IMPORTANT BENEFITS UPDATES AND REMINDERS

The start of the new year ushered in a host of important employee benefit changes; please read this article carefully to ensure that you are up-to-speed on what’s new or different as well as for reminders that apply to the start of all new benefit plan years.

 

 

 

Medical and Dental Insurance

Effective January 1, 2017 our medical, prescription (including home delivery) and dental plans are being administered by CIGNA, rather than CBABlue.

  • Standard CIGNA medical ID cards, which have the subscriber’s (employee’s) name on all cards – including dependents’ cards – were mailed to participants’ home addresses in mid-December. Individualized medical ID cards – which are personalized with dependents’ names – were generated and mailed on December 31st and should be arriving at home addresses within the first two weeks of January. Once individualized cards arrive the original (employee name only) cards can be destroyed or retained as back-ups. Individualized dental ID cards were mailed to participants’ home addresses in mid-December.
  • Please remember that any medical or dental claims incurred through December 31, 2016 must be filed for payment through CBABlue; any claims incurred on or after January 1, 2017 must be filed through CIGNA.
  • As was announced in October, employee contributions toward medical and dental premiums were increased for 2017; new premiums will be reflected in the first paychecks issued in 2017. Additionally, employees who made coverage level changes (i.e. from family to single) should see the premium deduction applicable to the new coverage level applied in the first paycheck.
  • With the transition to CIGNA as our plan administrator most major medical plan design features remain stable, meaning that there were no increases in employee cost-sharing through changes in deductibles, co-insurance, the medical out-of-pocket maximum, prescription co-pays etc. However, as noted in the November 1st open enrollment announcement, several provisions were modernized or enhanced, including: the addition of Telehealth coverage (see attached brochure), coverage for gender reassignment, modernized criteria for bariatric surgery, cash incentives for participation in the healthy pregnancy program, elimination of the limit on medically necessary wigs, ER visits are now subject to the regular deductible and the redundant routine eye exam benefit has been eliminated.
  • Plan participants who have used Magellan for home delivery pharmacy services will need to switch to CIGNA’s home delivery service if they wish to continue taking advantage of the convenience and cost-savings associated with home delivery. Switching to CIGNA is quick and easy – just follow the instructions on the Quick Switch flyer attached to this article.
  • Members who had been working with a CBABlue case manager should have already been contacted by CIGNA to transition care; if you believe you should have been contacted and have not been, please contact HR.
  • CIGNA’s website and mobile app are easy to use and provide convenient access to a wealth of information and services including: recent claims history, the ability to print temporary ID cards and to access virtual ID cards, provider network search, the ability to see real-time progress towards deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, drug cost comparison tools, virtual explanations-of-benefits (EoBs), etc. To take advantage of these on-line services please follow the instructions on the attached MyCigna.Com flyer.
  • The major dental plan design features remain stable, meaning that there has been no increase in employee cost-sharing through changes in deductibles, co-insurance, etc. However, the plan has been enhanced with the addition of dental wellness benefits for individuals with certain health conditions (see attached brochure) and the reduction in waiting period for orthodontic care from 24 to 12 months for late plan entrants.
  • CIGNA will be on the Middlebury campus three days this month and available to meet one-on-one with plan participants who have questions or need assistance with plan transition issues. Use this link http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090e4cadac2babf49-cigna2 if you would like to schedule a meeting with our CIGNA rep. (Additional one-on-one days can be scheduled at MIIS if there is sufficient interest; please let HR know if you would like us to arrange additional MIIS meeting days.)
  • The Middlebury Health and Welfare Summary Plan Description is currently being revised to reflect CIGNA as our third-party administrator. In the meantime, a good deal of additional information about CIGNA is available on the HR website.

Vision Insurance

Our vision plan is remaining with Vision Service Plan (VSP).

  • The premium for the vision plan did not increase for 2017, however participants who changed coverage levels during open enrollment (i.e. switched from single to family coverage) will see the resultant premium change in the first paycheck in 2017.

