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Important Benefits Reminders

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Trouble-free employee benefit plan administration requires a strong partnership between employees and Human Resources.  The Human Resources Dept. works diligently each year-end to accurately process the thousands of required or requested benefit record changes, and then we check and double-check our work.  However, in the end, we also must rely on you, the employee, to do your part in managing your benefits by confirming that you are enrolled in the benefits you intended to elect.  Please carefully review your first paycheck and let us know if you have questions or if anything seems amiss.

Medical/Dental Insurance

  • If you made a change to who is covered under your medical or dental plan, new ID cards were mailed to you in December.  Please confirm that you have received your new ID card(s) if you made a change to who is covered under your medical or dental plan.  If you need additional cards (for example, for a child away at college) call the toll-free customer service number on your ID card (1-888-222-9206). 
  • As was announced in November, the employee portion of the medical & dental premiums did not increase for 2014.  However, any employee who made coverage (single/2 person/family) level changes should see a premium change in the first paycheck of 2014. 

Vision Insurance

  • As a reminder the Vision Plan is with Vision Service Plan (VSP).  No ID card is required (just 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.  Premium changes for Vision Insurance are effective the first paycheck of 2014. 

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

  • Premiums changes related to a change in coverage amount or age-band changes (5 year increments) should be reflected in the first paycheck in 2014.  If you made changes or you hit a new age band in 2013, please confirm that your premium changed. 
  • Requests for new Life coverage or for increases in Life coverage over the guarantee issue amount are not effective until approved by Mutual of Omaha.  An Evidence of Insurability form must be submitted by you to Mutual of Omaha if you have requested this type of change. Mutual of Omaha will notify you directly of approval or denial.  Any premium changes will be made as of the effective date of the approved coverage. 

Flexible Spending Accounts

  • 2014 elections for the Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts should be reflected in the first paycheck of 2014.  Please review your pay stub and confirm that your contribution is correct (divide your total annual election by 26 to calculate your per pay-period election.) 
  • If you are a new Flexible Spending Account plan participant (you were not enrolled in a FSA last year) then FSA Benefits Cards were mailed to your home address in mid-December.  If you had a FSA last year you will not be issued a new card as they are valid for 3 years.  If your card is due to expire in January 2014, it is good through January 31 & a new card will be issued mid-January.The Benefits Card can be used to access funds in your Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account.  Important information about the FSA Benefits Card is available at http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/benefits/flex . 

Retirement

  • If you submitted forms prior to the holiday break requesting changes to your Voluntary Retirement Plan or to enroll in the 457b Salary Deferral Supplemental Retirement Plan, your new elections should have been reflected in your first paycheck of 2014.  If you requested changes please confirm that your elections are as expected. 

If you have made a change to who is covered on your medical or dental plan and you have not received your new ID card(s), or if a benefit deduction doesn’t look right to you, or if you have any other questions or concerns about your benefits, please contact Human Resources as soon as possible.  Thanks for doing your part to keep our benefit plans running smoothly!

Your Benefits Team,

~Lisa Hoff, Benefits Specialist (Health/Dental/Vision/Flex Spending) x3372
~Loretta Lee, Benefits Specialist (Retirement Plans & Retiree Medical/Dental) x5468
~Franklin Daniel, Benefits Specialist (Retirement Plans & Retiree Medical/Dental) x5755
~Cheryl Mullins, Benefits & Compensation Manager x5542

Apple Tip- The Kernel Panic

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

by Doubleknot.com

We have been bombarded with movies that indicate the possibility of computers running themselves and the world around them like the movie Terminator and then there was The Matrix and then AI. There are rare times with your Mac when you may think there is a “ghost in the machine”.  Your Mac may just restart itself, or spontaneously shut down or become unresponsive (of course, this only happens when you haven’t yet saved important data).  This reaction may indicate a Kernel Panic which is your Mac’s way of signifying that a problem is occurring or “I give up”, hence the shutdown.  The Kernel Panic is not software related; it is from a hardware and/or an external related problem.  There are many variables with hardware/external related issues that could result in the Kernel Panic from defective RAM, corrupt drivers,  hard disk corruption or possibly even  a loose Airport Card.

Software Update  Apple is always stressing the point that often times, issues with your Mac can be avoided simply by updating your software when prompted to.  These software updates may not help you avoid the Kernel Panic, but some do help improve how your Mac deals with issues because they are designed to help alleviate problems by improving your Mac’s tolerance for external issues. Steps to take long before you know there is a problem, for instance- when you get that annoying prompt “Updates Available”.  

So yet again, I jump on the Soapbox and reiterate the importance of performing SOFTWARE UPDATES when necessary.

If you have a Mac with OX S Mavericks or an older operating system like Mountain Lion, Lion or an earlier version, you can get a general idea of what kind of symptoms to look for at the link provided below.  But be forewarned that Apple would now like Mac owner’s to follow the protocol to have a certified Mac Technician or Genius Bar at an Apple Store look at your Mac to determine exactly why the Kernel Panic is happening.  The Troubleshooting instructions found on the link below to determine the source of the Kernel Panic on your Mac is now NOT Recommended by Apple. Simply use this link to determine if a Kernel Panic did occur.

Apple Support

In summary,

        I.            first and foremost- UPDATE SOFTWARE, which in the long run, may help you avoid issues from happening with your Mac.

