Author Archives: Jason Cable

Annual Performance Summary Process for Staff Members

Dear Colleagues,

I write to provide you with information regarding upcoming workshops to assist supervisors, managers and staff in preparation for the Annual Performance Summary (APS) process. Please share this information with your staff members.  In addition to the on-line tools referenced below, including an audio training presentation, we are offering two live APS workshops for new employees and supervisors undergoing the APS process for the first time:

Tuesday, February 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (Mitchell Green Lounge)

Thursday, February 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mitchell Green Lounge) 

For those who have already attended a live or recorded workshop, additional Question & Answer Sessions are available to provide support for supervisors, managers and staff as you prepare your performance documentation:

 

Tuesday, February 21 from 11:00 a.m. to noon (Marble Works)

Tuesday, March 7 from 11:00 a.m. to noon (Marble Works)

Thursday, March 9 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Marble Works) 

Please email lcaroten@middlebury.edu or call x2012 to register.  In addition, please feel free to contact me with requests for individual support and/or department specific consultation or training.  Click below for more information or to access the on-line audio training.

http://www.middlebury.edu/offices/business/hr/staffandfaculty/evals

*Note:  New for this year, please forward all completed and signed evaluations electronically to Perry Richards (pgrichar@middlebury.edu).  Hard copies will not be necessary.

 

Laura Carotenuto
Human Resources

 

Midd/MIIS Travelers

The following employees have reported upcoming travel between Midd and MIIS:

From Midd to MIIS From MIIS to Midd
Rich Wolfson, Physics

Jan 10-28

Melissa Hanham, CNS

Feb 27-29

Dan Brayton, English & American Literatures

last week in January

Jeffrey Lewis, CNS

Feb 27-29

Colleen Fitzpatrick, Advancement

1/23-2/1

 
Karen Miller, Human Resources

late January

 
Cathy Vincent, Human Resources

late January/early February

 
John Elder, Env. Studies

March 4-11

 
Chris Spencer, Communications and Marketing

Mar 13-18

 
Demetrius Borge, Communications and Marketing

Mar 13-18

 
Molly Anderson, Food Studies

March 21-April 3

 
Orion Lewis, Political Science

January/March

 
Several VT community members, including

Peggy Burns, Susan Baldridge, and Jeff Cason,

For Board of Trustees Meeting

Week of Jan 23

 
Pam Berenbaum, Sociology/Anthropology

Spring

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

 

 

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.

From MSA: January Financial Events and Tips to Start the New Year

 

Dealing With My Credit Cards (January 26th)

Credit cards can be a real pain. Find relief as you learn about and choose a strategy for managing your credit card debt. We’ll talk about communicating with your creditors, strategies for lowering your payments and fitting bills into your budget. We will also review the pros and cons of getting help through credit counseling, debt settlement and bankruptcy. After this presentation, you will be able to decide which strategy is best for you.

REGISTER 12pm EST

REGISTER 3pm EST

5 Money Habits To Quit In The New Year

We always make New Year’s resolutions, and they tend to be things we want to do, like exercise more. And we all know how that works out. Two weeks in, you get derailed. So, give yourself a break and, this year, create a list of resolutions you don’t want to do.To get you started, we’ve made a list of financial habits you’ll be glad to get rid of in the New Year because it’ll help you…

VIEW TIPS

Take Action and Win!

You get the chance to win cool prizes when you engage in the financial wellness program, work with a Money Coach and attend classes.

VIEW REWARDS

Middlebury College provides access to website resources, financial events (see below) and 1:1 guidance with a personal Money Coach to help you transform your finances. Learn more at mysecureadvantage.com.

 

January EFAP News: Setting Goals in Motion

FREE WEBINAR:

Vision Boards: Creating the Life You Want

Thursday, January 26th 

12-1pm and 3-4pm EST
11-12pm and 2-3pm 
CST
10-11am and 1-2pm 
MST
9-10am and 12-1pm 
PST

Set goals, dream big, and create a life of purpose. Vision boards are made up of images, affirmations, and quotes to visually display one’s goals, dreams, and desired accomplishments. In this interactive webinar, attendees will be able to write their vision and create a tangible artifact by following a three-step vision board process.

REGISTER TODAY!  Space is limited.

Click on the time you would like to attend above.
Shaping Your Future, One Goal at a Time

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It’s another way of saying that great things often take time to materialize, and that certainly can be true of goal setting. As you strive to tackle your next major life challenge, keep the following in mind:

Write out your goals. Use clear, specific, positive language. Put these in a place where you will be reminded often. The more you make goal setting and review part of your routine, the more goals you will set, pursue, and meet.

Create a reward system. It is hard for any of us to hold out for rewards until we’ve reached the pinnacle of our pursuit. Think of how you will reward yourself along the way as you reach each of your intermediate goals.

Celebrate intermediate goals. Remember the rewards structure you set for yourself. Intermediate goals have a greater probability of attainment because they are smaller and closer to your original behavior than ultimate goals. It helps to preserve motivation by recognizing the accomplishment of intermediate goals. The motivation can also help you reach outside your comfort zone to excel to the next step in your action plan.

Enlist support. In athletic competition, “crowd support” is invigorating and helps competitors when their physical and mental resources grow thin. Such is the case with personal change. Get the support of others to help maintain your energy, drive and focus. 

Attend the webinar. This month be sure to register and attend the webinar, “Vision Boards: Creating the Life You Want.” Taking advantage of this free learning opportunity can help you can help you explore your aspirations in a fun, interactive, online forum. A full description and registration information is listed in the sidebar to the right. If you’re unable to attend at any of the times, log on to the website at a later time to view the archived presentation. 

PDF files of the monthly newsletter and posters will be available for download

on the 1st of the month by logging onto the website and clicking on

“Monthly Bulletins” on the home page.

 

Curran Appointed Director of Business Services

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Matt Curran has accepted the position of director of business services, effective December 19, 2016.

Matt has been with Middlebury since 2014, when he joined us as accounts payable manager. Prior to Middlebury, Matt was assistant controller at Small Dog Electronics, where he was involved in all financial aspects of the organization. Matt also has 6 years of public accounting and finance experience with Stowe and Degon, LLC in Westborough, MA. Matt graduated from Assumption College with a BA in Accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration.

Matt brings experience and a proven track record of success in retail, accounting, and finance, which will be a tremendous asset to help us meet our institutional goals and objectives. I would like to thank my colleagues who participated in the selection process.

Matt will be located in Marble Works and can be reached at matthewc@middlebury.edu.  Please join me in congratulating Matt on his new role.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mike Thomas

Vice President for Finance