The plan design will remain the same.  Remember, ID cards are not required (simply tell your VSP provider the last 4 digits of your SSN and date of birth). A summary of the plan and other helpful information is available on-line at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits/vision.

 

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Effective January 1, 2017 our health care and dependent care FSAs will be administered by Business Plans, Inc. (BPI), through their “MyCafeteriaPlan” FSA service.

  • Please remember that any medical or dependent care FSA claims incurred through December 31, 2016 must be filed for reimbursement through CBABlue; any claims incurred on or after January 1, 2017 must be filed through MyCafeteriaPlan.
  • The MyCafeteriaPlan website and mobile app are excellent sources of real-time information and are easy to use; instructions for accessing your account can be found on the new user login information flyer attached.
  • You will have several options for FSA claims filing, including uploading claims to the website or app, or faxing or mailing a paper claim form (see claim form attached).
  • If you would prefer to have reimbursements direct deposited, you will need to either complete and submit a paper election form (see form attached) or enroll on-line through your MyCafeteriaPlan account on the web or mobile app.
  • All 2017 FSA participants should have received FSA debit cards in late December. These red Visa-branded cards, called BennyCards, allow participants the option to access available FSA funds directly. Information about using the debit card with your FSA account can be found on the FSA Plan Details brochure attached. Using the Benny card is convenient however do keep in mind that the IRS requires substantiation for most expenses paid by use of such cards, so receipts must be maintained. (Participants will be notified by MyCafeteriaPlan if substantiation is required.)
  • Elections in health care and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts for 2017 should be reflected in employees’ first paychecks. Please review your pay stub and confirm that your contribution is correct (divide your total annual election by 26 and round up to the nearest penny to calculate your per pay-period election.)
  • Remember, you have until March 15, 2017 to file claims for services incurred during 2016; those claims must be filed with CBABlue.
  • After the 2016 runout period ends on March 15th any funds, up to a $500 maximum, that are remaining in participant’s health FSA accounts at CBABlue will be automatically transferred to a MyCafeterialPlan roll-over account and will then be available for reimbursement of 2017 expenses. This rollover process is expected to be complete by the end of April.

 


Voluntary Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance

No plan changes were made to our Voluntary Life and AD&D insurance 2017.

  • Premiums changes related to coverage amount or age-band changes (5 year increments) should be reflected in the first paycheck in 2017; if you made changes or you hit a new age band in 2016, please confirm that your premium changed.
  • Requests for new life coverage and/or for increases in life coverage over the guarantee issue amount are not effective until approved by UNUM. An Evidence of Insurability (EoI) form must be submitted by you to UNUM if you have requested this type of change. Notification of required EoI along with a link to the on-line EoI form will be distributed to affected employees during January; UNUM will notify employees of directly of approval or denial of coverage. Any premium changes will be made as of the effective date of the approved coverage.

Retirement

No plan changes were made to our retirement plan design.

  • If you submitted forms prior to the holiday break requesting changes to your Voluntary Retirement Plan contribution amount, or to enroll in the 457b Salary Deferral Supplemental Retirement Plan, your new elections should have been reflected in your first paycheck of 2017. If you requested such changes, please confirm that your elections are as you expected.

Trouble-free employee benefit plan administration requires a strong partnership between employees and Human Resources. Please carefully review your first paycheck and let us know if you have questions or if anything seems amiss, and please take the time to familiarize yourself with CIGNA and BPI’s (MyCafeteriaPlan) services and benefits.

If you have questions or concerns about your benefits, please contact your benefits team: Nancy Lindberg (nlindberg@middlebury.edu / 802-443-3372) or Franklin Daniel (fdaniel@middlebury.edu / 802-443-5755.)

 

Cheryl Mullins

 

 

Removal of home directories

Hello everyone,

As part of our ongoing migration from Middfiles to the cloud, we are removing empty home directories starting today. This is only for HOME folders that have no files in them at all, either because the owner has successfully migrated all of their data and deleted it from Middfiles as we requested, or because they weren’t using their home directories in the first place. This is to prevent “backsliding” if someone accidentally tries to put a file in their U: drive.

