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Summary of Employee Benefits

MSCA Benefits Overview PDF version

MSCA Benefits Overview Video Recorded version

AFSCME Benefits Overview PDF version

AFSCME Benefits Overview PDF Spanish version

APA Benefits Overview PDF version

APA Benefits Overview Video Recorded version

Health Insurance

Group Insurance Commission (GIC)

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC) administers both health insurance and other benefits for eligible state employees, dependents, and retirees. Benefit options may be found on the

 GIC website.

The Group Insurance Commission  (GIC) offers the choice of 11 different health insurance plans, life insurance, long-term disability coverage, and flexible spending account options to Salem State’s benefit-eligible employees.  Health insurance elections can be made at the time of hire and may be changed during the annual enrollment period. Want to compare the benefits of each provider?  Check out the GIC’s Benefit Decision Guide for a summary of plan options.

Heath insurance benefits begin on the first of the month following 60 days from the date of hire, or two calendar months, whichever comes first.

You can request and complete forms electronically now. Just request the form(s) you need at myGIC Link.


Some requests will require you to upload supporting documentation to your form. Please review the Required Documentation for GIC Coverage to find out what you need to upload.

  • Commonly used forms:  
      • to enroll, add/remove dependents, change, or cancel your insurance please request the Enrollment/Change Form 1.

      • to add a dependent between the ages of 19-26 please request the Dependent Age 19-26 Enrollment/Change form.
      • to change your life insurance beneficiaries, or are enrolling for the first time please request either Form 319 (3 or less beneficiaries) or Form G500 (4 or more beneficiaries).

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is provided to benefit eligible employees and their qualified dependents. Dental coverage is determined by your employee category.


MPE Fund Dental/Vision (AFSCME) - (APA/MSCA/Non-Unit employees)


Non Unit Welcome Letter

Non Unit Enrollment/Change form

Non Unit Summary of Benefits

Unit Welcome Letter

MSCA and APA Dental Enrollment/Change form

Unit Summary of Benefits


Vision discount program

The MetLife Vision Access for the Unit and Non Unit is a discount program.

To finding a participating vision provider, the best tool to reference is on the website:

Staff can login, click the link for MetLife, and find the Search for Discount Vision providers.  Enter your zip code and participating providers are shown. 


Employee Assistance Program


Workers Compensation Leave

Workers’ Compensation Insurance provides you salary protection and medical coverage if you have an injury or illness occurring from a work-related accident. Workers’ Compensation insurance is required by state law (Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 152.)   

If you suffer from an on-the-job injury or job-related illness, and your claim is approved, you may receive benefits to cover medical costs and offset the loss of wages during your period of disability.

If you are involved in or witness an accident at work, you should report it immediately to your supervisor. Your supervisor will prepare a Notice of Injury/Illness Report and notify HRD of the accident.  A delay or failure to report an on-the-job injury could jeopardize your workers’ compensation benefits.    

All reported accidents and injuries will be reviewed by an HRD Workers’ Compensation Adjuster for liability, disability, and compensability.  If your injuries result from your serious or willful misconduct or occur outside the scope of employment, you will not be covered by Workers’ Compensation. 

State Employees Responding as Volunteers (SERV) Program

Under Executive Order 479, eligible regular state employees with at least six months of service may volunteer during work hours for a Massachusetts public or charter school or approved Massachusetts non-profit in the area of education, environment, health, human services, or public safety.  The maximum SERV benefit is one day per month and requires pre-approval from your supervisor. For more information regarding the program, please visit the SERV website.

Turning 65?

Are you about to turn 65? Check out this video to find out what to do about Medicare and your health insurance.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all employees enroll in a qualified retirement plan. Retirement programs for state employees fall under either the State Employees’ Retirement System (MSERS) or the Department of Higher Education Optional Retirement Plan (ORP), an option for benefitted faculty, librarians and administrators. Membership in the State Employee Retirement System (a defined benefit plan) is mandatory for nearly all state employees who are regularly employed at least 50 percent of full-time hours. Benefitted faculty, librarians and administrators have the option to enroll in the Department of Higher Education Optional Retirement Program (a defined contribution plan). Part-time, seasonal or temporary employees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are required to participate in an Alternate Retirement Plan (OBRA) through the SMART Plan. This plan is an alternative to Social Security as permitted by the federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA). 

