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Benefits 101: Insuring Your Graduating Children and Vacation Accrual/Carry Forward

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    It’s June and the end of the fiscal year is upon us. That means two things: 1) newly-minted college graduates in need of continued medical insurance and 2) that nagging feeling that you have vacation time you need to use up.

    Benefits 101 tackles both of these topics so you can close out the fiscal year with peace of mind.

Medical Insurance For Your Grad

    If your child graduated from college this spring – congratulations! You may be wondering if you can keep him or her on your medical insurance plan. The answer is yes, if he or she is under 26, and:

  • Currently unemployed or continuing on to graduate school, or
  • Employed but not offered medical insurance at his or her  place of work.
What You Need To Do

    Employees with adult children under the age of 26 will receive a form from Human Resources (HR) asking for confirmation of the child’s status. The first form is being mailed in early June. Subsequent forms will be sent on a quarterly basis. Anyone wishing to keep their eligible adult child on their medical insurance plan should return these forms promptly to ensure continued coverage.

    Questions? Contact the Benefits Team at or extension 83900.

Vacation: It accrues. Do you use - or lose?

    First, philosophically, HR encourages employees to use as much of their vacation leave as they can throughout the year. Vacations, whether full weeks or extended weekends, are an important way to re-charge your batteries, accomplish personal goals, and balance your life.

    Recognizing that it’s not always possible to expend all of your accrued leave within a year, however, Lehigh’s policy does permit a certain amount of vacation to be carried over to the next year.

    Staff members accrue vacation time at varying rates depending on factors that include exempt or nonexempt status, hours worked per week, months worked per year, and years of service. The carry over policy, however, is the same for everyone:

  1. You may carry over the equivalent of what you earned in the current fiscal year into the next fiscal year.
  2. Because changing circumstances can alter the rate at which you accrue vacation, the amount may be lower or higher than you would expect at the start of the fiscal year.
  3. The policy also applies to vacation pay outs at termination. Payment is limited to the amount of vacation actually earned in the 12 months preceding a staff member’s departure.
What This Means For You(s)

    Remember, the vacation accrual policy can lead to times when your accrued vacation available for carry-forward for the next fiscal year is the not exact number of hours or weeks you would expect. You can read more about this topic in the February 2011 issue of Spotlight.

    To find your vacation balance, you can visit your Banner account on the campus portal. Keep in mind the balance you will see is one pay period behind, so you will need to factor in any vacation time you’ve taken during that time.

    If you have questions about this vacation policy or your own balance, call Ronnie Blue at extension 85020 or write to her at

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to, or call extension 85165.

Current and past issues of Spotlight can be viewed and searched at: Past Issues.