In addition, new home directories are no longer being created for new accounts. New faculty, staff, and students should use OneDrive or Google Drive for your storage needs.

Important Tax Information

As you prepare to file your 2016 income taxes, you may be asked about a form called Form 1095-C. The Affordable Care Act requires employers to furnish Form 1095-C to current and past employees who were covered in the employer sponsored medical plan for all or any portion of the tax year. In November of 2016, the IRS extended this year’s deadline for employers to furnish to employees the Form 1095-C from January 31st to March 2, 2017.

Please be aware that the extension to employers should not impact or delay a tax filer’s ability to file their income taxes as usual. Individual income tax-filers are not required to submit Form 1095-C when they file their taxes this year.  When the form does arrive (around March 2nd), be sure to keep the form with your personal tax records as documentation.

You may need to know the answers to a few basic questions when preparing your return:

  • Does Middlebury’s plan meet the minimum essential coverage criteria as mandated by the Affordable Care Act?   Yes it does.
  • Were you covered for all 12 months of the year? Each employee should know the answer to this.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Benefits Department in Human Resources at 802-443-3372.

Here are several links to the IRS website where more information on this topic can be found:

https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Individuals-and-Families/Individual-Shared-Responsibility-Provision

https://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/ACA-Information-Center-for-Tax-Professionals

J term Book Club

Chaplain Laurie Jordan will lead a bookgroup focusing on Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom on Wednesday afternoons during J-term. The group will meet Jan. 18, 25, and Feb. 1 in the Scott Center living room at 4:30. Please let Laurie know (ljordan@middlebury.edu) if you’d like a copy of the book at a reduced rate of $5 per copy. Presented with funding from the Wellness Committee.

TIAA ONE-ON-ONE COUNSELING SESSIONS WITH ERIK MOREAU

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January – June, 2017

  • Wednesday January 18, Davis Library 150C
  • Wednesday February 1, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday February 15, Davis Library 150D
  • Tuesday February 28, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday March 9 , Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Wednesday March 15, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday March 30, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday April 12, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday April 20, Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Tuesday May 2, Davis Library 150D
  • Thursday May 11, Marble Works, Suite 203
  • Wednesday May 24, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday June 7, Davis Library 150D
  • Wednesday June 21, Davis Library 150D

To schedule an appointment with Erik Moreau, please call the Field Support Team at (800) 732-8353, M-F 8am – 8pm (EST).

Staff Council Learning Lecture and Tour

Staff Council Learning Lecture and Tour

Thursday, January 19, 2017

12:15-1:15 p.m.

The Timing Room (the room that overlooks the track in the Virtue Field House)

 

Suzanne Cota, Assistant to the Director of Athletics, will offer a presentation and tour of the new athletic facilities for staff on Thursday, January 19.

Light refreshments will be available, but feel free to bring your own bag lunch.     

        Sponsored by Staff Council

 

 

Weekly Web Updates – January 9, 2017

There was an issue in the recent WordPress 4.7 update that caused problems with our custom permissions group syncing to that system. If you are the member of a group that is sync’d to WordPress but have different permissions than most members of that group (for example: administrators of the “Classifieds” blog), your permissions to the site may have been set to the lower-level permissions if you logged in to the site over the holiday break (this was fixed by 1pm on January 3rd). If that’s the case, let us know and we’ll restore your permissions.

We have added the Inline Footnotes and BE Subpages Widget plugins to WordPress.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The server hosting the Course Catalog was updated using the Chef server configuration tool to better provide system updates and versioning. Additionally, all requests to the Catalog are now handled over HTTPS.
  • We applied a security update to the system that sends mail in WordPress which is causing issues with the email preview function in the Wysija / MailPoet plugin. The plugin author promises to have an update available shortly that will fix this.
  • Improved the Online Directory’s handling of connections to the Active Directory to ensure that system resources are properly recycled after searches are run, preventing the server from spinning out of control.
  • Increased the timeout and improved error handling for photo fetching to the Athletics History Wall to better ensure we import as many photos as possible.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • A responsive design for the Dining Menus site.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, and CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Sites DOT MiddleburyThe Middlebury site network.