Massachusetts state employees do not have Social Security taxes withheld from their earnings. Employees retiring from the commonwealth, who are eligible for Social Security benefits, may have their Social Security benefits reduced by Social Security’s windfall elimination provision or government pension offset. Please contact your local Social Security Office if you have questions regarding this information.

State Board of Retirement - for all benefited employees

Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) 

Voluntary tax deferred savings plans, such as 403b or 457b accounts   

Deferred Compensation (Save Money and Retire Tomorrow – SMART Plan)

One of your optional benefits is the Massachusetts Deferred Compensation SMART Plan, a supplemental retirement savings program offered through the State Treasurer and administered by a private financial services provider. Authorized under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code, the SMART Plan allows you to save and invest pre-tax dollars for retirement through voluntary salary contributions. You decide, within IRS legal limits, how much of your income you want to defer as this account is solely funded by your own contribution and is not matched or contributed to by the Commonwealth. Your Payroll Department will reduce your paycheck by that amount before income taxes and your contributions will be invested, per your instructions, to one or more of the investment options offered under the Plan. There is no employer contribution match. If you participate, a nominal monthly administrative fee will be deducted from your account.  Your contributions and earnings that accumulate over the years are not taxed until you withdraw funds. 

You are allowed to receive a distribution if you separate from service, experience an unforeseeable emergency as defined by the IRS (your estate receives the distribution if you die while still employed). If you participate in the SMART Plan, your pension or Social Security benefits will not be replaced or reduced.  

403(b) - Tax-Deferred Annuity

Flexible Spending Accounts

The GIC offers participation in Health Care Spending Accounts (HCSA) and/or the Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP).  Learn more about the benefits of enrolling in a flexible spending program.

Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)

You may be able to choose to pay certain dependent care expenses, such as childcare and day camp, with pre-tax dollars through the Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP).  This plan is offered by the Group Insurance Commission and is administered by a third party administrator.  If you participate, you can significantly reduce your federal and state income taxes. There is a nominal monthly pre-tax administrative fee.  It is important to estimate your expenses carefully, as the Internal Revenue Service requires you to forfeit any unused funds at the end of the plan year. You are eligible for DCAP if you work at least half-time and have employment-related expenses for a dependent child under the age of 13 and/or an incapacitated child or adult in your residence. The Open Enrollment period takes place in the spring and coverage goes into effect July 1, following the fiscal year calendar. You must re-enroll each year in the plan if you would like to continue.  

Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)

The HCSA program, offered through the Group Insurance Commission and administered through a third party administrator, may allow you to pay for certain non-covered health related expenses with pre-tax dollars, thus reducing your federal and state income taxes. Expenses must be medically related such as office visits and prescription drug co-payments, medical deductibles and coinsurance, eyeglasses, contact lenses not covered by your health or vision plan, orthodontia and dental benefits not covered by your dental plan and other covered expenses.

If you are allowed to participate in the HCSA, you will be charged a nominal monthly pre-tax administrative fee.  It is important to estimate your expenses carefully, as the Internal Revenue Service requires that any unused funds in a participant’s account at plan year-end be forfeited. You are eligible to participate in the HCSA plan if you are eligible for GIC benefits.  The waiting period to enroll is the same as for health benefits (see Health Insurance). This program operates on a fiscal year basis.  You must re-enroll each year in the plan if you want to continue participating. 

Life Insurance (Basic)

Life insurance is offered through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC).  See your GIC Benefit Decision Guide for additional information.

The Commonwealth offers $5,000 of basic life insurance if you enroll in one of our health insurance plans. You may choose to enroll in basic life insurance without enrolling in the health insurance plan.  You and the Commonwealth share the cost of this insurance.

Life Insurance (Supplemental)

Life insurance is offered through the Group Insurance Commission (GIC).  See your GIC Benefit Decision Guide for additional information.