      II.            A Kernel Panic happens as a result of your computer signifying a problem is occurring which would likely be from external sources not from a software related issue.  

    III.            Last but not least, this also signifies that you need to bring your Mac in to see a specialist, a Certified Apple Technician.

Our Certified Apple Technician to handle all customer Mac issues is Ark Lemal , who can be reached at 802/318-4657 or in the College Bookstore- Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.

Apple-Tech1

Staff changes in Collections & Archives

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

I’m overjoyed to share two recent staff promotions from the ranks of library collections and archives:

Arabella Holzapfel has taken on a newly expanded role as Electronic Resources Manager and Library Systems Specialist. In this role, Arabella has taken on more responsibilities managing the lifecycle of the Library’s collection of online journals and databases. In addition, she’ll be providing more assistance to Bryan Carson with behind-the-scenes support of library-related systems and infrastructure.

Danielle Rougeau has a new title too: Assistant Curator of Special Collections and College Archivist. Officially, Danielle is now the recognized subject expert of the College’s historical archives and has significant oversight of the collecting practices, organization, outreach to academic and administrative departments, and the long-term preservation of the College Archives collection.

Cheers for Arabella and Danielle.

Open Enrollment

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Open Enrollment for the 2014 Middlebury College Health & Welfare Benefit Plan is being held from November 1 – 14, 2013.  All benefits-eligible employee are required to complete the open enrollment process within this time period even if they do not intend to make benefit changes for 2014.

Open enrollment is your opportunity to:

• Continue your current medical, dental, or vision elections into the new year OR add coverage for yourself and/or dependents OR terminate your own or your dependents’ coverage.
• Continue your current voluntary life and/or accidental death and dismemberment coverage for the new year OR increase OR decrease the amount of existing coverage in these plans.
• Enroll in the health care and/or the dependent care flexible spending account(s) for next year. If you do not make an FSA election, you will not be enrolled for 2014 even if you participated in 2013.

Open Enrollment must be completed, using Banner Web, between November 1 – 14, 2013.  Benefits eligible employees will be able to access the open enrollment module from any computer with internet access. 

Getting Started
1. Access the Open Enrollment System:

• Click this link: http://go.middlebury.edu/bannerweb OR
• On the bottom right-hand corner of the Middlebury homepage http://www.middlebury.edu/  click “Quick Links” and then “Banner Web”

2. Enter your Banner Web User ID (your Midd ID number) and your PIN and click “Login”.
3. Click “Employee”, then “Benefits and Deductions”, and then “Open Enrollment”.

2014 Premium Rate Chart

2013 Staff Recognition Award Nominations

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

STAFF RECOGNITION AWARDS NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN

Nominations for the 2013 Staff Recognition Awards are now open. These awards have been endowed through the generosity of Rudolf K. Haerle, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Sociology, who wished through his gift to recognize the importance of staff to the Middlebury College Community.

Four awards are presented each year – one to a staff member in Dining Services, one to a staff member in Facilities Services, and two to staff members in all other areas of the College. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $200, and their names will be engraved on a plaque that hangs in the Grille.

Nominations for these awards may be submitted by completing the nomination form and sending it as a Word document to the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer mailbox at ovpt@middlebury.edu, or mailing to Old Chapel 102. The deadline for nominations is Monday, June 24, 2013has been extended to Monday, August 26, 2013.

The winners will be chosen by a selection committee consisting of the recipients of the 2012 awards: Cindy Leno (Team Leader, Custodial- Facilities Services ); Diane Munroe (Coordinator, Community Based Environmental Studies – Environmental Studies); Brent Simons (Ross Commons Dining Manager – Dining Services); and Arlinda Ardister Wickland (Director, Student Fellowships & Health Professions Advising – Education in Action).

Sincerely,

Patrick

Managers/Supervisors: Please post in a common are for those who do not have access to email.

2012 Flexible Spending Claim Submission Deadline

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Do you still have money left in your FSA account?  If so, time is running out!  2012 Flexible Spending Account Participants have until midnight (ET) on March 15, 2013  to submit claims for services provided in the calendar year 2012. All claims should be sent to CBA Blue via:

• Fax at 888.291.0920

• Mail to :

CBA Blue
PO Box 2365
S. Burlington, VT 05407-2365

Claim forms can be found in the HR office or go/flex

Per IRS Regulations, all remaining balances after March 15th will be forfeited. Don’t let this happen to you!

If you have questions about your Flexible Spending Accounts contact CBA Blue at 1-888-222-9206 or Lisa Hoff at x3372.

EAP extended coverage to additional family members

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Recently, our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) has extended the scope of its services. In addition to covering all employees and household members, our EFAP now provides services to all immediate family members.  Immediate family members include:
Ÿ Parents
Ÿ Siblings
Ÿ Children by blood, adoption or marriage
Ÿ Spouses/Partners
Ÿ Grandparents
Ÿ Grandchildren

Let your immediate family members know they now have access to all of the EFAP Services including:
  Counseling Services
  Budget & Debt Services
  Legal Consultations
  Financial Resources
  Health & Wellness Coaching
  Work/Life Resources
  New Parent Transition Program

Your EFAP is just a phone call away…800-828-6025 24 hrs/7 days a week.  Or visit the wellnessworklife.com Website.