Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)



30 Days

VRS Optional Life Insurance

30 days from hire to enroll in VRS Optional Life Insurance


30 Days

Long Term Disability

30 days from hire to enroll in Long-Term Disability Insurance


30 Days

Legal Resources / Identity Theft

30 days from hire to enroll in Legal Resources / Identity Theft Protection Plans




New Faculty Deadlines

60 Days

Retirement & Leave Plans

Faculty Retirement and Leave Plan elections are irrevocable and must be made within 60 days of hire



Qualifying Mid-Year Events

60 Days

Health Care & FSA

Health care and/or FSA changes are allowed within 60 days of a qualifying mid-year event



Open Enrollment

Health Care & FSA changes may be made each year during the annual Open Enrollment period.

When is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment typically occurs in May-- exact dates are announced each year and emailed to employees.

What can I do during Open Enrollment?
During Open Enrollment you may:

  • enroll in health benefits
  • change plans
  • add or remove family members*
  • waive coverage
  • enroll in a flexible spending account (FSA)

*Adding dependents to your health coverage requires supporting documentation for proof of eligibility. If you do not have the documents ready, do NOT miss the deadline! Add them now and submit documents later to benefits@odu.edu.

How can I enroll or submit changes?
You can submit your election requests online using Cardinal Employee Self Service (ESS).

What if I don't submit any changes?
As a reminder, you must re-enroll each year to continue participating in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). No action is required if you: have no health plan-related changes, are not enrolling in an FSA, or do not plan to participate in Premium Rewards.

When will my enrollment changes start?
The fiscal year for Health Care and FSA is July - June, so your new plan(s) will begin July 1.


Cardinal Self Service

Log into Cardinal Employee Self Service (ESS) to review your current health benefits record, update your personal information, enroll, or make changes to your health plan and/or enroll in a FSA.

New Users
All new users must register for Cardinal ESS with their Cardinal Employee ID, which was emailed to employees in April 2022. If you don't have it, follow these instructions to retrieve it.

Need Help?
The "Open Enrollment through Cardinal ESS Job Aid" is a step-by-step tutorial to help guide your benefit election process.

Premium Rewards

The Premium Rewards program allows an employee/retiree who is enrolled in COVA Care or COVA HealthAware to reduce their monthly premium by $17 per month ($34 when combined with enrolled spouse) if they fulfill the requirements to earn a reward.

  • Login and complete or update your health assessment within the designated dates.
  • Please keep a copy of your confirmation.

COVA Care Members: Login at www.anthem.com

COVA HealthAware Members: Login at www.aetna.com


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