The latest work-life information at IU
No. 45
October 2008


University Human Resource Services
www.indiana.edu/~uhrs
Informed Employee

New IU HDHP PPO & Medical Savings Plan

The information presented in this article is intended only as an overview. Because this is a new plan for 2009 and because it is different than others plans offered by the university, it is important to visit the HDHP Web page at www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/benefits/2009/hdhp.html to read and understand the plan provisions and tax features before enrolling.

The HDHP plan (High Deductible Health Plan) combines comprehensive medical coverage, a tax-advantaged savings account, and Health Risk and Biometric Assessment features.

Just like other IU-sponsored medical plans, the HDHP PPO provides comprehensive medical coverage and access to high-quality health care through Anthem’s provider network. The plan pays a large part of medical costs after the deductible is met, and employee expenses are limited to an annual out-of-pocket maximum. The HDHP PPO does have a higher deductible; however, the deductible is offset by university and employee contributions to a health savings account.

The Medical Savings feature is an HSA: health savings account. The university makes a contribution to the savings account, and the employee can decide whether to make contributions above a required minimum. Unused money at the end of each year remains in the account. The university pays the monthly banking fees for the savings account.

IRS Qualifying Requirements

The IRS requires certain qualifications in addition to the university’s eligibility requirements. The HDHP Web page contains the list of specific qualifications such as, citizenship, existing health coverage, and tax-dependent status.

HDHP PPO Highlights

Medical Savings Highlights

Health Risk and Biometric Assessments

Enrollment

Online enrollment is required for those electing this plan. An Open Enrollment system will be available in Benefits Self Service for a limited time—November 3 to 14. Instructions on accessing this system through OneStart will be sent to employees by email (or campus mail for employees without email). Those without Web access who wish to enroll in the IU HDHP PPO & Medical Savings Plan may contact a campus Human Resources office for assistance.


Online Open Enrollment
November 3 - 14

An online Open Enrollment system will be available for a limited time this year through Benefits Self Service on the Web. (Paper enrollment forms will still be available in mailed packets.) Details on how and when to enroll online will be sent via email. Employees without email will receive instructions by campus mail.


Verification of Benefits

Each year following Open Enrollment, employees should take time to verify that their benefit elections are accurately recorded.The tools outlined below are available to facilitate a review of benefits elections.

Employees can use these tools throughout the year, but they are strongly encouraged to conduct such a review when changes are made to benefit elections. If problems are identified, please contact a campus Human Resources office.


Flexible Work Schedules for Staff Employees

Flexible work schedules in the form of flextime, compressed workweeks, and telecommuting have been part of the university’s work life for a long time. Today, with the high cost of gasoline and commuting expenses, alternatives for structuring the workweek are receiving renewed attention.

In general, flexible work schedules allow employees and supervisors options in determining when and where work gets done outside of the traditional 8 to 5, Monday through Friday arrangement. It is acceptable for a department to have different work schedules for different employees based on the requirements of their work.

Flextime. Flextime permits flexibility in arrival, departure, and lunch times, frequently with a designated set of core hours each day during which all employees must be present. For a full-time position, 40 hours of work over a five-day week are still required, but when the employee works those hours is flexible. Each department can determine when a workday can start and end, and how often employees can change their start and end times (daily, weekly, annually, or any other established time frame).

Compressed workweek. In a compressed workweek, 40 hours of work are compressed into fewer than five full days, for example, four 10-hour days with Friday or Monday off. Other variations, such as Wednesdays off or four 9-hour days and one 4-hour day are also possible, particularly when necessary to meet the needs of the department. To be a viable alternative, the compressed workweek requires a department to be able to schedule employees and still maintain its customer service levels.

Telecommuting. Telecommuting allows for some or all of an employee’s work to be performed at an off-site location, usually the employee’s home. Telecommuting works best in jobs in which the work can be performed independently with little or no requirements for face-to-face interactions with customers or colleagues, nor for material that is found only at the office. In a telecommuting work schedule, it is common for the employee to be in the office for an established portion of the workweek or for certain activities or events.

Supervisors and employees who are considering a flexible work schedule should first become familiar with the university’s Alternative Work Schedules policy at www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/policies/nonunion/4.0/4.5.html and Telecommuting Guidelines for Staff at www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/relations/telecommute.html. In addition to factors mentioned elsewhere in this article, departments must consider its productivity needs, the employee’s performance record, effectiveness of available communication systems, cost of additional equipment, recordkeeping requirements and tools, and workplace safety requirements.

Contact a campus Human Resource office to develop specific terms and conditions for the schedule that will work best for the circumstances.

 

 

UHRS

Page updated: 22 September 2008
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