This term insurance may cover you and pays your designated beneficiaries in the event of your death or certain other catastrophic events. You pay 100% of the premium.  As a new employee, you may enroll in Optional Life Insurance for coverage up to eight times your salary without the need for any medical review.  If you do not elect optional life insurance coverage when first eligible, or do not elect the maximum amount available, you can apply at any time by completing a medical application for the insurance carrier’s review and approval.

Long-Term Disability Insurance (LTD)

LTD, offered to you by the Group Insurance Commission, is an income replacement program that protects you in the event you become disabled or are unable to perform the material and substantial duties of your job. It allows you to receive a portion of your salary on a tax-free basis. Employees pay 100% of the premium.

If you are a new full-time or half time employee, who works at least 18.75 hours in a 37.5-hour workweek or 20 hours in a 40-hour workweek, you may be able to apply to enroll in the LTD plan without providing evidence of good health within 31 days of hire.  If you do not enroll within 31 days of hire, you are eligible to enroll in the LTD plan at any time but you will be required to provide evidence of good health for the vendor’s approval to enter the plan. 

Vacation/Sick/Personal Leave Benefits

Paid and unpaid leave benefits and accruals are provided in accordance with the respective collective bargaining agreements.

2021 Mileage Reimbursement Rate

Per MassArt policy, each year the per-mile reimbursement rate for business use of a personal vehicle is to be adjusted to match the IRS published rate. The new rate for calendar year 2021 is fifty-six cents ($0.56) per mile. 

Reference: new rate is applicable for all travel in 2021.  The reimbursement rate for travel that occurred in 2020 remains at $0.575/mile.


You may participate in a pre‐tax benefit program that includes two reimbursement accounts with a nominal monthly administrative fee. The Parking and Transit programs may allow you to set aside pre‐tax money from your paycheck to pay for certain transportation (public or private mass transportation) or parking expenses (commuter lot or lots near your workplace) and are reimbursed with tax‐free dollars from your account(s).   

Qualified Transportation Benefit Program

CommuteWorks Website   CommuteWorks Summary of Programs (pdf)

Blue Bikes (Hubway)

Transportation Subsidy (pdf)

Tuition Benefits

Benefited faculty and staff are eligible for tuition benefits in accordance with BHE policy and their respective collective bargaining agreements or non-unit personnel policy handbook as outlined below.

AFSCME Tuition Benefits.pdf

APA Tuition Benefit.pdf

MSCA Tuition Benefit.pdf

NUP Tuition Benefit.pdf

Board of Higher Education Policy:

To obtain a tuition benefit, please complete the systemwide tuition remission form located on NeoGov, which is also linked here (

All tuition benefits that are not required by contract or BHE policy, have been temporarily suspended, including the Pro Arts tuition waiver and cross-registration.  If you have any questions regarding the tuition benefits to which you are entitled please contact HR. 


Metro Credit Union

AFLAC - Contact Samuel Banks at 617-345-9080 or with any questions

MassArt employees can receive a 10% discount on a monthly membership to the YMCA and 50% off joiner's fees. Just bring your MassArt ID when starting a membership. If you are already a member, stop by your local YMCA with your MassArt ID and tell them you are an employee at MassArt to receive your discount. You can find out more in the YMCA Workplace Wellness Flyer.


Rukkus offers a 10% discount to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design community to all theater, concert, and sporting events. Email with the subject line "MCADDiscount" using your MassArt email and a customer advocate will provide you with a personalized discount code.
Take $20 off order of $200 or more at Email to purchase tickets and receive discount.

Chestnut Hill Realty
MassArt employees will receive $250 - $1,000 off the first month when they move into a Chestnut Hill Realty location plus any additional move-in special the specific location is currently offering.  Discounts vary between locations. You can find out more in the Preferred Employee Program Flyer.

Liberty Mutual Insurance (APA & AFSCME Only)
As a MassArt employee, you could save on Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance.1 Please contact your local agent Joel Fanjoy at 617-451-2009 Ext. 52414 or visit for more information.

Hardware and Software Deals

B&H Photo-Video

Vehicle Rental 

Protravel International


1Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Please consult a Liberty Mutual sales representative for additional information.




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